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288 pages, Paperback
Published April 23, 2020
War stories are often told from the perspective of those fighting the war, whether it be the soldiers or leaders. The Heron Kings, however, take the perspective of the common folk trying to get by, not taking either side in the war. Alessia, a young healer, meets Ulnoth, a farmer, and together they start a group called the Heron Kings. They take in the sick, injured, and displaced people. Together, they uncover a conspiracy plot and take matters into their own hands and attempt to end the war.
The concept of The Heron Kings I loved. There are so many stories to be told, and not all stories are about heroes and villains. Sometimes, it's just normal people trying to live their lives and escape the horrors of war. It was extremely well-written and fast-paced. Not once did I feel bored by the plot.
However, there were quite a few things I took issue with in this book. The biggest problem was the flat, boring, predictable characters. When more characters were introduced, they all blurred together and I couldn't keep track of them all. I did not care about the characters or their motivations. And take this the right way, I was probably not the target audience for this book (although I thought I was when I picked it up), this book is way too violent. I don't mind violence; I play violent video games all the time. But it was brutal just to be brutal. Ulnoth was a blood-thirsty farmer, who maimed a few people. A general killed a pregnant woman by cutting open her stomach and letting her bleed out. It was far too graphic for me to the point where it made me feel ill reading all the gory details. War is brutal, it's not pleasant, I understand that. It was just too much for me.
I have to give this book a 2 out of 5. I was just uncomfortable with read this book and I really couldn't connect to the characters at all. Again, I am likely not the target audience, others have enjoyed it, it just wasn't for me.
Flame Tree Press provided a copy of The Heron Kings through Netgalleyin exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to read this book!