We pick up Nym’s story in Siren’s Fury immediately where we left her at the end of the first book. And, everything we thought Nym had gained has been stripped away. Her Elemental powers are gone, the person she trusts most has been possessed by a horrible monster (the chief villain in the story), and she is again being manipulated as a political pawn by almost everyone around her. The only improvement in her situation is that she is no longer a slave, though that offers little comfort as she is still almost universally feared and hated.
In losing her powers, Nym is faced with a whole new challenge. She always struggled with a self-hatred and guilt complex over the collateral damage from exerting her power. It was her strong sense of compassion that kept her grounded and that ultimately provided her with the control she needed. Overwhelmed by the loss of her power and faced with a seemingly impossible obstacle to overcome, she considers abandoning that sense of compassion and giving in to feelings of hatred and revenge.
Weber introduces a whole new set of bad guys . . . part-human, part-animal, undead wraiths that make up the “Dark Army.” She maintains a constant tension from the very first pages and brings the story to a critical, exciting climax that raises the stakes for all of the main characters and sets up a promising continuation into the third book of the Storm Siren trilogy.
I have some of the same observations about story construction in Siren’s Fury, as I did in the first book. The layers of political intrigue are too dense and rely too heavily on conversational exposition which take us away from the action of the story. Weber introduces several new minor characters who are intriguing, but who we don’t spend enough quality time with to become truly engaging.
My strongest critique, however, is about Weber’s use of one of the more frustrating tropes to appear in storytelling. Nym is given very specific advice NOT to do something. This advice comes from someone particularly suited to know what they are talking about, from one of the few people Nym actually trusts. So, of course, Nym immediately goes out and does exactly what she was just strenuously advised against. This trope is particularly frustrating, as it makes the audience start to question the intelligence of a beloved character.
All things aside, Nym arrives at the last page of Siren’s Fury stronger both in character and external powers which is good, because the potential tasks in front of her as the trilogy comes to a close with Siren’s Song (slated for released in March 2016) are truly monumental. Weber hasn’t shied away from putting even our core group of characters in severe peril over the course of this trilogy, so I have good reason to expect the final climactic showdown to be as unpredictable and shocking as it can be.