Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The King's Bastard (The Chronicles of King Rolen's Kin, Book 1)

Mulluane | 1:00 PM | 3 Comments so far

By Rowena Cory Daniells

Cloaked in silent winter snow the Kingdom of Rolencia sleeps as rumours spread of new Affinity Seeps, places where untamed power wells up. Meanwhile, King Rolen plans his jubilee unaware of the growing threat to those he loves.

By royal decree, all those afflicted with Affinity must serve the Abbey or face death. Sent to the Abbey because of his innate Affinity, the King’s youngest son, Fyn, trains to become a warrior monk. Unfortunately, he’s a gentle dreamer and the other acolytes bully him. The only way he can escape them is to serve the Abbey Mystic, but his Affinity is weak.

Fiercely loyal, thirteen year-old Piro is horrified to discover she is also cursed with unwanted Affinity. It broke their mother’s heart to send Fyn away, so she hides her affliction. But, when Fyn confesses his troubles, Piro risks exposure to help him.

Even though Byren Kingson is only seven minutes younger than his twin, Lence, who is the king's heir, Byren has never hungered for the Rolencian throne. When a Seer predicts that he will kill Lence, he laughs. But Lence Kingsheir sees Byren’s growing popularity and resents it. Enduring loyalty could be Byren’s greatest failing.

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The King's Bastard (The Chronicles of King Rolen's Kin, Book 1) by Rowena Cory Daniells
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The King's Bastard (King Rolen's Kin, #1)
| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| ISBN-10: 9781907519017
| ISBN-13: 9781907519017
| Publisher: Solaris (June 29, 2010)
| Mass Market Paperback: 640 pages
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 4 Stars

Fantasy Series Book Review by Mulluane

This book sadly has garnered only average reviews. Mainly I think because compared to the deep, dark, complex and innovative Fantasy of today, it seems a bit too simplistic. All I can say is, thank heavens for simplistic. Not that I don't love complex and intense, I do, but sometimes it is nice to read something more relaxing. Something that reminds me of the Fantasy of my youth.

The tale here is pretty classic. Proud parents, King and Queen of course. Twin princes separated in age by only seven minutes. The eldest is the King's heir, but it's the younger that is beloved by all. The heir jealous of his brother's popularity while the younger fiercely loyal to his older sibling. There is the young princess who wants desperately to control her own destiny and the third "extra" son, gentle, kind, unneeded, sent off to become a warrior monk, a role which he is not at all suited for. Then you have the trusted protagonist who is not who they appear to be but are actually seeking power by employing a combination of betrayal and lies. Throw in a prophecy, plenty of magic, political intrigue, a bunch of youths on the cusp of adulthood who excel at finding (or making) plenty of trouble for themselves and you have good old fashioned fantasy.

What can I say. I enjoyed it for some of the same reasons that others did not. For me, it was a nice change of pace.

It does read like a coming of age YA novel. The main characters range from 13 to 20 years old. However, unlike the fantasy of my youth, (when such things were unfortunately, never discussed) part of the story focuses fairly heavily on the Servants of Palos who are "lovers of men".  A situation where, if it is discovered, is punishable by death. A plot point which again, some people don't like but I think adds tension and a feeling of sympathy for the characters who are involved.

The story, as much as I enjoyed it, is not without flaws. Affinity, which is the type of magic prevalent in this world, could have been explained alot better. If you have ever read my other reviews you know I like magic which has rules. I'm hoping it will be better explained as the story progresses but for now I have more questions then answers. The book also ends in a definite cliffhanger, the type which originally caused me to stop buying books until the entire series was in print.

It all boils down to what you want to read. If you are in the mood for something light, character driven and comfortably familiar, so far this series fits the bill. If you want a dark, intense, complex, roller-coaster of a drama, this will leave you wanting much much more.

Now I am off to see what happens next. Until my next review, happy reading!

Series Summary
Other books in the series

Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Buy Books, Affiliate Links

Librarything Rating 3.35/5

Amazon Rating 3.3 out of 5 stars
(27 Customer Reviews)The King's Bastard

What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: The King's Bastard (King Rolen's Kin)The King's Bastard

Audible: No

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Epic Fantasy Book Review of The King's Bastard by Rowena Cory Daniells - Reviewed by Mulluane - on July 10 2013 - Rating: 4.0

Mulluane is a 56-year-old proud grandmother of 4, who is passionate about her pets, blogging, traditional fantasy, and tinkering with webdesign. She is obssesively photo shy but she uses an avatar that accurately represents her dreams. ♥ You can also find her on:

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  1. I absolutely agree with your review- I think mine was very similar. I liked the pacing and the fact that I didn't have to put my life on hold to concentrate on the book.

  2. I read the book too but it did not impress me enough to read the next in the series.

    Good to see that you are back.

  3. Yeah, if I remember right, you like your fantasy alot darker. I got kinda tickled yesterday when Pat called it "the New Grit movement." I didn't realize it had a name.

    And thanks! It is fun being back.


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