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Six hundred years ago the land of Aom-igh was threatened with invasion by the Dark Country across the Stained Sea; in their danger King Llian sought the help of the dragons and the myth-folk. Graldon, King of the Dragons, granted the human king with a gift that would help him defeat his enemies. Graldon also promised King Llian that the dragons would come to the humans’ aid should Aom-igh ever be in such danger again. Years passed, and Aom-igh remained safe and isolated from its enemies. The dragons slowly disappeared and faded into legend and myth, and people forgot magic had ever existed.

When her kingdom is threatened by the Dark Country once again, the headstrong Princess Kamarie sets off on a quest to find the man who may be able to save them all: the former King’s Warrior. Traveling with her are two companions: her eccentric maid, and a squire who resents his charge to travel with and protect the princess. However, finding the legendary hero proves to be the least of their worries. Together the companions encounter more than they ever bargained for. A beautiful gatekeeper, a sword fashioned by dragons, enemies who pursue them relentlessly and hound them at every turn, and an underground world full of mythical creatures are just the beginning of their adventures.

As they search for the answers to mystifying riddles and seek a way to save everything they hold dear the comrades will learn a little about courage, a lot about truth, and more about themselves than they ever imagined. But if they can succeed in their quest, they may join worlds together.

424 pages, Paperback

First published February 29, 2012

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About the author

Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

15 books190 followers
Are you looking to explore fantastical worlds and go on dangerous quests with relatable heroes and heroines?

Are you looking for a way to escape the mundane or the difficult?

Are you looking to find your true courage?

Then come along with me on an epic adventure. We will face dragons (we might even ride them), we will pilot airships. We will fight pirates. We will wield magical swords. We will fight the forces of evil.

And we will be home in time for dinner.

But we will not go home unchanged.

Fantastical adventures ahead, safe return doubtful!


During the days, I wrangle four small hobbits and help them along on their adventures.

Basically, I'm Gandalf.

But come evenings, when the hobbits are sleeping... I become my alter-ego: PLOT WIZARD (still a wizard, just a different kind)... and adventures await in the pages I scribble upon.

I'm a dreamer, a relentless opener of doors in the hope of someday finding passage to Narnia, and story girl.

I love hanging out on Goodreads, but it's not the best for actual conversation. If you want to chat books with me, come find me on instagram: @JenelleLSchmidt or at my blog: https://jenelleschmidt.com/blog

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 98 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah.
Author 41 books411 followers
November 17, 2015
Honestly, this is the hardest review I have written all this year, and it is going to be brief. I have read blog posts and such by this author, and I really like her on a personal level. I also am a firm believer that book reviews need to be honest, but not harsh. However, sometimes it is hard not to come across as sounding harsh.

This story was well written and had compelling characters and a great setting. I think many people will really enjoy this book. That is why I am giving it three stars, because the quality cannot help stand out among a lot of fantasy stories that only parrot other fantasy stories.

I cannot recommend this book because it violates biblical ethics when it comes to sorcery. God clearly states the magic and wizardry are sins and are hated by Him (Galatians 5:19-21, Deuteronomy 18:10-11, Leviticus 20:6). At least three character (whom you cannot help but love) cast spells and use magic for ‘good.’

I thought long and hard before writing this review, and even decided a couple of times not to write it. However, I felt that some people out there might want to know before picking up the story.
Profile Image for Deborah O'Carroll.
479 reviews93 followers
October 28, 2018
Re-read October 2018

This was so much fun to re-read aloud! :D

First read January 2017 (Original review)

What an enjoyable fantasy adventure novel! I really, really liked this book. :D There’s a lot of the classic quest-and-journey stuff going on, but in new ways too, and I loved the world and characters, and just overall had a great time reading it! :)

I confess that I actually read a sequel to this book, Yorien’s Hand, before reading this one (which is book one in the series), so that was interesting. XD That meant it read more like a prequel for me, and I already knew how a lot of it would turn out. But this in no way reduced my enjoyment of the story—not at all! And I was impressed and pleased that there were a couple of things that were still surprise twists! :D

There may have been a few times (especially nearer the beginning of the book) when the early-days-of-this-author might have shown, or when there were plot holes or typos and what-have-you, or when the classic fantasy things which some might consider cliche or something popped up, but I elected to ignore those points in favor of simply enjoying the book as what it is: an extremely enjoyable fantasy novel, with a great adventure, an intriguing world, and a cast of lovable characters. :) So good! ^_^

Speaking of characters—I loved them! So many great ones. Brant, the warrior, who’s my favorite—he’s just epic. ^_^ Kiernan Kane, the amusing minstrel (but with more to him than he seems), who actually shares top-spot for favorite. ;) They are both so awesome!! <3 Then Princess Kamarie is a good heroine, Oraeyn the squire is a FABULOUS hero, and other characters like young Yole, who was great, and various people they meet along the way such as the daughters of the Wizard Scelwhyn. I really liked Dylanna, for instance. :D And oodles of great side-characters too, who are sometimes a little hard to keep straight (might be my fault for reading the whole series out of order... *cough*), but still fabulous. And dragons, of course. :D It’s a well-populated fantasy world, and I loved the characters. ^_^

I loved this fantasy world, as well! It was just so neat to wander through it with these friends of mine, and I’m very attached to it. :) I liked the dragons and other myth-folk, and the forests and mountains and bay and castle and cliffs, and all the different fascinating characters and happenings.

There’s a tragic scenario in the first few chapters where a man’s young family was killed, so that might be a little dark/rough emotionally, and of course there’s some action/battles throughout, but otherwise it was delightful and family-friendly, and I can imagine it being a fun book to read aloud, or for readers of all ages. :) There’s something for everyone in it. :D

The book had me laughing hysterically a few times, like when Leila and Kiernan Kane were up to their antics (especially when he came knocking. XD) and when Oraeyn talked with the tree sprite person (I absolutely loved that bit. XD) and surely several times when Kiernan was doing his silly minstrel things. :D

In a sense, I ended up liking Second Son more than this one, just for its originality and Brant-ness and writing quality, but this one is definitely more fun overall, and I especially loved Brant’s mysterious self in this and the companions on their quest together, and just the classic feel of it, so... I can’t decided which of the three book out so far in the series is my favorite. I just love them all! ^_^ *hugs King’s Warrior and my favorite characters*

Overall, I just loved this book and this series and can’t wait to finish reading it! ^_^ Definitely recommend for fantasy lovers! <3

(Review originally posted on The Page Dreamer as part of a double review for this and Second Son, complete with bookish photography... https://thepagedreamer.wordpress.com/...)
Profile Image for E.B. Dawson.
Author 38 books140 followers
February 22, 2019

An epic, uplifting fantasy full of true originality and lots of promise. My favorite part of the book, by far was the middle section. It was full of unexpected twists, some truly beautiful exploration, and lots of potential. Unfortunately, I didn't feel like the last third of the book fully delivered on that potential, which is why I can't give it five stars. There were a few other things that I struggled with (the unexpected POV changes, a couple plot holes, and a few too many subplots), but there were also so many things to love about this book! So let me list a few of my favorites:

I really enjoyed Brant's character. He was a great deal like Aragorn, from the Lord of the Rings, but with some well-chosen differences.

I loved Kiernan Kane and even though he came in late, I'm pretty sure he is vital to the series in some way, although that was never quite fleshed out. But he is hilarious and he jumped off the page in a way few other characters did.

Some of the imagery and prose was quite beautiful, especially when we got to Pearl Cove.

Overall, a fun, imaginative read, especially for those who love clean, fantasy quests!
Profile Image for E.F. Buckles.
Author 1 book9 followers
November 29, 2018
What a fun read! I did not want this book to end! The only thing I had read from Jenelle Schmidt before now was her story in the “Five Enchanted Roses” anthology from Rooglewood Press. I liked that a lot, but it was a very different story than what this appeared to be, so I was curious to see if “King’s Warrior” would be my style or not. I hoped it would be since I really enjoyed an excerpt from it that she shared on her blog once, but being a careful reader, I always approach books by authors whose style I don’t know well with an eye towards caution. Well, I needn’t have worried. “King’s Warrior” had so much of what I like in my books, the biggest of which being well-written characters.

Now, if you’re the type of reader who doesn’t likes epic fantasy, this is not the book for you because this book is very typical epic fantasy. (Of course, if you do like epic fantasy, then you’re good to go because it has all the things you know you love!) There’s lots of traveling in a group (which never got boring, at least in my opinion, because the author made sure interesting things happened at regular intervals), there was a character who I initially felt was very Aragorn-esque in personality, though it did turn out that I did not have him figured out as well as I initially thought I did and his backstory was actually quite different than Aragorn’s. There were talking mythological animals of various types, a prophecy that is hinted at (which readers apparently learn more about in the next book), a special sword, beings that have magical ability, and a number of characters who are Not What They Seem. Some of these character’s secrets were easy for me to guess. Some of them were not. Some of them I guess I’ll have to wait until a later book to find out what their secret is because authors like keeping their readers in suspense. XD

As for specific characters and the reasons I liked them, to start with, I really liked what was done with Kamarie and her character arc. She had a toughness about her, but did not ever lose her femininity because of it, which is not something I can say for all the supposedly “strong female characters” out there, particularly in YA fiction. I also really appreciated both Kamarie’s and her father’s choices at the end of the book, though I can’t detail them because spoilers. Suffice it to say it seemed like the perfect way for Kamarie to act upon the things she’d learned and decided throughout the course of the story, and her father’s response to that choice was also very balanced and wise.

Oraeyn was another character I liked. I was not expecting a lot of the things that happened to him and after the way the story ended, I’m excited to find out what the future has in store for him.

Brant, who was the guy I thought felt a little Aragorn-esque (nothing wrong with Aragorn, I just don’t want carbon copies of him), also turned out to be a character I liked a lot, especially once I realized that I did not have him figured out as much as I initially thought I did. I actually really loved him as a person, especially because of his strong sense of honor, duty, and morality. He did what he had to do to protect himself and others, but recognized that those he was fighting were human just like him and killing them was not a thing he wanted to do or enjoyed doing.

Darby…Wow, I totally did not guess her secret. She had a lot more to her than it first seemed, and I liked how she grew a bit during the story, and her dynamic with Brant was entertaining.

Sweet little Yole was, well, sweet. I did guess his secret pretty easily, but I still liked his development as a character and look forward to seeing what happens to him as time goes on.
Rena intrigues me. I had no idea she’d play as large a role as she did and now I’m really wondering what her whole story is/will be. I hope there’s lots more of her in the other books. Also, I know the interaction between her and Brant was brief, but even so, Could be way off the mark on that one, but hey, I think there could be something there. 😉

(Edit to add: Oh, oh, oh! How did I forget Kiernan Kane! There's definitely more to him that it seems, I just don't know what it is and hope to find out in future books!)

I also really appreciated what was done with the antagonists. At first it seemed like they would just be a faceless evil, but not only were they not faceless, they were not all evil. I honestly don’t care if a made up group of fantasy creatures which are stated in the text to all have intentionally been corrupted for evil purposes are all evil because they were specifically all made to be that way, but I prefer not to have a whole race of any kind of person, whether human or made up, be evil for no reason other than they just are. That was definitely not the case here. We not only learned that the people from the antagonist nation were not faceless, but not all of them were evil. In fact, the majority of them were just following orders. Also, I feel it takes talent on the writer’s part to make an antagonist sympathetic enough that I actually cried a little when something happened to one of them.

My main critique of this book would be of the technical side of the writing itself. As far as I am aware, this was Ms. Schmidt’s debut novel and her writing style here was not quite as polished as it seems to be now, six years later, based upon samples of her more recent writing that I’ve seen. The story is written in third-person omniscient perspective and while I have seen that perspective done much worse by other people, I’ve also seen it done better. For a little while I had to tell my inner editor to turn off so I could just enjoy the story and not nit-pick certain things, but the story itself was strong enough that the inner editor turned off pretty easily and by the second half of the book I wasn’t even noticing the technical issues as much, if I noticed them at all, because I was so into the story. Also, as I said, this book was published six years ago and believe this author’s writing has gotten stronger since then, so while I do feel the need to mention it as something that slightly effected my reading experience, I will not let it have too much effect on my rating.

All in all, I enjoyed this book very, very much and wish I had gotten the whole series at once The other books are definitely going on my Must-Get-ASAP list!

4.5 stars.

Content Advisory for those who want to know:

I personally consider this a very clean book that would be best suited for teens and adults.

The details:

Violence: There is quite a bit of hand-to-hand combat in this book, but blood is only occasionally and very briefly mentioned. However, some character deaths are very emotional, particularly one scene where a man discovers his entire village and family has been murdered by the enemy, including the women and children, and .

A little of the violence is committed by mythological beings on humans (and vice versa) and mythological being on other mythological beings, but the majority is the protagonist humans fighting antagonist humans. As stated in the review, however, violence is not taken lightly in this book and definitely is NOT implied to be a fun or good thing.

One mythological being is burnt to a crisp (not described). One evil human is run through very suddenly. Humans good and bad die via sword wound and being shot with arrows (sometimes not described, sometimes barely described with only brief mentions of blood.)

Magic: The mythological beings are all inherently magical in some way. The humanoid characters that are called wizards apparently are their own separate race and have magical abilities that are part of their genetic makeup and that magical ability is passed from parent to child. The magic used by the wizard characters in this book is all used in defense of people or places, never for evil.

Sexual: Husbands and wives briefly kiss a couple of times. Not described.

Language: None.

Spiritual Content: None.
Profile Image for Abby Burrus.
Author 1 book41 followers
July 22, 2022
This was not the best fantasy I've ever read. But it was an endearing story, and while I probably won't (?) be reading the second book in this series, I still enjoyed it.
It is not, in my personal opinion, Christian fantasy. But it is clean fantasy. You can clearly tell this is the author's first book. But for all that, there are some places where it shone through, so I believe that the author's other, later books are probably better than this one.
And that plot was interesting! Brant was a favorite character and I am curious about Kieran. For that reason, I might consider the second book.
Overall, for being an impulse order-in from the library, not a bad read at all.
Profile Image for Sarah.
Author 7 books101 followers
July 15, 2018
Delightful story in the tradition of Prydain and Wheel of Time

High and epic fantasies aren't hard to find. In fact, they're surprisingly common. So, why read King's Warrior?

To answer that question, I'm not going to claim it's the new best thing ever. It's not— though the story is excellent, the author's style leaves a bit to be desired. However, the characters are interesting (once one gets past Kamarie being annoying at first), and as I said, the storyline is excellent. And although the enemy nation is referred to as the Dark Country, they're surprising decent people, a welcome change from the evil-to-core lot you find in many epic fantasies.

Also, Kiernan Kane. And Brant. Those two alone are good reason to read this book.

In conclusion, King's Warrior isn't perfect, but it's a good story with good characters. In many ways, it reminds me of the Chronicles of Prydain seasoned with The Wheel of Time. It's a surprisingly enjoyable combination.
Profile Image for Tracey Dyck.
Author 3 books79 followers
November 11, 2020
I’ve been eyeing the Minstrel’s Song series for quite some time, but hearing that the first book has arrived in audio format—with the rest of the books to follow—gave me the push I needed to dive in.

Jenelle says she wrote King’s Warrior to be read aloud, and it shows! It struck me right away how the story is the sort that’s read one chapter at a time before being tucked into bed. It just has that cozy, ageless, adventuresome feel to it—along with a little humor, a little danger (or sometimes a lot), and the faintest whiff of future romance.

And the narrator, Benny Fife, was a perfect fit to the story with his grandfatherly voice and English accent.

The quest-style plot takes Princess Kamarie and her companions across mountains and below-ground, from castles to coves and everywhere in between. The company meets all manner of friends, enemies, and obstacles along the way, and it’s fun to see many of the main characters get their own moment to shine.

Some of my favorite characters are...

Brant // Epic warrior, Aragorn-esque hero with a mysterious past, father figure, and often the grouch of the group (okay, he’s really more of the strong, silent type)… this guy was so loveable. Especially when Certain Events (TM) pull at one’s heartstrings right off the hop. (I don’t think I can forgive you for that, Jenelle.)

Kiernan Kane // I wish he’d had more page time! This wandering bard with a gleam in his eye and a song on his lips is definitely quirky… and also seems to know a tad more than he lets on. I’m so curious about his backstory and hope that later books divulge more!

Yole // Despite guessing a certain spoilery something about him, he’s just so ADORABLE. I find it’s hard to write convincing children characters, but Yole comes across both smart enough and young enough for his age. He’s a clever little kid, yet also clueless about some things and liable to grumble now and then about long journeys and rainy nights. He’s really sweet and deserves all the hugs.

Journey the land of Aom-igh
With a few moments that surprised me with their emotional depth, a fantasy land that felt familiar and easy to get acquainted with, and a fun band of characters, King’s Warrior is just the sort of story to curl up with as the weather turns chilly.

4 stars from me!
Profile Image for R.M. Archer.
Author 4 books135 followers
November 29, 2018
I love indie-publishing and indie-published authors. I love the support of the community, and I love supporting and helping fellow indie-authors. Unfortunately, when I read poorly edited indie novels I really want to go to the author and say “This was good, but it could be better” and help them polish it, and I usually can’t. This is one of those poorly edited novels.

The potential is all there. The characters are good, the plot is interesting, there are a lot of connections between things. Unfortunately, I wasn’t emotionally invested, and there are a few reasons for this. First of all, we’re never in one character’s POV for more than three paragraphs at a time (and that’s the high end of the spectrum). It’s really hard to form an emotional connection with a character you don’t get more than five second meetings with. It also removes the emotional oomph of character relationships–and particularly conflicts–when you don’t get to share in a character’s frustration or confusion or whatever the case may be because you’re immediately seeing both sides of an issue. I want to experience things with the character, and that doesn’t get to happen when you’re seeing everyone’s POV in a given scene and each one only lasts one or two paragraphs.

In a similar vein, there was too much information shared, and it wasn’t done so in an artistic way. We’re told almost everything. Emotions, backstory, worldbuilding… whether it’s through character dialogue or narration, we’re always told things and never shown. Done well, backstory and worldbuilding can really add to a story and give it more depth. Done poorly, it only detracts from the story and draws the reader out of the action. And you want to be intentional about what you include or when, otherwise the reader feels like they know everything and there’s no mystery or intrigue anymore.

One way we were given too much information goes back to POV choice (or lack thereof). Almost every character has a POV at some point. Even a random Dark Warrior in a battle who’s there for all of three paragraphs to almost make you pull for him before he dies. There’s no information given in those three paragraphs that’s useful to the rest of the story, it doesn’t create any emotional depth because it doesn’t affect the good guy on the other side in the least, and the character has no importance anywhere else in the story. But that guy aside, we see into the POV of the antagonist, at least one of the antagonist’s lackeys if not two (who give away different aspects of the plot so it’s not a mystery anymore), every meaningful protagonist, and several less-meaningful protagonists. It removes any sense of mystery if we’re seeing every single angle of the story, we don’t get to wonder about any one character’s backstory as much as we’d like (*cough*Brant*cough*), and overall there’s just a lot less tension and interest.

As a result of the lack of showing anything and the POV choice, the characters ended up less engaging than they could have been. Their basic personalities managed to shine through, but were squandered by the lack of emotional depth to the writing. I also thought their dialogue all sounded the same, which was disappointing. And almost none of them spoke in contractions; I think even the 12-year-old often spoke without contractions.

The characters’ emotional reactions to things (particularly when it came to knowing or not knowing or realizing things) was often over-dramatized. Dylanna’s surprise anytime Brant revealed some part of his backstory she hadn’t been aware of (how did she not know about him if she’s ancient and has been around the castle for ages he was {spoilers}, anyway?), Oraeyn’s surprise at the sword (dude. that was obvious from the very beginning because we knew everything about the sword’s history from the get-go. if he didn’t, why did we? and if he did, how did he not put two and two together?), etc. And are we really supposed to believe that those four sisters never kept in touch given their abilities and thus were totally lost as far as who they were familiar with? (Again, BRANT.)

The book also needed a proofreader/line-editor for the grammatical issues (particularly surrounding dialogue), which seems to be pretty common even with indie books that are well-written otherwise. (Which kind of makes me sad, and sad that I can't help them make their books even prettier.)

I mostly enjoyed the ending (the very final scene painted a beautiful picture), and I thought that things were wrapped up nicely for the most part. (Although King Arnaud didn’t really know Oraeyn, so that particular choice seems a bit odd to me, considering he’s also pretty young.) It had the same problems with emotional depth as the rest of the book, except for that final scene, which clearly stands out to me.

Overall, this book has a lot of potential, but it needs a clearer focus and less excessive information.
Profile Image for Kaycee Browning.
Author 3 books31 followers
February 1, 2014
'King's Warrior' is very much like 'Lord of the Rings' when it comes to depth, plot, world-building, and characterization. The themes are easy to recognize and easy to understand, yet as the novel progresses, you realize just how deeply interwoven into the story and the characters they really are. This is a spoiler-free review, but I will say it has taken me several re-readings to catch all the little places the themes show up. The theme of "being more than you seem" shows up all the time, and I only now in this past reading realized that. It is in the plot, in the characters, in the world-building...everywhere! Keep a weather eye out for it.

The plot is everything that is classically loved in a fantasy novel, but with plenty of unique twists. Not just one, but two prophecies prove to be important. Dragons and mythical creatures must be in of course, and they have super duper cool twists to them too. Ancient swords, magical music, enchanted caves, this story is fantasy in the truest sense of the word. The plot itself involves a lot of traveling and visiting new locales and places, a lot like 'Lord of the Rings'.

That leads me to the next thing I want to mention: world-building! The world-building is absolutely incredible. Like the theme implies, Aom-Igh is not everything that it seems. There are surprises and mysteries everywhere! The novel explores the country of Aom-Igh and it's secrets, leaving you enchanted and yearning. Enchanted cuz it's all just so epic, yearning because you know Aom-Igh is not the only country in the world. It leaves you wanting to explore the Dark Country, Roalthae, the Barrier Islands, and know the history of all these places. Very few fantasy novels can get me interested in a fictional history. I can only think of three off the top of my head: 'Lord of the Rings', 'King's Warrior', and 'Mistborn'.

The only somewhat negative thing I can say about this novel is that some of the names are difficult to figure out how to pronounce. HOWEVER, there is a handy-dandy glossary in the back that has a brief description of all the countries, people, and places and how to pronounce their names. If you stumble across any name you don't know how to say, just quickly flip to the back and check.

And last but not least...the characters! I love how the characters are larger-than-life and completely fantastical, yet very accessible and relate-able too. It's hard for me to pick a favorite character because they all seem like very good friends to me, and I don't want to be rude to them by picking a favorite! All of the characters are fun as soon as you meet them, but as you travel with them and get to know them, you discover how real they truly are. I never get tired of reading about their adventures.

If you love 'Lord of the Rings', 'Chronicles of Narnia', 'Phantastes', or any other classic fantasy, this novel is for you! If you like adventure, action, fantasy, and/or clean family fiction, this book is for you too!
Profile Image for Hope.
289 reviews38 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
July 4, 2017
Maybe try again later.
Profile Image for Shantelle.
Author 2 books356 followers
November 22, 2015
3.5 stars. There was something about the unique cover of King’s Warrior that captivated me. It looked like it would lead me into an intriguing fantasy world. Well, it did, :-)

In the story, Princess Kamarie and her parents, King Arnaud and Queen Zara, Squire Oraeyn, a young loner named Zole, and a mysterious man called Brant are the main characters. We go from one to another as this tale of battles, dragons, Dark Warriors, and powerful swords unfolds. They all face trials, troubles, and victories along the way.

I was quite caught up into the story almost as soon as I started reading. The fantasy world was epic… of all sorts of mystery and mystical creatures. Dragons, wood nymphs, griffons, wizardesses, and the like. I would mention some more… except you might like to come across their appearances unexpectedly. I was pleasantly surprised and delighted! I love fantasy, and I also love when it has a fae twist. So yes, the strain of fantasy that King’s Warrior had was ever so much fun! :-)

I just have to say… I love the name of Kamarie, so pretty! :-) The girl herself was a bit more complicated to decide one’s thoughts of. She was young, headstrong, and immature at many points. But that made her real, I suppose. And she did grow and learn throughout her journeys. All the characters were interesting. The humorous minstrel… I’m captivated… what is it about him? What is his importance? The wizardess sisters! They definitely added a great element to the story! Oraeyn was an especially interesting guy; I liked him a lot and hope to see him again!! I want to know more of his story!

That said, I would like more of a lot of things. Like I mentioned, the fantasy world was diverse and beautiful. But I felt I just didn’t get enough of it! I wanted to see more, to know more, to explore more of the fantastical creatures and all that. Some were just briefly mentioned, and that’s all; so I’m left desperately hoping that Book Two will go more into their lives! And though a powerful, albeit, sad story concluded in the end, I was still left with questions and wonderings…

So yeah. King’s Warrior fell a little flat for me as I progressed far into the story. Probably mostly because of what I mentioned above. The story could feel just a little stretched on. But this is not a huge deal, (and it definitely might not feel like that for all); and I would still totally recommend giving this novel a try! Especially when there’s the promise of a sequel awaiting, :-)

There was no Christian allegory that I could see in King’s Warrior. I suppose it had similarities to Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Except, no deep evil that I noticed either. There was some violence, mostly alluded to. No graphic scenes that I remember. Nothing as for romance, except maybe hints of future attractions. I didn’t feel the magic aspect went overboard at all. It was just more simple, intriguing, and fun. I didn’t feel uncomfortable with anything in King’s Warrior. For ages 12 and up probably, or perhaps even younger. Also, you might quite enjoy it if you're a bit older than that too; I did! ;-)

So what else can I say? I was a bit disappointed that this book didn’t make my favorites list for some reason or another... But for the most part, I look back at the story with satisfaction and a smile; and I really am quite excited to read Second Son and learn more of this enthralling fantasy world and its characters.

King’s Warrior has so much potential and so many little mysteries and wonders and promising details woven throughout it. I just hope it’s all explored in the next book… or a third, :-) I’m left wondering and waiting… ;-)
Profile Image for Abbey Stellingwerff.
Author 1 book9 followers
July 2, 2018
We follow the characters through forests, mountains, farmland, and underground tunnels; we follow them at the palace, on the battlefield, near the sea, and through a desert. Everywhere they go they face new challenges. Jenelle Schmidt weaves their adventures together seamlessly, building to an exciting climax where everything is tied together.
Read my full review here: http://dollsbooksthingsthatmatter.blo...
Profile Image for S.G. Willoughby.
Author 10 books106 followers
June 10, 2019
If you are the author, please don't read this review. I hate being harsh. :)

I have mixed feeling about this book. To be fair, it has been a while since I read this genre (even though I generally really like it) but I didn't really like this book. It had a lot of potential, but the writing just wasn't up to par.

The characters were unique and each with their own personality, despite a large cast... but their motivations and actions and the way they were portrayed kept me too distracted to get attached to them. And while the author did a good job of keeping them separate, the cast was too large for any of the characters to actually get a good arc. Even the main characters didn't change too much throughout the whole thing even though they were supposed to and even though we were told they had changed. Except maybe Yole and Dylanna.

Yole and Brant were really the characters I came to like the most. And some of the Pearl's Cove people. What really kept me reading, though, was wanting to know if my guesses about the plot and characters were right -- they were. Which brings me to the foreshadowing. The foreshadowing was one of the two things that drove me the most crazy. It was just a bit too obvious.

The second thing that drove me the most crazy was the continuity mistakes in the plot and the characters and the secrets and the conversation.

I did enjoy the well-developed world-building. It was fun to go on a quest and explore a country and even have a lot of history for two countries and many people groups. That was great. And there was a lot of different landscapes and such which I enjoyed. :D (Although again, I think it could have been even better with stronger writing.)

Also, did I mention how awesome Yole was? Oreyon and Kamarie seemed a little dimwitted (though maybe that's realistic?). Like when Brant says "look, that guy with the crown is the leader" and O is like "Wait, what? how could you possibly tell?" I mean, I know that it was supposed to be hinting at secrets in Brant's past, but...yeah. And I also liked Brant, but I suppose you're supposed to. I didn't get a lot of the ending though...

I have been told, also, that these books get better as they go. And I'm not opposed to reading more from this author in the future. Like I said, they have a lot of potential.

Another good thing about this book is that it's pretty clean. :) There is no language or sexual content whatsoever. Most of the violence actually happens off-screen, despite this being a book happening in the middle of a war. The violence on screen is very non-descriptive, more like "this swords clanged." A few characters get knocked out, children get killed (the violence isn't on screen, but the belated death is), and a character gets shot with an arrow. There are some scrapes and bruises and mentions of blood, but not a lot of description there. There is a bit of magic used by the good guys. (I did like how it melded with the world so well.)

Anyway. Those are my scattered thoughts. :)
Profile Image for Benjamin Fife.
Author 53 books56 followers
November 11, 2020
An Epic Adventure with Jenelle Schmidt
Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Jenelle Schmidt. You can click on the video to watch our whole rambling conversation. We talk about our collaboration on King's Warrior, Tolkien, The Hobbit movie, Discworld, Charles Dickens, Timothy Zahn and much more. I recommend watching at double speed because its more fun that way. :)

We’re doing an audiobook tour for book 1 this week & I’m almost done recording book 2. I wanted to give you some more insight into our partnership & a review of my own personal experience with this brilliant book. Going back to January 31st, 2020 – I was looking for new material to narrate & came across this:

This is the first book in a complete 4-book series. I hope to eventually release all four books in audio format. As an author, I plan to promote any audio versions of this book [etc. etc.] The story is in 3rd person omniscient and the cast is fairly large. I have been told that my style flows well when read out loud (that it's easy to read aloud). My characters vary in age and experience. Kamarie - 18 year old feisty, headstrong princess, sarcastic streak, but also compassionate and kind. Oraeyn - 19 year old squire, on the cusp of becoming a knight, responsible, frustrated with the job he has been given, but determined to see it through. Yole - 10 year old orphan, cautious, shy, life has dealt him a rough hand. Brant - 45 year old warrior, quiet, stoic. There are some more difficult names and words to pronounce in the book, but I have a full pronunciation guide available.

Jenelle also mentioned that the book had a cast of 67 characters.

Some would tell me I’m nuts to go for something like this, but I saw it, read the audition script & thought, "Wow. This looks epic." I went to her website & read her story of how she started writing & I thought – this could be one of my kids in 10 years. So I recorded an audition & decided to give it a go.

When I got the deal, I was excited already. Then – I read the book. And I was frustrated! Frustrated that I had so many other books that I had to get done first! I still enjoyed narrating all of them too, but this was the book I’d been waiting for & looking for since I started narrating. So I worked & waited.

Then I finally got to start narrating it. I loved it enough that after a couple of chapters of narrating it, I insisted my wife read it too. So she read it. And she loved it. And when I was about half through narrating it, my turn came up to pick our family read aloud book. So I picked it to read again (It sometimes got a little confusing reading one chapter to my kids in the evening, narrating further along in the story at night, and usually editing a chapter I had recorded a couple days before in the daytime. I was fully immersed in the story.

I still loved it!

Here’s why: First - Jenelle’s writing is just as she said – easy to read aloud (Even with proper nouns like Cruithaor Elchiyl and Tellurae Aquaous – once you get their pronunciation down). Second – Her characters are delightful, well rounded, and with EPIC arcs. Her prose is descriptive without being dull. As someone who loves Tolkien, Lewis, Alexander and other similar authors, her style and skill is on parr with them. There are elements in this book that are apparent to the reader long before the characters spill the beans, but its done in such a way that you’re excited for the other characters to learn the truth about who they are, who their friends are, and who the true enemy is and the truth about their enemy. She gives us a wide array of beings and ages, ranging from a 10 year old orphan boy who is far more than he knows, to wizards and wizardesses and dragons that are centuries old. And as tragedy strikes the people in the book, their reactions are genuine. I loved the insights into humanity that she brings to the forefront through the plot and how the characters learn and grow. As I read the book to my kids, everyone from my 17 year old daughter down to my 6 year old son thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so, that while we did read 2 books in between, my 16 year old picked Second Son for our nightly read aloud earlier this week. So now I’m going through the same routine I did with book 1! Each of our kids have a name from a book we love… If we weren’t done, I’m pretty sure our next kid would bear the name of Oraeyn or Kamarie. I still think there’s a pretty good chance I might end up with a grandkid named from this series. My 6 year old paid more attention to my reading of this series than any book I’ve read them before. He says he wants to name a son Brant.

I also adore Jenelle’s very strong female characters from all three books that I’ve read so far (still have to get to The Minstrel’s Call). Kamarie, Zara, Dylanna, Calyssia, Leila, Rena, Calla, Llewana. All strong characters & every bit as important as heroines in this series as the male characters in this series. And I also love her treatment of Dragons. Having now narrated 6 books in Jane Austen’s Dragons by Maria Grace, I’ve discovered its my favorite part about narrating fantasy. I get to be the dragon voices too. And just like that series, it’s not just A dragon, but Dragons.

Which brings me to another thing I love about her writing: Her world building is delightful. Through interviewing her, I know she didn’t have the world completely fleshed out to begin with in her mind, or even by the time she wrote book 3, but the flavor of the world is consistent & beautiful. The mythology of this world is deep & rich. Her invented names for places, people, and different terms for some things (such as Dragon’s Eye instead of the Sun) draw you into a fantastical world. As I read book 2, I found her description of one particular mythical beast so intriguing – and I had never heard of it before – that I googled it. Solely her creation. Courtesy one keysmash for a name of the creatures – seheowks. But I don’t want to get ahead of King’s Warrior too much in this review & introduction.

The only weaknesses I really find aren’t even weaknesses in my mind. From the audition script, I was pretty sure she was at least taking some inspiration from Lloyd Alexander. And you can see some similarities here and there to the Prydain series. But that’s about as far as comparison to it goes. It is a broader world than Prydain and the series is much more epic in its scope. Her characters are richer & much more three dimensional. The end of book one already had elements that made me think of the end of Return of the King.

Multiple times in producing these books, I’ve been moved to near tears in performance, as well as goose bumps. I'd share some of my favorite scenes here, but I don't want to spoil them for you! If you like fantasy, if you like epic adventure, if you like books that are safe to read to anyone from childhood to however old you like, this book should fit the bill. If you don’t listen to my performance of it, check out the book on Kindle or a physical copy. This now holds a special place on my shelf. I think it belongs right up there with Tolkien & Lewis. Though now that I think about it… The 8-year-old has it in her bed reading it again now, so the shelf has an open spot where it belongs.

The other fun thing about narrating this book was I was able to get some of my family involved as well. My wife sings as a woman much better than I sing as a woman (imagine that!) - So she sings Dylanna's song. She also wrote & performed the mandolin music in the credits. There's another song that calls for multiple characters singing it & I was able to have my 3 oldest kids join me & my wife to perform that one. I hope you enjoy it.

If you’ve read the book or the series, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Let me know what you think! I'd also love to hear back from you about my performance.

p.s. - If you watch the whole video - We DID watch The Man Who Invented Christmas on Saturday and loved it too. Coming next month - I'll be doing a live reading of A Christmas Carol.
Profile Image for Sarah Ashwood.
Author 23 books890 followers
June 17, 2019
Brant is my favorite, but I'm a sucker for dark, strong, stoic warriors in fantasy fiction. In any fiction, really. Thought the author did a very nice job keeping up with such a large cast of characters, and in making them all their own individual people. The setting was very grand and sweeping on a high/epic fantasy scale. I think readers of Tolkien and the like would enjoy this book.
Profile Image for Beth Wangler.
Author 15 books49 followers
October 24, 2018
I enjoyed the premise of this story's world, especially the unique takes on dragons, magic, and other fantasy elements. Rather than focusing on one main character, King's Warrior builds an ensemble cast full of very different characters who all have arcs throughout the story and all play important roles in the plot.

There were significant grammatical and stylistic errors that detracted from my enjoyment. As this is an indie novel, and as it was written early on in Schmidt's career, I have added an extra star. I've read one of her more recent short stories and can attest that she has grown a great deal in these areas.

King's Warrior took several turns, and a lot more happened in it than I expected, which was fun! I liked that Schmidt spent time with the denouement, wrapping things up at the end of the story--something that is too often lacking in many modern stories.

I received a free reader copy, and this is my honest review.
1 review
August 7, 2012
If you have an insatiable desire for winding plots, noble and endearing characters, and high expectations for fine craftsmanship, you will deeply enjoy King's Warrior. It gives you anything but what might be expected and the reader is left feeling surprised, delighted, and bewitched.

Characters are introduced one at a time, with stories seeming to part ways, then coming together again. Each character develops into something so much more than they started out to be. They grow and change, and discover new things about themselves, as they labor and toil together to save their beloved kingdom.

Young Yole is really a lost dragon. Kamarie is not just a princess but granddaughter to the most idolized wizard of all time, and granddaughter to the mer-folk.

But in the end it doesn't matter your station, or even Kingship. As Kamarie's father rejoices in the victory of his country, he gladly faces a decision on whether to give up his crown with the possibility of the most treasured prize of all; peace of mind and taking care of his own home in the country.

But whether he serves as King of all the land, or humble but happy farmer, his beautiful wife, Zara, is there by his side encouraging him, believing in him, and never for a moment is honor of kingship associated with the true honor of a life well lived and the value of deep and long lasting friendships.

Each character has their own story to tell. The reader becomes completely drawn in to each of their lives; what they learn, what they stand for, who they really are. And of course, we don't have "all" the answers at the end of this book. The reader is left with great happiness at the end of this adventure, but also left as a fellow wanderer ready to embark on the next chapter of the people they have come to love.

Per FTC guidelines I received this book in exchange for a review, I was not asked for a positive review, just an honest one.
Profile Image for Richard Bunning.
Author 21 books89 followers
February 16, 2014
This is well written, though it needs another edit to cut out sentences that repeat rather more than advance the dialogue. The story leans towards the happy ending fairy-tale rather than harder fantasy, not that that is a fault. What it does mean is that this book is, in my middle-aged opinion, suited best to older children rather than young adults. However, I have no intention of putting of adult readers. King's Warrior has plenty of depth of story for mature readers that like well written tales that don't feel the need to more than imply the bestial. There is a sense of the allegorical, the fight between good and evil, which I see as putting this on a shelf next to C.S Lewis's rather than J:K. Rowling's books.
I was asked to assess this book, completely independently of the author, and gave it a pass as a well conceived, well plotted, and artfully written book. So my reservations are minor. If the author takes the trouble to revisit and tighten the prose I will be only to happy to give it the fifth star. This is absolutely not a criticism of long writing and the use of adjective and adverb to lend texture. I love writing with width, however 'unnecessary' to plot, but just not sentences that fail to add enough to description to justify their inclusion.
The characters are well conceived and well crafted, the swords and sorcery theme is well exploited, and I was left with not a little anticipation for the second book in this series. All in all, this is an excellent read.
Profile Image for Claire Banschbach.
Author 7 books175 followers
July 20, 2015
I've been eyeing this book for a long time and I finally got a chance to read it recently. And I really enjoyed it! I think the best surprise was Princess Kamarie. It starts out with her a typical tomboyish princess, escaping from her lessons, but then Mrs. Schmidt does a wonderful thing. She makes the princess smart, respectful to her parents, willing to listen to those in authority above her and respect their decisions, and be able to admit when's she's in the wrong and move on. It was quite refreshing. She has learned to sword fight, ride, track, and other knightly pursuits in secret because she wants to be able to defend her kingdom should the need arise. While I like that, I also appreciated the fact that once she did get into a real fight, she did not enjoy it at all and would be quite happy to never fight again.

So obviously I like the main character, but the supporting cast was just as great. I loved Brant and can't wait to read Second Son to find out more about his story. Oraeyn was terrific. I loved how he and Kamarie butted heads in the beginning but found common ground early on and became good friends. His story is also intriguing and I'd love to learn more about him.

World building was great and I really loved discovering each new place we visited. Highly recommend this book for anyone who loves stories of adventure, family, magic, and forgiveness. Good for any age, but especially younger teens.
Profile Image for J.M..
Author 10 books186 followers
November 22, 2013
I enjoyed reading this fantasy adventure story about a princess and a large cast of heroes, dragons, wizardesses, mythical beings, and mysterious villains. The world is nicely developed and the characters are fun.
I can easily imagine reading this to my family when they were young!
Profile Image for Madeline J. Rose.
Author 1 book31 followers
May 20, 2021
Initial Thoughts
This was such a deeply thought out world that I really want to see more of...wow.

High Lights
- All of the characters were so fun! There were so many of them, and at times it was difficult knowing who was really the 'main character,' but I loved them all so much *coughcough* Brant and Kiernan *coughcough* I didn't even care.
- The worldbuilding is probably my favorite aspect of this story. It's just SO. GOOD. I love how original and lifelike they all are and their interactions with each other were dynamic and spot-on.
- Lastly, this really, really felt like the perfect type of book to read aloud, which I heard was Jenelle's goal with this story. It has that almost nostalgic quality of lying in bed and having your parents read you a bedtime story, which was such a nice feeling.

Low Lights
- The prose was sometimes difficult to read, with some run-on sentences that didn't flow quite well on paper, but when you consider that it was written to be read aloud, it makes more sense and I was able to look past that.
- As I mentioned above, there are a lot of characters to keep track of. I felt like sometimes there were almost too many, and if the story had just focused on a couple, or spent more time developing them all more fully, it wouldn't have felt quite as overwhelming, at least to me. Don't get me wrong, I love large casts. I write large casts. I adore them. And I also realize this is a first in a series, giving all of these characters a chance to grow even more. :)

Closing Thoughts
This was a fun epic fantasy read! I loved all of the characters, especially Brant and Kiernan, the worldbuilding was fantastic, and I am genuinely curious to learn about these characters and this world!
Profile Image for Sara Lawson.
512 reviews46 followers
May 5, 2021
It is a well-established fact that I believe Prydain is one of the greatest and most underrated fantasy sagas for children of all ages. I have never read anything quite like it. Until this book. It has serious Prydain vibes, while being an entirely original story set in a completely different land. The storytelling is simply lovely. There is a princess who dreams of a life of adventure while secretly training as a squire. Her father, the king, wishes not to be tasked with leading a nation but to return to his life on a farm where his neighbors only view him as a peer. The queen has her own secret, hidden so that her daughter might lead a normal life. An orphan with an unknown past seeks to complete his training as a squire and become a knight. A young boy just wants to be loved and doesn't understand why others keep turning him away (there is a reason AND he does find people who accept him). A warrior with the bearing of a king has wished only for peace and a simple life. All of these and more are brought together when war is threatened. Also, there are dragons and they are absolutely wonderful. And so much more. The adventures were interesting and unique and the story resolves in ways you might see foreshadowed are still delightful. And there is room for so much more to come, which is wonderful since there are 3 more books in the series.

I received a free copy of this book from the narrator, who, as always, did a fabulous job differentiating between numerous voices. He also involved his family in the music which was delightful. I have reviewed it freely, and I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for A.M. Reynwood.
Author 9 books26 followers
August 25, 2018
I've heard nothing but good things about this book and have been waiting for an opportunity to get my hands on it for some while now. When I received the offer of a free copy in exchange for an honest review, I jumped at it, and after reading it over the last few weeks I can honestly say that I enjoyed it. This is a good story with great potential. I loved Brant, Yole, Oraeyn, and Kiernan, although I'll be honest and say I had Yole pinned from the first time I met him and knew Brant's secret (at least for the most part) by the end of chapter six. Chock it up to a fair bit of reading in fantasy, because the mystery surrounding them, Brant especially, is pretty well done. Brant's ability to dodge questions and be all gloomy and secretive is part of his charm.

The story as a whole has a grand scale, with the fate of two countries hanging in the balance, and during this time legends are proven true, heroes are born, and a new age beckons at the door. I am intrigued by the world Schmidt has created and am quite actually stoked to find out more about Kiernan Kane, of whom I've heard some things, and I am excited to see more of him. The ambiguity of his character, and the suspicion that he is, in fact, more than a mere minstrel, is wonderful and perhaps one of my favorite parts.

Still, I won't say it doesn't have its flaws. As a fairly recent and largely inexperienced writer myself, I feel like the pot calling the kettle black, but as a reader, too I understand the value of all the hard work that goes into a finished book. Technicalities aside, I got confused sometimes because we're jumping around in so many peoples' heads, and I feel there's more exposition than is entirely necessary. The first chapter felt a little info-dumpy as the stage was being set, and there was some backstory that seemed there purely for gaining sympathy, but I think the scenes would have been stronger without them. The ending was also too clean, considering everything that the peoples went through, and some of it escalated way too fast, I had a hard time wrapping my brain around it.

It's a rough diamond, but a diamond nonetheless.

Now, I couldn't begin to say how much editing the version I have went through before it was published, so all of this could be meaningless, and I hope my words won't dissuade you from having an interest in the story, because I think it is worth reading. There's heart woven within the pages, daring-do, and humor; grand magic and unique twists. I want to know what happens now, where the characters go next, because there's so much left that needs doing ─ what's Yole's decision? What will Kamarie do with her new-found heritage? How in the heavens is Oraeyn going to manage his new role? And please tell me there's going to be more about the dragon wards. Please.

And all this not to mention Kiernan Kane. I must know. So, I will continue to read, because rocky, uneven roads often lead to the best places.
228 reviews3 followers
December 20, 2020
This is the first book I have read/listened to by this author and I look forward to listening to another. I am very curious where this story/series is headed. It started out with what seemed to be a couple main characters and then we kept picking more up along the way. Including an entire world of dragons and other magical creatures. Each character is not quite what they initially seem. There are some coincidences that make events happen easily, but I was not rolling my eyes, it’s more like fate had a hand in events. I think this style also makes it easier for younger audiences. With so many characters, there are a few tangents that are followed, so it is switching from location to location, but it was not difficult to keep track of. By the end of the book, each tangent has come to a kind of conclusion and it seems we will be left off with the characters all in certain roles and then in the next chapter everything changes. We are still left with the main threat in this story over, but it is very open (without many hints) to the next book. In some ways, I think the end ties up the tangents a little too nicely and easily, but again, this is listed as a children’s book, so if I keep that in mind, I think the ending is appropriate. It also makes this book sort of a stand-alone. The next book feels to me like it will be an entirely new story. I will not stop at this book however, I definitely wish to read the remainder in this series.——-
With this being a kids book, I like how the female characters are all strong and capable,. I do wish however the author didn’t state that a woman’s place was not to be a knight in battle. The king does come up with a solution that will still honor and recognize the strength of women, but I do wish it wasn’t stated as such. ——-
This is the tenth book I have listened to by this narrator ( Benjamin Fife ) and I would definitely listen to another. He uses various accents to great effects. They are smooth and natural. He has a wide array of character voices, both male and female, and they are all well done. His creature voices are also appropriate. He has a woman sing a couple songs in book. She had a very lovely voice. ——-

There are no explicit sex scenes, excessive violence, or swearing. ——-

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review.
Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful.

Story 4/5
Narration 5/5
Profile Image for J.M. Jablowski.
Author 3 books6 followers
October 12, 2018
This book was published in 2012, however the Author had some left over ARC copies. Essentially, I was recently given a free copy of the book in an exchange for an honest review.

King's Warrior had a classic fantasy quest feel. It's got a lot of things going for it. There are princesses, and knights, and dragons, wizards, spunky minstrels, you name it. In a way it reminded me very much of the Chronicles of Prydain, which I'd say is a good thing.

Getting into this story I was a little hesitant. The main adversaries were called "Dark Warriors." As far as I know, they are only ever defeated with the help of supernatural beings. I was afraid it was going to be a overtly Christian themed fantasy story, basically a sermon with magic. But I'm happy to say it did not end out so black and white as the story went on.

This story has some pretty good characters. Hands down, Brant would be my favorite. I'm just a sucker for a good, mysterious, capable, mentor figure. Kamarie, the princess, behaved much like I expected her too, she was predictable, but not unlikable.  And I was glad to see Oraeyn grew as a character. I was rooting for him and wanted to see him do well, but I was glad to see him struggle a bit too. I think Darby took a bit to get interesting, but once I learned more about her she made more sense as a character. There were other characters, but if I go into it too much more I'll spoil something by accident.

My main contention with this story is that the writing style is not really to my tastes. It felt rather rambly in some places and emotionally detached in others. A little bit too much "tell" and not enough "show" if I had to put a label on it. I don't know, this particular writing style just made it difficult for me to get into the story. Others may not have the same problem.

The other issue I have is with the ending. To be as vague as possible so as to not spoil anything, I didn't like who was left in charge of various kingdoms in question at the end. I lost a little bit of respect for the previous rulers because of it. It seemed irresponsible and a little bit selfish.

Over all, I'm rather neutral about recommending this book or not. I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from reading it if they were interested before, but I can't say it was my favorite.
Profile Image for Charity Bradford.
Author 12 books87 followers
December 29, 2020
After several dud audiobooks, this was a very nice surprise. The book is well written, the world well thought out, and the characters on the quest likable and realistic. Even better, the narrator of the audiobook really added to the experience. He had the perfect blend of changing voices for different people just enough that it flowed naturally without feeling like he was trying too hard.

Now, having listened, I'm not going to know how to spell anyone's names, so bear with me. We have a princess who has secretly been training as a squire, a squire who just might be a descendant of an ancient king, a young dragon boy (who didn't know he was a dragon, an enchantress (and her sisters), and Brandt, a formidable warrior who simply wanted to live a quiet life with his wife and children. Together, they face heartbreak, treacherous journeys ad attacks by dark warriors, and in the process they begin to learn who they really are and what they are capable of.

The story is well told, and it was easy to get lost in. The only issue I had is the head hopping. The book isn't written in omniscient point of view, but whenever the author wishes to get a different perspective, she jumps to a new point of view without scene or chapter breaks. At first it was jarring because I was always having to shift around. It also made it so that I didn't connect deeply with any one character. There are lots of points of view, and we get a general camera shot from all of them. The book would be an excellent movie script and a wonderful movie. There were times that I wished to feel more connected to the characters as a reader though.

I give this a solid 4 rating for the book and a 4.5 for the narration.

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure
Profile Image for Michele.
93 reviews10 followers
December 1, 2020
King’s Warrior, by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt, contains character twists that will blow your dragon scales off! I love everything about this book. The kingdom is about to be attacked, and the king sends three unsuspecting heroes to get help: a princess, the princess's companion, and a squire. Along the way, they add two more to their band: a young boy and a broken-hearted father. As the quest grows, the band forms deep bonds of friendship and loyalty. Our heroes overcome many challenges to complete their quest.

The dragons add just the right touch of fantasy and drama to the story.

The most fascinating part of this book is the character transformations. By the end of the book, the heroes are not the same. While they all make internal transformations, some make physical transformations, and others discover that they were never who they thought they were in the beginning. I cannot say anymore without disclosing spoilers. If you like YA fantasy, this is an amazing book and worth your time.

Benjamin Fife narrates this book. He is amazing! He even wrote the period music in the production. The best part of the music is that he used it very sparingly, and it perfectly complements the book.

If I could change one thing about this book, it would be nothing. I cannot wait for the second book in the series to come out on audio. I wholeheartedly recommend this book!

Source: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Michele, AudiobookLife.com
Profile Image for Joseph Leskey.
339 reviews47 followers
October 16, 2019
Ah, this is a fabulous story. And this first reading of it marks the end of my 2018 Goodreads reading challenge, so three cheers for it. I eagerly anticipate more resplendence from this series (luckily, I am equipped with the means to obtain it, so I don't have to panic or anything).

The characters are very well constructed. They're easily likeable and there's laudable mystery about certain of their number. You get to see from several perspectives throughout the book, which is very fun and reveals good ol' pieces of insight and motivation. All entirely enjoyable, too.

The plot was a good solid one, and it was ideal for exploring the world. It had a few twists here and there and proceeded in a most compelling fashion.

The world is impressive, a place fit for many fine tales to be spun. Fantastical elements effortlessly unite with very human humans (they're also very human-like). Really very good, isn't it? Yup. (Those last two sentences are what is call a emulated conversation. Forming such things do a person a whole heap of good.)

The writing betrays a fair amount of skill. The author expertly incorporates multiple perspectives and keeps the story constantly fascinating.

And that's all I'm going to say because reasons. You know, that "because" + object construct that people use these days actually is very useful if you want to save yourself from pressing three keys.
Author 6 books18 followers
November 21, 2020
I emphatically rate this as five stars and would recommend it to any audience of YA reading level or above who is interested in fantasy.

I read this book by listening to an audio version of it. This means the characters and the plotline must be exceptionally strong or I find myself distracted. Likewise a strong narrator is needed to read clearly. The only surprise I had from it being an audio book was that suddenly music erupted, I was not expecting it and found it startling, but I grew to like it. I enjoyed listening to this book while working around the house.

The plotline is steady and the dialog and actions believable. There is a lot of foreshadowing, but this helps us to adjust to and believe in the fantasy. There is no unnecessary or stilted dialog, instead it helps us to really understand the characters.

My favorite aspect of the story is the magical characters. First, some of these creatures who removed themselves from mankind are distrustful and angry at the humans. But moreover, it is the dragon personalities that I enjoy. So often in fantasy novels the dragons are portrayed as evil to be slayed or wise beyond years. In this story, the length of years leads to wisdom, and their sense of honor is there as we might expect, but there is also hot-headed rebellion and disgruntlement. The dragons are not all-knowing, nor the other magical creatures, and even they make errors or can be tricked. This lends a level of credibility not often felt with YA fantasy.
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