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The Deer King

(The Deer King #1)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  21 reviews
When a Deer King is born, nations tremble.

Emmaline Rain’s father is the Stoneman. His responsibility: travel into Massaporan lands and end the life of the reincarnated Massaporan deity—the Deer King—the instant he is born. But when he fails in this task, the delicate equilibrium between Emmaline’s people and the Massaporans is disturbed. It seems likely that the violence o
Paperback, 77 pages
Published June 23rd 2018 by Knock-Knee Books
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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 ·  35 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Edwina Callan
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

This little fantasy book was a pure joy to read.
Fast paced and well written, the pages flew by as I became lost in the story.
Excited to see where this series goes next.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This one was a surprise. I had NO idea what to expect with the Deer King. I live in the crime community, so I was vaguely expecting something along those lines. I was glad I got something wildly different. There's a touch of Lord of the Rings, a little of The Dark Materials, melted inside a bildungsroman ... with a liberal dose of fairy tale. But that description doesn't do Spencer's book justice. Told straightforward, free of pretense, this story about a young girl named Emmaline is ultimately ...more
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
snagged this copy from on Jan 31
has been interesting so far it will be a quick read
Scott Waldyn
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had so much fun reading this. It's fast-paced, exciting, and so rich! The world Ben Spencer shows us is teeming with life, and I can't wait for the next installments.

In every sense of the word, this series is going to be epic.
Valerie (Cats Luv Coffee)
First off, I love the cover for this book. It puts me instantly in mind of back bottom shelves of the library. The smell of old books and coffee. Pages yellowed with time. I can "feel" that book in my mind. That's a wonderful place for a book to take you, especially when it happens to be in e-book format, so I had very high hopes for the story contained within.

Once diving in, The Deer King did not disappoint. I was instantly whisked up out of my house and into Emmaline's world. Her story begins
catherine ♡
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-stories
I was really interested in this at the start, but I started to get really lost. Not my thing.
Joe Kapitan
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ben Spencer finds some interesting space to occupy with this novella, halfway between James Fenimore Cooper and J.R.R. Tolkien, where fantastical elements intermingle with historical-feeling ones taken from some earlier era of colonial occupation and displaced natives. It's no easy work to create a world, but Spencer paints his well. Within the limits of his canvas, the action flows steadily and holds the reader's attention. The writing is accessible and suited for a YA audience as well as adult ...more
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First of all, I will say that I'm not a big Fantasy genre fan. However, I was pleasantly surprised with The Deer King. It is an easy read and pretty fast paced given how short the book is overall. The protagonist (Emmaline Rain) is easy to relate to and sympathize with. Knowing this is the first short novel in a series, the author sets up future story lines well, and you can see the current, as well as coming, conflict between a society that sees itself as civilized versus a people that are view ...more
Dana Nield
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was a delight! It's been a while since I've picked up fantasy, and the telling of this story is so stunning. The cadence felt like a fairy tale with occasional piercing glimpses into human nature. Gorgeous. The beginning gives a portrait of a family that is so darling, but the daughter knows there is a secret her father is keeping from her. That secret hooked me immediately---I needed to KNOW what was happening with the family!---and the reveal propels the rest of this novella. Over Em ...more
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
-I was going to post a review much earlier but life happened-
I received a copy of The Deer King from a LibraryThing giveaway on January 31st.

What attracted me to The Deer King was its title. It immediately made me think of mythology. Reading the description it sounded a bit more violent than what I usually read. I'm so, so happy I gave it a chance.

By page seven it had already exceeded my expectations. All the characters feel real, the world-building and plot twists are amazing (and made me reali
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
When I began this novella, I didn't know what to think: it was just another book I had won in a giveaway. I didn't expect to be blown away and in such a brief work; I rarely give out five stars, but this piece of work deserves every single one of them. The grammar, pacing, characters, story/plot, and everything else are brilliantly deployed. I cannot wait to read the next novella (I will definitely be ordering a physical copy soon) and the others in this series; I cannot wait to find out more ab ...more
sara hawks
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing story.

I read this in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. It is really something special. I read probably a book every 10 days and this is one of my favourite reads this year. The Novella approach to telling the story is a bit disconcerting because the story ends when you are fully engrossed in plot and wanting more. Murderbot novella series does the same and was nominated for Hugo and other awards. This first edition is as good a story that I have read and will likely be
Michael Dickson
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantasy is not a genre I gravitate towards. In fact, my wife is verbally reading the Harry Potter series to me so we can have her books to discuss. So I was a little skeptical at first when confronted with an advanced copy of The Deer King: Novella One. Mr Spencer, in a few short pages, introduces us to several well-rounded characters where loyalties are sewn and motivations are fleshed out. There is a well-curated sense of space in the story that had me constantly checking the map at the front ...more
Amy Shannon
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting read

The Deer King is a well told story by Ben Spencer. This is the first read of Spencer's that I've had the honor of reading. Spencer is very detailed in the story telling, making the reader feel a part of the story. Emmaline is a great character, and has a lot of depth to her. The story starts out by hooking the reader, and Spencer does a service by keeping the reader's intention. It's a great story that hopefully leads to others, as I look forward to reading more of Spencer's work
Catherine Griffin
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
Following the death of her father and brother, a girl runs away with a magic stone.

This is an atmospheric and very well written fantasy novella, the only downside being it’s rather short and ends without much resolution. It really reads like the first third of a more substantial novel, but what’s here is nevertheless enjoyable and well worth reading.

The story follows Emmaline, whose father has a mysterious job involving a magic stone. She discovers the truth only when things go horribly wrong an
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free. What a great short story! It's about a girl who's father kills the Deer Kings to prevent a war from breaking out and everyone getting killed. Things spiral out of control and the girl is now torn between her family's duties and whether the current Deer King should die. Loved all the characters. Great ending. ...more
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, giveaways, owned
This was a magnificent read - enjoyed every single page. Just the right balance of world-building without becoming bogged down, interesting characters, twists and turns; everything I wanted in a fantasy novella. Looking forward to reading volume 2!
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Can’t wait for the other two novellas to arrive in my mailbox :)
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was not the typical long novel I'm used to associating with the fantasy genre, yet Spencer's story did not fail to thoroughly paint a new world with unique wonders, cultures, and characters to become invested in. The author is clearly talented and I especially appreciated how in just a few words, he could often illustrate feelings and emotions I immediately identified with but have never known a way to describe before.

The story took the reader on an enticing adventure full of heartbreak an
The Deer King by Ben Spencer is the first in a series of novellas by the same name and is set in a fictional land reminiscent of colonial times. I found myself drawn to the setting. The author gives a complete view of through the characters, how they’re dressed, how they interact, and the differences in their behavior according to setting. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read in a novella. It is packed full of customs and culture created specifically for the series.

What I Liked
As previously menti
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful read

The Deer King is an enthralling story. I was sad when this story ended. Please write more novellas about the Deer king.
Mark Junk
rated it really liked it
Oct 30, 2019
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Dec 21, 2019
Kara Jordan
rated it it was amazing
Nov 03, 2019
Francis Blair
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Aug 24, 2019
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Apr 02, 2019
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Oct 09, 2019
Marc Rickaby
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Oct 14, 2019
Melissa Cheresnick
rated it it was amazing
Jun 05, 2019
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Sep 21, 2019
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Kindle Unlimited ...: The Deer King by Ben Spencer 1 3 Aug 16, 2018 07:24AM  

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Ben Spencer lives in Concord, North Carolina with his wife and daughter. He is currently hard at work on a series of epic fantasy novellas entitled The Deer King. The first three novellas in the series are now available from Knock-Knee books. Ben's fiction has appeared in Literary Orphans, Corner Bar Magazine, and Scholars & Rogues. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Please visit his we ...more

Other books in the series

The Deer King (3 books)
  • The Sundering (The Deer King, #2)
  • Last of the Baronites (The Deer King, #3)

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