Thursday, January 21, 2016

Kings or Pawns: The Kings (Book 1) by J.J. Sherwood (Review and Giveaway)

J.J. Sherwood’s debut novel KINGS OR PAWNS: THE KINGS, BOOK 1 is the first in a high fantasy epic series sure to please fans of both the science fiction and fantasy genres.

Kings or Pawns: The Kings (Book 1) by J.J. Sherwood
Silver Helm Publishing
ISBN: 978-0986287701
Trade paperback, 373 pages
Content Rating: PG - 13 for language & violence. No explicit sex scenes

Book Description:

The year is 8994 P.E., and the city of Elvorium is corrupted—rotted to the core by the machinations of depraved politicians. With his father dead and the country facing a rebellion, Price Hairem becomes the king of the elven world of Sevrigel in one of its most turbulent points in history.

Young and daring, Hairem is determined to eradicate the corruption festering in Elvorium’s self-serving and all-powerful council, which thwarts his best intentions at every turn. But Hairem’s problems are far more sinister¬—and deadly—than merely political. The loyal members of the council are being savagely murdered by an assassin loosed within the city—an assassin whose brutality knows no bounds. Outside of the city, the Lord Saebellus wages a vicious rebellion against the capital. He has been thwarted thus far by the brilliant General Jikun, and Hairem is certain that the general can crush Saebellus.

But instead of continuing the campaign against the warlord, the council orders Jikun’s army to be split, sending him on a mission that furthers only their own wealth and power. Jikun knows that the council’s demands will leave Elvorium vulnerable to an attack from the formidable warlord. Although Saebellus has been recently defeated, he is far from vanquished. As corruption and death threaten to tear the city apart from within, the rebel Saebellus seizes the opportunity to lay siege to Sevrigel’s eastern capital and unleash his most powerful weapon yet: a demonic beast that neither weapon nor magic can kill. With the elven world crumbling around him, Hairem is grasping for his own power to fight against the forces that threaten Sevrigel.

Will Hairem overcome the council’s scheming and duplicity? Can General Jikun defeat the warlord Saebellus? Will this be the war that finally brings Sevrigel to its knees? KINGS OR PAWNS offers action, intrigue, mystery, and suspense—a thrilling story that will leave readers hungry for the sequel, Heroes or Thieves, to be published in February 2016.

My Review:
Reviewed by Fil Piccolo

Kings or Pawns by J.J. Sherwood is the first book in the Step of Power series. King Hairem inherits his father’s kingdom rife with corrupt council members and a warlord who wants to take the throne from him. With a dwindling number of loyalist fighting for Hairem, he tries both to regain control of his kingdom and remove the threats to it. The question of whether he can outwit both corrupt members and a warlord taking advantage of any mistake he makes renders this sci-fi/fantasy political novel worth reading.

Sherwood is quite apt at bringing characters to life. A reader's connection to the characters is easily made and as the story progresses these characters grow in depth. At times, I felt as if I'd encountered some in my life. 

Making a fantasy world is no easy undertaking for any writer, yet Sherwood manages to do so with easy. The world-building is well done. Whether it’s the rich and colorful fantastical lands to the descriptive details of the manor, she delights her reader on every page.

The plot elements in Kings or Pawns works on many fronts. From the romance of a young prince to the political intrigue of the decaying elven city Elvorium. she has done this well. I would say her forte is political intrigue.

There were a few things that frustrated me though. One of them was the irrational reasoning of the characters at times. For example. in one scene Sellemar of noble blood finds himself alone in a mansion whose previous owner had been assassinated. Other nobles had also been assassinated in the city. Yet here we find Sellemar alone at night with no guards, no house servants so that the front gate and door are easily opened by the assassin. In the pursuing engagement, Sellemar gets the better of his would-be assassin. With a sword to the assassin's chest, Sellemar begins to question him… without disarming the assassin whose sword was in hand! Sellemar sees the assasin’s true intention and instead of slaying him right there and then, he kicks the assassin who manages to get up and fight again.

However despite these foibles, Kings or Pawns remains a great debut for J.J. Sherwood. Her talent for world building and political intrigue will establish her as an upcoming author to watch out for in the sci-fi / fantasy genre.

Disclosure: Thanks to the publicist for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

To read more reviews, please visit J.J. Sherwood's page on iRead Book Tours.

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About the Author:

J.J. Sherwood lives in Ohio with her husband and four near-identical cats. KINGS OR PAWNS is J.J.’s widely anticipated debut novel, and is the first book of The Kings quartet. The series is set in the high fantasy world of Aersadore, home to hundreds of characters who all clamor for J.J.’s attention. To learn more about the trials and tribulations of General Jikun and King Hairem, visit J.J. Sherwood will be at the tenth Fandom Fest Comic Con in Louisville, Kentucky this coming August 7th-9th.

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1 comment :

  1. This novel sounds enthralling and a unique story. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com


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