ARC Review: The Memory of Souls (A Chorus of Dragons, #3) by Jenn Lyons



Now that the city of Atrine has been destroyed and Relos Var’s plan to free the dark god Vol Karoth has been revealed—the end of the world is closer than ever.

To buy time for humanity, Kihrin, Janel, and Thurvishar must convince the king of the Manol vané to perform an ancient ritual that will strip the vané of their immortality—a ritual that certain vané will do anything to prevent. Including assassinating the ones bringing the news.

Worse, Kihrin must come to terms with the horrifying possibility that his connection to Vol Karoth is steadily growing in strength. How can Kihrin hope to save anyone when he might turn out to be the greatest threat of them all?

Read my reviews of the other books in the series:
The Ruin of Kings (#1)
The Name of All Things (#2)

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Thank you very much to Macmillan/Tor for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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“It turns out you don’t automatically get a happy ending just because you’re the hero of the story.”

The Memory of Souls is Jenn Lyons’ third addition to The Chorus of Dragons series and it is without a doubt my favourite. Just like the other novels, The Memory of Souls is stunningly structured, with complex stories and plot-lines slowly converging and allowing the bigger picture to be revealed. It’s fascinating and so much fun.

The novel picks up immediately after the gripping conclusion of The Name of All Things as Kihrin, Teraeth, Janel and Thurvishar barely escape the devastation of Atrine and Relos Var unleashing one of the chains that binds the dark god, Vol Karoth. So the gods task them with a job: the gang must find a way to convince the Manol vané of performing an ancient ritual that will strip them of their immortality but will reinforce Vol Karoth’s bonds. But the Manol vané are determined to prevent that from happening, while Vol Karoth’s connection to Kihrin only grows stronger.

Like its predecessors, The Memory of Souls is narrated by multiple characters. Kihrin and Thurvishar are putting together a chronicle of the events they experienced during the novel — we read those same events as they’re happening in real time, with Kihrin and Thurvishar popping in every now and again to share their opinions. I love complex storylines in my fantasy novels, so I thoroughly enjoyed the way Lyons constructs these multiple timelines. It’s also a fantastic, clever way to reveal plot twists, which frequently had me at the edge of my seat as I couldn’t guess where Lyons was taking the story.

By far my favourite element of A Chorus of Dragons series is the amazing characters. Lyons’ has a full cast of diverse characters with staggeringly complex backstories that are mind-blowing when they’re revealed. As this series focuses on reincarnation, you think you know a character and their previous life and then wham, Lyons’ reveals another past life and the important role this character plays in the story. Think of it like a massive jigsaw puzzle you’re trying — and kind of failing — to put together. Just when you think you figured out where a certain piece fits, the plot changes and the piece reshapes itself. The unpredictability is part of the fun.

I absolutely adored the relationship developing between Kihrin, Tereath and Janel. Lyons has mentioned on her Twitter and in the A03-style tags she has on her website that the trio are heading towards a polyamorous relationship, and you can definitely see this development in The Memory of Souls. Teraeth is in love with Kihrin and Janel, Janel is in love with Kihrin and has feelings for Teraeth (though she doesn’t want to), and Kihrin is in love with Janel and in complete denial that he also loves Teraeth. The tension is amazing and I can’t wait to see what direction their relationship takes in the next novel in the series.

Just when I thought the plot couldn’t get any more wild, Lyons pulls the rug out from under me in The Memory of Souls. Like the multitude of characters, just when you think you’ve figured out the plot and what direction it’s going in, a new twist in the story is revealed. It just gets more and more epic. There wasn’t a single moment where I was bored, and even though the story could be a bit confusing at times, half the fun is figuring out where the story will go next. Without spoiling anything, I think my favourite scene in fiction (ever!) occurs right at the end of the novel — just before that massive cliffhanger! I can’t wait to purchase myself a physical copy and read it all over again.

The Memory of Souls is a mind-twist of a novel that will keep you gripped to every page. I find myself constantly surprised by how great each novel in the series is and think that Lyons can’t possibly outdo herself, and yet she constantly does. If you’re looking for a complex fantasy series about dragons, immortals and gods battling for power, an ancient evil awakening to destroy the universe, demons, queer characters, and polyamorous relationships, then look no further than A Chorus of Dragons. 2021 can’t come soon enough — I need book four!

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2 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Memory of Souls (A Chorus of Dragons, #3) by Jenn Lyons

  1. NB says:

    What timing – I just posted my review this morning too! So glad somebody else appreciated that poly triad of Kihrin, Tereath and Janel – that, for me, was the heart of the book. This series has gone places I never imagined in reading the first book, but it just keeps getting better.


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