Exhausted and scared, Zélie, Amari, and Tzain make camp for the night. In the dark, Zélie tentatively reaches out to Oya, the patron god of her magic. She’s still scared, but even thinking the gods might still be listening gives her comfort.
Although Zélie has many reasons to doubt the gods and turn away from her religion, she also sees that faith can be a source of courage. Zélie comes to the important realization that the gods can still exist and be a source of comfort even if there is much suffering and injustice in the world.
When Zélie awakens, everything is wrong. Instead of being where she fell asleep, she’s alone in a field of reeds. She turns to see Inan. Confusingly, he demands that she release him from the dreamscape. He believes that she is attacking him with magic. But she knows it must be his own magic pulling them there.
Inan has been taught his whole life to fear magic and squash it. He has also been taught to see magic as inhuman and wicked. As a result, when Inan experiences magic—even his own magic—he assumes it is something hostile that someone else is using to attack him.
Zélie notices a shock of white in Inan’s dark hair. She realizes he must be a Connector, a maji with power over mind, spirit, and dreams. But, he doesn’t have any idea. Thinking of all those Inan’s father has killed, Zélie begins to taunt him. Inan lunges forward and begins to strangle her.
Because he is totally cut off from the traditions and lore of the maji, Inan has no way to understand what is happening to him, which only compounds his fear. Zélie tries to take out her anger towards all the violence Inan’s father has committed on Inan himself, which only excited his rage and makes him feel justified in attacking her.
Zélie wakes up beside Nailah, where she fell asleep. Now that she knows the Inan’s secret, she fears he will hunt her down.
Inan and Zélie have something very important in common now—unlike most people in the kingdom, they can do magic. However, instead of making them allies, this new connection only widens the gap between them. Because of his deep-rooted prejudice against magic users, Inan now hates himself, and Zélie, even more than before.