Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “For the Killing of Kings” as Want to Read:
For the Killing of Kings
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

For the Killing of Kings

(The Ring-Sworn Trilogy #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  168 ratings  ·  51 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…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
4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  168 ratings  ·  51 reviews

More filters
Sort order
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
Elizabeth Dragina
Feb 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
DNF .... like what 10% through?! I'm sorry but this was not what I was expecting and it certainly wasn't what it signed up for.

There was way too much dark magic, a lot of alcoholic drinking ( from people who have been wounded deep inside ), and so much homosexuality!!! YUCK!! No. Thank. You. ( Homosexuality is one of the most vile things I could ever imagine . . . and having to read about it and create a scene of it in my head is more disgusting than I could ever begin to explain! )

The cover is
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.
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
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 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 through my brothers and sisters, for I am eternal
-- Pledge of the Altenerai

Howard Andrew Jo
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
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 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
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
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:
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
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.
Al Burke
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A rollicking old-school adventure. Review here -
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.
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
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 myst
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!
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!
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
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
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a solid start to a new fantasy series!
This book is full of complex characters, a lush magical world, and a very politically charged plot.
Though I dont think you will necessarily be surprised by much in this book, it is a great foundation to build an interesting series on. I look forward to seeing what will happen in the next book.
My favorite character has to be Kyrkenall. He is the kind of mentor that I love seeing in fiction, and his snarky wit made the tough things in the novel easie
Lauren Eicher
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. What a fun read! The world building was unique and engrossing, the plot was completely engaging, and the characters are glorious.
Don’t get me wrong, the topics and themes in Jones writes about are dark, but the story itself is an adventure tale that is kept on the lighter side through sarcastic banter and humor.
I found myself adoring most of the main characters, and though some are a little troupe-y, quite a few are wholly original (though let’s be real, who doesn’t love a troupe done RIG
Layne Thomas
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. I didn't want it to end and look forward to the next one.
Deb Poillon
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well , now I'm going to have to read all his other books. What a fun fantasy. Really liked the characters and the world building.
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really strong character-driven fantasy that reminds me of de Castell's Greatcoat series (except I liked this better since it has much smarter characters). There is never a dull moment and the camaraderie between the Altenerai really holds the whole book together. The POV characters grow, change, and learn over the course of the book, and there are plenty of strong female characters, which I appreciate (sometimes they get forgotten in epic fantasy).

Also, though the book is hardly a comedy, there
Adam Woods
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'd stared this book after reading a few glowing reviews, and found a solid, enjoyable read. However, despite an intriguing premise, it took quite a while before the book finally to click for me. By the end of the book, the world felt real, and I was invested the characters, and had bought into the heroism of the old guard but it took half the book to get to that point. Thankfully the book ended strong, and left me intrigued to see where the story goes and if the sequel can pick up on the high n ...more
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing

You hate to "metagame" as a reader, but knowing it was a trilogy as you hit page 1, you are expecting to have to put up with a bunch of filler to set the scene and its long-term themes and conflicts, religions, govt, etc. I can happily say this book had none of those issues, and stands GREAT as a solo work! Sure it has all of those elements I just mentioned, but they are brilliantly and seamlessly worked into the story *naturally* - theres no point where you feel like youre reading a
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
Mar 24, 2019 marked it as dropped
Shelves: from-a-library
Two reasons why this book did not do it for me:
1) the nomenclature makes or breaks world-building in fantasy books and the particular nomenclature of For the Killing of Kings feels somewhat uninspired.
2) two grammatical errors in the first chapter alone? it makes me distrusting.
« previous 1 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Bite (Wastelanders #1)
  • All the Colors of Darkness
  • Corydon and the Island of Monsters (Corydon, #1)
  • The Tower of Living and Dying (Empires of Dust #2)
  • Lipstick Voodoo (Kincaid Strange, #2)
  • Dragon Unleashed (The Fallen Empire, #2)
  • Sword of Justice (Chivalry, #4)
  • The African Mercenary (Casca, #12)
  • Sovereignty
  • Arabella The Traitor of Mars (Adventures of Arabella Ashby, #3)
  • Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd)
  • Legends and Liars (The Duelists Trilogy #2)
  • Starburst
  • The Seventh Element (Voyagers #6)
  • Double Dutch
  • Alpha (The Infinity Division, #3)
  • No Dominion
  • Wolf in his Heart (Salvation Pack #7)
See similar books…

Other books in the series

The Ring-Sworn Trilogy (2 books)
  • Upon the Flight of the Queen