Kings or Pawns
J. J. Sherwood
J.J. Sherwood’s debut novel KINGS OR PAWNS: THE KINGS, BOOK 1 is the first in a high fantasy epic series sure to please fans of both the science fiction and fantasy genres.
The year is 8994 P.E., and the city of Elvorium is corrupted—rotted to the core by the machinations of depraved politicians. With his father dead and the country facing a rebellion, Price Hairem becomes the king of the elven world of Sevrigel in one of its most turbulent points in history.
Young and daring, Hairem is determined to eradicate the corruption festering in Elvorium’s self-serving and all-powerful council, which thwarts his best intentions at every turn. But Hairem’s problems are far more sinister¬—and deadly—than merely political. The loyal members of the council are being savagely murdered by an assassin loosed within the city—an assassin whose brutality knows no bounds. Outside of the city, the Lord Saebellus wages a vicious rebellion against the capital. He has been thwarted thus far by the brilliant General Jikun, and Hairem is certain that the general can crush Saebellus.
But instead of continuing the campaign against the warlord, the council orders Jikun’s army to be split, sending him on a mission that furthers only their own wealth and power. Jikun knows that the council’s demands will leave Elvorium vulnerable to an attack from the formidable warlord. Although Saebellus has been recently defeated, he is far from vanquished. As corruption and death threaten to tear the city apart from within, the rebel Saebellus seizes the opportunity to lay siege to Sevrigel’s eastern capital and unleash his most powerful weapon yet: a demonic beast that neither weapon nor magic can kill. With the elven world crumbling around him, Hairem is grasping for his own power to fight against the forces that threaten Sevrigel.
Will Hairem overcome the council’s scheming and duplicity? Can General Jikun defeat the warlord Saebellus? Will this be the war that finally brings Sevrigel to its knees? KINGS OR PAWNS offers action, intrigue, mystery, and suspense—a thrilling story that will leave readers hungry for the sequel, Heroes or Thieves, to be published in February 2016.
About the Author
J.J. Sherwood lives in Ohio with her husband and four near-identical cats. KINGS OR PAWNS is J.J.’s widely anticipated debut novel, and is the first book of The Kings quartet. The series is set in the high fantasy world of Aersadore, home to hundreds of characters who all clamor for J.J.’s attention. To learn more about the trials and tribulations of General Jikun and King Hairem, visit StepsofPower.com. J.J. Sherwood will be at the tenth Fandom Fest Comic Con in Louisville, Kentucky this coming .
Kings or Pawns by J. J. Sherwood.
Wow, I was not expecting that ending! I warn you now—be ready for a terrible cliffhanger! The plot was of an elven kingdom torn by constant battle. They have superior numbers and defeat the enemy in every battle…but the enemies disappear into thin air at the end. Not to mention the undefeatable beast that ravages the protagonist’s army! To some, the only way to defeat the monster is to use the dark magic of necromancy. In addition, a new king has taken the throne after his father died of illness. This king desires sweeping changes to win the war and combat the corrupt council.
Politics and war dominate most of the book. Battle strategies, assassins, kidnappings…each person seems to have their own evil plot. But there is a little bit of romance thrown into the mix. The new king is, after all, the land’s most eligible bachelor. Too bad for the mute servant girl who seems to have fallen in love with him; it’s not like he would ever fall for her. She was my favorite character—innocent and kind, separated from the corruption of the council and the destruction of the war while still impacting the story in important ways. I enjoyed the depth of the characters, the planning of the crazy plot, the eloquent descriptions, and much more.
A couple things, however, gave me pause. One of the main characters, General Jikun, frequently went brothels. Prostitution was banned in the country—on pain of death, even—but that did not stop him from paying for it. I certainly do not appreciated the general’s actions; prostitution is a horrible practice! Which brings me to the scenes in which a couple were in bed, usually waking up from the night (they did not tell anything of that!), that mentioned things about their nakedness and such. I personally try not to read such things, and I thought I would give my readers forewarning.
In addition, there was the dark magic. Magic is pretty cool—to an extent. When things start going into dark magic, with the shedding of blood, calling on spirits, and the like, I tend to stop reading. So, when the initial problem came up of “how are we going to defeat this monster?” and the characters argued over whether to use the forbidden necromancy, I started to get worried. If they are arguing at the beginning, it is most likely foreshadowing. I was glad it was banned, but people don’t always follow the rules. Near the end, although one of the characters had used dark magic (without much description as far as spells, thankfully), there was no consensus on whether it was still considered bad or not, but at least there were consequences.
These two problems were not enough for me to stop reading the book. But I state them here for my readers to consider before reading the book.
All in all, Kings or Pawns was an entertaining fantasy novel of battles, politics, schemes, and elves. I recommend it to those who enjoyed the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Blog tour hosted by: