The explanation that Ember's ability to deny recognition is a result of the Palace's influence doesn't make a lot of sense. Ember hasn't spent time in the Palace- not really. She was in it as a kid when they discovered it- but that was very brief. She was in it again when Rayek stole it- again, very brief. She took a trip with it, as a teenager, to Sorrow's End and back- again, brief. And then, she didn't spend any time with it until it was recovered after the Shards war. She basically walked in, said hi to her dad- and walked back out. She hasn't been living near it like the Holt elves. At best, it seems that maybe being Leetah's daughter had something to do with it. As you pointed out- maybe she inherited some latent self-healing ability that allowed her to turn off recognition, but not restart it. Leetah did pretty well in book one while refusing Cutter for many days. I always figured it had to do with her being a healer. But maybe she was able to deactivate recognition somehow? Re: Angrif. Why are Abode humans so much more retarded than Earth humans? My best friend figured out how to make a gun out of bamboo when we were twelve. We got the basic ingredients, made some gun powder- and he figured out the mechanism by looking at how other guns were put tog. Angrif has had this thing how long? And they can't figure out how to mimic it? Lame. On earth- this is an entirely human invention. No master-smith half-trolls. I actually like this explanation for Tier's parentage. It makes sense- and it also makes the fact that he found Ember much less random. Maybe Kahvi guided him to her?