Review Blog

Feb 19 2019

The ruin of kings by Jenn Lyons

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Tor Publishing 2018. ISBN 9781509879496.
(Age: Adult) Fantasy. In a world with eight goods, magic, music, and plenty of brothels, Khirin's life changes forever when he robs the wrong house. Discovered as a long lost heir (and plenty else over the course of the novel), he must fight to have his voice heard and to save the city meanwhile escaping slavery and colluding with a dragon. With the games of a mimic, the darkest wizard the world has ever known, and danger in every shadow, it's a wonder Khirin's survived this long.
Lyons excels in her characterisation, making Khirin the type of character we all want to be - he's smart, calculating, and resourceful. He puts his shadow-dancer skills to good use meanwhile adapting to anything and everything Taja, Lady of Luck, throws his way.
It is hard to simply summarise this novel other than to say it is certainly a challenge. Familiar with epic fantasies and an avid reader both in and outside the genre, The ruin of kings is just one book I simply cannot finish. This isn't to say that it is bad or awful, more that it is convoluted and deliberately challenging to readers. Narration switches between first and third person retrospective on alternating chapters, each telling the story of Khirin, a minstrel's son come long lost prince, from different points in his timeline. There is enough content and world-building in The ruin of kings to have spanned multiple books comfortably, however, for me at least, this tornado of a plot isn't something I'd go out of my way for. Recommended for lovers of epic fantasy who are looking for a challenging read.
Kayla Gaskell

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