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The Ruin of Kings

(A Chorus of Dragons #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  5,284 ratings  ·  1,226 reviews
What if you weren't the hero?

As a bard’s apprentice, Kihrin grew up with tales of legendary deeds. He also steals, desperate to buy a way out of Quur’s slums. Then he raids the wrong house, he’s marked by a demon and life will never be the same again.

Kihrin’s plight brings him to the attention of royalty, who claim him as the lost son of their immoral prince. But far from
Kindle Edition, 560 pages
Published February 7th 2019 by Tor UK (first published February 5th 2019)
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Megan There's a lot of talk about rape, naughty bits, sex, violence, etc. Personally I would class it as adult fantasy. That wouldn't have stopped me from r…moreThere's a lot of talk about rape, naughty bits, sex, violence, etc. Personally I would class it as adult fantasy. That wouldn't have stopped me from reading it as a teenager, though. It's just not really what you'd expect from YA.(less)
Jersebas It seems there will be five books.
"The series is on a nine month release schedule. That means that, sh
It seems there will be five books.
"The series is on a nine month release schedule. That means that, should everything go to plan, Tor will be releasing a book in the series every nine months or so. Two this year, one next year, two the year after that (again, if all goes to plan.)"
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  5,284 ratings  ·  1,226 reviews

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Start your review of The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons, #1)
ARC provided by the publisher—Tor Books—in exchange for an honest review.

Convoluted and complex are probably understatements, but I don’t have any other words to describe the main attributes of this debut.

For those of you who don’t know, The Ruin of Kings have been the fantasy debut that Tor has been promoting heavily for several months now. This novel has been advertised as the debut of the year that’s targeted “For fans of George R. R. Martin, Robin Hobb, Joe Abercrombie, Brent Weeks, Brandon
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

I don’t like the sprayed edges on this one. It looks like they might have been trying to do a grey color from the grey book (which I like better and am going to get) or maybe a light blue.

Holy shit balls! This book was so confusing and so good, I don’t even know what all I just read!! My mind!!!

*photo: David Ho & George Redhawk

Im looking forward to the next book and a reread of this crazy book!

Happy Reading!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
C.G. Drews
I FINALLY FINISHED THIS. I just massively want to self-five myself because three months alright. Three months. (Although partially this was my fault as I was listening to an audio and didn't have a lot of time to listen vs I would've been faster reading it with my own eyeballs. But the audio is A+ and I'm completely satisfied with my reading choice there.) The thing I love most about this book is it completely enchanted me. I go through phases of being obsessed and then ...a bit turned off...epi ...more
James Tivendale
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
We did this (myself and Emma) as a combined review for Fantasy Book Review which can be seen here.

These were my thoughts following on from what Emma had already written.

I received a limited edition proof copy of The Ruin of Kings in exchange for an honest review

Additional notes by James Tivendale - I think Emma summed up most of the points perfectly.

I agree with what Emma said about the point of views switching between 1st and 3rd person sometimes being c
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kihrin is many things: orphan, thief, long lost son of a prince... destroyer of the world? Whatever else he is, he’s also having a really bad time of it. Everything he’s ever believed is lies, truths only discovered though violence and death. But since his new life involves evil magicians, a death cult, a war between gods and demons, the kind of family that epitomises the whole keep-your-enemies-closer philosophy, and dragons…. well, his chances don’t seem like they’ll be looking up any time soo ...more
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
Have you ever been to denial town? Currently visiting and it sucks....

The Ruin of Kings has been on my radar ever since it was announced in 2018 being compared to Joe Abercrombie (one of my favorite authors), Patrick Rothfuss, and Brandon Sanderson. It sounded so good - a heavy dose of epic fantasy with all the usual nastiness and morally-grey characters. But I could not connect with a single character or event in this book no matter what I did. The convoluted storytelling DID NOT HELP. In Fact
Amy Imogene Reads
3.5 stars

UPDATE: I am still chewing on this story, 7 months later. I had to bump it up to 4 stars for the sheer lasting effect alone. Maybe I love this?

There is such a thing as too much, too fast, too deep, and too convoluted in high fantasy. This is it.

Writing: ★★★★★
World Building: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★
Overall Reader Enjoyment: ★ for the act of sorting out the plot, and ★★★★ for the actual world and events once deciphered

I’ve never had to make a literal flow chart for a book before this on
3.5 stars

I listened to this on audio and enjoyed the narration as there are 3 different narrators which helped make the jumps in time easier to follow as well as the footnotes. While this is an interesting world full of political machinations, it does become overly convoluted as the story goes on. Due to the nature of the magic system and various methods of “immortality”, the family trees in this are so complicated with so many twists revealed that by the end I had trouble remembering who was r
Spencer Orey
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an odd one. Sometimes I wanted to give up on it, and sometimes I was totally hooked. If you're looking for a really detailed fantasy with a sprawling epic world with huge intrigue and schemes, then here you go. This one would be great to read with a friend, just to get a grip on some of the twists. I found myself really wanting to talk things over.

The main story is standard epic fantasy stuff at this point but on a grandiose scale, with wizards, gods, dragons, brain-eating monsters, demo
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
3.5 stars, maybe 4 - may change as I review the full book upon publication.

Who are you again??

So sweet of you to ask. I’m Talon. I’ll be your murderer tonight.

I recently finished reading this preview available on Netgalley of The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons and enjoyed it very much. I did have some problems with the chosen narrative style which did not help the story, but the book was fascinating enough to keep me glued to the pages.

Our story starts off with the protagonist stuck in a priso

I cannot count the number of times this book had me feeling confused.

There are so many names and most are hard to pronounce and often similar so it was incredibly difficult to keep track of who was who and what was what. Then you throw in the genealogy and the adultery and the body snatching and the illusions and I DON'T KNOW WHO ANYONE IS.

There's a boy.
There's a witch.
There's a flirty magic boy.
There's an old sorcerer dude.
There's a tyrant. (Actually several).
There's a wimp.
There's a drago
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
* I read this as my Defence Against The Dark Arts OWL read *

This is a story which I think is a little hard to really describe as it tells the story in a fairly unique way. The book is divided into three main narrators, we have: Talon, a mimic who can take on the memories and skin of those she has killed; Kihrin, the real main character of the story who is telling his side of things; and another character who infrequently gives his opinions and any extra information needed to the reader on the ev
Stefan Bach
Dec 10, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Angsty orphan with his head in the clouds didn't get his happy story so he decides to destroy the world?
Orphan with his name so conspicuously similar to Krillin's?


And then even the blurb is so filled with bullshit that they go so far to compare the worldbuilding with Sanderson's and prose with that of Rothfuss' (which is basically like they compared her with Robin Hobb, modern Mary Shelley)?
Give me a break.

I see where this is going.
GR, when you finish hyping this book out to heavens and beyond,
Veronica ⭐️
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, fantasy

The story opens with Kihrin in prison guarded by Talon. Talon asks, I should say forces, Kihrin to tell his story whilst she also narrates her part of Kihrin’s story.

Kihrin’s narration is in first person and starts as a 16 year old Kihrin is being sold in a slave auction. Talin’s is in third person and starts a year earlier with 15 year old Kihrin living with adoptive parents in the slums of the lower circle. He is musician by day and thief by night. The
Sherwood Smith
The next big blockbuster fantasy series, at least according to the massive publicity push.

There are three narrative threads switching back and forth, sometimes with lightning speed: there is the present-day, in which our handsome hero, Kihrin, is in prison, telling his story to Talon in first person.

Then we get Talon’s narrative intrusions explaining Kihrin’s past, interpolated with a mysterious narrator who also adds footnotes.

It’s clear that the author is having prime fun with narrative devi
The The Ruin of Kings was not for me. I do like complex fantasy. I enjoy great world building with descriptive storytelling. And here comes the BUT. But the story is presented in a very original way but I found convoluted and quite confusing way that lead to me developing zero character connections.

I received this ARC copy of The Ruin of Kings from Macmillan-Tor/Forge. This is my honest and voluntary review. The Ruin of Kings is set for publication Feb. 5, 2019.
Jessi (Novel Heartbeat)
DNF @ 150 pages

The storytelling was tedious and made me want to bash my skull into a wall. It flip flopped back and forth between Khirin's story - in first person, at point B in the timeline; and Talon's story - in third person, talking about Khirin/Rook, at point A in the timeline. I think it would have been interesting if it had been done just a certain way, but this one sooo did not work for me.

There were a lot of names and places being thrown around - names that sounded like my cat decided
Liz Barnsley
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was one you have to commit to being a tome but the read just flies by because it is utterly fantastic. In fact I wouldn’t have minded a bit more…
A good fantasy novel lives and dies on its world building and characters and Jenn Lyons has an intricately imaginative eye for both – a rich tapestry that offers up new insight every time you look at it – a complex and highly intriguing setting with multiple levels that inform and affect the characters you meet there.
The story is told over dif
✨    jamieson   ✨
DNF @ page 200

I honestly can't believe I'm dnf'ing this because it should've been right up my alley but I just can't get into it. I've tried physical and audio and its not happening. I really dislike the framed narration of the story and the dual timelines, and the inclusion of footnotes. I also don't like the main narrator's voice? They're supposed to be that quirky quippy character but because I don't find them that funny it doesn't really work for me

If this book was shorter I might have pushe
Tricia Levenseller
This was fun! I tend to get bored while reading epic fantasy, but that wasn’t the case with this one! The dialogue was well done, and I admire the unique storytelling method. I wouldn’t pick this up if you’re a fan of hard magic systems with clear rules, but if you like more wondrous magic (and dragons!) I would give it a try!
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Characters great, plot great, world-building great, myteries great, reveals satisfying. Book of the year!
Zoe Stewart (Zoe's All Booked)

This book was so. fucking. good. The only reason it lost half a star was probably my own fault since I zoned out a little while I was listening to the audiobook. After I switched to the physical copy I was fully invested. I'll definitely be rereading one day, so hopefully, it'll be a full five stars then!

I freaking loved the worldbuilding in this, the magic was interesting and dragons. THERE WERE ACTUAL DRAGONS. I'm calm. I just love dragons.

The story is told in alternating timelines until
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, read-2020
THIS is what epic fantasy should be like! A dense but not crazy, over-complicated world building with fleshed out characters that are all so likeable and relatable and fun and morally grey, combined with an interesting magic system and a plot that makes you want to read this book in one session.
Everything, and I mean everything in this book has a meaning, a story, a background or a specific purpose and I am just utterly in awe with the entirety of this book and glady add it to my favourites!
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a preview! THE RUIN OF KINGS by Jenn Lyons looks to be a fabulous fantasy read with all of the action, the quests and the outstanding characters that have hit every one of my must read buttons!

My only regret is that I didn’t realize this was only a preview but I do appreciate the length of it! There is enough to be more than just an info dump.

I received a complimentary PREVIEW edition from Tor-Forge! Expected publication date for the entire book is February, 2019.

For Reviews, Giveaways, Fa
Eric Allen
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A friend of mine who is still in the business sent me an extremely well-worn ARC of this book, saying that, literally, everyone I used to work with when I was still writing and editing articles had already read and completely loved it. I used to work with some extraordinarily hard to please critics, so if they all loved it, it must be pretty good. I've been looking for new fantasy authors/series to follow lately. Seems like there's a lot of buzz about this book, so hopefully, it'll live up to al ...more
I made it about 175 pages in and then I just....
I can't.

I tried very hard, but to be quite honest, after about 30 pages, I was hate-reading out of spite, and I have better ways to spend my time.

Here's my main two problems with it:

1. Even if your frame device--a letter about how the whole book is an "account" being sent to some kind of king/magistrate/judge (I admit, I can't remember)--says something along the lines of: "I know you probably know a lot of this lore, but I left it in the accoun
Mellie Antoinette
All criticisms about this gorgeous Venn diagram high-fantasy world are ABSOLUTELY TRUE!! And yet I loved it. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🤎🖤

It’s a light hearted, complicated (chaptering problem), multi-timeline (historical, recent past, present), multi-dimensional (fey gates, life, afterlife, land of peace), soul swapping/gaeshed/mimic of a world that’s spinning like a top - the recent past moves towards the present until Part II when everything arcs forward (I see you, Raveri).

Layer onto that one soul in 14 bodies
Brenda Waworga
The blurb said this book is perfect for Sanderson and Rothfuss fans (me me me)! and i put so high expectation for this book and ended up pretty much disappointed and i feel exhausted when i finished read this

The writing style is peculiar .. told in first person and 2nd person told the 1st person story (2 different timelines back and forth every chapter) like 2 people did conversation and sometimes in 3rd person POV.. there were also footnotes and tbh i feel annoyed with them cause they are just
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was so pumped to dive into The Ruin of Kings. Especially after getting accepted for this but, unfortunately, I ended up disappointed. Honestly, it could've been the format (since I read this on my phone) but it's just like.. ugh, nope.

At first, the characters were interesting and I wanted to know more about them. BUT, ugh, I couldn't stand the backstories anymore. One and done people! I didn't need to know what people had
I have no idea how I'm going to rate this. It's one of the rare books where there are parts I truly love, and some that I seriously hated. That always makes coming up with a score/rating particularly difficult.

This had really neat world building that had some very cool ideas, there was a lot going on, politics, mysteries, non human races, dragons.... but it had horrible pacing and very odd structure choice.
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Jenn Lyons lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, three cats, and a lot of opinions on anything from the Sumerian creation myths to the correct way to make a martini. At various points in her life, she has wanted to be an archaeologist, anthropologist, architect, diamond cutter, fashion illustrator, graphic designer, or Batman. Turning from such obvious trades, she is now a video game produc ...more

Other books in the series

A Chorus of Dragons (4 books)
  • The Name of All Things (A Chorus of Dragons, #2)
  • The Memory of Souls (A Chorus of Dragons, #3)
  • The House of Always (A Chorus of Dragons #4)

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