War is hell, sure, but stories shouldn’t be hell to read, at least not if you’ve established them as escapist entertainment. So portraying a serious battle usually requires a mix of “YES!!” and “NO!!,” some hooray-for-the-good-guys moments (“I’ll let you know if I see any!”) interwoven with outrages against justice (“Kill anyone who looks important”), each controlled and balanced so the reader feels the appropriate amounts of exhilaration and upset.

Syr’Nj’s scenes, starting here, are a little bit of “YES” and “NO” at the same time. Her grief is transparent, her resulting recklessness almost as clear. This could end badly for her and her allies. But there’s still certainly a thrill to watching her cut loose, to watching her apply her previously established abilities to pure combat without her usual prudence to restrain her.