Welcome back to the Ledge readalong! We’ve had a WILD RIDE and it’s all come to a close… THE SHOCK… THE HORROR! THAT ENDING?!!?!!?!?!
Read on for an in depth summary of the chapters below, and thanks for joining us for the Ledge Readalong! You can now preorder the sequel, Chasm, from our site or any good bookstores!
🪓 Beware of MAJOR BIG SPOILERS for Ledge down below! You have been warned…🪓
!! MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD !!
We begin right after Dawsyn and Ryon have been pushed into the pool of Iskra.Dawsyn remarks how the magic feels thicker than water, less cloying than oil, but doesn’t cling to her the way either would. Instead it envelopes and caresses her. It seems to have a mind of its own, curious, and tests her to find a way in.While she tries to resist the magic of the pool, it sings to her, tries to get her to sleep, and uses the voice of her grandmother and Briar. It tells her not to open her mouth so that she doesn’t drown.She begins to submit as it lures her into a peace, until it mentions safety. Dawsyn has never experienced safety before and this makes her suddenly aware of her surroundings. She needs to find Ryon.Her lips feel sewn shut, and she can feel the magic trying to take her soul, but she finally manages to breathe in. It’s as easy as breathing air. She can feel it changing her, strengthening her, and now she can move around the pool easily in search of Ryon.But he seems to already be gone, mouth and eyes sealed shut. She tries to rouse him, screaming and attempting to pry open his lips but neither works.Worried she’ll lose him, she presses her lips to his and breathes magic into his lungs.But before she can find out if it worked, they’re both yanked out of the pool. And Ryon looks … blank. 😭Dawsyn has no idea if his soul is still intact. He gives no indication of any emotion or thought, and she remembers that she should look the same. It’s good enough for the King, who takes them both to the Chasm to be thrown in.Dawsyn knows that if Ryon is truly gone, they’ll both fall to their deaths. As she worries about this, she can feel the magic within her. Ice fills her palms, and despite her internal pleading for help, it recedes and does nothing to protect her.Vasteel tries to clip Ryon’s wings before throwing him into the Chasm but the wings will not appear at his command. A nobleman reminds the King that Ryon’s Iskra is gone, and the King gives up on trying. There is no joy in cutting someone who’s unfeeling after all.And with that, both Dawsyn and Ryon are pushed into the Chasm.Thanks to the magic inside of him, Ryon awakes as he’s falling. (YAY!!!) His wings unfurl at the sound of Dawsyn’s screaming, and he dives to catch her. He’s worried he’ll break her ribs, but he manages to catch her in time.Ryon feels Dawsyn cry against his chest as he holds her. She had thought him gone, but he says that would never happen, because he knows she could never bear to be without him.As they soar out of the Chasm – much to the surprise of a few Glacians still near the edge – Ryon calls the Colony to battle.The Izgoi have been waiting on the divide between the pure village and the Colony, and at this call, they charge. Ryon and Dawsyn land and jump right into the fight. Adrik joins them, and they make their way to the palace.When it comes time for Ryon and Dawsyn to part to their respective tunnels underneath the palace, she tells him not to die. He responds the same way she had before with a grin and a simple, “I never do.”Dawsyn tries to make her way to the front of the Izgoi, but they pay no attention to her. After one tries to take a sword to the portcullis ending in injury to himself, Dawsyn finally manages to shove her way to the front. They warn her away from touching it, but she manages to coax her magic into opening the lock.She’s the first to enter the palace and raise her weapon but we’re told it will be years before the legends reflect the full weight of her part in this battle or give her the credit she deserves.She fights alongside the Izgoi, and they make their way to the pool, which is darker than before, bubbling and hissing with the souls of the dead littered about the room. They’re surprised by Glacians who had been lying in wait for them and are thrust back into the fight.When a hand grabs her, Dawsyn quickly realises Ryon has arrived, and the two fall into step with each other. The tide has turned in their favour, and the Izgoi are winning.But suddenly Ryon is grabbed by a Glacian, its talons embedded in his shoulders in an attempt to drag him away. Ryon slashes off the Glacian’s feet and leaves other Izgoi to finish off his attacker, but he’s left struggling with the talons unable to retract without their host.As Dawsyn moves towards Ryon to help him, she’s bitten by a Glacian, who she’s able to stab, but it’s too late: She can instantly feel the poison spreading. 😢Ryon rushes towards her and becomes enraged when he sees the bite mark. With a roar, he grabs the dying Glacian who had attacked Dawsyn and throws her into the pool, saying that she doesn’t deserve anything as easy as death.Ryon catches Dawsyn just as she falls.In her haze, Dawsyn compares the magic to light and smoke and the poison to oil, black as tar, both battling to possess her. She can hear Ryon pleading with her to stay alive but cannot see anything. She is convinced she’s going to die.Dawsyn begs the magic not to let the poison take her but the poison appears to be winning. Finally, the magic reacts to the poison, first hissing and retracting, before raging. It floods and fills every part of her and burns off the poison.When the magic depletes, she opens her eyes and finds Ryon shouting at her to stay with him. He’s sent for a healer, but she tells him the poison is gone. She’s okay.They share a soft kiss – that almost turns into something more (👀). But Ryon reminds her they’re in a room full of people. That part of the celebration will have to be postponed. (😳)Dawsyn asks if they’ve won, and Ryon confirms they have. They’re soon joined by the councilmen. Tasheem asks Dawsyn if she’s well, and Dawsyn says she is. But such pleasantries cannot continue; there are other matters to discuss.A councilman says that Vasteel and some of his noblemen have escaped. Ryon says that they should celebrate for now and eventually Vasteel will come out of hiding. They do not need to waste energy searching.Only 8 brutes remain in the dungeons, one of which is Phineas. Ryon does not react to this information but Dawsyn seethes. They lost only a handful of Izgoi during the fight and the wounded are already being treated.Adrik yells that Glacia is theirs before he begins taking an interest in Ryon’s magic from the pool. He says they must guard the pool for now while they try to find a way to destroy it.As they all leave to celebrate, Tasheem takes Dawsyn’s hand and kisses her cheek. She tells Dawsyn that she has blessed them and is fit to be a queen.When alone again, Dawsyn tells Ryon she isn’t sure where to begin now. He responds that she can start wherever she likes and that he won’t dare tell her what to do but she just calls him a liar.In what she knows is a selfish response, Dawsyn wants to skip resting or celebrating and immediately start rescuing people from the Ledge. Ryon reminds her that if he showed up unannounced that they might try to kill him. Her people aren’t likely to believe the word of a Glacian, mixed-blood or not. They must be patient and come up with a plan.Ryon wants Dawsyn to come rest and sleep beside him but she can tell he’s warring with himself. She remembers what Vasteel revealed before they were pushed into the pool and believes he’s grappling with how all human and Glacian pairings are said to end.When Dawsyn reminds Ryon that he’s not responsible for his mother’s death, his hands turn icy, and he appears wracked with guilt. He swears he didn’t know about humans dying during childbirth, and she knows he’s telling the truth.As they move down the hall, they come across an Izgoi trying to herd a group of frightened human slaves. He tells them that they are safe and may celebrate with the mixed-bloods but they still appear wary.Dawsyn and Gerrot share a quick moment, where he appears to be trying to thank her and she squeezes his hand. She wants to tell him that his wife’s death will not be in vain but can’t seem to promise it yet.We jump to Dawsyn and Ryon standing before the gates to Terrsaw unarmed and hands raised in peace. Dawsyn knows they need Terrsaw’s help to free the people of the Ledge to serve as human ambassadors and reassure her people that they can trust the mixed-bloods. The people of the Ledge will also need homes, food, and medicine of which they hope Terrsaw will provide.With Vasteel out of the picture and the previous deal now void, Dawsyn and Ryon hope that they might be able to draw a new alliance with the Queens. If they can forgive Dawsyn trying to kill them last time … (grimace?)The guards shackle Dawysn and Ryon, and Ruby, the captain of the guard, leads them before the Queens. Dawsyn apologises for how things were left between them and announces that Vasteel has been removed from power. Ryon has led the mixed-bloods to victory, and Glacia has fallen. The Queens and guards are shocked.Dawsyn asks for assistance with rescuing the people of the Ledge, and Ryon adds that the mixed-bloods will be willing to help. This prompts Ruby to ask if the mixed-bloods also eat humans like the pure-blooded Glacians did, and Dawsyn informs her that Glacians never ate humans.But when Dawsyn begins to explain the purpose of the pool, Queen Alvira cuts her off, stating she already knows how the pool works.The Queen asks what they need from her, and Dawsyn asks for human ambassadors to lead her people from the Ledge. Ryon proposes an alliance between the humans and the mixed-bloods, speaking on behalf of the council. He does not expect immediate trust but hopes that it will build over time.Dawysn believes that the Queen will have no choice but to agree to their requests, but she could not be more wrong.The Queen turns to Ryon and tells him that he did not hold up his end of the deal. He was supposed to kill Dawsyn. Her response to him is no different than the last time he approached her: She will not trade anything without a fair return.Ryon begins to protest, but before he can explain himself to Dawsyn, the Queen plunges a dagger in his chest.Time slows as Ryon meets Dawsyn’s eyes, and her entire world implodes. Our entire world implodes.She watches the life drain out of his eyes.Queen Alvira tells Dawsyn that she may not want the crown, but the people would still want her to have it, and she can’t let that happen.As Dawsyn’s dragged through Ryon’s blood on her way to the dungeon, she can feel the magic inside her whispering, “Release me.”
Stacey, you are TOO CRUEL for that ending!