Cover Image: The Ruin of Kings

The Ruin of Kings

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This follows Kihrin both before and after he becomes a slave. There are many hints about who and what Kihrin is but no answers. What does happen as the story progresses is complex world building, hints about Kihrin's backstory, and the introduction of multiple characters. Kihrin's actions bring danger and tension to himself and the people around him. All of this sets the stage for what will follow. There are no solutions to problems instead there is just an end to the book knowing that there is more to come. An interesting part of the world building is the addition of foot notes to things or people in the story adding information to the world and back story,

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.  I red the full book and am posting a full review not a preview excerpt.
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The Ruin of Kings is an interesting beginning to this new fantasy series. It starts with a dialogue between Kihrin, in a jail cell presumably awaiting execution, and Talon, his guard and a extraordinarily powerful shapeshifter. Talon asks Kihrin to tell him his story, of how he came to be in the dungeon. What follows is a back-and-forth between present and past as Kihrin tells a series of stories to Talon to pass the time.

Apparently Kihrin is an accomplished thief, with rare abilities that help him succeed in his craft. He also comes from a past that is alluded to be much more, but not yet revealed. He has the markings of destiny about him, but how can that destiny come to pass if he is soon to be executed and in prison, guarded by one of the most powerful beings in the world?  The characters are likeable and well-drawn, and the author has created the beginnings of an interesting world that I look forward to exploring in future books in the series.
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The Ruin of Kings – by Jenn Lyons
This was an enthralling introduction to what will be the series – the 'Chorus of Dragons'  
I enjoyed it so much, I just went out and bought the full book, which I will review shortly ! 
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review. 
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This was a great intro into a fantastic new fantasy series! I'm looking forward to reading the complete book.
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The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons
Told from multiple POV, this author uses a unique and different style of writing that, TBH, I found a bit confusing at times. I found myself flipping back to previous pages to try and understand what the heck was going on. That being said, I was completely mesmerized by this story! It is an epic fantasy that I could definitely see being made into a movie, or better yet, a Netflix series or something like that. It is supposed to be the first in a series of five books, I believe. So, there is great potential for propelling the story forward. I can see why it has been compared to Game of Thrones, because of the complexity of the plotline and the many characters. There are so many elements to this tale.
The author is a brilliant at description and detail. The writing was striking and powerful. Lyons even includes footnotes and a glossary. The word building was nothing short of magnificent. Lyons’ storytelling style in this book is innovative and distinctive. The quality of writing is absolutely astounding. Jenn Lyons is an extraordinarily gifted and talented author.
The flow was hard to follow, and as I mentioned- it was confusing at times. There so many voices and characters that sometimes switch bodies and I was wondering who was actually who sometimes. I caught on easily though. The characters were richly drawn and dynamic. There were humorous exchanges between supporting cast and characters that gave comic relief to the intensity of the novel. The world of the book was immense and vivid. Wondrous even. It was a fascinating storyline that kept me riveted despite the convoluted elements. Definitely interesting enough to be anxious for the next installment. (Oh Jenn, please don’t be a George!)
Trigger warning- I don’t’ think this would be a book for younger readers as it has slavery, torture, human sacrifice, rape, and incest. Id go so far as to say this should be considered more adult fiction than YA.
This must have been quite the challenge to write, which speaks to the author’s skill IMHO. A quick and enjoyable read, this one packs a punch. There’s a lot story in this relatively short book. It was entertaining with loose endings that keep you begging for answers. I am conflicted about the rating because it was such an amazing read but it WAS very confusing, though I did enjoy getting lost in it. I highly recommend, if you have time to put the pieces together. It is a brilliant and captivating book. 4/5 stars.

I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.
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Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7
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I love the frame story style that this excerpt is told in, and the dialogue between the two characters doing the telling is fascinating and absolutely intrigued me.  I'm curious about the rest of the book, and although (in the style of a true brick of a high fantasy book) it definitely took some effort to understand the larger world the story is being told in, I'm excited to know more and continue the story!
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So excited to read more! I've heard good things about this series, and I'm excited to have gotten this change to read an excerpt. I really enjoyed the writing style and can't wait to read more!
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My full review:
This will be posted to Amazon and Goodreads
The Ruin of Kings is an impressive, if somewhat convoluted, start to a promising series set within a fantastically imagined world and just rife with unexpected twists and turns.  I enjoyed this but, at the same time, I can’t deny that it turned me into a hot mess at certain points, it was a total head mash and I literally became Gollum-esque arguing with myself about the pros and the cons *it burns us, it freezes us, preciousss* – make up your mind already!  Does it burn or does it freeze.

This review is going to probably be mostly incoherent and more than likely a rambling stream of consciousness but, in spite of some niggles that will be outlined below I found this an exciting book to read in terms of the scope and vision and I look forward to seeing how the author progresses the story, particularly as I think the mode of storytelling employed in this first book is highly unlikely to be used in the next instalment.

The story begins with Kihrin in prison and persuaded (quite forcefully) by his jailor, Talon, to tell his story.  Talon also narrates part of Kihrin’s tale – but from a quite unusual perspective and an earlier time frame.  Added to this we have a third pov that takes the form of an unknown narrator who comments on parts of the story as well as providing information in the form of footnotes.  Between these three different povs we eventually piece together Kihrin’s history, his humble beginnings, (an orphan and musician residing in a brothel), his night time exploits as a thief that lead him into trouble, his dizzy rise and his abduction and sale into slavery.

I don’t think I’m going to elaborate on the plot as I really don’t think I could do it justice in this review and on top of that there’s such a lot going on that this could end up turning into a dissertation.  I’ll leave you all to your own devices in that respect.

So, here are my thoughts.

Well, firstly, I have to mention the world building.  The creativity and imagination employed here is just amazing.  This is a world that the author has fully immersed herself in and it shows.  There’s history, politics, scheming nobles, mysterious islands, fantastical beasts, necromancy, magic, body swapping – well, let’s just round up by saying there’s a lot going on in this world and the way the information is delivered to readers is well thought out and just really impressive.  I loved this world and found myself totally absorbed. There are no huge expositions, although the footnotes do assist with relaying tidbits of information here and there. Did I mention I loved this world?  Yes?  Well, a second time can’t hurt, it’s an absolute tour de force and this first novel feels like it barely scrapes the surface of what’s yet in store.

The writing and dialogue are also equally impressive.  I think when you’re reading a book of this size it’s very easy to become bogged down or find the pacing slow at certain points but I think the author’s style is so easy to engage with that I really didn’t feel like this was ever an issue.  Plus, the story is intriguing and the pace is driven by the constant switches in narration.  Okay, every now and again, I didn’t want to be pulled out of one part of the story quite so quickly but at the same time I do also find myself appreciating the style of shorter chapters and the fact that these chapters all usually swapped during  one or another crisis definitely kept me reading when I should have been sleeping.

There are plenty of characters and a lot to take on board – often with very similar sounding names and I did find that I had to really pay attention to prevent them all becoming something of a blur.  I really enjoyed the dialogue and felt it flowed naturally and I found myself becoming attached to Kihrin and feeling quite sorry for all the trials and tribulations he encounters along the way.  Although, I wouldn’t say that I absolutely loved any of the characters in particular – in fact, strangely, I found myself drawn to Talon’s chapters because she is so unabashedly herself in all her glorious nastiness.

So, the bad and the ugly?  Well.  I think telling the story in this way will probably cause readers to be split in opinion.  I found myself at first wondering why we had the two different timelines/povs – it just puzzled me.  Why didn’t Kihrin start from the beginning of his story instead of what felt like the halfway point.  Part of me wondered if this was because the narrator’s, or one of them, was going to prove unreliable but in fact I don’t think that was the case – although the two did have some small arguments in terms of accuracy every now and again.  I think the main idea here was not only to help show events from a different perspective rather than all from Kihrin’s pov – but also to show the extent to which Kihrin had been manipulated along the way.  Plus I think Talon was trying to shock Kihrin with some of her revelations in that he was himself in the dark about such a lot of his own history.  The problem that I had with this style was that I couldn’t always easily distinguish between the two voices and in fact sometimes, particularly at the beginning, lost track of who’s pov I was reading.  Okay, I’m probably not as quick on the uptake as some!  As it happens, I ended up really enjoying reading both Talon and Kihrin’s versions although it might have been more useful to stay longer with each of them at the beginning when the constant shift in timeline and perspective, coupled with all the different people and events was a bit much to take on board.

The only other thing that I would mention is that the twists in the story here, the casualties along the way, the deaths that weren’t deaths, the people that weren’t who you thought – well, it became too heavily relied upon at one point and left my head spinning a little in terms of keeping up with who was who.  Sorry, I appreciate that’s very vague but it’s necessarily so in order to avoid spoilers.

Criticisms aside, this is a thoroughly intriguing world full of hateful characters and practices, different Gods, demons and scheming families that are then balanced by people trying to do the right thing.  The political machinations going on here were well thought out and entertaining and the scope was just amazing.  This is indeed epic fantasy.  It’s entertaining, it’s engrossing, it’s well planned and executed.  It reads like a labour of love and criticisms notwithstanding it feels like this is only the tip of the iceberg.  I think the only piece of advice that I would give to others is that this is a book that demands your full attention, don’t pick this up with the crazy notion of blasting through or flipping the pages with dizzying speed.

Oh, and one final note that I nearly forgot about – dragons!  Stands to reason given the name of the series but I thought I should give them a mention.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.
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Disclaimer - I got an eArc from Netgalley, and I have no idea if I actually got the entire book. I did get 21 chapters though, so consider it a review of that, if nothing else. With that in mind - here’s the review.

The Ruin of Kings tells the tale of Kihrin, a thief turned slave (upward mobility?) whose life has been no picnic. Left on a garbage heap as a newborn but rescued by a (now) blind musician, he currently lives in a brothel while robbing from the rich to provide a nice retirement for his disapproving adoptive father. However, he has a gift. He can see through the Second Veil, normally a talent restricted to wizards. While he has no magical powers, it makes him a darn good thief, as he can recognise the true signature (not the best description) of objects. This makes him good at what he does, as nothing can be hidden or disguised from his discerning eye. 
When we meet Kihrin for the first time, he is a prisoner to Talon, a murderous shapeshifter who demands that Kihrin tell his story. This sets up a story told in two parts, the present (or so), told by Kihrin and in the first person, and the past told in third person. This might be jarring for some, but I’m a sucker for differing writing styles, and this is done very well. In addition, there is the novel addition of annotation at the end of each chapter, as if someone is reading and adding some further information to Kihrin’s story - a nice plus, especially for worldbuilding.
The world is dark, one of vast cultural and economic divide, rampant slavery and (potentially) evil cults. Magic is alluded to, but not explained in great detail, but I can see that being added later on. There are monsters galore, so familiar and some not so, but there’s never a feeling of “been there, done that.” It’s also very engaging, I blasted through it over the course of a day and a half, although being laid up and off work sure helped.
It’s intended to be part of a series/trilogy, so the book doesn’t end on a “The End” note, but rather lays the groundwork for the next in the series, another thing some of you may hate. For me, though, I liked it. It was funny, clever and well-written. Despite the dark setting, there was a touch of YA vibe, but perhaps that had more to do with a teen in the lead. I dare you not to like Kihrin, or his surly father, and root for them through to the end. Everyone else seems to have their own agenda, but the author keeps this well under wraps so we don’t spoil the end of the tale by guessing the ending (something I am wont to do).

So a fun and interesting, but not quite perfect 4 out of 5 stars.
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The The Ruin of Kings was not for me. I do like complex fantasy. I enjoy great world building with descriptive storytelling. And here comes the BUT. But the story is presented in a very original way but I found convoluted and quite confusing way that lead to me developing zero character connections.

I received this ARC copy of The Ruin of Kings from Macmillan-Tor/Forge. This is my honest and voluntary review. The Ruin of Kings is set for publication Feb. 5, 2019.
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Thank you to NetGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

I got a preview excerpt and it was amazing. As soon as the book was published I ran and got myself a copy. This was so hard to put down and while reading the full book, it was so engrossing I couldn't put it down at all and found myself reading for hours. 

This book just pulls you in and compiles you to read more. The storyline, characters and over all world building is amazing.
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This will be short.  I don’t usually do book previews for my blog.  It’s hard to get a feel for a book with a short excerpt, but the buzz on for this book, and my unending love for Tor meant I needed to get a glimpse at this. 

Oh my goodness.

It starts out well, a young man, Khirin, is imprisoned and taunted by a completely terrifying demon. She forcefully requests he tell her his life story. He starts with the story of his time in slavery as a young man, but she doesn’t trust him to tell it complete (not that I trust her either). So the book alternates the story as he tells it, with one told by the demon about Rook (Khirin as a much younger boy). It’s a fascinating way to push the story forward. You know of know where young Rook will end up, in prison, but not how he gets there. That’s the fun part, but there is also the question of where he will end up once we catch up with Kihrin as prisoner of the demon Talon. (I’ve not done any of this justice, please just read the excerpt for yourself … link below)

I am most impressed with the scope of this book. The worldbuilding is something fantastic. It is complex. I’m going to add a couple of links here so you can see for yourself some of the work that the author has put into this book. She has labored over it and it shows in the quality of the work she has produced.

First is a twitter thread from Tor which shares some of the content I mentioned:

    #TheRuinofKings by @jennlyonsauthor is on sale today! Here’s a thread of all the amazing content we and @tordotcom have done (thus far!) to get you even more hype for the start of this great new fantasy series!— Tor Books (@torbooks) February 5, 2019

Click here if you’d like to see the preview chapters for yourself. They are on’s website as well as a commentary provided by Leigh Butler.

In case you’re wondering, I just finished the excerpt and thank goodness I waited until the book was available because I am buying it as soon as I’m done posting. Imagine if I’d read it a month ago and had to wait for it to come out! I’m at a freaking cliffhanger for goodness sake!

Do yourself a favor and look into this one. It’s not to be missed.
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I read an excerpt of this book and it was nothing short of phenomenal. I was immediately immersed in this world and captivated by the characters. I cannot wait to read the rest of this book. The world-building is top notch. The main character is strong, relatable, and incredibly likable.
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After reading the preview excerpt, I decided that I was not connecting enough to continue on with the full book. I see that it has received a lot of positive buzz and I hope that it is a success for the publisher. It just wasn't for me.
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I received a partial arc, so I have not posted a review online. However, my thoughts are this:
Though this book had a lot of creative ideas, I found the alternating points of view to be very confusing, because they both tell the story of the same main character, one in first person and one in third, during different times. If the story had been less convoluted and didn't switch points of view so often, this would have been a much more enjoyable read. However, I do think I will read the rest of the story later on because it was interesting.
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Even though I only read an extended excerpt of this book, it drew me in so fast! I absolutely loved the world building that we see in this preview and all of the hints at things to come. 

The book goes back and forth between Kihrin’s recounting of his life story so far, and another person’s (Talon, a potential demon?) recounting of what they know of Kihrin’s life story. This style of storytelling is a little hard to follow at times and I found myself occasionally going back and checking the headlines of chapters to reacquaint myself with where the story was supposed to be at a given point, but other than that I thoroughly enjoyed this preview! 

The world building is definitely my favorite aspect and I can’t wait to find out more about the gods, demons and monsters in this world. And of course the dragons! The style of the book reminded me a bit of The Name of the  Wind, so that was another great reason to keep reading. I will definitely be looking for this when it comes out!
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I received a free copy of this book from the author. I had the opportunity to review or not.

The Ruin of Kings is an epic tale of royalty, decadence and betrayal; and a young man’s search for who he is. The world building is fascinating and the characters intriguing. I found the different pov’s to be confusing at first but it didn’t take long to settle into it. Once I got comfortable with the various points of view I became engrossed in the tale.

Explaining this tale is beyond my abilities at the moment. There are many aspects to this tale. A young man who would be a unique blacksmith, a monster that likes to hear stories and tell stories, a group of controlling elites that want it all, all the time. Thieves, murderers, special metals, known and unknown enemies, and unknown heritage. How the author pulls this all together is amazing and well worth reading. I kept reading when I should have been sleeping. This is one not to pass up.
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So I have no idea where exactly I am at in this book since I only got the first 23 chapters from NetGalley whom I thank for this opportunity but this book is coming out tomorrow so I can finally continue reading it and I cannot wait!! 

I know what most people say about The Ruin of Kings. That it’s unecessarily complicated and too difficult to follow. And yes, I have to admit it took me some time to really get into it because I was so intimitated by the unconventional structure. However, I think it’s original. It took some time to get used to but after a few chapters, it was easy to follow. 

The story has one character at its center, Kihrin. However, his story is told to us through multiple point of views. 
Kihrin is locked in a prison cell with his captor Talon as his only company. Both of them tell us Kihrin’s story but at different periods of his life. Talon tells us the story of the fifteen year old thief who steals so he can give a better life to the people he loves while Kihrin tells us of his life after he has become a slave. We basically alternate between those two timelines. Both of their stories are also recorded into a magic rock of which the book is basically a transcript written by another character whom we also see appear in the story and who gives us his own commentary. 

Sounds complicated right ? It is. But I promise you, you shouldn't be intimidated by it. I think Jenn Lyons took a gamble and it payed off cause she handled it well. I thought the story was fluid and not forced. However, keep in mind I am saying this after reading only 23 chapters. 

It's a dense book for sure, there is a lot of information to process but one thing I can say is it was worth it. I have only read 23 chapters, so I don’t know if I’ll even love the end but I’m too invested now. The chapters are short, which I love. They are just long enough to get you hooked and you end up wanting to read the next chapter and the next without end. 

One thing I had a really hard time getting used to though was the names. They are all so ‘original’ and complicated to pronounce but most importantly, they’re all so similar it made it hard to figure out who was who. Nonetheless, this was my only big issue. 

I will post a full review once I’ve read the whole book. It is out tomorrow (February 5th) so don’t hesitate to go check it out ! 

Potentially triggering subject : slavery (as of the first 23 chapters)
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This review is for an excerpt of the book only and not the book in its entirety. Thank you to Netgalley, Jenn Lyons, and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. 

Kihrin is an orphan who gets captured and sold. He finds himself being pursued by one of the world's most powerful wizards. The book itself is told like a story. It's split into two different perspectives, and time periods. It might be a bit confusing at first but it does get better. I'm indifferent towards the characters so far. A fantasy book with loads of gods, demons, wizards, and magic, for those who likes that kind of thing. However, the story does start off pretty slow. 

Overall, I'm interested in reading what happens next and finishing the last half of this book when it releases.
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A smooth read with some interesting character and world-building, but I don't believe I am Ruin's targeted audience as it was just ho-hum for me.
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