by J.J. Sherwood
Paperback, 383 pages
Published July 5th 2016 by Silver Helm
Source: e-copy from author
**I received a copy of Kings or Pawns courtesy of the author, JJ Sherwood, in exchange for an honest review.**
The first book in JJ Sherwood’s Steps of Power epic fantasy series. The Kings, Book I: Kings or Pawns is a political intrigue that spirals into an action and adventure series as the final events unfold.
8,994 P.E.—The elven city of Elvorium has become corrupted to the core by politics. With his father dead and the Royal Schism at his back, Prince Hairem ascends the throne as king of the elven world on Sevrigel. Young and bold, Hairem is determined to undo the council’s power, but the brutal murders by an assassin loosed within the city threaten to undermine the king’s ambitions.
As corruption and death threaten to tear Elvorium apart from within, the warlord Saebellus threatens the city from without, laying siege to Sevrigel’s eastern capital. With the elven world crumbling around him, Hairem finds himself in a dangerous political balance between peace and all out war.
It’s been a while since I’ve read an Epic Fantasy, and I forgot how much fun they could be, but at the same time I also remember why I don’t read them as much. Kings or Pawns has a lot of politics in it, which I’m not a big fan of and I had a hard time getting through this part of the book. I had a very difficult time trying to keep up with what was going on, since there is the death of the King, the Prince taking over, the council trying to keep things the way they were by using force to keep the Prince “in line” despite the Prince wanting to make things better for the people of his country.
With all of this going on it is very easy to see where the title of the book fits in. I also found it difficult at times to keep who is who straight, there are so many names that were thrown into the book and a few of the names seemed almost the same but with a few letters that are different. I mean at times I had to remember that Sevrigel is the world and that Saebellus is the threat.
There are some good characters that are in the book, that I’m really hoping will have a bigger role in the next book. My favorite character would have to be Alvena, she is a mute servant girl who is loyal to and in love with Hariem. You do find out via a conversation that no one can figure out why she has no voice, but I am really hoping that she will find her voice and more of her strength in the next book.
I mean she went after an assassin that was trying to kill the King, how cool is that!?!
I found General Jikun a great character to read about also, he knows that his friend Hairem is now King and it being tested and cannot always do what he feels is right, since the whole Kingdom needs to be put before personal goals.
Jikun has heart for his men that he leads over. He feels their pains and tries to do with what he can despite how much the council screws them over. I admire that in Jikun, he even overlooked the fact that one of his men practices the dark art of Necromancy.
With the way the first part of the series ended, I am looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book, even with my dislike of politics. The characters win this battle.