Book: By Brandon Sanderson.

Inciting Event: After being sent in her sister’s place to an arranged marriage with a neighboring kingdom’s God King, Siri enters the king’s chambers for the first time and spends the night kneeling on the floor until the king finally leaves in the morning.

Meanwhile, her sister Vivenna comes to “rescue” Siri and arrives in the city of Hallandren for the first time.

First Plot Point: Vivenna witnesses as Siri is introduced to the Court of Gods for the first time. This is also the first time Siri gets a glimpse of her still non-communicative new husband, who is kept away from her by the priests, except at night, when he only watches her. She sits below him in the pavilion and meets the god Lightsong, who keeps trying to reject his own deity.

First Pinch Point: Siri finally communicates with her husband, Susebron, and realizes he is a puppet of the priests. They have cut out his tongue to keep him from communicating or using his great magic. Meanwhile, the strange “Awakener” Vasher breaks into the gods’ complex with an Awakened squirrel. A guard is killed, which starts Lightsong investigating—and trying to remember who he was before he Returned as a “god.”

Midpoint: Siri begins investigating the priests’ intentions in earnest, believing they may try to kill Susebron as soon as she provides an heir. Vivenna is attacked by Lifeless soldiers in the city and for the first time decides to use the magical Breath she possesses, even though she has deemed it heretical up to this point.

Second Pinch Point: Vivenna is kidnapped by Vasher, only to escape back to her hired mercenaries and discover they’ve been playing her all along. She escapes with only the clothes on her back and lives on the streets for several weeks before Vasher helps her.

Third Plot Point: Despite Siri’s fears that a child will mean Susebron’s death, they finally consummate their marriage. This is a nice twist on the usual death motif of the Third Plot Point. Instead of death, here we have life—and yet it is life that threatens death.

Climax: Siri is kidnapped by priests and declared pregnant. Meanwhile, a rebellious contingent from a third country works to complete their plans to start war between Siri’s and Susebron’s respective kingdoms.

Climactic Moment: Lightsong dies to heal Susebron’s tongue, and Susebron claims his magic, saving Siri and, at Vasher’s urging, halting the Lifeless armies.

Resolution: Vivenna decides to travel with Vasher.

Notes: Most of the early structural points aren’t particularly strong or balanced among the subplots, but they still work to keep the plot moving forward.

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