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Review: 21. The King's Bastard by Rowena Cory Daniells....

February 4, 2011
I love the cover of Rowena Cory Daniells' The King's Bastard! There's just something a bit, um, sinister about it, isn't there?

the king's bastard
Title: The King's Bastard (Chronicles of King Rolen's Kin #1)
Author: Rowena Cory Daniells
ISBN-13: 9781907519017
Paperback: 640 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 2010
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository
Source: Rowena Cory Daniells

drey's thoughts:
The King's Bastard is an epic fantasy offering from Rowena Cory Daniells, the first of 3 books. In this one, we are introduced to Byren, the King's second son. His twin brother Lence is the heir, his younger brother Fyn is promised to the abbey, and his sister Piro is, well, the King's daughter.

There is magic here, dubbed Affinity, and it seems to mess with you enough that if you show any signs of it, you're shipped off to the Abbey to learn how to control it. Rogue users do so on penalty of death. So when the King's progeny start displaying signs of Affinity, what is there to do? Well, try to hide it, of course. Until you can't anymore, because the consequences are less threatening than the alternative.

Character: Byren Kingsson is a good man. He is loyal to his family, his country, and his friends. That loyalty gets him in trouble, when he tries to protect his BFF from being outed, and is himself "outed" instead. Not that he's gay, but who cares about the details? His twin, Lence, is not as likable. He's malleable, and is more glass-half-empty than glass-half-full. Being the heir, it's not difficult to get him all paranoid that Byren's up to something, especially when you have advisers who're pretty good at working the spin machine...But you'd think you'd give your own twin the benefit of the doubt, right? I mean, where's all the twin-power at?

Pace & Plot: The story takes a little while to get going, and there is so much happening--with four children, plus the King and his Queen, and some of the other characters--that I needed to go back and re-read some chapters to get my story straight. But once stuff starts, it doesn't stop, and keeps building until something has to combust. And combust it does.

I found some of the story to be very simplistic, where I was all "duh!" and some of it to be truly engrossing. But all in all, a pretty good yarn, and I'll be looking for the next book to find out what happens to Byren next.

drey's rating: 3/5 Good

2011 Challenge: New Author

Have you read The King's Bastard? What did you think?


Jaedia said...

Ooh, thanks for the review :)
This one keeps popping up in my Amazon recommendations and I had been wondering about it. Nice to hear somebody else's thoughts ^^

Shrek said...

After the first of the year I posted a list of what I'd read the previous year, and 2010 included the KRK series by Rowena Cory Daniells. I was a little surprised the next day to see a comment left by Ms Daniells on my blog, and she closed he message with "Hope you enjoy my books. :->". This is the reply I posted on her blog:


Since you read and left a comment on our blog I figured I’d wander over and take a look at yours.

Yes, I absolutely enjoyed your books. I loved the pace of the story, like how in the action sequences the words just leapt off the pages like the battles were going on around you, and in the “slower” back story parts of the books you used a more melodic pace that continued to draw the reader deeper into the story. You can tell lots of authors aim for that; most fail, but you nailed it.

The goal of any author should be to draw the reader into the story, to make it hard for someone to put the book down. Well, you hooked me. I’m just happy I had all three novels in hand before I started reading them because I would have pulled out what’s left of my hair waiting for the next book to come out after finishing each one.

Good luck in the future…I’ll be watching ;)


I also started following the KRK blog via Google reader, and that's how I found this blog. I'm looking forward to when I have a couple of hours so I can check out all the previous posts...

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