Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Book Review of The Heir War by Jill Williamson

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With Prince Wilek still searching Armania for a murderer, his brother Prince Trevn finds himself pulled deeper into the dangerous politics of who will be Heir. Trevn, though, is far more interested in his studies with a local priest and the attentions of a young honor maiden.

The book that he has been copying during his lessons is not the book that teaches of the god of the soil. Instead, it teaches of a one true God. If accurate, then it means there is no soil god to satiate. There is nothing they can do to save their world, and all of King Echad's sacrifices have been futile.

Series: The Kinsman Chronicles Book 1 (Part 2)

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (February 2, 2016)
Page Count: 160 pages

I've had the honor of reading these books in advance for promotion and review for Jill. I've never heard of doing a novel of this beforehand, so this is definitely an intriguing process, but I believe it'll be a success. Jill intrigues me even more in this second installment!

The Plot: The plot is definitely thickening in part two. We've now added conspiracy and kidnappings next to spells and natural disasters. I really like the added conflict of religious differences. Certain nobles are unhappy with the teachings of Prince Trevn and wish him to worship other gods and not Arman. This makes some very dynamic conflict.

The Characters: In this installment, we get even more point of views including Quoatch, Inolah, and Hinck in addition to Treven, Kalanek, Mielle, Charlon, and Wilek, so many many heads to be in. Each voice is pretty distinctive which is very difficult with so many different heads. I commend Jill for undertaking this.

We get to see more development in our established characters. Trevn and Mielle are dealing with the consequences of liking each other. Mielle still has a heart for orphans and Trevn is now dealing with a sudden death just like Wilek. Wilek is facing a journey of humility and fortitude as he's captured by the Magonians. Kalenak is having to face his demons as he encounters a young prophetess named Onika. Charlon is tasked with something she's deathly afraid. This is a really cool point of conflict.

Janek's still a plant-loving jerk. Nothing has changed there.

The bounty hunter family near the end amused me. Bounty hunting. It's a family business. XD

The Setting: The setting is expanded upon even more as you travel to new places and further delve into the already established settings. There's a poison lake (and it's pretty cool and scary), a country sexist against woman, and a country sexist against me. I thought this latter was a neat perspective, since with all of the rising of feminism, people like to portray the oppression of woman. It's nice to see the flip side.

We get to see more of mantic culture which is quite oppressive really. Their variety of spells casted via runes are really interesting. The shadir are chilling but really intriguing. I like how they're ranked slight or great for how powerful they are. I also like that we get to see characters riding camels which you don't see much in books.

The Writing: The writing is good. I like the dialogue and plot flows well. Some of the fragments in the narrative can be a bit confusing though. There are some twists I didn't see coming that had me saying, "Ohhhhhh snap." The ending definitely is aptly climactic with lots and lots of natural disasters.

Epic Things: I liked that the story included a religious play. I hadn't seen one of those in literature in a while. It was cool. I also like the little newt mantic companions, since I find newts adorable.

The Theme: There's many themes of sacrifice, endurance, humility, and devotion, though one line in particular stood out to me.

[Onika said,] "Many soldiers survived with physical wounds, but they never knew to heal the wounds inside. Jhorn learned to do both."Kal's heart pinched. Any other time he would have ended the subject, the darkness hid his fear of the subject. "How can anyone heal a wound inside?"

Emotional wounds are much more difficult to heal in physical wounds. We all have them. While a broken leg may take a few weeks, a broken heart takes years. Finding solace for such pain is difficult and I hope Jill takes the story that Kal takes solace in Arman.

Content Cautions: Though nothing is shown there is mention of intercourse. There's also drug use for magic. Child labor is used and there is some violence in battles and one character gets beaten senseless, but nothing too overbearing. Shadir are basically demons, so if you're sensitive to that I'd take note of it. The demons are portrayed as evil and not good.

Conclusion: I liked this part even more than the first one! The plot is thickening and the characters are developing. I look forward to the last part!

About the Author:

Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms and the award-winning author of several young adult books including the Blood of Kings trilogy, Replication, the Mission League series, and the Safe Lands trilogy. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two children and a whole lot of deer. Visit her online at her blog, where adventure comes to life.
You can find her on her website, FacebookTwitterPinterest and Goodreads.

Check out my interview with Jill! And don't forget to check out the review for the previous part of the series and the series' website!

Check out some of my reviews of her other books!
The Blood of Kings: From Darkness Won
Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft Into A Published Novel
The Safe Lands: Captives
The Safe Lands: Outcasts
The Safe Lands: Rebels

The Mission League: The New Recruit

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