Ahoy there mateys! Today finally be the release day for this fantasy book and I had an unusual journey towards obtaining this novel and also in how I read it . . .
the ruin of kings (Jenn Lyons)
Title: the ruin of kings
Author: Jenn Lyons
Publication Date: TODAY!! (hardback/ebook)
Well mateys. When I first requested this book via NetGalley, I was super excited to read it. I was very much engaged in the beginning of the story and was avidly devouring it when it abruptly ended! Apparently I got an excerpt copy which contained chapters 1 to 23! I don’t I don’t normally do memes here on me log but decided to do a “Can’t Wait Wednesday” post to review the awesome start. Here be a recap of that reading experience:
This be the story of Kihrin. It begins with him in a prison cell talking to a demon named Talon. How fun is that? The chapters alternate between Kihrin’s versions of events and Talon’s additions. There are also fun footnotes in both. In Kihrin’s chapters it talks about what happened to him after being purchased in a slave auction. In Talon’s chapters it goes back even further than that to when Kihrin’s is a 15 year-old and participates in a heist gone wrong. There was a little settling in for both sections because of the jumps in time. I couldn’t decide which sections I liked better. Both have awesome magic, fun characters, snarky Kihrin, and lots of politics, intrigue, and action. While I do love both sections, I hope at some point the story does go to one narrative for better ease of readin’. But I certainly do want to know what happens next. Arrr!
So the post goes live and me matey Mogsy @ thebibliosanctum offered to send me an extra copy of the complete Arc. How could I say no to such treasure? Arrr! So I was gleefully excited when I got me post in the next port and the lovely tome was added to the precious stack of books in me cabin. Of course I just needed the perfect time to read it.
So I was torn about whether I wanted to reread chapters 1-23 or if I should just leap back into the deep end of the story. I couldn’t make up me mind until I discovered that Tor.com was doing something interesting leading up to release day. Apparently they were releasing one chapter a week online to drum up excitement. Better yet, Leigh Butler was doing a read of each chapter with commentary with each chapter release. Of course being at sea often means I am out of touch with the landlubber schedules so by the time I read about this online series, it was already mostly finished. But what better way to get ready to relaunch back into Jenn Lyons’ book then by wetting me whistle with these posts by Butler to jog me memory and refresh me thoughts? So I told the crew to mind their own business, settled into me bunk, and read all of the posts by Matey Butler. It was a perfect way to get me feet wet again.
So what about the rest of the book ye say? Well I had a rollickin’ good time! Truly I was conflicted about which of the storylines, Talon or Kihrin’s, I liked better. I was continually amazed at how I was both annoyed and intrigued by switching back and forth. Annoyed because each chapter ended and I had to know what happened next. And intrigued because the next chapter would quickly drawn me back into the other plot line. There was a bit of confusion at times due to changing names, bodies, and time frames. I had expected that the two timelines would somehow merge. That didn’t happen. But the disorientation was minor and I just went with the ebb and flow of the storytelling.
I won’t spoil the story for ye but have to say that the ending was kinda awesome and I am intrigued by what will happen next. Honestly I have no idea where the author will go but the hints be tantalizing. The world building be immense and the plot elements are many. Here is just a small sampling of them: dragons, horses, magic, mimics (!), witches, demons, gods, cool weapons, artifacts, soul stealing, prophecy, murder, conspiracy, body-switching, necromancy, slavery, magical races, class politics, rags to riches, heists gone wrong, warring kingdoms, and much more. I know it sounds like everything and kitchen sink (and it is!) but how they blended together was excellent fun.
Add in characters to root for (Kehrin), characters to be ambivalent about (Tyentso), characters who are evil but fun (Talon) and some unexpected twists and turns and ye have a great story. I can see how this mix can be too much for some. But I would very much like the next book right about now. Arrrr!
So lastly . . .
Thank you Macmillian-Tor/Forge and matey, Mogsy!
Goodreads’ website has this to say about the novel:
There are the old stories. And then there’s what actually happens.
Kihrin is a bastard orphan who grew upon storybook tales of long-lost princes and grand quests. When he is claimed against his will as the long-lost son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds that being a long-lost prince isn’t what the storybooks promised.
Far from living the dream, Kihrin finds himself practically a prisoner, at the mercy of his new family’s power plays and ambitions. He also discovers that the storybooks have lied about a lot of other things things, too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, true love, and how the hero always wins.
Then again, maybe he’s not the hero, for Kihrin isn’t destined to save the empire.
He’s destined to destroy it . . .
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