Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “For the Killing of Kings (The Ring-Sworn Trilogy #1)” as Want to Read:
For the Killing of Kings (The Ring-Sworn Trilogy #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

For the Killing of Kings

(The Ring-Sworn Trilogy #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  350 ratings  ·  92 reviews
A cross between Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber and The Three Musketeers, For the Killing of Kings is the first in a new fantasy trilogy by Howard Andrew Jones.

Their peace was a fragile thing, but it had endured for seven years, mostly because the people of Darassus and the king of the Naor hordes believed his doom was foretold upon the edge of the great sword hung in the ha
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 19th 2019 by St. Martin's Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about For the Killing of Kings, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Howard Jones The publisher asked for an elevator pitch, and that's a way to approximate some of the feel of the novel, and the series. To be clear, it's not a mash…moreThe publisher asked for an elevator pitch, and that's a way to approximate some of the feel of the novel, and the series. To be clear, it's not a mash-up starring Corwin of Amber teaming up with Porthos and Athos.

That said, there's a dedicated corps of warriors, who are pretty swashbuckling, like The Three Musketeers, and who are almost superhumanly competent, sort of like Amberites. They have a code of honor, rather like the musketeers, and the world and setting is more complex than it first seems, and likewise there are factions among these powerful players (not to mention deeper and deeper layers of intrigue and secrets) just as found in Zelazny's first Amber series.

Corwin and Benedict are two of my favorite characters, ever. When I started toying with this idea more than 25 years ago, I was dying to spend more time with them, and two of the characters began as close analogs of them. As my own writing skills improved they've since grown into their own people, but I think anyone who reads this book and its sequels will be able to tell the ancestry of at least two of the protagonists.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  350 ratings  ·  92 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of For the Killing of Kings (The Ring-Sworn Trilogy #1)
Mark Lawrence
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
8 hours in a taxi. That's how I read this book. My disabled child needs me to escort her to and from summer playgroup at her school, and for the 4 sessions she got that meant 16 trips for me at 30 minutes each. Fortunately I had the kind of driver who just wants to drive.

While reading this I had forgotten the tag line "Nine Princes in Amber meets The Three Musketeers" but I made the Amber connection anyway. The similarity is two-fold. On the one hand you have a scattered and modestly sized colle
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Where do I begin with For the Killing of Kings? Do I start with my impressions of the central murder mystery, which unfolds to fascinating and devastating effect? Do I go on about the two central characters, a grizzled drunk and a bright-eyed but promising recruit, who play foil to one another beautifully? Perhaps I could mention the way it tips its hat to Arthurian legend without becoming beholden to it, and how it put a smile on my face. I might even touch on how deftly the world was revealed, ...more
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sword and Sorcery fantasy writ large. If you like your action furious and your fantasy high this is a book you should seek out. Howard Andrew Jones is an author that continues to impress and I can't wait to see where this world goes next.
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an exciting and fun book that has upset a few Christian extremists simply because it dares to mention in passing that one of the male characters has a husband. Oh, the horror!

Here's the thing about Christian rightwing homophobia, folks: the Bible often doesn't actually say what Christian conservatives think it does. Pardon me while I rant a bit.

FIRST: You know that stuff in Leviticus about abominations? Yeah, well, conservatives forget that the Old Testament laws were overthrown by the
Elizabeth Dragina
Nov 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf

My review was removed from the Goodreads site because my OWN PERSONAL OPINION was offensive to people. They called me a bigot for stating my opinion, while being intolerant of my own views.

I had originally stated that I couldn't finish this book because of the content. People attacked me because of it.

Thanks a lot Goodreads. Your an amazingly tolerant site. *sarcasm*
S.E. Lindberg
When comes my numbered day, I will meet it smiling. For I’ll have kept this oath.
I shall use my arms to shield the weak.
I shall use my lips to speak the truth, and my eyes to seek it.
I shall use my hands to mete justice to high and low, and I will weigh all things with heart and mind.
Where I walk the laws will follow, for I am the sword of my people and the shepherd of their lands.
When I fall, I will rise through my brothers and sisters, for I am eternal
-- Pledge of the Altenerai

Howard Andrew J
Jeremy Jackson
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sheer, unbridled, brilliantly written entertainment! Sword and Sorcery at its finest. FtKoK is a book that demands little investment: I was captivated at the first page, and my interest never waned once.

We follow two second-generation Altenerai (a bit like high caste mage-knights) living in the shadows of their previous generation's legends in the aftermath of a war. Mysterious conspiracies begin to unravel around the death of their commander, who is still venerated by the entire kingdom, and ou
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full review at The Quill to Live:

I apparently have a thing for military orders. Or, I guess not military, but organized groups of fantasy heroes. Maybe all of us who read the genre do, as most fantasy books have them. There always seems to be some group of warriors with a cliche name like “the Night Fighters” in every fantasy book. However, every once in a while you get a series like Malazan, or Bloodsong, or even Harry Potter that does these groups of he
Mackenzie (bookish_black_hole)
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was so much fun! My favorite parts: the dynamic between Elenai and Kyrkenall; the world building!!!!; and meeting all the Altenerai along the way. The pace was good, I read it pretty much in one sitting. I just want more!!! It read like a movie in my head. I can't wait for the sequels!

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for the eARC!

Full review:

This book had pretty much everything I love – a cast of characters that all have their own strengths and weaknesses and are all fun to read about; magic
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you're a fan of Howard Andrew Jones' Arabian fantasy novels featuring Dabir and Asim (and if you're not, you should be), you've probably heard a lot about his ambitious new series THE RING-SWORN TRILOGY. Expectations for this book have been very high, and I'm very happy to see that Jones has not only met the challenge, but surpassed it with ease.

FOR THE KILLING OF KINGS is a white knuckle murder mystery brilliantly set in a Zelazny-esque fantasy landscape. It has everything ― enchanted blades
Al Burke
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A rollicking old-school adventure. Review here - ...more
Luther Siler
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
"A great rollicking landslide of a book." Five stars.

Find my full review here:
Gregory D.
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful read!

The blurb calls this "Three Musketeers" meets "Nine Princes in Amber" and that is very apt, though leavened with a dose of Jack Chalker's "Flux & Anchor". For those of us who grew up in the 80s, I'd say there is a subtle misting of the original Dragonlance Trilogy and the best "young woman traveling with a short, disagreeable, slightly psychotic warrior" since Wolverine and Kitty Pride.

But that doesn't do this book, or Howard Andrew Jones craft, justice. Because this IS N
Nov 30, 2019 rated it liked it
***I received this book and it's sequel free from the publisher***

A solid, enjoyable read with memorable characters in a somewhat unique setting. Though there are some standard fantasy tropes in use at no point did it lack imagination or cause me to lose interest in the story. The setting and world building were different but not so alien as to be unfamiliar. Overall, a fun book but not one that stands out as exceptional. I am going to read it's sequel which is recommendation enough as I don't c
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Special thank you to St. Martin’s for reaching out to me to read & review. This in no way affects my opinions on the novel.

Now I absolutely adore fantasy novels, but the only other adult sci-fi fantasy series I’ve read was Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. And I’ve been meaning to get into more, so when I was reached out to review this series, I jumped at the chance, as it sounded extremely interesting and all the reviews sounded amazing.

For this specific novel in the series, there should be some tri
Jeremiah Stratton
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was provided an eARC by netgalley in trade for an honest review.

For the killing of kings is about Elenai, she is a squire to the Altenerai, a group of distinguished warriors who have fought for their realm for many many years. At this point in the history of the realms, the land that Elenai is from is mostly at peace, and has been for 7 years. However when Asrahn her trainer asks her to fix a legendary sword of a famed deceased general, this leads to all kinds of questions, especially when Asr
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This epic fantasy has all the right ingredients, i.e., adventure, bravery, alliances, deception, magic, flirtation, and special creatures. The Altenerai are the elite defenders of the realm (along the lines of knights of the round table); each will be challenged to search deep within as they fight, challenge and defend when it is clear that all is not as it seems. Is the Queen on a secret agenda? What about the head of the Altenerai?

Hearthstones with their magical powers both aid and destroy an
Iryna KL
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you publisher!

4 out of 5 stars

My first ever serious book was The Count of Monte Cristo and ever since then - I have been obsessed with the works of Dumas. When I came upon this book - which the publisher compared to Nine Princes of Amber & the Three Musketeers - I just had to read it.

While the story itself is pretty good (you have your usual underestimated/untested MC), the world building is interesting, and the mystery
Roger - president of NBR United -
This was a great work of High Fantasy and I especially Loved the code of the Altenerai

When comes my numbered day, I will meet it smiling. For I’ll have kept this oath.
I shall use my arms to shield the weak.
I shall use my lips to speak the truth, and my eyes to see it.
I shall use my hands to mete justice to high and low, and I will weigh all things with heart and mind.
Where I walk the laws will follow, for I am the sword of my people and the shepherd of their lands.
When I fall, I will rise throug
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a definite must-read for fantasy lovers! I was drawn in from the first page and the action and intrigue never let up at all. This book has everything that appeals to me in a fantasy. I loved the plot, the characters, the world, all of it.

I will be impatiently waiting for the next book to see what happens next!

I received a copy from Net Galley.
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Intrigue, action, magic, and great characters. This one's got it all!

It's been described as "Chronicles of Amber" meets "Three Musketeers" and that seems like a fairly accurate description of how it reads (though personally I got more Jack Chalker "Flux and Anchor" than Amber). The book is not derivative of any those works, though. It's definitely a unique and enjoyable fantasy story!
Violette Malan
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A really exceptional book. I kept looking at how much was left to read and going "oh no, it's almost over." Then I would console myself with the knowledge that another volume is coming. HAJ's work is always top-notch, and this one is more compelling than usual.
Dieda Vorkosigan
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, read-2019
My love for this book is immense.
Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Honestly one of the best books I've read these past few years, and it was no wonder it got in my Top '19 Books List. So much action, and intrigue, and suspense - not to mention the humor and the dialogues! Truly magnificent.

This first book in the Ring-Sworn series has everything a mature reader would appreciate. It makes your head spin and lock in place and your heart pumping - So. Many. Plot. Twists! The magic and the way it works is phenomenal. The world-building is seriously exquisite, and I
Brenna Clark
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you so much to St. Martin's Press for sending me a copy of this book to read and review! I have slowly been getting more into the fantasy genre as I have newfound love and obsession with Dungeons and Dragons. On the weeks where my party and I don't play, I miss the world and our characters so much, and sometimes the only thing that soothes that ache is to throw myself into another such beautifully built world with heroic characters hellbent on achieving their goals; whether that be for the ...more
Dean Brown
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a great ride.

What an incredible story and world Howard Andrew Jones created. The story starts out as a mystery, then grows into a full-fledged war with numerous plot twists and surprises. Very highly recommended. Can't wait for the next book!
K.A. Wiggins
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Detailed worldbuilding and a vast cast mean this immersive high fantasy strongly rewards those with attention to detail and a more thorough reading style. My favourite team-up was the archer Kyrkenall and up-and-coming mage/knight squire Elenai, and I liked their road-trip quest plotline the most out of the many plot threads and characters.

You can tell the author is setting up a very intricate story and laying the groundwork for things to come, but as a result, the first several chapters do take
Sarah Wright
Oct 28, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5/5 stars — disappointingly forgettable

This novel averaged out to "perfectly fine but not spectacular." The plot was above-average; the prose and editing, below. The worldbuilding was captivating; the characters were frustrating. To be perfectly honest, I never would have chosen this book based on either cover or synopsis—I read it because I picked up an advance copy of the sequel without realizing it was the second in a series and figured I'd do my due diligence. For the Killing of Kings soun
Kevin Potter
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Herein we have an exciting, imaginative epic fantasy that thankfully doesn't focus much attention on the politics or nobility.

Lori Prince gives an unexpectedly fantastic audio performance! Many (if not most) women struggle to create believable (or even not ridiculous sounding) male voices (not that this is in any way unique to women. The majority of men fail to create convincing female voices as well). But not so here. Her voices are excellently crafted, distinct, and consistent. Her control of
Aug 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
3.5 rounded down. Perfectly serviceable first-in-trilogy fantasy novel. I have to admit, based on the fact that the second review on GR gave it a one-star for being "too gay" I really thought it was going gay relationships? The characters' genders and sexuality really just reflects mostly what one would see in real life (although I'm not sure there were any trans characters -- I think there weren't). The central relationships in the book, however, were not romantic or sexual in natur ...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Ashes of the Sun (Burningblade & Silvereye, #1)
  • Ten Arrows of Iron (The Grave of Empires, #2)
  • We Ride the Storm (The Reborn Empire, #1)
  • An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors (The Risen Kingdoms, #1)
  • The Obsidian Tower (Rooks and Ruin, #1)
  • Beneath the Twisted Trees (The Song of the Shattered Sands, #4)
  • The Unspoken Name (The Serpent Gates, #1)
  • The Memory of Souls (A Chorus of Dragons, #3)
  • Seven Blades in Black (The Grave of Empires, #1)
  • A Labyrinth of Scions and Sorcery (The Risen Kingdoms, #2)
  • Dragonslayer (Dragonslayer, #1)
  • The Name of All Things (A Chorus of Dragons, #2)
  • The Girl and the Stars (Book of the Ice, #1)
  • The Bard's Blade (The Sorcerer's Song, #1)
  • Masquerade in Lodi (Penric & Desdemona, #9)
  • The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons #1)
  • An Illusion of Thieves (Chimera, #1)
  • Blood of an Exile (Dragons of Terra, #1)
See similar books…

Other books in the series

The Ring-Sworn Trilogy (3 books)
  • Upon the Flight of the Queen (The Ring-Sworn Trilogy, #2)
  • When the Goddess Wakes (The Ring-Sworn Trilogy, #3)

News & Interviews

Did you set an extremely ambitious Reading Challenge goal back in January? And has this, uh, unprecedented year gotten completely in the way of...
18 likes · 12 comments