Apr 18 2013 8:30am

Who Can It Be Now?: Anticipating Nalini Singh’s Heart of Obsidian

Heart of Obsidian by Nalini SinghAs we get closer to the release of Heart of Obsidian, Nalini Singh’s much anticipated release in her Psy-Changling series, the internet has been rife with speculation as to the identity  of the hero, the heroine—and whether this book will tell us once and for all who the Ghost is.

Nalini Singh was quoted in an interview following Kiss of Snow’s release, saying that there will be 2-4 more books that will end this particular story arc, and that Heart of Obsidian is the first book in this new arc. Previous tidbits lead many fans to believe that the Ghost’s story will be the last book. If you follow this particular trail of clues, Heart of Obsidian cannot be the Ghost’s book. But is is Kaleb’s? And if it is, then does that mean he’s not the Ghost or will Singh pull a fast one and led us astray? Who knows, but this passage from Kiss of Snow makes you wonder:

 “That left him with the Obsidian archive. Created by the Netmind, the neosentience that was the guardian and librarian of the Net, the Obsidian archive was a backup  in case the PsyNet ever suffered a catastrophic failure. The Ghost had named it Obsidian because the complexity of data within it made it all but a wall of black. On a rare few individuals had ever realized the Obsidian archive existed.”

In Bonds of Justice, we learn that Kaleb has been searching forhis quarry for 6 years and 4 months. He carries a star charm. Father Perez scolds Judd in Caressed by Ice for not calling him by his given name, even though they “have been working together for close to six years.”

In Visions of Heat, Faith notes her cousin Sahara’s disappearance was suspect; maybe she wasn’t dead, but had been taken for rehabilitation and was being monitored for the council’s own good.

 An idea that might save those like her cousin Sahara, people who’d disappeared into the mystery of the Net, but might still be alive. Caged. Brutalized for their abilities.

Nalini has also said that Heart of Obsidian’s heroine has been mentioned in the series. At the end of Tangle of Need, Kaleb finds his quarry.

 -but the mind he’d seen in the vault had already been stripped, its shields destroyed. ..., he found himself in a small white cell, the walls padded, the glare from  the single ceiling lamp cutting. No windows. No natural light.

Kaleb takes an imprint of her mind, then teleports to her. This further supports my theory that Kaleb is not the  Ghost because in Caressed by Ice, the Ghost makes an offhand remark to Judd  that he IS the net and no one or nothing is hidden to him. So, if Kaleb was the Ghost, he would have known she was there the whole time.

Now we have to ask ourselves...who took her and why, if she is indeed the heroine. In Visions of Heat, we get a scene where Anthony mentions to Vasic that the F-psy  who predicted an upcoming catastrophe would’ve been in deep trouble if they’d not been monitored. Vasic assumes that it might have been Faith, but what if it was Sahara? This depresses me because it would mean Anthony had something to do with Sahara’s mental  lockdown. I can’t see Anthony doing this, not with how fierce he was in protecting Faith and the Nightstar Clan in general.

 Since we have been given clues that Kaleb feels like he owes this woman something...what if Enrique had something  to do with it all? What if he held her life over Kaleb’s head, demanding his silence in exchange. Remember, Kaleb was technically his first victim. Or perhaps another Councilor such as Shoshanna or Titiana has her. More clues from Visions of Heat:

It was why certain NightStar telepaths had trained in the specialist area of blocking. When F-Psy crashed for the final time, it was the blockers who kept their madness from leaking out into the PsyNet, providing the shields the fractured F-Psy could no longer maintain.

In a conversation between Faith and Vaughn:

“...the ones who saw the dark visions could never be allowed to speak to the rest of  us. It would bring the success of the entire Protocol into question. They’d have to be locked away, caged before they fell victim to the mental degradation.”


“You think the Council or the PsyClan might be keeping them captive, working them when  they’re lucid and letting the dark visions ravage them when they’re not?”

It’s important to mention that Sahara Nightstar disappeared around the sametime Judd, Father Perez, and the Ghost formed their  partnership.


I know many feel Vasic is the Ghost, but I have my doubts there, too. My main point of contention is that in Caressed by Ice, the Ghost asks Judd why he never looks him in the face. Judd replies that faces are harder to scrub from the mind, meaning that Judd knows who the Ghost is, but has never been face-to-face with him. He has been face-to-face with Vasic and Aden and I’m assuming he has seen Kaleb’s face as he has been extensively photographed.

As for this being Vasic’s’s a possibility but I highly doubt it. Vasic has a dark past and loose references have been made that he is also searching for something, though we have never been told what or who it was. Nalini has acknowleedge that that Vasic ’feels’ quite openly, however both Kaleb and the Ghost maintain that they are truly silent, apart from their one weakness—the person for whom they are both searching.

 She has also said concerning Vasic and his story that Vasic might get his own book "if he survives the madness of what he does.”

The above statement leads me to believe Vasic’s book is a few down the road. Does anyone else hope Singh puts Aden and Vasic together romantically?

 Ahhhh, l’amour.

Now, I do believe the Ghost is or was an arrow. So, right there I pretty much tell you I don’t believe Kaleb is the Ghost. When he hides and spies on Sienna and Hawk at their mating celebration, he remembers her from when she was a child. In order for him to see her as a child, he had to be an arrow and a high ranking one as Sienna was basically secluded from everyone when Ming took her and begun her training.

 In Visions of Heat, Faith creates a bond with the good twin of the netmind, and in exploring its shields, she finds some interesting things that further supports this theory.

“But there were cracks in the shield. She touched a finger to one crack, and knew that was Judd. The one next to it, Walker. And not far from them, Sascha. So many fine, fine cracks. The most isolated one, the newest . . . no, this was the very first, but it was hidden, hidden deep. And it was male, powerful, so very powerful. When this ghost . . .

“Oh,” she whispered, realizing who it was she touched. “The Ghost.”

When the most notorious rebel in the Net broke his Silence, the shield would well and truly shatter.”

 Dum, dum, dummmmmmm.

In a TRULY sneaky move, the UK cover for Heart of Obsidian was recently released, and shows a dark haired male with his eyes closed. WHAT???? How cruel. As Aden is often referred to as unmistakably Asian, I’m going to say he is definitely not the hero of this book.

 So, with fewer than two months to go...what do you think? Is this Kaleb’s book? Is Kaleb the Ghost? If he’s not the Ghost....then who is? Is Sahara the person Kaleb was searching for? If so, what will he do now he’s found her? Is she coherent? Sane? Fixable? And last but not least, who is Cartman’s father?

So many questions! Share your answers in comments.


Tori Benson can be found at Smexybooks and at Twitter.

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1. Mo
I'm not going to touch the Ghost in this; let's just say that you have compiled some very good passages and those passages would (for me) lead in only one direction, except for one glaring issue. So, we'll see on that score. But, as for Kaleb's woman: sane right now? Probably not. Fixable? Oh yes, she is fixable. Given what Noor and Ashaya's son (I can't think of his name off the top of my head) did in Bonds of Justice, I'd say that with the combination of them and Judd (whose Tk apparently can do literally anything), there is nothing in the mind that cannot be fixed.
2. Mo
Blah! Tori, I couldn't find a private way to send this to you so sorry. Sierra is actually Sienna.
Lege Artis
4. LegeArtis
Oh, unleashed the terror just to warn you upfront:
I don't think Kaleb is Ghost. I wanted him to be, but he isn't.
Ghost has PERFECT Silence, that much I can tell, but it's started to
crack. We know that Psys break Silence when they start to feel, when they experience emotions of any kind. At mating ceremony he watches Judd with curiosity and thinks he can't have that. That says to me he doesn't understand concept of emotions at all. He thinks of it, but he isn't there yet. To me, his Silence is very similar to Judd's, and you know how Judd got to break Silence- it wasn't an easy or fast process...
Kaleb's Silence is very interesting on the other hand, because I actually think he is trying to convince himself he is still silent. I mean, he
is obsessed with this girl and if you think about it, obsession is
emotion. He's looking for her for years. It's the only thing he's devoted too. He can't be like and having no feelings at all! In BoM, there is a passage about some lifeless patch: Kaleb goes to patch and he has no fear of contamination because he recognize the patch as echo of DarkMind("sentient created from all the rage and pain Psy refused to feel") because part of that echo exist in him. So, if DarkMind is rage and pain and part of it exists in Kaleb, wouldn't it collide with his Silence?
Girl he's looking for? Definitely F-Psy. Even that cell in which he found her- light, white walls- is consistent with practice of holding FPsy closed and remote, so nothing would interfere with their predictions.
Vasic....There is something strange about Vasic. About how Nalini write Vasic when he's in the scene. I noticed that before, but hunting for clues made it more obvious. He is always staring somewhere in distance, he is always remoteless...And then there's a little fact that
Obsidian is also known as Traveler's stone and Vasic is called Traveler.
We know that next book is going to change everything we know about Psy/Changeling world. I keep thinking about Enrique's experiments with Changeling women and how Changelings have natural shields against Psy intrusion. Maybe we're gonna find out that one character is Psy and Changeling at the same time...The other thing I definitelly expect is that quiet revolution against Council become an open war.
5. Torifl
LegeArtis-*sitting with mouth wide open* Ok, you win. lol
7. Mo
@LegeArtis: Uh oh, now you've got my brain working and I was trying so hard to not engage on the question of the Ghost. In CbI, Judd contemplates the changes that Enrique has wrought to Brenna's mind. Enrique had managed to damage her, stressing her mind in a way that would have ultimately killed her, except that Judd had been siphoning it off as part of the bond he was suppressing. Her natural shields were clearly damaged.

Also, I am not convinced that the Ghost is truly Silent either. Judd didn't think he could have his mating with Brenna because he didn't think he could abandon Silence. It kept him safe. It keeps most Arrows safe. I agree with Tori. The Ghost is an Arrow (once an Arrow, always an Arrow). And yet, he has protected and watched over Alice. So, there is definitely something emotional going on with him.
8. Mo
Ugh! So I failed to put in the crux of that whole Arrow thing. I think when the Ghost watches the whole mating thing, his feelings are more like Judd's thinking he could never have that with Brenna because he needed Silence. I think it's entirely plausible (since I also think that the Ghost is an Arrow) that the Ghost also erroneously thinks he can never have that.

I'm going to add some wild and unfounded speculation here: We know that the Ghost has been watching over Alice and we know from Alice that Zayeed (sp?) would never hurt her. Is it possible that the Ghost is a descendant of Zayeed and that they have all been tasked with watching over Alice?
Lege Artis
9. LegeArtis
@Mo- There is only one thing that stop me to be conviced 100% that Ghost is an Arrow: In BoM, Ghost disagreed with Judd about rogue Arrows, he thinks they can be dangerous to PsyNet and Judd says he won't betray Arrows. So, maybe he is an Arrow, but he doesn't have same sense of camaraderie as Judd...?
I used to be sane before this. ::facepalm::

10. Mo
@LegeArtis: Oh! That is very telling. Unfortunately, it leads me even further in a direction I don't really want to go in my thoughts on who the Ghost might be. I know it can't be; it's not possible. But when Tori says that the Ghost offhandedly says he is the Net and Faith describes what she sees in the Ghost's crack in the shield, and you say how the Ghost feels about rogue Arrows, the conclusion I am drawing is Zayeed. But he is dead! And there is no way he can simply keep on going and being an Arrow all this time. So, I am well, about as insane as you, atm. Ugh! I so want to know the answer already and I know Nalini would just say "Go back to the books. It's all there.".
11. Mo
Megan, Tori: You're welcome.

Tori, can you provide context and possibly exact quote from CbI on that comment about the Ghost saying he is the Net?
12. Lidy
Here are my thoughts: Kaleb is the Ghost. He wants full control of the PsyNet. It was stated that there are just two designations able to fully control both parts of it (NetMind and DarkMind), and they happen to be Tk and F. From this, I get that Judd and Vasic would be able to do the job as well as Kaleb, but here’s my two cents: to decrease the sickness spreading in the PsyNet, not only Silence’s fall will be necessary, but these two designations as well. Kaleb is there (he’s a Tk) and the NetMind has bonded with Faith… but why Faith? I think it’s because she’s Sahara’s cousin and all. Besides, I wonder if Sahara is one of the F-Psy Anthony referred to (the ones with destructive abilities) and her dark visions drove her mad?

Aside from the obvious: the Ghost/Kaleb is looking for some missing female, Kaleb has a red mark on his arm, a small platinum charm possible star-shaped that makes me think of the NightStar family, famous for its recessive genes, missing members and redheaded people. :) Not to say the obvious connection to NightStar, star, obsidian… but that’s just me. LOL

Now, I was sure that Kaleb being the Ghost was too obvious. What changed my mind? A conversation between Judd and the Ghost in Blaze of Memory; they are discussing something about the Arrows locked in a facility in the Adriatic and they guess (correctly) that the Arrows are abandoning Ming. Then the Ghost asks what the Arrows would do if they wanted to take the leadership from Ming. He is thought to be an Arrow, but if he were/had been, he wouldn’t have asked this question… because he would know exactly what the Arrows would do. Also, he would have known the Arrows were shifting their allegiance if he was an Arrow or intimate with the new leader. In Tangle of Need, Judd, Vasic and Aden have basically this same conversation, so it wouldn’t make sense if Judd thought of the Ghost and Vasic echoed his thoughts. Also, I think the Ghost is VERY powerful. As in a dual Cardinal. If so, then it’s impossible for Vasic to be the Ghost.

And I will not comment on some of Kaleb’s/Ghost’s actions such as abandoning meetings, scanning the Net while conscious and striking deals with changelings to act as bodyguards of sorts to his querry when he finally finds her.
Lege Artis
13. LegeArtis
@Mo- Nalini said Zaid is deader than dead. ;-) Like- not a chance in hell!
But, I was thinking about how very strange it is that Vasic and Aden have special psychic bond. It's not unheard of in series- Ashaya/Amara and Keenan/Noor. Now first pair is clear-they are twins. As for second, Dorian said how he's not surprised that Keenan and Noor have connection, because his mother is a twin. Since the gene to having twins is recessive,but hereditary, it's entrely possibile that Vasic is related to someone with twins in family- and first one who comes to mind and gives valid reason why we haven't find out Vasic's surname yet is Adelaja.
14. Mo
@LegeArtis: Thank you! At least I don't feel so crazy any longer. There does seem to be a trail that somehow connects the Ghost and Zaid (thank you for the correct spelling) and, given that, it is entirely possible that I am moving in the right direction with my thoughts that I need to look for places where they seem to intersect to find the very alive person who is the Ghost.

Also, thank you for Keenan's name. I just couldn't think of it when I mentioned him above. I feel like I need to go back yet again and re-read BoM. That book seems to hold a ton of clues.
15. Torifl
MO-Ghost says that when he brings Judd to Alice. Give me some time to find it. I'm coming down taking Benedryl and still a bit stupid right now.
16. TracyG
One of the reasons I don't think the Ghost is Vasic is he mentions seeing Sienna when she was a young child and this is the only time he saw her. The Ghost says he saw her when she was 15, and this is the only time he saw her, until the mating ceremony. I also don't think the Ghost is an Arrow, but I believe Kaleb was trained in a manner similar to Arrows since he has had martisl training.
17. Kristined
Sorry, nothing will convince me that Kaleb is NOT the Ghost. Sahara as the heroine is something I didn't think of and you did a great job of pulling together clues. Its Romance novel 101, Kaleb has to be the ghost. No one else is powerful enough. Think Nalini changed her mind and wants to let us in early to see the war thru Kaleb/Ghosts viewpoint.
18. Frances D
I generally hold with the ghost as Kaleb. Although the arguement about Kaleb appearing on tv, and there for Judd would have seen him is valid, I don't believe that Kaleb is a Counsilor who would go out of his way to appear on camera. He isn't like Henry or Shoshana who love the limelight. Any points at which he did appear would have been a momentos occation and there for very likly pre-announced. It is more then possible that Judd has been able to avoid seeing him.
As to your speculation that the Ghost must be an Arrow. Remember, Kaleb was supposed to be an Arrow until Enrique decided that he want'd him. It's very likly that he was still given much the same training as an Arrow, and it is very likly that Ming knew him and helped train him. My arguement that the Ghost cannot be an Arrow in truth stands thus; The Ghost doesn't understand comradery. He doesn't get the consept of friendship. If there is one thing every Arrow has, then it's each other. No?
There is also the fact that as you point out your self, the Ghost is all mega powerful. Who do we know that is a dual cardinal? Oh yeah. Kaleb. Remember in Tangle of Need we find out that he is both a cardinal TK and TP. Something Vasic and Aden had believed to be an imposibility.
As for the rest, look to the blurb Nalini released for Heart of Obsidion.
I'll quote it here. SPOILER. Any one who doesn't want to read the blurb stop here.

Step into New York Times bestseller Nalini Singh’s explosive and shockingly passionate Psy-Changeling world…
A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred.
A woman whose very existence has been erased.
A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself.
A deadly price that must be paid. The day of reckoning is here.

Ok, let's go over that. "A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred." There is only one rebel we know like that; The Ghost. ie. the Ghost is the hero.
"A woman whose very existence has been erased." I could be wrong but I have a feeling they're talking about a certain somebody who was rescued in the last book. So we've got our heroine. Now, we know that Kaleb was the one to rescue her... and we know that the Ghost is the Hero.
"A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself."As is metioned above, Faith realised that when the Ghost broke his silence it would shatter the sheid containing the entire net. I doubt that will be a gentil thing.
"A deadly price that must be paid. The day of reckoning is here." Is it talking about the net, is it tallking about their relatioship, is one person -or a spesific group of persons- gonna have to die to save the rest? I don't like this sentence. It's too depressing.


As for the speculation that Zaid is the Ghost. The Ghost never supported silence. He sees silence as the cause of suffering for his entire race. Never has there been any hint that he may have felt differently in the past, only to change his mind recently. Zaid helped to create and solidify Silence.

About the identity of the Heroine in this book, I believe she is part Changling part Psy. Enrique's sick fasination put together with the fact that he was likely (I say likely, not definately) her captor seems to support that theory. I also think that she is a swan - reason being is that I remember Nalini mentioning somewhere (don't ask me where) that we'd be meeting some other changling types in the next few books. And then she said "Like..." and for some reason I belive she mentioned swans. Though I ask you all to take that with a grain of salt because I don't know for sure, my memory could be fulty.
I do, however, belive that she has wings based on the fact that the house Kaleb is "looking after" is stading over a clif that would be "dangerous to anyone not a TK or a changling with the ability to fly".
As to whether or not she is Sahara, to be honest I hadn't even thought of that until you mentioned it, but it is a pretty good theory as far as theory's go. Intriguing.
I do think the Ghost needs to be with someone who he wont be able to outwit all of the time, so being with a forseer could be good for him. :D

My Questions are:
1. Is Kaleb going to ask Sascha's help to help (I don't want to say "his woman" but we don't have a name yet.) her rebuild her natural shields and deal with the trauma?
2. Is Sascha going to start trying to contact the other E-Psy's in the net any time soon? 'Cos I don't know about you, but I think that in order for the Psy's to survive what is coming, they're gonna need their E's to be fully prepared. Not floundering under the waight of having their powers suddenly released themselves.
3. What does Kaleb want from the Arrow's? I hope it's not what I'm thinking.
and 4. I hope Vasic and Aden are gay. I think it's the only thing that would stop Vasic from commiting suicide. That and maybe meeting Sascha. Though knowing Sascha, she'd probably just encourage the relationship between the two of them to grow. Heal them both that way. :)
19. BettyJee
Fascinating discussion, I can't wait for this book to come out. I also think Kaleb is the Ghost so it'll be really interesting to find out for sure.

I've been re-reading the series and the one thing I keep wondering about is what happened to Kristine (Judd & Walker's sister)? Every time she's mentioned in the books, all they say is that she jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge saying that she's 'free', but she 'disappeared' before she hit the water. Where did she go? (And, who 'took' her?)
20. Calliope7
Everyone's theories have completely destroyed my firmly held belief on who the Ghost is (of course, that belief switches teams from day to day!) Thanks a lot! ;) Also. I remember from a July 2009 reader Q&A (& went back to verify) that Nalini Singh has no plans to have same-sex couples as the main couple of any of her novels. Therefore, no Aeden-Vasic love -- each of them will have to find their HEA with someone else if we want them to have their own stand alone book.......
21. Kristi R
Frances - Swans! YES! It was mentioned in one of the earlier books CbI or maybe MtP, that Kaleb was apprentice to Enrique and during that time a female swan changeling disappeared. I have wondered since then if Kalebs woman is the changleling.
22. CindyS
Okay, for some reason I think Ghost and Alice ( if Ghost is completely silent (which I don't think he is) and Alice was there when Silence was created. And for some reason I think of the psychopath twin sister and wonder if she will be made sane by someone.
23. SuzieL
You all are amazing, I don't remember any of these details! Looks like a reread is in my future...
Lege Artis
24. LegeArtis
I don't think that power is the biggest argument for Ghost identity. What we learned so far is that every powerful player on PsyNet knows how to mask how powerful he/she truly is. So, maybe there is one more big player on the PsyNet; player with imense power, but he's flying under the radar.
Volatile is definitely not what I would call Kaleb. He is calculative and ruthless,but not volatile. Argument that Kaleb is the Ghost because "woman whose very existence is erased" is woman he found at the end of book I don't buy also. The woman whom he was searching for doesn't have to be his love interest at all. And, let's be honest, that description from blurb fits Alice Eldridge, too.
With Alice awakened, I think we're gonna find out about new Psy designations.
Don't even get me started on German cover for HoO which represent man with damn falcon- it messed me up big time.
Tori Benson
25. Torifl
WOW! You all certainly know your stuff. LOL

More speculation:
I think Alice will be the heroine for Vasik. Don't ask me why, it's just a feeling.

I stand by my theroy that Ghost is a former Arrow or current arrow. Kaleb can't be the ghost. I honestly think Judd has interacted with him or seen his face and we know whoever the ghost is, Judd only knows him through his name.

Swan changling? I completely forgot about that. Hmmmm. Still think the woman he is looking for is Sahara. I don't think a changling could be imprisoned in their own mind for that long and not die. They need touch and pack to survive.

Interesting note about Judd and Walker's sister. I always assumed she truly died. If she isn't dead...that will certainly change things.

Maybe Aden will hook up with Amaya's psycho twin. She will need a strong compassionate psy to counter balance her cray cray and he IS a healer. *wiggles eyebrows*

Sad no man love will ever be addressed. :(
Lege Artis
26. LegeArtis
@Tori- We should just ship Judd and Ghost.
Judd/Ghost Bromance 4Eva!
27. Miranda H.
Hello all. I just have to say, without reading everyone's comments yet, that this post is very thorough. That being said, I found it interesting that you believe the Ghost was an arrow, and that this rules out Kaleb for you. Do we know Kaleb is not somehow tied to the arrows in his past...or perhaps trained at an arrow facility at one time, or perhaps is even a former arrow? No. We dont know that.

What we do know is that at the end of Bonds of Justice, Kaleb teleports to the arrow headquarters, and Nalini wrote into this scene that it was at a location that "only arrows knew of it's whereabouts." Interesting that Kaleb knew where this place was to return the box with Ming's emblem--if only arrows knew where it was. How much do we really know about Kaleb's past? Next to nothing.

Going back through to read everyone's comments now. Apologies if someone else mentioned this. :)
28. Lizzie R
My head just exploded!!!!
Lege Artis
29. LegeArtis
@Lizzie R- People are telling me that every time we get to this.
I even made a gif. A gif!
30. Christie Sanders
Wow! Lots of info. Friends/family who read Singh have been talking about this and.... WE HAVE NO IDEA! Singh always does a good job of keeping the story together thru the succession of books so all of these points mentioned in this review probably do mean something and she will bring them out over the next group of books. We've talked about Alice too... will she get a book and, if so, who with? She has got to wake up fully and who knows what shape she will be in but I can see Singh have her go on some kind of quest to get her memory back. Who knows who that might lead her to? As for the mention in the review about the possibility of Aden and Vasic together... PLEASE, please don't do that. If I wanted to read about a homosexual romance I would go out and buy something else. Why do so many romance writers feel like they have to add that to their series now to be politically correct? JR Ward did that too and, no, I won't be reading that book although I have read all her others. No similar frame of reference and no interest in it. I would like to see The Ghost, Kaleb (if not the Ghost), Vasic and Aden all get books. I assume Alice might get to be the counterpart in one of them OR get one that focuses on her with someone we haven't heard of before. Still fully entrenched in Singh's world and trying not to think about it winding down (at least books into 2015 according to her website!). She has a great way of keeping you interested in the ongoing story while keeping past characters involved and updating you on their lives. She also knows how to, and does well, close all the loopholes in her stories - something many authors are horrible with. I'm sure we will be surprised and thrilled with the upcoming books!
31. Frances D
You make some good points about the power of the Ghost, it's true. However, it's not just the fact that we know he is a dual cardinal that has me thinking it's Kaleb, but more about the way Nalini writes him. When you read any scene with Kalab in it, you get a sence from him that power simply IS. Which is something you don't get from anyone else.
Put together with a list of men that just might hit that power curve; Ming(how would it be Ming, the Man is Evil), Aden(The Ghost is a TK), Vasik(too emotionally unstable), Henry(is an idiot and is dead), Zaid(has been dead for a lond time), Anthony(is my runner up for choice of who the Ghost might be, but I decided it probably wasn't. He just doesn't give the sence of being omnicent, and he's not TK as far as I know. But could be. Not enough evidence to go either way)
Unless the Ghost is someone we haven't met at all yet, then I just think that Kaleb is the most viable option.
Plus both Kaleb and the Ghost want to rule the net.

As for what you said about Alice and the blurb. Very true. It could be. My take is that it's probably not though, mainly because she just woke up. You need to give a girl a liitle time to get on her feet(litteraly) and morn her family and friends(whom she has just found out are ALL dead) before she can start even thinking about knew relationships. - Also I have a hunch(based on what she said to Judd) that she was involved with Zaid before he made himself Silent. Like I said, she needs time...

About the woman Kaleb was looking for being his love intrest: I think that it most likly is based on something Kaleb thought not too long ago about the only person he couldn't port to in the net, was the one person he spent years knowing. Also just his whole attitude when he thinks about her, put with the fact that he is getting changeling protection from her of the basis that she wont wabt his protection "in the beginning". That sugests that he intends to keep her around. If he only wanted to free her because of some kind of obligation that he believes he has, then wouldn't he look for a place where he could hide her, sent her up with a new identity, give her some gards and otherwise just check up on her every now and again. No?... could be wrong but thats my guess.

couldn't she be Sahara and a swan changling. Who's to say the two are mutually exlusive? Long shot, but what do we really know about either of them?

That point about Kristine, wow. I never noticed. Now I wanna know.

I just seriously wonder about the childhood friend of Judds Priest friend(his name doesn't come to me at the moment) out of all the people mentioned we know the least about her.
Alex Angel
32. alexapir
Wow. I have a mind-blow from this discussion. And now I want to voice my own opinion! :D

So after reading lots of speculations about whether the Ghost is Kaleb/Vasic/Adem/etc, I rememebered somewhere in the books that it was said the Ghost wasn't very young. Kaleb, Vasic & Aden are young (fix me if I'm wrong!) and besides, Nalini said that the Ghost was mentioned in the books. She didn't say we actually read about him and all. So that's basically what I think.

About the woman Kaleb searches for. I saw in one comment that someone says something about the star Kaleb has, his tattoo, and all that. So I think she must be of the NightStar Clan, and that she's Sahara. Also possible that the swan changeling is somehow related to Sahara and all.

Another thing that came to my mind was after rereading BbF (I'm rereading the whole series now) is that there's an option the changeling we will probably meet in HoO is Naia - the falcon healer. But again, it's just another option out of million others.

Also another thing that intrigued me in this discussion was Kristine, Judd and Walker's supposely dead sister. Maybe she really isn't dead.

About Alice Eldridge - I think she also has a very main role in the upcoming books, not necessarily HoO. So I think we should wait for her to accomplish whatever Nalini wanted her to accomplish.

But the speculation that intrigued me the most in this discussion was about Xavier Perez, Judd and the Ghost, what Xavier told Judd in CbI and the fact they met six years ago, which was around the time Kaleb is searching his woman and the swan changeling disappeared (again, fix me if I'm wrong). I think there's more to this - and for some reason, I think it's also related to Kristine's death.

And am I the only one who wonders about Zie Zen? I think his role didn't end, either.

And last, I really wish Amara Aleine will get her own book - or short story - some time. She's a great character - one of my favorites, actually, because she's so mental.

Will be happy to continue reading your comments!
33. Frances D
I like your speculations. Very solid reasoning. It'll be interesting to see whether the Ghost is someone we haven't really seen yet.
And you've made me wonder, Zie Zen? He is someone I hadn't considered before. If what you say about the Ghost's age is true, all I can say is I have no idea. Would Judd have heard of Zie Zen? I mean know enough about him to pin his identity? Maybe not, but to be honest I have no idea.
When did Nalini mention the age of the Ghost? I don't remember.

As for the rest of what you said, ....! Wow. Hmmm.... I need to reread BbF.
Alex Angel
34. alexapir
@Frances D
I think the Ghost's age was written back in CbI, but I'm not sure. If I remember right, though, then in his very introduction it was said that he wasn't young (again, there's a high chance I'm worng, someone should go check it).
35. Frances D
I have decided to reread the whole series while I'm waiting for HoO. I am curruently reading VoH so CbI is next. Will tell you when I get there
Lege Artis
36. LegeArtis
@Frances D - "Vasik(too emotionally unstable)" - in another words- volatile.
Nalini made an awesome job of driving us all crazy. ;)
37. Miranda H.
I have to say that I cannot see Nalini keeping the Ghost identity a secret for this length of time if it is some barely mentioned, nearly unknown, unprofound character. How utterly underwhelming that would be...and Nalini has promised an "Epic" surprise. I cant fathom how that can occur if the Ghost is someone we barely know.

I almost positive that the Ghost has never been described as old, or "not young". I have reread nearly every book (except Tangle) and as far as I know I have not seen this. I also have not seen where the Ghost tells Judd "I am the Net, nothing and no one is hidden from me." The only comment I have seen from the Ghost that is similar to this is when he says to Judd that there are places in the Net that belong solely to him. I would like to know the page number, and which book that comment was in specifically because I havent found it Tori--and I am obsessive like that. :)

After going through the books with a fine toothed comb, I have a very compelling list of reasons why I feel wholeheartedly that Kaleb is the Ghost. His being immeasurably powerful is only one of them. June cannot get here fast enough.
38. Torifl
Frances D-I guess Sahara and the swan changling could be one in the would open up a WHOLE new world, eh.

Another far outthere theory...What if the ghost is one of the human/psys who got out before silence? Dum dum dummmmmm
39. Torifl
New back blurb:

A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred.
A woman whose very existence has been erased.
A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself.
A deadly price that must be paid.
The day of reckoning is here.

Theorists UNITE!!
40. Frances D
I doubt that Torifl. It would imply that they are actually a part of the shadow net, and not Silent. It is possible that they had re-entered the net, but if that was the case they still wouldn't be Silent to the extent that they are now if they had originally left.

LegeArtis, volitile is not the same as too emtionally unstable.
Vasic is planning on killing himself ones everything is done. The Ghost is an arrogant powerful ruthless man who generally believes that he is far more capable of being a good ruler then anybody else. See what I mean? Vasic refuses to so much as take care of the young Arrow kids for fear that he might kill their "teachers". The Ghost is doing his best to personally shape the destiny of his intire race and the rest of the world. excettera, excettera. (another thing Kaleb seems to have in common with the Ghost right there.)

Another reason I think Kaleb is the most likly candidate for the Ghost is Kaleb's upbringing.
He spent his intire childhood in the hands of a man who was the epitome of everything that is wrong with Silence. He has every reason to hate it as the Ghost does.

Infact, it is so obviously Kaleb that every now and again I wonder if that very obviousness prooves that it can't be him, and that Kaleb is just the bait Nalini has hung out for us to throw us off the trail... I can't wait for Heart of Obsidian to come out!
41. weloveanimals
You folks are amazing. Anyone have theories on who has those 10 gold solidarity coins and Zie Zen? I love reading all the theories. I have a soft spot for Kaleb so hoping this is his book and we can learn the answers to sooooo many questions. Who is the girl? Still pondering although the fact he has arranged protection from the wolves since she won't be thrilled for his help is very intersting. Oh Nalini, you drive me crazy and I LOVE it.
42. laney
ok guys i have one critical question - DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE THIS SKYLINE IS FROM?

I ask because if its Kalebs story, it would be from Moscow right? He talked to his local wolf pack to provide protection, not snowdancer. This leads me to believe he will have his story, but in moscow. This could also be the clue Nalini said was in th cover. Second, I really think Kaleb is th ghost, just because he's too powerful Not to but there are a lot of unaswered questions. I vote for either the swan changeling or sahara as the heroine in this one, leaning toward the swan for three reasons.
1. Kaleb was under Enrique who experimented on changelings when Kaleb was young, before silence went into total effect. Argues for time for a bond to form, especially for a young female held captive.

2. In the anthology, swans are mentioned as being tough, though not in those exact words.

3. The tattoo on the cover could b a stylized swan, which would explain why Kaleb has to hide it because it woul show a critical break in conditioning.

my other option is sahara and i have pretty good reasons for her too. But my main thing is the SKYLINE. Got to find wher this comes from!
43. Frances D
I have just finished rereading CbI, and I can tell you that it makes no mention of the Ghosts age there... Don't know about the other books though, onto MtP!

Yes, yes, YES! to everything you said there.
The mystery of he gold coins is something I wonder about too. But to be honest, I don't think we've met any of them exept Zei Zen himself, Anthony, and that mystery lady who helped get Ashaya out. Hmm.. now doesn't that just get you pondering...
44. Frances D
Tattoo? skyline? On the cover, which cover? Where???
45. Kristined
Another website conclusively said the skyline was San Francisco. She recognized two buildings immediately and lives there.
Lege Artis
46. LegeArtis
It's definitelly SF. Those buildings on US cover look like financial district, but cover for audio version made it even more obvious...
47. SamK
I agree the US book cover looks like SF - The building on the left looks like the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and the one on the right looks like the Transamerica Pyramid (with the spire being covered by the letter 'H'. Plus there are the cable car tracks.

One odd thing is that the audio book cover looks a lot more like Hong Kong then San Francisco (!) - it look like the view from Kowloon looking towards HK island showing the International Finance Centre (the IFC roof is distinctive and matches the one shown in the top-right corner on the audio book cover). I can't imagine why this region would be featured - I can't remember it being mentioned before in the series.
Lege Artis
48. LegeArtis
@SamK - Hong Kong? I'll pack that in my "why the hell is a falcon on german cover?" compartment.
49. laney
The cover on the german version is of a man with a tattoo that's some kind of bird. And the skyline on the American cover has to be the location right? But I've been thinking and the only problem is that Kaleb can tp so easily. He could keep his girl in Moscow and mess with things in San Fransico with no effort. I am very confused. :)
50. Frances D
Hmm.. These are all pure theory's on my part, I can't even say for myself whether or not they'll have any basis in what will happen. They're not even theory's really, more musings.. But anyway here goes.

I know with certainty that if Kaleb is in fact the next hero, then he'll be very possesive and over protective of the woman he chooses, and will there for likely try to keep her (at least in the start) at the center of his own power base.
But I wonder if he will end up taking her to SF anyway, because Sascha is there.
Think about it. Remember the first time we see Kaleb use his skills to move unnotised in the web, he actually says that he learnt all his best shielding tecniques from spying on Sascha out of curiosity when she was still in the net. He acknowedges then that she is a genius with shields and likly one of the best at creating them in the world.
Put together with the fact that his most likly love interest -the lady he rescued in ToN- has had her naturall shields compleatly destroied... Doesn't it make you wonder if he'll turn to Sascha far help?
I know, "Kaleb? Ask for help??" But seriously. He knows she's an Empath -ie. incapable of using her against him- so it's not impossible right?
51. laney
New Information:

2 main things, first being , I just realized that Kaleb has to be the one who saved Annie. Totally forgot that Annie said the boy who rescued her had cardinal eyes, and the only one who could teleport and remove all that debry is Kaleb, because Vasic isnt a cardinal. And two, I think I figured out clue in the cover.
On the building with what looks like shaved sides, directly below the H there is the form of an arrow. It is formed in darkness, with just a few windows lighter in the center.

What does that mean?

ersonal theory is that, either this is Kalebs book who was in fact an arrow and we dont know about it, because lets face it how much do we really KNOW about Kalebs past? Or, this is not Kalebs book and also not the ghosts book because Im convince they are the same person but is in fact Vasics book, possibly Adens. But I personally believe it will be Kalebs, and that he was an arrow. Think about it, the arrows transferred thier allegiance to Kaleb and Aden said they had "reasons" for it. Either way I cant wait!
Alex Angel
52. alexapir
I remember thinking that Kaleb saved Annie when I first read the short story after I finished reading the series. But anyhow, I don't see how it connects with everything else..

I also realized another theory while reading KoS (I'm still rereading the whole series and WOW I see how much I didn't remember). So the other theory of mine is inspired by this forum and things that were said here.
I think there's a connection between Kaleb and Kristine, Sienna's mother. I remember that in ToN the Ghost is in the mating ceremony of Hakwe and Sienna and saw Sienna and recognized her. If I believe Kaleb is the Ghost (and now I think there's no other option for the Ghost to be anyone else) then maybe Kaleb knows Sienna's mother, and when he recognized her, he recognized Kristine (or something like that, anyway).
I just think there's a possibility that Kristine would be an integral part of Kaleb's story. How, I don't really no. Maybe she's even the one Kaleb is looking for.

And... now I must continue reading KoS. It's better than being frustrated at the fact the next book is out in month and a half -.-
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