King Severn Argentine’s fearsome reputation precedes him: usurper of the throne, killer of rightful heirs, ruthless punisher of traitors. Attempting to depose him, the Duke of Kiskaddon gambles…and loses. Now the duke must atone by handing over his young son, Owen, as the king’s hostage. And should his loyalty falter again, the boy will pay with his life.
Seeking allies and eluding Severn’s spies, Owen learns to survive in the court of Kingfountain. But when new evidence of his father’s betrayal threatens to seal his fate, Owen must win the vengeful king’s favor by proving his worth—through extraordinary means. And only one person can aid his desperate cause: a mysterious woman, dwelling in secrecy, who truly wields power over life, death, and destiny. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
Please note: I received a free copy of this book courtesy of Amazon Kindle Firsts and I voluntarily chose to write a review
This book was more of a political fantasy than I was expecting it to be, but not in a bad way. Owen is thrust into new circumstances and must find a way to survive under threat of the king. I liked that Wheeler constantly had you questioning what is the “real” truth, what is actually going on and if Owen is going to be able to pull off his tricks without being caught. There are a lot of fantasy books for younger audiences, but I haven’t read one that has as much of the political element such as the “Wheel of Time” or “Game of Throne” series. I’d definitely recommend this book to young adult readers as well as adults looking for something a little lighter.
If I any complaint, it would be that Owen is supposedly 8 years old, yet seems to act more like a 10-12 year old in terms of grasping the political intrigue. That being said, I enjoyed the book and may continue with the series.
Warning: Contains repeated violence.
Rating: 4 stars!
Who should read it? Fans of fantasy who might be interested in a “Game of Thrones Light” geared for younger audiences.
Want to read the whole series?
- The Maid’s War (Kingfountain #0.5)
- The Thief’s Daughter (Kingfountain #2)
- The King’s Traitor (Kingfountain #3)
- The Hollow Crown (Kingfountain #4)