King Severn Argentine’s fearsome reputation precedes him: usurper of the throne, killer of rightful heirs, ruthless punisher of traitors. Attempting to depose him, the Duke of Kiskaddon gambles…and loses. Now the duke must atone by handing over his young son, Owen, as the king’s hostage. And should his loyalty falter again, the boy will pay with his life. Seeking allies and eluding Severn’s spies, Owen learns to survive in the court of Kingfountain. But when new evidence of his father’s betrayal threatens to seal his fate, Owen must win the vengeful king’s favor by proving his worth—through extraordinary means. And only one person can aid his desperate cause: a mysterious woman, dwelling in secrecy, who truly wields power over life, death, and destiny.
I picked my book up from Amazon Kindle Unlimited again this week, since I spent the weekend driving to see my family and wanted something easy to listen to and switch to reading once I got home. I also haven’t been able to read a pure high fantasy in a while and this sounded like the perfect fit. I was excited to be immersed in a new world and see what Jeff Wheeler has to offer.
The world the Kingfountain series was a lot of fun. The magic of this world and the role it plays in the plot is unique. Everything is centered around their fountain and water-based religion, from their birth rituals to their executions. Since the main character, Owen is so young, we get to learn about many of these elements through him. It made it easy to understand what was going on and to learn about important world elements as they became important.
There is a large cast of characters in this book. Owen’s large family, the extended monarchy that Owen get’s to know, and his wide range of allies and enemies. There are some great characters in there who play a number of roles to advance the plot. Some characters felt repetitive and while I’m sure they’ll play an important role in one of the sequels, I ended this book wondering why the cast was so large when it just caused more confusion for the reader.
This plot is heavy with twists, turns and excitement, which is just what you’d expect from a book about old world espionage and power. The writing style and some elements of the plot reminded me a lot of Game of Thrones. The intricasy of the plot does create some pacing issues though, as it was a bit slow to get through and at many points in the book I felt like I could put it down and wouldn’t feel too eager to pick it back up. However, I enjoyed seeing all the points of the plot eventually come back together in the end.
If you’re a fan of Game of Throne, you’ll love The Queen’s Poisoner, the first book in the Kingfountain series. The world and magic system is fun and unique and there is a large and diverse cast of characters. The plot was as bit slow for me and it wasn’t as engaging as I would have hoped, but the conclusion of the first book of this series is excellent.