In this volume, Maika, Kippa, and Ren have made it to the pirate strong-hold of Thyria. Thyria is neither allied with the humans nor with the arcanics. They’re a mix of both worlds with a large cat population too. While there, Maika learns that her mother set off from Thyria to the Isle of Bones in order to continue her quest for the mask of the Shaman Empress. So Maika decides she needs to follow in her mother’s footsteps.
We learn throughout this volume that Moriko, Maika’s mother, was on a quest to discover the lost pieces of the mask of the Shaman Empress. The Shaman Empress was the first Arcanic (human & ancient one hybrid). She had the power of the ancient ones, but in the body of the humans. She altered the human world by showing that the arcanics were not a species to be underestimated. She was also an important balancing force against the Cumaea (the witch nuns).
In her quest to get to the Isle of Bones, we learn that the Cumaea are also on the trial of the Shaman Empress’s mask too. Luckily, Maika’s godfather, Seizi, is a powerful ally who can provide her ships and support on her dangerous journey. Seizi and his brother are the most powerful pirates in Thyria and having them as ally help Maika navigate some of Thyria’s tricky politics.
I enjoyed this volume because it expanded the world. We not only see more of the world, but we learn more of the history, politics, and context for why the world is the way it is during Maika’s quest. The new characters reveal important aspect of Maika and continue developing her as a complex character. The plot also solidifies into a quest narrative and we learn more about what Moriko was doing and what Maika must do to complete the quest.