The Worth of a King released on Monday, On Thursday I shared an interview, and today I am sharing a review.
I first read this book while it was still in rough form, then again later in development, and finally the finished version and I’m friends with Kendra, so I can’t deny that I’m writing from a biased perspective. Still, I think it’s one of Kendra’s best books. Not quite my favourite as few things can surpass the delightful twistiness of Lady Dragon, Tela Du. I thoroughly enjoyed it however, and There is no way I can choose a favourite character.
There’s Princess Nadilynn, a chatterbox who can cheer up any situation, there’s our main trio of Obsidia, Adrian and Delaney. (If you’re like me and only knew Delaney as a girl’s name, and you haven’t read the book description yet, here’s a tip: Delaney is a guy.) There’s Adrian’s family and friends, and the Zovordian royalty. There’s also the Immortal Queen and king who are a mixture of wise, brilliant and fun. Well the Immortal King at least is fun; Amber is just brilliant and not someone you want to mess with. And there is Laura the Doorkeeper who is one of my favourite character ever. Cute, and brilliant and tragic. Some of her lines are hilarious. “Hey, Mr. Dialcian Soldier Person.” Laura is one of the few character who can pull a line like that off without sounding like a snarky, angsty YA action heroine.
Actually on further reflection Favourite character is a tie between Nadilynn and Laura. I like the main three, and they’re written well, but they’re not the most fun or expressive characters. They take things seriously, which is probably how they should be taken seriously, but doesn’t connect to me on a deep emotional level. Or maybe I simply find non-royalty easier to relate to.
Worth starting off reminds me of the typical heroes story. You’ve got a young man in some insignificant village who find’s he’s a prince and needs to reclaim his throne. And then it goes the way of intrigue and politics more than action. If you’re looking for lots of actions, this isn’t the book for you. There is some action, including battling dragons, but it’s not heavy on it. This is a character story, the story of a few people caught up in the battles between those much more powerful than them.
It is thematically lovely, though far from subtly in its discussions of faith. It’s not just about faith though, so it didn’t feel heavy-handed. And it made me cry at place with some of the characters. I don’t cry easily while reading, and still half-blame the tears on tiredness, but It did affect me.
If you’re familiar with Kendra’s writing, you’ll know she has a fondness for quirky things in her world. The Worth of a King is a little different. It’s still got Kendra’s mark on it, but it’s a little more serious. There’s a complexity to the world-building that doesn’t quite come through in her other stories. Complex politics, and accession laws, alliances between kingdoms, major borders, and a strong sense that these kingdoms are all unique and full of people.
The Worth of a King is sort of a prequel to Kendra’s Rizkaland Legends, and there were some connections that I enjoyed, but it stands very well alone. So don’t let the fact you haven’t read any of the Rizkaland books stand in you way of reading this book. It’s a good first book. It’s also likely to be the first book of Kendra’s I own a physical copy of. It’s gorgeous and I want it on my shelf.
About the book:
Princess Obsidia’s father was killed the night she was born. Since there was no male heir, the crown went to the man who killed him, by Dialcian law. This never bothered her, growing up, and when it comes time for Obsidia to choose her husband, she chooses Prince Delaney, the son of that man, with little hesitation. Only then does her life start crumbling around her.
Adrian expected to live a normal life, taking his father’s place at the print shop when his father retired. But, on his eighteenth birthday, when the princess’ engagement is announced, his world is ripped out from under him when he learns that his life was a ruse, and he is the twin brother to the princess – and expected to take back his father’s throne.
Delaney knows that his country is hovering on the brink of war – and that his father may harbor murderous intentions towards his intended bride due to her Zovordian blood. He wants nothing more than to protect Obsidia and his people, but as merely prince, he has little power against his father.
The ancient war between the Dragons and the Immortal King and Queen is nearing its climax, and the three are already caught in it.
Read the first chapter here.
Find it on: Amazon || Goodreads
Kendra E. Ardnek loves fairytales and twisting them in new and exciting ways. She’s been or acting them on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years. “Finish your story, Kendra,” is frequently heard at family gatherings. Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children’s tales that glorify God and His Word.
Find her online at: Website || Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || Amazon
Kendra is giving away a paperback copy of the book and a 15ml bottle of Peppermint oil (US only), so go visit her blog! She also has a special prize for whoever leaves the most comments across the blog tour – and that one is international. So go and comment.