Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Book Review: Heir War


The Heir War
Jill Williamson
Kinsman Chronicles #1.2


With Prince Wilek still searching Armania for a murderer, his brother Prince Trevn finds himself pulled deeper into the dangerous politics of who will be Heir. Trevn, though, is far more interested in his studies with a local priest and the attentions of a young honor maiden.
The book that he has been copying during his lessons is not the book that teaches of the god of the soil. Instead, it teaches of a one true God. If accurate, then it means there is no soil god to satiate. There is nothing they can do to save their world, and all of King Echad's sacrifices have been futile.


The plot begun in Darkness Reins only grows deeper in Heir War.  More natural disasters decimate cities and their unfortunate inhabitants, making many of the characters more certain the prophecy of the Five Woes is upon them.  The kings and queens scramble as to what to do, meanwhile facing insurrection and rebellion from their subjects and advisors.  In Armania, the heir war among Wilek, Janek, and Trevn is in full swing, growing ever more dangerous as Wilek is captured by their enemies.  Meanwhile, Trevn, Kal, and others search for the meaning and villains behind the murder of Wilek’s concubine and the runes found with her.  

Heir War, the second installment of Jill Williamson’s King’s Folly, was even better than the first.  The secrets, schemes, danger, and destruction increases throughout the tale, and where the first part, Darkness Reigns, seemed only an introduction, Heir War was a full-on novel.  It introduced several more point of view characters and many more secondary characters while deepening the plot.  I can hardly wait to read the third installment!

Here are a few comments I simply have to say, regardless of understandability: Poor Hinck! How is he going to get himself out of this mess!  And when is he going to grow out of his naivet√©?  And, the situation between Wilek and Charlon is weird, slightly disturbing, and complicated.  I have hope it will turn out for good, but I am not sure.  In both situations, I begin to wonder what the author was thinking…but they add to the intrigue and complexity of the plot.  Not to mention the fact that those situations, among others, kept me flipping pages until the end!

Continuing with Charlon, I believe the author did an especially great job developing her character.  Her past and her future goals are at war with one another.  As frightened as she is that she will fail, she seems more frightened of succeeding.  Although I do not agree with what she is doing, I have grown attached to her character and hope for the best for her—not that she will complete her goals, but that she will find healing for her soul.  

Another set of characters, led by Kalenek, were traveling across the kingdoms to accomplish their goals.  They went through so many troubles along the road it reminded me of the old 1960’s movie, In Search of the Castaways.  I loved this version as much as I loved the movie—that is to say, quite a bit.  

The spiritual aspect of the story developed quite a bit more in this story.  I knew it was to be a parallel/allegory of the Judeo-Christian faith because it is set in the same story world as the Blood of Kings Trilogy.  But, Darkness Reigns rarely mentioned the true God Arman and instead focused on the dozens of false gods, such as Magon and Barthos, who demanded human sacrifices and the like.  Heir War developed the faith of the story a bit more, mentioning the prophecies from the Holy Book of Arman that speak of the Five Woes and actually introducing a prophetess.  A couple of the characters were challenged to believe in Arman, and I look forward to seeing their faith grow or dissipate in the coming books.  

I loved this book! I would recommend it to older teens and young adults who enjoy Christian speculative fiction, especially those who enjoyed The Blood of Kings Series, The Books of the Infinite by R. J. Larson, and The Staff and the Sword Trilogy by Patrick W. Carr.  

I received a free influencer copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  

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