The Ivory Tomb is slow to start but once it gets going it’s a good adventure and solution to the problems set up in the first two volumes of the Rooks and Ruin trilogy. The first half is everyone running around trying to figure out a way to stop the demons who have all been released by the end of the second volume; then a cameo that way both fun but also not nearly as nuanced as I kind of wish given who it was sets up a final mission that essentially aligns the demon problem with the Ryx problems, with Severin’s problem, and a handful of the Rookey’s problems both personal and political.
The final showdown and solution to everything fittingly is at Gloamingard Castle where everything started as it houses the Gate to the Nine Hells when the demons came, and whence several of them need to be returned. Ryx has to confront several key things here: herself and her link to the Demon of Disaster, her grandmother being both Witch Lord and Demon of Discord, her former friend Aurelio being both traitor and Demon of Hunger, and making sure the Rooks by now her friends don’t get slaughtered, and figuring out how she can help her probable boyfriend Severin with what’s going on personally and in his own domain. The good bit of historical world-building that gets included/insinuated building up to this point is actually helpful, not just info dumping.
The eventually resolution involves Ryx doing something that she probably could have saved everyone a good bit of trouble had she tried for it a book or two ago with Aurelio, Severin’s Witch Lord brother actually having his moment with Severin, and figuring out an agreement with her grandmother that doesn’t involve war between Vaskandar domains or Vaskander and Eruvia, and how to allow for the small group of demons who weren’t out to destroy humanity and basically just want to co-exist. Ryx being a diplomat helps, but it’s actually one of the Rooks who more or less saves the day. It’s an interesting twist that it’s not quite Ryx who gets that job. Ryx does get a deus ex machina sort of moment though that actually kind of does involve technology in a way that sort of refers to the title of the book.
The ending actually manages to a pretty good balance that isn’t fairy tale “happily ever after” but also not epic fantasy sort of tragic catastrophe, which I kind of expected given the previous trilogy, but I actually think it works just as well if not slightly better here. Especially since everyone in the main team gets something of a conclusion; ending may not be the exact right word since everyone has some sort of future.