Rebekah Teller's Reviews > Kings of Paradise

Kings of Paradise by Richard Nell
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it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites

Vast in scope and intimate in its telling, Kings of Paradise is an impressive novel from a brilliant mind.

The story unfolds naturally and starts with humble beginnings. Ruka, an only child raised by a single mother, and Kale, fourth son of an island king, and not very skilled at anything.

In the land of Ash, Ruka is an exile who longs to expose the corruption of the religious order and claim some personal justice for crimes against his mother. These are tribal people whose governing system is centered around women and their hierarchy of priestesses. They are isolated from other cultures and have an ancient lineage of gods and legends. Ruka is unique for his knowledge of runes, which his mother taught him though most of his people no longer understand, especially not men.

In a distant but no less unique culture, we follow the life of Kale, a young prince who goes through many different types of studies and training trying to find his purpose, where he can best serve and what his contribution to the world should be. He learns some rare and powerful metaphysical skills that earn him a few followers and a few enemies.

The most impressive aspect of the book is how the complexity of the cultures, politics and religions become increasingly revealed as the characters mature and are themselves gaining more perspective. The world building is so intricate and so expertly shown, only as details pertain to the story at hand. There are many point-of-view characters whose lives contribute to the story in different ways, sometimes only for a chapter or two.

My only critique is that the distribution of point-of-view changes is somewhat irregular, at times spending several chapters with one character before switching to another. It only mildly affected my reading pleasure as I sometimes took a few pages to remember who the next character was and what he or she had going on, at least in the early stages of the story.

This book is so engaging. It was incredibly hard to put down. The characters have much at stake, and their personalities are inspiring and demanding.

I highly recommend Kings of Paradise for readers of epic fantasy who are looking for something impressive, unique, authentic and complex.
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Reading Progress

January 29, 2018 – Shelved
January 29, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
June 6, 2018 – Started Reading
June 7, 2018 –
13.0%
June 9, 2018 –
32.0%
June 10, 2018 –
46.0%
June 13, 2018 –
69.0%
June 15, 2018 – Shelved as: favorites
June 15, 2018 – Finished Reading

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