Friday, May 5, 2017

A Book Review of King's Blood by Jill Williamson

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In the second volume of Jill Williamson's Kinsman Chronicles, a remnant has escaped the destruction of the Five Realms and now lives on several hundred ships adrift at sea. As a flock, they sail north into the unknown in hopes of finding land that might become their new home. 

As the king's illness worsens, Sâr Wilek takes authority over the expedition and struggles to rule the disjointed people, while assassination attempts, vicious serpents, and dark magic endanger his life.

One prophecy has come to pass, but another looms dauntingly in the future. Who is this Deliverer? And if the Magonians have him, what might that mean for the realm of Armania?

Series: The Kinsman Chronicles (Book 2)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (January 31, 2017)
Page Count: 608 pages

I have had the privilege of being on the launch team for this series, so I got to have an ARC and now I've finally finished. It was quite long as you can tell from the page count. The book is like three inches thick, but totally worth it!

The Plot: The plot was very engaging with a lot of politics, but not too much so it took away from the characters. I was definitely interested throughout as the people struggle to find a new home and establish new kingdoms. It reminded me a bit of Noah's struggles. Also I'm just going to warn you the ending is very sad. Good, but sad. It took me a couple days to get over it. XD In fact, I'm still not over it ... This review has dug up my feelings, darn it.

The Characters: This book has a lot of point of view characters: Wilek, Trevn, Amala, Kal, Charlon, Gozan, Grayson, Qoatch,and Hinck, so there is a wide variety of perspectives and each of the point of views is distinct and ties in with the others which can be very difficult with so many characters. Trevn, Wilek, and Kal are favorites, though it was really interesting to see the point of view of a demon with Gozen. Jill does well in making sure the reader can remember everyone. It was a bit overwhelming in the first book, but by this time I'm used to it. I really like all of the characters' dynamics and interactions.

The Setting: Most of the book is actually set at sea, which makes for a very different environment. There was a lot of conflict with food, water, and supplies running out and even conflict on the direction they should go as ordained by different religions. I loved all of the details with the sailing. When they eventually found land, it was an environment none of the characters were used to with giants and people of a different skin color, which created more conflict. It was interesting seeing white people be called exotic among black people. An interesting reverse in perspective. It shows that the word "exotic" is in the eyes of the beholder. I also liked how magic worked differently in this new country--which also in turn added conflict.

Epic Things: In this book we get to see the origin of the Hadar family's telepathy, which was super cool. I'm a huge fan of telepathy. Also an assassin used poisoned incense sticks. I thought that was so creative.

The Theme: Trust in God is definitely a huge one. Wilek really struggles with trusting God or trusting what the people around him are telling him.

Content Cautions: Since this is by a Christian publisher, the book is pretty clean. There's implied sex in and outside of marriage, rape mention, and gay reference (which really surprised me since this publisher is very strict in their content). There's also animal sacrifice, mention of human sacrifice, and battle violence.

What We Can Take Away For Our Writing:

1.) Unfamiliar Environment - An unfamiliar environment can be a big obstacle for your characters from being exposed to temperatures they're not used to to not knowing what's safe to eat to encountering people who don't speak their language. All of this can add much conflict to your story.

How this can be applied to writing: Have you thought of thrusting your character into an unfamiliar environment? What would they struggle with?

2.) Eavesdropping - Hinck does a lot of eavesdropping on the bad guys in this book. Sometimes I forgot it was his point of view because he didn't do anything for a few pages.

How this can be applied to writing: 
When someone is eavesdropping mention the POV person from time to time, so the reader is reminded whose head they're in.

Conclusion: Despite the very sad ending, I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the next one!

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 the series' website!

Other books from this series:

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