The King's Man
Things that were fantastic:
1. The writing
2. The dialogue
3. The characters
4. The plot
My favorite escape in the romance genre is historical, but I've been struggling for a while to find books where I can suspend disbelief enough to enjoy the story; it seems like everything I pick up recently includes 21st century heroines and heroes dropped in historical fiction settings. So... boo. Nicht gut.
But this book. THIS BOOK PEOPLE! SO GREAT!!!
I immedi ...more
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I'm so bad with buddy reads - if I'm not into a book, I take weeks to finish. If I'm obsessed, I'll zoom through it in less than a day. My friend, Sarah, buddy-read THE KING'S MAN with me, but unfortunately the book she picked out was so good, I was done with it in just a few hours. I'm sorry, Sarah. I tried to stop, but the siren call of Ranulf was just too strong. Like Odysseus, I would have had to tie myself to a mast to stop - and I don ...more
4.4 Stars - Great, simply great
The King's Man is written by a (new) US author Elizabeth Kingston. Now also as a 9 hours very praised audiobook narrated buy Nicholas Boulton (also well known as Laura Kinsale's favorite audiobook voice).
Oh yes, it was so very good to be in Ranulf Ombrier and Gwenllian of Ruardean's medieval old world. Intense, quite heavy, a oldish feeling, dramatic and not lighthearted at all, but wow so very grandly romantic. Not just "another" am ...more
Ou heroine is Gwenllian, a lady born, but who grow up as a knight! She reminded me very, very much of Brienne from GOT! During the whole time I imagined her like Brianne!
She saves the life of our hero, Ranulf even if he killed the man she was web by proxy defrauding her of her manor and her heritage. But she’s not interested in revenge. She doesn ...more
A couple of months ago, Laura Kinsale announced on her website that although Nicholas Boulton had finished recording all her books (boo!) he was going to be recording some more historical romances (yay!) - “recent titles that I've loved and appreciated for their quality and emotional i ...more
4.5 starsI really liked the story even though I was reluctant to start reading it. This is my second book by the author, so I knew the writing would be good but reading it also meant leaving my ‘comfort’ Regency/Victorian era for rarely visited medieval times. And what a treat this was!
The years between 1277 and 1283 are also known in history as time of Edwardian Conquest of Wales which marked the end of Welsh independence. By the 13th century Wales was divided between native Welsh principaliti...more
You're telling me. And it KILLED me (in the best way). This book was so so good, wonderfully performed by Nicholas Boulton. It was about identity and love in a way that is somewhat indescribable (at least to me, a lazy reviewer). It had cruelty and betrayal and forgiveness. It had the wonderful something of the hero and heroine needing each other to be just who they are. There were swoony lovely passages. And it was really very sexy. Very. ahem. I'm gonna go re ...more
I pondered the title a bit, as the book feels more like Gwenllian's than Ranulf's book. Of the two characters I felt so drawn to her and found her story arc so important even to women's lives today. Gwenllian is a plain young aristocratic woman who struggles to find a place in her world that honors who she is at heart. As background to the start of the story, ...more
Story – 4.5 stars round down because of the lack of epilogue
Thank you, Annob, for mentioning this book in one of your reviews and putting it on my radar. I loved it.
It took me awhile to warm up to the hero, Ranulf. He makes a few hurtful and unflattering remarks about the heroine, Gwenllian because of her looks. Not only is she more Knight than Lady, her appearance is more masculine than feminine. She’s tall, broad shouldered and muscular. Eventually, he realizes Gwenllian is exa ...more
This book. This book.
Nothing about Gwenllian of Ruardean was familiar, commonplace, or reasonable. There was no rhyme to her, and the discord struck his ear and his life, a calamity of noise when he wanted only peace.
My brain has kinda just flatlined. I don't know how to put my thoughts together but can I just say that I am so mad this has been sitting on my kindle, unread, for almost a year! The only upside is now the sequ ...more
Gwenllian of Ruardean is no great beauty, ...more
This is not a fluffy romance novel. This is not a book about hero that is rough and feared but then magically changes because love. This is not a book about a boyish girl who rebels against wearing dresses.
This is a book about romance between two people that could kill in a blink of eye. (Although only one of them actually does). Ranulf is the king's killer. Gwenllian was raised to be the warrior leader of her people. Gw ...more
Apparently the answer is: get Elizabeth Kingston to write it.
This felt properly medieval. It really is all mud and blood and castles and sword fights. There is an earthy quality to the writing which is absolutely on point for the time period. Even the way the characters think feels entirely appropriate ...more
Once I let go of my Regency/Victor ...more
Though ultimately this book wasn't quite the same catnip for me that Duke of Shadows was, I had very similar thoughts while reading this debut novel: thoughts like hey, get it girl! and I'm glad I've got a good champagne on hand to pair with this book, along with other corny things I'm known to say aloud and in my head from time to time. And if y ...more
My reticence had to do solely with the time period of the story. I had never read a medieval romance (at least, not that I can remember right now) and I was afraid the setting wouldn't interested me. Gee, I couldn't have been more wrong. I felt immediate curiosity ab ...more
It must be me. With such high reviews, I really wanted to like this book but it was just meh. And, slow. So slow. Slow on the romance, slow on the action, slow on the pacing. Plus, I had a really hard time feeling the chemistry between the H and h. The author describes the hero as uber handsome but the heroine as a plain Jane. Not just plain but ugly, as in crooked teeth, dull hair. Call me shallow but I want my heroine to at least be somewhat attractive to actually attract the hero, mu ...more
Also, I didn't really get into it until around the 30% mark because the writing style was weird to me. I understand that since the novel is set in the 13th century, Kingston was trying to make the language more historical sounding, but it was weird. My english major brain was constantly like "this is not how Old English was structured! Old Englis ...more
The setting is 13th-century England a ...more
This is one of those medieval stories that involves two very complex characters and is filled with emotional and intense moments from start to finish.
I loved the heroine and her per ...more
Flawed in different ways, two restless, battle-weary, very human characters are thrown into political intrigues in a timeline I very much enjoy.
But its the coming together of Ranulf's lost soul and Gwenllian's conflicted heart that makes this such a satisfying, poignant journey to read. The nuances in character development and plot twists are grade A. The words these two share together are so raw, some so unforgiving, some so tender...
“In heaven or on earth, I swea ...more
1) Gwenllian is probably one of the most uniquely memorable medieval heroines I've read in that she's super hard, tough, and physically unattractive. Crooked teeth, limp hair, tough muscles, formidable fighter, keen critical thinking -- won't need my damsel in distress hashtags for this one.
2) Thank you for not being a trashy historical romance novel.
Then again, this also wasn't action-oriented enough to keep my interest. Never ...more
Elizabeth Kingston lives in Chicago, where she can be found gleefully subverting tropes and inventing new ways to make fictional people kiss. When there's time for it (hint: there's always time for it) she shouts loudly about the intersection of historical romance and white supremacist narratives. Lipstick, skinc ...more