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King of the Rising

(Islands of Blood and Storm #2)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  89 ratings  ·  21 reviews
The second novel in the Islands of Blood and Storm series set in a Caribbean-inspired fantasy world embattled by colonial oppression—perfect for fans of R.F. Kuang and Tasha Suri.

A revolution has swept through the islands of Hans Lollik and former slave Loren Jannik has been chosen to lead the survivors in a bid to free the islands forever. But the rebels are running out o
ebook, 480 pages
Published December 1st 2020 by Orbit
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Nov 01, 2020 rated it liked it
i don't know if i am going to actually review this book so much as talk around my experience with this book/series. there's a big fat (figurative) elephant at the end of this one, and it influenced the way i felt about the whole book, but it cannot be mentioned, so imma try to dance around it best i can. bear with me.

in short, i wanted to like this book/series more than i did. the covers are gorgeous, and—less superficially—the premise is appealing; a magic-infused take on slave rebellions duri
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell
Just checking in to see if it's December 2020 yet.

No? Cool, cool. I'll go back to my "screaming in agony of this wait" corner.



OMG. The wait may kill me.
Tomoe Hotaru
Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
16 Dec. '20
Read my review for Queen of the Conquered

Oh, wow. I am just utterly speechless. Not the ending I wanted, but maybe the ending we needed? Certainly it's the ending we deserve. Admittedly I went into this sequel with a faux optimism: for our characters, for their islands, for their revolt. But I should have known--and you should know, too--what to expect, if not from the general tone and conclusion to Queen of the Conquered then at least through the author's very own interviews, whe
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
The next volume in line is out to wait for! Hopefully, it will be just as readworthy and untrivial as the 1st one.

Love the cover, btw.
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, on-kindle
I have written, re-wrote, and hung onto writing this review.

First of all, this book has not yet been released.
Second of all, it's a very, very, very tough call on what I can rate this book. I am torn on the various view points that I felt as a reader and how I felt once the book ended and the duology was complete. In the end, I settled on a 5 star rating because I was being selfish and not thinking what was best for the book but which was best for me.

This series is NOT like your other fantasy
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it

Thank you Orbit books and Caffeine Tours for providing me with an ARC.

This was much easier to read once I got over the visceral shock I had from the first book. It is once again a brutal read with characters that are perhaps too cruel (or naturally cruel, given the nightmares they endured) or too merciful and idealistic to lead a revolution, both of which make several fatal mistakes on the path to find freedom. Or perhaps the take away is the futility of matyrs for revolutions.

This should be
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020

Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!

The Islands of Blood and Storm duology has been an incredibly intense and unpredictable journey, and I am so glad I got to read it. I have had a hard time figuring out just how to rate this book, because on some levels it's an easy five stars, but then there are parts that weren't necessarily amazing. In the end, though, the plot, arc, and ending of the entire duology was just too effective and perfectly executed to not go for a high rating.

Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite, fantasy
Couldn't put down this book and now I can't get it out of my head. One of the strongest duologies I've read. Fans of deeply-thoughtful social examinations and suspense will hold onto this one like a lifeline, and that ending will plunge into you.

There’s just so much to love about this book and the entire duology; the magic in both it’s fantasy elements and the way it discusses tackles the present, the well-written narrative, the humanly flawed characters, the glorious way the political machinat
Jan 10, 2021 rated it liked it
🌊Reflections 🌊
Let me start by saying that there are things to love and enjoy about this book. The fact that Callender was able to centre islanders and their struggle for freedom and begin with a narrative that has not been done before (correct me if I'm wrong) with Sigourney's storyline is an achievement.
With this second instalment I loved the incorporation of keeping ancestral practices alive, of looking to both the young and old for strength in facing adversities, and of course never giving u
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was ok
More of the first book but in some ways, the ending feels lazy. I had similar issues with the writing as with book 1, in that there's a lot of telling-without-showing. The pacing improved and Loren is a much more active participant as a POV character than Sigourney had been, but weirdly, characters grow even less. This is primarily a thought experiment in a fantasy/alternate world with the right conditions to allow for discussions of colonialism and systems that are inequitable by design. But be ...more
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
A heavy read. Like the first one, CW for lots of violence, slavery, racism, and similar. Callender is walking a tightrope of hope and realism in this that is just heartbreaking and reminiscent of so much historical colonial violence, and the uprisings that sought to throw it off. I’m glad I read it, but oof. Don’t read if you’re looking for a happy diversion, by any means.
Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 stars

Disclaimer: I read an advanced copy of this book as part of the #KingOfTheRising blog tour with Caffeine Book Tours. This in no way impacts my review, or my opinions on the book.

Content Warnings: racisim, slavery, death, torture, violence, rape/sexual assault

King of the Rising begins shortly after Queen of the Conquered ends; however we are seeing the events through a new set of eyes: those of Løren. The story follows the rebel efforts of liberation from the oppressive Fjern presence of H
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was ok
Maybe the bleak ending would've been fine pre-coup but post coup it's just a big ole dislike ...more
Fabienne Schwizer
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While Queen of the Conquered was Sigourney’s story, King of the Rising is all Loren’s. There is a total shift in voice and perspective between the two, not fully making it books able to stand on their own, but making them distinct stories. And while Sigourney is still present for large parts of the book, she is not the one telling the story, which I think makes the book all the much stronger for it. I find her an incredibly interesting character, but I noticed that I prefer her particular brand ...more
Kimberly Leak
Dec 08, 2020 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this series. I read the second book with the hope that it would get better. The first book ended with a great twist! This story is told from the viewpoint of Loren, and much like the first novel we are told what’s happening instead of shown. Barely any dialogue. Every side character is given a background that has no impact on the story much like the first book. But the ending?! It makes me look over everything and say what was the reason I read this? There was no point. T ...more
John Folk-Williams
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Freedom from slavery has a cost, not just in human lives but in the internal torture of mind and morality brought on by lifetimes spent in forced repudiation of one’s language, culture, religion and self-esteem. For an ex-slave to have a position of privilege in the midst of this history of oppression is all the more problematic. This is the reality permeating the powerful, riveting and brave novel King of the Rising, the second part of Kacen Callender’s brilliant Islands of Blood and Storm duol ...more
Leah Rachel von Essen
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
King of the Rising is the sequel to Kacen Callender’s Queen of the Conquered, a vivid, brutal high fantasy set in a Caribbean-inspired fantasy world. In this sequel, the slave revolution for their freedom has risen, and led by Løren Jannik, the strong, honest man who has the ability to take the Krafts of others and use them for himself.

Like the first in the series, King of the Rising is a slow, political build set in a complex world of colonialism and violence. I felt that the ending to one of t
Corey (grimdark_dad)
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The ISLANDS OF BLOOD AND STORM duology is just fucking brilliant. A brutal & gorgeous Caribbean-inspired fantasy, with fascinating characters and terrifying magic. These books aren’t easy reads…there were moments I felt almost nauseous from the stress and tension in this story. And just from the sheer brutality of this world. But this duology is an absolutely stunning achievement in fantasy, full stop. I am truly awed by Kacen Callender’s writing, and I’m anxious to read more of their work!

Dec 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Once again got turned around and confused quite a bit because of the different names and islands and trying to figure out who belonged where. I also feel like this book progressed really fast, and if you missed a part, you were kind of thrown off (this is how I felt about Sigourney, I had no idea how she escaped because I was probably reading too fast or not paying enough attention). Overall though, I liked the story and I liked the various twists it provided.
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: just-for-fun
Fantastic. Complex and thoughtful.
Julia Welsh
Dec 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Real world predictable, and thus fantasy world slightly disappointing. Philosophical and enraging, and so well written it leaves a bitter taste for hours afterward.
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Ella Gladman
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Dec 22, 2020
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Ivailo Iordanov
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Nov 28, 2020
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Islands of Blood and Storm (2 books)
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