DAW, May 5 2015, $25.95
In the Essalieyan Empire, having survived several magical and otherwise assassination attempts and the betrayal by her treasonous Council (see Battle), House Terafin leader Jewel Markess ATerafin feels trapped between her two prime choices for the immediate future. Jewel knows she must confront the Oracle and its challenge to save her house, the most powerful of the ruling Ten, and consequently her city from the schism that splits both dangerously. However she also fears that while on her odyssey the lethal visions she foresees of the assault from below will expedite the downward spiral to the point of no return. Thus feeling she has no good course of action, Jewel begins her trek as the lesser of two horrific options.
The capital further spins out of control while Jewel travels on her quest. As the city falls increasingly into a death throe; in spite of evidence to the contrary, Jester misreads the truths re Finch. At the same time Birgit becomes a Warden.
The sixth House War (see Skirmish) is an exhilarating entry that focuses more on the Jester and Birgit subplots than Jewel’s journey; making the latter’s trip feel more as an excuse to get her out of the city though in fairness she achieves much of her objective. Even though Oracle is a thrilling tale, the overarching theme seemingly takes a side step.