Prophecy of Kings follows two timeless traditions. The first is that of traditional fantasy. Demons, dragons, wizards, sorcerers, heroes and dwarves all play starring roles in this tale. It also follows a time honored tradition of storytelling such as you might imagine taking place during the days when history was passed down orally. Like those tales, this story is about good versus evil, right versus wrong, and perseverance against impossible odds. In other words it is a good old fashioned fantasy adventure.
Epic Fantasy Series Book Review by Mulluane
♦ The Story. Vastra is a man possessed. He seeks an Eldric talisman, ensnaring two men to aid him. Fate guides his hand and, unwittingly, he chooses Kaplyn, who is seeking to escape his own destiny and Lars, shipwrecked and friendless, an outcast on the Allund shore. An unlikely trio, they form a fragile alliance but, recklessly ambitious, Vastra will betray them in a heartbeat. Their actions have repercussions for future generations, and a collision of powers will allow the shade of a dead emperor to cross the divide between the worlds, bringing with him the threat of dragons. Astalus, the Thracian court wizard is in a quandary. Allund, their ancient ally, is marching against them when shocking news arrives. A spy, arrested brazenly entering the city, claims to be a prince from an extinct royal household, a household that was overthrown, the family members murdered over sixty years ago. Intriguingly, the spy's claim to be from Allund is more than a coincidence, for the army marching against them is also from Allund. Who to trust? The stranger brings with him news of an army from Trosgarth, which can only mean one thing. Drachar's shade has been summoned and the Prophecy is coming to pass. Astalus, normally so certain and confident, is suddenly plummeted into his worst nightmare, for soon Thrace could be threatened by demons and, against them, there is no salvation. In a land fraught with betrayal, fear and death, the shadows are deepening
♦ My Thoughts. Now, I do not normally review self published books for all of the reasons you might expect. The story is often weak, the writing full of errors, and the entire experience either boring or just plain annoying. But... There is the rare exception. First it has to be a completed series. Secondly, the author has to be engaging. By that I mean he/she is socially active without being spammy, entertaining without being obnoxious and of course the story itself needs to be an epic-high-sword and sorcery type tale. It also helps if the reviews floating around in the websphere are good ones. Oh, and if it has dragons.
This series certainly fit the criteria so I took a chance. As a result I discovered the one thing I have come to expect from a large majority of self published series. Way too much "telling." However, much to my surprise, I also discovered that in this case "telling" worked extremely well because what was being told was a really powerful story.&
♦ Series Breakdown. This is an action packed, fast paced tale that packed a whole lot of punch in just a few pages. Book one sets the scene, covers the worldbuilding and introduces most of the main characters. Book two increases the pace as it focuses almost totally on action and conflict. Book three continues the action, rushing towards a crescendo of an ending which evolved out of a series of twists I never saw coming. The ending itself was an equal mixture of happy and sad not to mention largely unexpected.
♦ What I liked. Pretty much everything. I loved the premise of alternate realms. I loved the interplay of dragons, demons, dwarves, heroes and magic. I liked the fact that though there was a prophecy, it was not used as an excuse for everything that took place. Much the opposite. It hardly played a role at all except to explain why the main characters came together how and when they did. Beyond that, the outcome rested squarely in their hands. I never got the impression that some all powerful, all knowing prophecy dangled them along like puppets on a string. I also enjoyed the tension filled, edge of your seat, pace of the entire story.
♦ What I didn't like. As a rule, I consider character-driven fantasy to be the best of the best. I like getting into a character's head, seeing what they see, feeling what they feel. I enjoy living the story along with the protagonists and occasionally, their sidekicks. This however, is not a character-driven story. Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing really. As powerful as this story is, if it had been "shown" instead of told I would be seriously sleep deprived at this point not to mention lightheaded from forgetting to eat. As it was, it was still hard to put down, easy to pick up and far too easy to get lost in. This is a case where its weakness may very well be its strength. The story itself was enough to keep me glued to the pages.
♦ Conclusion. If you want to sit back, relax, drink a glass of wine and enjoy a deep, character driven old-fashioned fantasy, this isn't it. But, if you want to rapidly turn pages, hold your breath - alot - get thrown for a loop by unexpected twists, get more story in 170 pages than most books relay in 600, this is a series you will thoroughly enjoy. Worried that this story is told instead of shown? Don't be. What it loses in emotional characterization, it more than makes up for with strong, engrossing narrative.
For once, I am glad I went with my gut and gave this series a try. It is good for the soul to be pleasantly surprised ever so often. Now if I can just convince him to write a story of what happens to the dwarves. Trust me, I'll be first in line to buy it.
For a more detailed opinion of this series on a book by book basis, I suggest reading my individual book reviews.
Legacy of the Eldric ~ Dragon Rider ~ Shadow of the Demon
|Source: Gift, No Review Requested
Author: David Burrows
Genre: Epic High Fantasy Series
Content: Hero/Heroine, Dragons, Demons
Series: Prophecy of the Kings
Publisher: Self-Published, CreateSpace
|Cover Art Omnibus: Dale Ziemianski|
Download Sample Chapters
Prequel Short Story: Drachar’s Demons
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Website - Blog - Twitter - Facebook
Available in Kindle
See individual reviews for more information.
More Great Epic Fantasy
Epic High Fantasy Series Review of Prophecy of the Kings by David Burrows - Reviewed by Mulluane - on November 18, 2013 - Rating: of 5 Stars