Carissa's Reviews > King's Blood

King's Blood by Jill Williamson
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it was amazing

[I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.]

It has been a while since a book has made me tear up. I’m generally a pretty stoic reader/viewer, the one weirdo in a group of friends who watches a screen with minimal expression and giggles when others exclaim in reaction to an emotional trauma onscreen. This could be partially due to the fact that I’m a writer, and therefore, even when a book, movie, etc. rips my heart to shreds with a plot twist, I don’t necessarily think of it in terms of the writer having attacked me – I think, “Dang, that was so masterfully done that I’m not even mad.”

This was my reaction to ‘King’s Blood’, the second installment in ‘The Kinsman Chronicles’.

The first installment drew me in with its vivid characters, rich worldbuilding, and suspenseful plot, and though it was a bit grittier than the ‘Blood of Kings’ trilogy (the YA series that got me into Jill’s books in the first place), I didn’t mind too much. It fit the world and the storyline, as well as the target audience (this one is meant for adults, not teens), and I appreciate a certain amount of darkness when it’s used to provide contrast and therefore intensify the emotional impact of the light. Both the first book and ‘King’s Blood’ have done a good job of presenting that balance and contrast.

I will admit that, as a writer, I did figure out a couple of twists ahead of time (though with the aid of some people accidentally semi-spoiling things while trying to be vague about them), but that only gave me time to watch for the set-up and appreciate how well it was done, and also braced me a bit for the turmoil that was ahead. I won’t spoil them for you by giving any more details – just know that if this book doesn’t make you feel something at some point, I question your humanity. (Kidding. Sort of. Remember, I am a heartless robot person, and yet, I got very emotional at certain points throughout.)

This book also saw multiple changes in situation and environment for the characters, and it was interesting to see how each of them responded, and also to see some new elements which tie the series further into ‘Blood of Kings’. (I’ll also admit that the titles of ‘King’s Blood’ and one of its parts, ‘Voices of Blood’, got me excited enough to bounce in place when I read them.)

It’s also worth noting that, even with all the changes that occurred and how much they influenced the characters for better or worse, they were all still recognizable and as relatable as they were in the first book. I still rooted for the ones with good intentions, hissed at those with evil ones, and wanted to yell at some of them when… well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out.

All in all, I very much enjoyed and appreciated this book, and may or may not have gone into withdrawal almost immediately after finishing it. If you appreciate high fantasy, rich characters, and intense interpersonal conflicts – as well as a healthy dose of faith-bolstering messages and challenging questions built into the key character arcs – I recommend you read this book. Though of course, I’d recommend you read the first book first – the books are well-written, but with all that goes in throughout the storyline, you’ll likely be lost if you come into this second volume without that foundation.

[A minor note that could be relevant for paperback readers: Due to the sheer length of this novel, the physical edition is printed in a small font with dense, though still pleasing, formatting. This probably won’t be a problem for most of you, but could be an issue for older readers or those who – like me – have processing/concentration difficulties that could make dense formatting harder to read in large doses. Thus, if this is something that concerns you, I would recommend buying the e-book edition so that you can change the text style to suit your own needs.]
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
May 7, 2018 – Shelved

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