Rating: I LOVED IT
Series: The Bloody Crown Trilogy #1
Genres: Epic, Fantasy
Publication Date: November 24th, 2016
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Book Blurb: What crime is more unforgivable than treason?
Princess Karena is all that stands between the House of Penmere and ruin. The King, her brother, was gravely wounded in a failed assassination attempt, and once-loyal followers are flocking to the treacherous Usurper's golden embrace.
But Karena knows the surest defence is attack, and will stop at nothing to destroy any rival to her brother... or herself.
Against her, the Usurper musters a vast army to crush Penmere once and for all, but in a war of treachery those closest to you can be the greatest threat.
For those who’ve followed my reviews for years, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of Thaddeus White, so when he offered an ARC of his new book Kingdom Asunder, I couldn’t have been more ecstatic.
White’s taken me on a few journeys that I absolutely loved, and while this wasn’t in the vein I normally gravitate toward, the speed in which the story progressed never gave me time to ponder it.
This is a book of political maneuvering, of a king and of a usurper attempting to overthrow his reign. It’s chalked full of devious schemes and has a pot of characters that could be on either side. For the entire read, I doubted the intentions of several characters. There’s a lot of going back and forth between the sides, showing us what’s going on and adding layers of complexity. My summary might sound like a simple story, but it’s anything but simple, and I’m going to avoid discussing the plot for fear I’d give something away.
Now, I’m not big into these types of stories, but as I said, this moved fast. Damn fast. There’s always something happening, some ploy, a fight, or a scene that has you wondering what the heck is going to come of it. There are no altruistic characters, nor are there simply evil characters. They’re all sure they are right, and it makes the story very realistic.
The world is developed nicely with enough details and history to make it feel full. Of course I’m a fan of White’s writing. It’s clean and confident, and each chapter moves the story along. I love the descriptions we were given. I had pictures in my head without suffering through paragraphs of setting. I never felt like I got an info dump. Context and dialog gave me what I needed.
There are a lot of characters. For me, I found it difficult to keep track of everyone, but I blame that on my reading schedule. For the first few days I had this book, I was only able to sit down with it a half hour here and there. I regret not planting myself down and refusing interruptions, at least for the first half of it. I think I would have been better grounded. As it was, with all the characters and my lack of time, I felt disconnected with them. Certainly there are some intriguing characters—Karena, Stephen, and Hugh were my favorites—but there were so many others in between those that I had to remember them every time we came back to their POV.
Overall, if you like political intrigue, fast moving plots, solid world building, and a wealth of characters, I think you’ll definitely enjoy this book. If you’re a fan a White’s, give this a pre-order. It’ll be released on November 24th, 2016, and there’s a killer deal on the pre-order ($2.99) and for the first week of release. Check the links at the top of this review for pre-order sites. Take advantage while you can!
UK Pre-Order page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N8UF799/