~This review is for book 2 in The Kinsman Chronicles series by Jill Williamson. To learn about and avoid spoilers for book 1, check out my review of King's Folly last year.~
Last year, I was introduced to my first Jill Williamson book (despite owning several of her others books) and the world she had created for The Kinsman Chronicles. The story about princes and kings, kingdoms and gods, and learning about truth, swept me away into this richly developed world. I had the opportunity to return to this world and continue along the characters' journey as they learn more truths about themselves, the world, and their so-called gods with the second book, King's Blood.
A remnant of the Five Realms has escaped destruction by embarking on a sea journey to find new land. But as the journey drags out and people die, Wilek and Trevn must take control of their kingdom, their ship, and their hearts to discover the new world that's before them. Meanwhile, other forces make their own plans, adding more problems to the mix.
King's Folly was a big book, but King's Blood is almost 150 pages longer! Despite its length though, it still held my attention for the entirety of the story, and even now, I eagerly wait to hear news about another book to continue what's been started.
The aspects I liked most about King's Folly returned for book two. The world-building was even more phenomenal in King's Blood than in the first book, even though the characters spend the majority of the book on ships. The details of the ship and how it works and how it affects their lives was fantastic to read. It gave so much depth to the story, making it come alive in ways that books often fall short of. And when the characters finally discover land, the descriptions and depth of what Jill Williamson created shines through. You can easily tell that she has spent a lot of time building this world and building it well. Nothing is confusing or out of place. It all fits and helps amplify the story further.
As before, there are tons of characters--more so than the first, I believe! Many of these characters get their own chapters, even if it's only once or twice, which helps expand the story and show how the events truly affect the entirety of the remnant survivors. I love how the characters are all interconnected in various, and sometimes surprising, ways. It helps build the story. And the character glossary is one of the best tools a fantasy writer can include in her books, so seriously, thank you for that, Jill!
In addition, the story itself was intriguing. While the basic synopsis of the remnant desperately searching for land is important, there is also a lot more happening otherwise. The story is a web of interlacing plots and events, but it never feels like too much is going on or that anything is confusing. Instead, it all weaves together in a captivating way. And there are many events that occur that I did not expect (which is a good thing). I'm still a little astounded by the turn of events near the end. Of course, book two isn't the end of this story, so not everything is tied up yet.
Overall, King's Blood was a great continuation of a fantasy series. It has complex characters (Trevn is the best, and he must be protected at all costs), intricate world-building, and a riveting story full of mystery, action, suspense, magic (sort of), and romance! There are some adult-themes in the book, including death, drug-like substances, sex (both within marriage and outside of marriage), and violence. But don't let these elements keep you from reading a story that dives into another world filled with the discovery of truths and the experience of hope.
need would like the next book soon! Please tell me it's coming. I need to know what's going to happen next! Especially with Trevn and Mielle.)
~I received King's Blood by Jill Williamson from Bethany House Publishers for an honest review. All opinions are my own.~