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The Fall of a Star #1

The Worth of a King

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Princess Obsidia’s father was killed the night she was born. Since there was no male heir, the crown went to the man who killed him, by Dialcian law. This never bothered her, growing up, and when it comes time for Obsidia to choose her husband, she chooses Prince Delaney, the son of that man, with little hesitation. Only then does her life start crumbling around her.

Adrian expected to live a normal life, taking his father’s place at the print shop when his father retired. But, on his eighteenth birthday, when the princess’ engagement is announced, his world is ripped out from under him when he learns that his life was a ruse, and he is the twin brother to the princess – and expected to take back his father’s throne.

Delaney knows that his country is hovering on the brink of war – and that his father may harbor murderous intentions towards his intended bride due to her Zovordian blood. He wants nothing more than to protect Obsidia and his people, but as merely prince, he has little power against his father.

The ancient war between the Dragons and the Immortal King and Queen is nearing its climax, and the three are already caught in it.

350 pages, Paperback

First published August 27, 2018

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About the author

Kendra E. Ardnek is the self-proclaimed Arista of Fairy Tales. She lives in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her dragon babies and massive herd of mini-giraffes, and she is still waiting for one of of her fifty nutcrackers to come to life and marry her. When not writing, you can usually find her sitting in a random box, and she’s frequently known to act before she thinks.

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Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews
Profile Image for Aria.
Author 5 books77 followers
March 31, 2019
Although this is the third book I’ve read by Kendra, she never ceases to amaze me with her epic world building skills. And I do mean epic.

I’ve read many great fantasy books. Narnia, LOTR, Watership Down, and Redwall to name a few. The Worth of a King and Kendra’s two Rizkaland books take their place among my favorites. In fact, I put them right next to Narnia.

What makes her books so great is that they take great pieces of fantasy and combine it with enough reality to make it plenty relatable. The character building is just as strong as the world building. And like Narnia, there’s a strong central power who controls the world – but more than a power, a God. I love how Kendra doesn’t step away from her Christian worldview when she builds another world. God in her books is accurately portrayed, and I love the title she uses for Him in this one. El Shaddai. It’s perfect.

Kendra weaves a tale, a tale that includes battle and love, dragons and magic powers, faith and trust. It’s a story of intrigue. It contains so many elements but unlike some fantasies that are unbelievably complicated, the story is easy to follow. I’m still now sure how to describe it.
All I can say is that it’s incredible. If you like fantasy – even if you don’t – you should read it.

*FTC DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Stellae Books in exchange for an honest review. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.*
Profile Image for Gabrielle.
Author 5 books66 followers
Want to read
March 5, 2018
WOAH. That cover tho.

I gotta get this one for that drool-worthy cover if nothing else. XD
Profile Image for Deborah O'Carroll.
460 reviews94 followers
August 31, 2018
(Originally posted on my book blog, here.)

SQUEE! This was a really enjoyable book. :D

Things I loved

+ Delaney! Of course he had to be at the top of this list. I LOVE THIS BOY. He’s fantastic. I don’t want to give away any of the plot, but the way he does all the awesomeness, and is also sweet, and stands firm on the right things when everything is conspiring against him—basically, I’m a fan. :D

+ Winged Horses! Okay, I really want one of these. They were awesome.

+ The world, the “feel,” and just... I can’t quite explain it, but I really enjoyed being here in this setting. ^_^ The cultures were interesting (like the masked Zovordians!) and I just... I don’t know. It felt homey. :) And fresh. And honestly it gave me Goldstone-Wood-series vibes which is always a good thing!

+ The plot was unique and intriguing, and once I got used to the weird politics and laws, those made it even more fascinating. :D Some of it wasn’t as exciting as I thought it might be—it’s sometimes more of a character story, which was awesome—but there were also plenty of high stakes and it kept me guessing.

+ Cream cake. Because I neeeed one! (Or possibly several.)

+ I’m also pleased that I was able to enjoy this book without having read the Rizkaland books. I believe this is the first book in a sort of prequel series to that, so I was wondering... but it stood on its own quite well. (Just a few things about the world I didn’t quite get a feel for... maybe if I’d read those it would have helped? But nothing serious.) It WAS a little weird reading this because of my experience not having read the Rizkaland books and YET also knowing things about... well... STUFF, due to things I’ve heard said about the series. So... I kind of knew things... which kind of colored some of my perspectives... and makes me wonder how I’d feel about things if I didn’t know certain THINGS. But that’s just me. XD On the whole, if you’ve never picked up a book by this author before, this is a good one to start with. :)

+ Humor is also one of my favorite things, and there was some of that scattered throughout to make me smile. :)

+ Sweet romance(s) which I WILL SAY NO MORE ON but so adorbz! :D I really liked the main one, but I also loved that there were a few other ones scattered along the side of the story. Keeps one on one’s toes and adds to the adorbz factor.

+ Twins. Because twin stories are fun, and I enjoyed Adrian and Obsidia (who, yes, I did like quite a bit when she wasn’t being... odd). ADRIAN IS PRECIOUS. He needs a hug. He could get hard to deal with at times too, but I liked his quietness and surprising strengths. And the whole twin thing was great.

+ The rest of the characters were quite intriguing and I don’t have time to mention them all here, but they fleshed it out nicely, and I came to care about so many of them. :) And certain have me curious about thiiings. O_o

+ Granite—oh my word, I loved Granite!! He’s such a fun guy but also kinda mysterious because “Immortal King” and all that. I loved when he was around in any scene and I don’t even know how to describe it. Magnetism and humor, I guess. He was fabulous.

+ Oh, and Delaney. DELANEYYY. I did mention him, right? *cough*

Less favorite things

Okay, so I have a couple of things I didn’t love... Once I got about halfway through, I confess that I started screaming every time a character "admitted" something, and some of the wording was a smidge modern-feeling. (OH. But I did read an ARC of this book, so it’s possible some of these things were smoothed out; I wouldn’t know. :P) Obsidia occasionally annoyed/puzzled me, especially how she reacted (or rather, failed to react) to a certain big thing (also so much blushing; help), and Nadilynn wasn’t my favorite (but I’m never big on the exuberant, chatty best friend character, so that’s just me. :P). (Oh, and I’m not sure an 18 year old boy would be thinking of a certain girl as just his "best friend"?? It made him feel young sometimes.) And I honestly don’t know how I feel about some of the things at the end or about everything involving the queen.

BUT ANYWAY, those are simply personal opinions, and small complaints, and didn’t detract much from my overall enjoyment of this delightful novel. :)

On the whole, I had a blast reading it, and I definitely recommend it to fans of fantasy with a Christian tilt to it. If you haven’t yet, check it out and dive into a whole new unique world with winged horses, shady dragons behind the scenes, and touching stories of beloved characters as they navigate the complexities of political intrigue, different cultures, matters of the heart, and of family lost and re-found. It made me happy and was an enjoyable fantasy read! ^_^

(I received a free Advance Reader Copy ebook from the author. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.)
Profile Image for S.G. Willoughby.
Author 10 books99 followers
January 24, 2019
I have no idea what I think about this book. XD It was fun. I LOVED the world building. The world building was my favorite part . . . the creativity, cultures, and the way the author did the theology was fascinating.

However, the biggest thing that threw me off was the pacing. It took me a while to put a finger on it, it wasn't that obvious, but events seemed too sped up. I think the book could have been three times longer to fit everything. Obviously, that would have made for a very long book, but I think the characters and plot deserved it.

Which brings me to the characters. I liked all of them. They were all unique and easy to keep track of . . . and that's saying something when there is an entire kingdom of people that all have "Z" names. However, while I was able to keep track of the giant cast of characters, I think that having such a big cast drew away from the depth of them in this book. Most of them didn't have much of an arc or changed much over the book and for those that did it wasn't very . . . full for lack of better word. It was complete, but missing some internal grappling in the middle. The author told us there was grappling, but I wish would could have *seen* more of it.

Overall though, I did love the cast of characters. My favorites were Laura and Delany.

One thing the author did well was being very creative and interesting about her Christian themes. It never seemed too preachy.

Looking forward to book #2!! (And greatly relieved that the cliffhanger wasn't too awful.)
Profile Image for Sarah.
Author 6 books98 followers
August 29, 2018
THIS BOOK. THIS BOOK, Y'ALL. If you haven't read, or at least bought, The Worth of a King, you need to change that right this minute. Go ahead. You can pick it up on Kindle here. If you really want to the paperback . . . well, you'll have to wait a little for that, but still.

Ok. I should probably try to be serious, 'cause this book is seriously amazing. I didn't really think Kendra would top Lady Dragon, Tela Du anytime soon — eventually, sure, but not with the very next full-length novel she releases. And, ok, to be fair, I'm not sure if Worth absolutely tops LDTD . . . but it comes pretty storming close, let me tell you.

So. What makes this book so awesome? For starters, the characters are wonderful. We've got pre-scale Amber and Granite, who I was definitely most excited for — and they don't disappoint, trust me. It's so nice to see them both happy and working as a team, especially Granite. And, I mean, they're still in love after 2,000-ish years and it's adorable. I love them inordinately much. And Laura's there too, which is fun, though also a little sad — I think this is one of the books where you really see the toll that being the Doorkeeper takes on Laura, and it makes your heart hurt for her. Plus she occasionally drops references to things that happen in the Rizkaland Legends or the time between, which range from squeal-over Easter eggs to storm you, Kendra, why'd you have to remind me of that, that was not ok.

Oh. Speaking of things that aren't ok: that epilogue. I mean, I appreciate the symmetry and artistry and all that, but it makes me sad. You'll understand why when you read the book. Trust me.

Anyway! Back to the characters! Besides old friends, we have new ones, and the best of those is Delaney. Delaney is a wonderful human being. He's not without flaws, but he's still an astonishingly good person. The poor boy has as much stacked against him as Obsidia or Adrian, perhaps even more in some ways, but he still manages to persevere and remain strong and even encourage the others. And he has every opportunity to become a villain or a betrayer, but he doesn't. And he and Obsidia are wonderful together — they balance each other splendidly, and they're just so sweet and lovely.

That's not to say that the characters who aren't Delaney aren't excellent, though. Obsidia and Adrian are both interesting in their own way, and their character development is magnificent. Nadilynn, I didn't expect to like as much as she did. She has hidden depths, that girl. Again, excellent character development. Ossian was a compelling villain — not evil for evil's sake, and quite intelligent in how he goes about his villainy— and I approved of how Kendra ended his story. Actually, I really liked the ending in general. Not saying much because spoilers, but Kendra didn't take the obvious solutions.

The worldbuilding is also excellent. The world itself is another interesting concept: a place where the world is on the inside of a sphere instead of the outside. The different cultures in the world were interesting, though only two were really expanded much. And I quite liked all the different little details Kendra used to flesh out those two cultures. (Super random and small example that I really liked for some reason: she doesn't use the standard names for seasons, months, and so on.) I will admit that certain things seem kind of crazy, but then again, certain things about real-world political systems also sometimes seem kind of crazy.

Plot-wise, the story flows well. It's not a fast-paced or action-packed read by any means, but it doesn't need to be. Between character development and actual plot events, there was plenty of tension to keep me interested and turning the pages. And, as I said before, I think the ending is excellent.

The book does have a couple flaws. Action scenes aren't Kendra's strong point, and it shows. (That said, I can see improvement between this and her previous books.) Wording is occasionally a little odd as well, mostly when characters speak in a way that's more modern than I expect. Still, these are small issues, and I'm more than willing to overlook them.

So, yes. The Worth of a King is an excellent book, and you all need to read it immediately. Or, at least, very soon. Trust me, you won't regret it.
Profile Image for Katherine M.
300 reviews3 followers
February 8, 2020
Compelling, creative fantasy

Princess Obsidia has spent her life as a pawn of the man who killed her father the night of her birth. As the dragons and humans battle over their world's future, Obsidia's choices determine the course of the war.
Loved the characters and their conflicts, and the creativity of the world. I will definitely be reading more by this author!
Profile Image for Xena Elektra.
321 reviews
August 5, 2021
DNF 71 %

I hadn't gone far into this before I started wanting to quit. I really wanted to like it though, so I kept going.

There's some good points about this book. A lot of the ideas and arcs that are going on are interesting. I like that there's not just one culture but two. I feel like there's some rich history and worldbuilding tucked in here. It leaves a lot of room to really grow a world and a series. I though there was a nice amount of characters that are pretty well-developed. It's not a bunch of cardboard cutouts or only the two MC's that are fleshed out. The writing style itself was also quite nice and flowed well. It was easy to read and imagine what was happening.

Those are the good points. Here's what I didn't like so much.

- Editing. This really needed a good editor to go through it. There were sooo many errors. Things spellcheck isn't going to catch. A lot of places where a small word was missing or accidentally added(and, a, to, of). One sentence even had a phrase repeated before and after. It was something something part of something part of something. I didn't note the exact dialogue, but "part of" was added twice in the sentence somehow. Like to the affect of "Sidi handed part of the cake part of to Nadi." I didn't start noting errors to quote until I was about done.

Wrong words being used.(where a characters gazed would pass over something instead of gaze).

"...his father had clearly warned he dragons of his escape." (should be his not he)

There was even one line that looks like it didn't get completed.

"Unlike the first, few wore black, and Zara and Obsidia were the only ones masked, and while dark hair was." (then the next sentence started with dialogue. I'm going, dark hair was what?)

There's also some weirdly worded stuff that is similar to the incomplete line where it's like the author lost their train of thought part way through the sentence.

"Their venom can do to a woman, in small doses, just as too much of it can kill a man." I swear I reread that line at least 4 times trying to wrap my head around it. Finally I was just like, "Their venom can do what?" The sentence should stand on its own without the "in small doses part" which makes it read "their venom can do to a woman, just as too much . . ." DO WHAT?!

Now I figured out it was make her barren, but the sentence is clearly not complete.

My second thing was the romance. At the start Obsidia seems to only want to marry Delaney because he's the only person she knows and hey, they're friends. It seemed more a marriage of "at least we know each other and we're keeping all the friends together" than one of actual romance. But suddenly near the wedding and then after they get separated they're madly in love. I just feel like the romance could've been orchestrated better. Either have it be more obvious they were in love from the start or show how that friendship changed to love during the story. Since it didn't feel like romantic love at the beginning and I didn't see the growth of it in story, it felt like a lackluster romance and I couldn't really feel for either characters lovelost mourning.

My last thing is really my biggest issue and why I knew early on I'd have a problem. I really, really struggle with a theme that doesn't resonate with me. When it's a prevailing theme then it's not like it ever really goes away. You're constantly reminded of it. Tied in with that, I think too much about books. There's certain things I'll accept. You tell me there's winged people, I won't question the logistics of how they can fly. But if you tell me they all happily give their children in a swap at the country fair I'm going to have some questions.

So here it is. This entire plot is founded on a beginning that I felt was . . . . incredibly unbelievable.

Some king--for reasons unknown--made some stupid law saying, "You can kill the king provided he has no male children under the age of 18. If he does have little boys then you're a murderer. If he doesn't then you get the throne and are cleared of any charges."

...

Really?

That's like cat owners having a convention and deciding that it's okay to steal a cat if its got any orange in its fur. And then by right its lawfully yours and that's that.

No one's going to do that. It's dumb. I couldn't think of a solitary good reason why some king would make a law citing acceptable regicide with benefits!!! Not one. You're setting yourself up for death, and your children, and your grandchildren. It wasn't even like we were given some excuse for this. It's just, "Yeah, some king made this law for reasons we don't know and you'll never learn and we're all just cool with this." Probably because a reason couldn't be thought of so hey, if we don't give one then maybe readers won't look too close.

But let's say there was some mad, suicidal king that did this. Why wouldn't the very next king, or the king after that, or ANY king within the last who knows how many generations have changed it? If a king can make this law then a king can break it. Simple as that. And apparently people have gone around and killed the king to get the throne. So it's not like this wasn't a law that had proven to be acted upon.

Heck, even the first guy who took the throne this way could've gotten rid of the law and been like, yeah, I got this and now I want to keep my descendants and myself safe from being murdered and my line losing the throne.

So this was a VERY big issue for me because the story is launched off the idea that Obisidia and Adrian's father was killed by Nadi/Delaney's dad and now they're the royal family, blah blah. It's like the foundation is bad.

Tied in with that is how EVERYONE reacts to the death of King Edson who from all accounts was a good king, a nice man, a great husband, etc. Apparently the queen is the only one sad about this and I'll get to that later.

I didn't start noting things down until like page 49, so I missed a lot but I'll share some lines that make me think this whole business is cuckoo.

Let's start by me explaining that for some possessed reason Ossian(the killer) decides to keep the wife and child of the king who he murdered in his house. Now I don't know what's crazier, that the queen was like, yep, I'll live under the same roof as my husband's killer. I'd love to raise my daughter in your house. Or that Ossian keeps the family of the guy he killed. And lets his kids play happily with the victim's kid. That's weird. But no one thinks it's weird.

So while I can enjoy the concept of "You're not your dad" and Obsidia being besties with the children of her father's killer, I do feel like that's something a person would have to work through. And she didn't. She was just like, meh, yeah, okay. Also, no one really seems to have an issue with the fact that Ossian killed her dad(except the queen).

Several references are made early on from Nadi that go to the tune of "I don't know why the queen just can't get over you marrying Delaney. She's got some serious issues with my dad." and "I don't know why she won't get over it."

Wow. Really? Here's some exact quotes that help portray the utter unfeeling aspect everyone has towards the king's death--again, the queen loved him and he was a good king/person--as well as the lack of a struggle that Obsidia ever had to go through regarding her father being killed and being raised in the murderer's family.

"You're the daughter of the previous king, and thus no good for a political alliance. Not like I am. . . You are the people's favorite though - some just can't accept that Father won the throne fair and square." (From Nadilynn. I strongly disliked this character as she was the cliche loud, in your face, abrasive best friend. But also because she was so flippant about her "best friend's" father's death at the hands of her father.)

"Your father is an ambitious man, not cruel, so far as I can tell." A voice in Obsidia's head - the one that sounded naggingly like her mother's - pointed out that he had killed her own father, but she dismissed it. Obsidia had never heard of King Ossian doing anything outright terrible outside of that night." (Wait . . . not cruel? We hear all sorts of nasty things about the queen because she's so "sad and bitter" and never got over her husband's death or fell in love with his killer and his family like her daughter did. But Ossian gets a free pass? Because of course if you only kill one innocent person in cold blood but do nothing else "outright terrible" after that then I guess it's okay.")

"His father killed yours. (said by Adrian) Obsidia closed her eyes. "Unlike Katina, I never knew my father - Ossian filled that role for me." (This is about it too. Early on they're shown together and I was like, wait, the guy she's holding onto and chatting with as they go to this ceremony is the killer? What'd I miss?)

"We try hard to not think about that night," Obsidia inserted soothingly. "My mother tries equally hard to make sure that no one forgets." (Yeah, let's just wipe the murder under the rug and then again make slurs at the queen because she actually cares and wants everyone to stop being so complacent about a CRIME.)

"It is true that his father slew hers, on the night of her birth, but they have not let this deter their love," the Justice continued. "Indeed, they are thankful for it, as they would have never even met were her father alive today." (This is said at the wedding of Delaney and Obsidia. Their wedding. WHO THE HECK WANTS TO HEAR THIS LINE AT THEIR WEDDING?! Not to mention it's like, "They're thankful that his dad killed her dad for power because if her dad was still alive they wouldn't have met." Awww, how sweet. . . . I'm like. Am I the only one who sees how messed up this is?)

In tie with that, I thought that the queen was not treated right. Everyone commented on her in a negative sense. Her daughter, her daughter's friend, her daughter's fiancee, and her son. They all only said negative things about her. A woman who lost a husband she love and then who had to send her newborn child away to keep him safe. Wow. I can't even imagine. Anyone who's happily married with a kid can imagine how much that'd wreck you. And now you're living with the killer and his family and no one cares. There's no justice. Your daughter is all chummy with the family and thinks something's wrong with YOU.

Who would not be messed up from that? And she was alone. No one reached out to her. No one was there for her. Everyone was so busy with themselves, their lives, or their grand plans that they let a person in pain wither away in the corner. And then they can't even be bothered to lend her any grace, or understanding, or sympathy.



I just felt really disgusted that the only person who was like "law or not this is murder and it's wrong" was seen as unlikable because how dare she be sad and upset. How dare she not want to bond with the killer's family and just get over it. How dare she be hurting. After all, Ossian won it fair and square so she should've shaken his hand over the dead body of her husband and been like, "welp, congrats. You deserve this. How about you bring your kids over tomorrow and we can have a play date?"

In summary, there was a lot of potential in this but sadly I felt like there was too many areas that were getting under my skin.
Profile Image for Keturah Lamb.
Author 3 books40 followers
August 29, 2018
I want to give it 4.5 stars but don't know how to do that ;/

This book surprised me, and pleasantly so.

I'd heard at one time Jack was co-writing this book. I'm sad she wasn't able to finish doing so (she and Kendra would have made an AMAZING team). But even so, Kendra did awesome!

The romance was great — not too much, yet sweet and cute and unique. Loved the many unique cultures Kendra built. Loved her characters, loved the setting, loved the traditions. And Kendra wove in theme so artfully! And SO LOVED THE ZOVORDIANS.

I really loved the Choosing, when a princess flaunts around her many "suitors" and chooses one to become her husband. One of my favorite scenes in the book was when Nadilynn, a young friend of Obsidia's, chooses her own husband. Nadilynn was such a fun character. She reminded me so much of one of my dear friends, named Amber. Naive, hyper, and altogether sweet, she was a favorite.

Readers of Water Princess, Fire Prince will be pleased at some characters that show in this book (I won't give away spoilers).

I loved the relationship between Adrian and Jerolin, brothers and friends. And at times I was so reminded of some of Jack's WWII stories.

Kendra did fantastic with writing a non-groan Christian fantasy.

At times the characters' conversations felt stilted and the plot seemed to stray. But for the most part I really enjoyed it, and read it all in one sitting (about seven hours long), taking a break only to find some supper. The story started just a little slow, and I was really confuse as to why the princess was okay with the man that killed her father (I hadn't read the back cover synopsis). But once I got into the story that soon became clear.

There were so many scenes I loved, and just few that felt out of place. Over all I really enjoyed reading this book and think anyone that loves Christian Fantasy should definitely find a copy of The Worth of A King.

Content: There was some magic for those who have a problem with that. Romance was appropriate for all ages. Some war, and some graphic violence/ death. But again, again good. I'd give content a whole five stars :D

*Read an advanced e-copy in exchange for a review*
December 1, 2020
What? YES!!

I swear I just read this book in one sitting. It’s two in the morning. I meant to go to bed at ten. I’m dying. This book had everything I wanted plus a little more I didn’t know I wanted. The epilogue was a major cliffhanger and now I need book two absolutely immediately.
Profile Image for Chloe.
37 reviews19 followers
September 3, 2018
I'm a little late with this (thankyouthankyouthankyou Kendra for being so patient with me!), but it is still within the first week of Worth's release, and I have a review for y'all!


Blurb:

Princess Obsidia’s father was killed the night she was born. Since there was no male heir, the crown went to the man who killed him, by Dialcian law. This never bothered her, growing up, and when it comes time for Obsidia to choose her husband, she chooses Prince Delaney, the son of that man, with little hesitation. Only then does her life start crumbling around her.

Adrian expected to live a normal life, taking his father’s place at the print shop when his father retired. But, on his eighteenth birthday, when the princess’ engagement is announced, his world is ripped out from under him when he learns that his life was a ruse, and he is the twin brother to the princess – and expected to take back his father’s throne.

Delaney knows that his country is hovering on the brink of war – and that his father may harbor murderous intentions towards his intended bride due to her Zovordian blood. He wants nothing more than to protect Obsidia and his people, but as merely prince, he has little power against his father.

The ancient war between the Dragons and the Immortal King and Queen is nearing its climax, and the three are already caught in it.


My Thoughts:

Here's what you absolutely need to know: the book is amazing, clean, and perfect: go buy it!


*FROM HERE ON THERE MAY BE SLIGHT SPOILERS, READ AT YOUR OWN PERIL*


I have to say, this is my favorite of Kendra's books thus far!

I love that she showed us a side of Amber that we hadn't seen before- how great her influence was before she was corrupted by the dragons.

And the Zovordians! They are awesome! A+ approve!

I really loved how Adrian and Obsidia interacted with each other; the fact that they both felt an emptiness but didn't try to fill it with a significant other because they didn't know exactly why they felt empty, resulting in a healthy brother-sister relationship once they realized the other was what they had always been looking for.

And of course, Delany and Obsidia are perfect for each other; as are Adrian and Christa, who I might add is an excellent cake-baker and I wholeheartedly approve of the amount of cake mentioned throughout the story.

The character growth too! Obsidia realizing that she needed to have faith in El Shaddai not because it would make other people happy, but that because He is the Truth. The unrest of who would be the one to be crowned ruler, and everyone coming to a respectful, mature, and logical decision for the good of the people. Nobody killing Ossian out of revenge.


*END SPOILERS*

I just really love it, ok!


Favorite Quote:

"That's how you know the worth of a king... of any man, really. The legacy that he leaves. The good he did or the lessons you can learn."


Content:

It is fantasy, so there is some use of magic, though not more than would be in either Narnia or Lord of the Rings, and it is from a Christian perspective.

No language- again, Christian Fantasy.

Brief fairytale-ending true-love's kiss between a married couple.

Would recommend anywhere from ages 12 on.


Author Bio:

Kendra E. Ardnek loves fairytales and twisting them in new and exciting ways. She's been or acting them on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years. "Finish your story, Kendra," is frequently heard at family gatherings. Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children's tales that glorify God and His Word.
Find her online at: Website || Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || Amazon

In conclusion: I really, really, really like The Worth of a King, and give it a 4.5!

***I was given a free e-copy in exchange for an honest review, but trust me on this, totally worth spending the same amount you'd spend on a cup of coffee to have it show up on your e-reader device!***
67 reviews1 follower
May 23, 2020
I enjoyed the story. It wrapped up the main plot nicely while leaving some deeper plot points open for prequels/sequels. It can be read as a stand alone without being disappointing. There are some religious overtones, but they are not preachy, more inline with the maturing of the FMC.
Profile Image for Erika Mathews.
Author 17 books130 followers
August 27, 2018
Packed with vivid characters, plot twists, dragons, and intrigue, The Worth of a King fascinates the reader with a unified blend of theme depth and imaginative fantasy in a memorable journey for both characters and readers.

I had the privilege of beta reading/editing this book, and it is indeed a "worth"-while title for your bookshelf. Characters, drama, intrigue, plot depth - this book has it all.

First, can we take a moment to once again admire THAT COVER? Alea Harper did an amazing job and captured the themes of the book in a work of gorgeous, amazing art.

The story of Worth starts with a common premise: there's a throne, and there are people who need to ascend to the throne. More than one, so who will get it? What's more (surprise, surprise), the unassuming peasant isn't who he thinks he is. Yet it very quickly branches out from that ordinary starting place with unique twists and amazing character development.

The Worth of a King is told from all three points of view: Adrian's, Obsidia's, and Delaney's. This provides a unique feel to the story and a relaxing, immersive pacing that allows us to identify with each character and fully understand the story. Personally, I loved being able to track events through each person's viewpoint and put the pieces together one by one.

What I Loved:

Character development. Worth is a book of character development, and I absolutely loved the realistic way that each character learned, developed, and changed throughout the course of the story. The relationships that progressed were well done, and every major character had a beautiful arc in this story.

The three points of view, as I already mentioned. This rounded out the story excellently.

Laura, Amber, and Granite. If you've read any of the Rizkaland Legends, you'll recognize these three. Initially, I was interested in reading Worth simply for the Amber backstory, and it did not disappoint. It was wonderful to see Amber and Granite pre-scale - such a new dimension to them and new insight into who they are! - and of course Laura always takes center stage whenever she appears. Yet I must be quick to add that this book is so much more than these three. It's well worth reading even without them.

Jerolin. He adds so much to the story and he's a hilarious, loyal, lovable character who spills books, spouts sarcasm, and unceasingly comforts and supports those he loves.

El Shaddai and how the characters grew in relationship with Him. Relationship with Him wasn't a given for all the major characters from the beginning, and the different stages of characters' walks with Him came across as realistic and also interesting to the story line. I especially loved His part in the climax.

That said, I loved the climax and conclusion. The way it was written and portrayed with all three points of view; the way it built and built and everything came down to one perfect God-moment; everything. Go read the book and see for yourself.

The theme of the book: the worth of a king. While I'm still pondering all the nuances of the meaning of this phrase, I will say it's the perfect title for the book. Indeed, this theme is thought-provoking, and, though it may raise more questions than it answers, I count that a positive benefit. After all, the best books don't even pretend to answer every question and give every moral; rather, the best books spur personal thought and meditation. And The Worth of a King is one of these books.
Profile Image for Camille Esther.
Author 3 books15 followers
October 16, 2018
I really enjoyed this story! It was a complicated setup, but the author does a great job not bogging down the reader with everything at once. The world felt real, even though the laws of physics were different; and the different customs in the different kingdoms really made the land seem large.

I also liked that the author kept everything squeaky clean, while at the same time expertly and delicately referring to adult topics when the occasion required.

The only thing that annoyed me about this book was that everyone seemed to say exactly what they meant, which made some of the conversations sound scripted, or even forced.

Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book--and the twist at the end was awesome!
Profile Image for Brie Donning.
96 reviews
September 1, 2018
I first read this book while it was still in rough form, then again later in development, and finally the finished version and I'm friends with Kendra, so I can't deny that I'm writing from a biased perspective. Still, I think it's one of Kendra's best books. Not quite my favourite as few things can surpass the delightful twistiness of Lady Dragon, Tela Du. I thoroughly enjoyed it however, and There is no way I can choose a favourite character.

There's Princess Nadilynn, a chatterbox who can cheer up any situation, there's our main trio of Obsidia, Adrian and Delaney. (If you're like me and only knew Delaney as a girl's name, and you haven't read the book description yet, here's a tip: Delaney is a guy.) There's Adrian's family and friends, and the Zovordian royalty. There's also the Immortal Queen and king who are a mixture of wise, brilliant and fun. Well the Immortal King at least is fun; Amber is just brilliant and not someone you want to mess with. And there is Laura the Doorkeeper who is one of my favourite character ever. Cute, and brilliant and tragic. Some of her lines are hilarious. "Hey, Mr. Dialcian Soldier Person." Laura is one of the few character who can pull a line like that off without sounding like a snarky, angsty YA action heroine.

Actually on further reflection Favourite character is a tie between Nadilynn and Laura. I like the main three, and they're written well, but they're not the most fun or expressive characters. They take things seriously, which is probably how they should be taken seriously, but doesn't connect to me on a deep emotional level. Or maybe I simply find non-royalty easier to relate to.

Worth starting off reminds me of the typical heroes story. You've got a young man in some insignificant village who find's he's a prince and needs to reclaim his throne. And then it goes the way of intrigue and politics more than action. If you're looking for lots of actions, this isn't the book for you. There is some action, including battling dragons, but it's not heavy on it. This is a character story, the story of a few people caught up in the battles between those much more powerful than them.

It is thematically lovely, though far from subtly in its discussions of faith. It's not just about faith though, so it didn't feel heavy-handed. And it made me cry at place with some of the characters. I don't cry easily while reading, and still half-blame the tears on tiredness, but It did affect me.

If you're familiar with Kendra's writing, you'll know she has a fondness for quirky things in her world. The Worth of a King is a little different. It's still got Kendra's mark on it, but it's a little more serious. There's a complexity to the world-building that doesn't quite come through in her other stories. Complex politics, and accession laws, alliances between kingdoms, major borders, and a strong sense that these kingdoms are all unique and full of people.

The Worth of a King is sort of a prequel to Kendra's Rizkaland Legends, and there were some connections that I enjoyed, but it stands very well alone. So don't let the fact you haven't read any of the Rizkaland books stand in you way of reading this book. It's a good first book. It's also likely to be the first book of Kendra's I own a physical copy of. It's gorgeous and I want it on my shelf.
Profile Image for Kay A.
17 reviews
January 16, 2023
5 Stars for concept, characters, plot devices, and synopsis.
The synopsis is what drew me into this book and made me excited to read it, and it does fulfill what it promises, though I didn’t care for the style (more below). But the concept was awesome, I love the whole twins being separated at birth thing and having some sort of like, knowledge that something/someone is empty every year on their birthday, and that Adrian has grown up a peasant and suddenly has to be king.
Most of the characters are great! I love Adrian and how he’s just thrust into this important role, and I really like how Delaney isn’t the normal “rival” prince and actually wants to give the throne back to Adrian. Obsidia is neat too, and Nadilynn is hilarious. I also like that plot device with there being an Immortal King and Queen and how they were characterized, their magic, and the whole Lipska twins thing which was cool!
I also really like Obsidia and Delaney’s romance, which is nice because many romances I have a hard time getting behind. And I think Jerolin and Nadilynn are gonna be perfect together 😂
The flying horses and different aspects of different cultures made the world seem rich and real, which is another good thing the author did!

3.5 Stars for the execution of the concept. The writing style was a little juvenile for me, with a lot of telling where I feel showing and going deeper into the emotions of the characters would have made the scenes more meaningful. As a writer myself, I’m especially sensitive to these types of things and I tend to gravitate towards a more older YA style myself, whereas I’d rate this as a Middle Grade to young YA writing style. Which is fine, just not my cup of tea (and I don’t even drink tea XP)

Also I really disliked Christa, probably the only character I really found myself not liking. I’m not sure why, since even the villain I didn’t hate as much, and she wasn’t bad or anything, she’s actually a love interest of one of my favorite characters in the book, and… that could be why. I am really picky about romance, especially with my favorite characters, and this one just didn’t work for me.
First off, I don’t like girls/boys being “best friends”. Because it almost always ends up in romance and like, can’t they just be friends? Also I like girls being “best” friends with girls and boys being best friends with boys better than that, it’s just awkward especially if a character gets married to a different person and like yeah, they’re married to this guy but best friends with this other one. I don’t know, I just don’t like that, it doesn’t seem realistic to me that the husband/wife wouldn’t have issues with their SO having a bff of the opposite sex at least to some extent.
Secondly, she rubbed me as kinda a jerk. I mean Adrian just finds out he’s a prince and his whole world is wrecked and yeah, I get she’s surprised but a real friend in my opinion wouldn’t start ignoring Adrian and acting like he purposefully did it because “oh now my life plans are wrecked and I won’t be able to marry him because he’s a prince” like, what about trying to COMFORT him since his life is now turned upside down AND someone’s trying to kill him? Put him above your own feelings, don’t be so selfish.
But yeah, that’s probably why I don’t like her… but I am glad it didn’t seem to work out at least at the book’s end XD
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Katelyn.
32 reviews
June 29, 2019
the. blushing. is. too. much.

the. happiness. is. too. much.

the. complex. is. too. much.

the. romance. is. wrong.

the. death. is. wrong.

the. conflict. is. wrong.

i. want. anger. (that. makes. SENSE.)

i. want. tears.

i. want. imperfections.

i. want. explanations.

i. need. connections.
Profile Image for Rachel Rizzuto.
7 reviews1 follower
September 2, 2018
This book was not what I usually read, but it was really good! I liked the three main characters. I didn't really like the setting of the book. All the siblings made me laugh, with their long talks and arguments. The book was fantastic!
Profile Image for Morgan.
Author 11 books83 followers
September 6, 2018
Yes, I still like Rizkaland better, but I did enjoy this book. I loved the characters, particularly Del and Sidi, it was nice to see pre-Dragon Amber, and overall, it was a pretty enjoyable read.

The worldbuilding in this thing is...just wow. So much detail was put into the different cultures. Such strange laws and traditions. The Zovordians were particularly interesting, though I personally would not be interested in being one of them. Secret identities are a way of life among them, and their skill in a fight is to be envied (though not as much as Ranger skills...I so want to be a Ranger). They're practically impossible to keep straight, though, with all their names starting with "Z." And the Dialcian laws. What idiot created the law that a usurper can't be tried as a murderer if there is no underage male heir, and thus the usurper has a legal right to the throne? The new rulers need to change that law, because it's nothing but an open invitation to bad guys to kill the king. Corrupt governments! Still, their culture and customs were very detailed and well developed, and I wish I could worldbuild like that.

I enjoyed the political aspect of the story, and could have done with more of it. What can you say when you've been involved in politics since age 8? But mostly I liked Del and Sidi and seeing how their story played out. They both had emotional journeys to go on, a lot of growing up to do, a lot to learn about themselves and the world they lived in. And they were pretty awesome anyway. Especially Del. He was the best. And I do rather like characters with evil fathers (see Luke Skywalker).

There were a few things I didn't like as much, such as how every time they were in danger they seemed to escape to a legitimately safe place, and something about certain characters that is biologically/genetically quite far fetched, but in the grand scheme of things, I can forgive it. Because over all, I did really enjoy the story.

The Worth of a King was an interesting and enjoyable read with great characters, and I think you'll enjoy it very much.
393 reviews11 followers
July 27, 2020
Enjoyed Adrian, Obsidia and Delaney's story

I enjoyed the story of twins Adrian and Obsidia discovering they were twins and then having to figure out what to do to save the kingdom. I also really liked Delaney. He was my favorite character in the book and I was rooting for him to somehow end up with Obsidia. However I had a hard time following the doorkeeper/time travel/other dimension stuff and there were some parts that were very confused from a religious perspective, primarily with regards to Queen Amber and King Granite so I gave four stars rather than five.

Sex - a few chaste kisses
Language - no swearing or profanity
Violence - assassination and battles are part of the story but no wounds or deaths are graphic in nature
Religion - belief in El Shaddia by some of the people
Profile Image for Maricel.
183 reviews9 followers
September 7, 2018
I thought I was reading a narration the whole time because all characters seemed to be apathetic. Oh, they talk about their feelings all the time but it felt distant-as if marrying somebody is just a fact of life and that marrying your friend is better than marrying someone else. They throw away 'i love you's' just as emotionless as saying good morning. It's hard to invest to characters like that. All of them seemed one dimensional and have no sense of adventure or daring. They just go with the flow and do things because it just need to be done.
The plot and the setting is strange too. And the villain of the story seemed gullible.
13 reviews1 follower
January 4, 2019
Good story, needs a bit of editing.

I enjoyed the story, but it needed some editing, both for grammar/typos and clarity. I was so confused by the laws at the beginning of the book. It would have been nice for those to be laid out a bit more clearly. That did get a bit better as the story continued though, but it was frustrating.
October 12, 2022
The Worth of a King

This was a very good read. I could not put it down until I finished it...then it left me wanting more. Highly recommend it!
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