Sorykah/Soryk is one of those rare beings that can switch genders. Each fights to be the dominant and strives to live their own life. Sorykah is the mother of twins and works mining underwater. Soryk loves Sidra, who happens to be a queen and happens to be pregnant with his child. Both are approached and asked to help liberate a native people who are held as slaves. Sorykah isn't interested but Soryk sees opportunity.
Besides the mining operations in Sigue, there are forces harvesting octomeroons for their ink. Octomeroons were thought to be mystical creatures but they are real. Their ink is addictive and aphrodisiacal. However, their presence shows that there were other gods before the one that people currently worship.
Also, working and involved in all the happenings is Matuk and his children. Sorykah killed Matuk but he's still an active character.
Confused???? I sure was.
Chapters can have various main characters which is good and bad. Good because you get lots of points of view. This gives a better venue for more action and more depth in the story. Bad because it doesn't always flow well. Matuk is dead but then we're to a time way before he's killed getting background for what was already written.
This book does have a complex world. Humans and animal DNA are mixed. But not everyone has mixed DNA, and some are more mixed than others and some have special abilities like changing genders. This world has cities, vices and power struggles. It also has love and dislike.
This is the second book of a series and perhaps that was the problem. I started reading this story and felt like I had read a Far East fairy tale with some pieces missing. Almost 100 pages into the story things were beginning to come clear. I truly felt that I started in the middle of an ongoing story and I never could catch up.
I would strongly suggest that you read the previous book prior to this one. I'm sure the complexity and what I saw as chaos would be much clearer and more interesting. The world created was unique and interesting but I felt lost for much of the book.
Her fate is in her flesh.
In an environmentally fragile world where human and animal genes combine, the rarest mutation of all--the Trader--can instantly switch genders. One such Trader--female Sorykah--is battling her male alter, Soryk, for dominance and the right to live a full life.
Sorykah has rescued her infant twins from mad Matuk the Collector. Her children are safe. Her journey, she believes, is over, but Matuk's death has unleashed darker, more evil forces. Those forces--led by the Collector's son--cast nets that stretch from the glittering capital of Neubonne to the murky depths below the frozen Sigue, where the ink of octameroons is harvested to make addictive, aphrodisiac tattoos. Bitter enemies trapped within a single skin, Sorykah and Soryk are soon drawn into a sinister web of death and deceit.