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King's Folly (The Kinsman Chronicles) Paperback – April 5, 2016
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From the Back Cover
Their Battle for the Throne Has Just Begun.
But Will It Matter if the World They Rule Collapses Into the Sea?
The gods are angry.
Volcanic eruptions, sinkholes, ground shakers--everything points to their unhappiness. At least that is what the king of Armania believes. His son Prince Wilek thinks his father's superstitions are nonsense, though he remains the ever dutiful First Arm of Armania.
When a messenger arrives and claims that the town of Farway has been swallowed by the earth, the king sends Wilek to investigate. But what Wilek discovers is more cataclysmic than one lost city. Even as the ground shifts beneath his feet, Wilek sets out on a desperate journey to save his people and his world. But can he do it before the entire land crumbles?
This volume includes the first three parts of The Kinsman Chronicles originally released as ebooks.
Part 1--Darkness Reigns
Part 2--The Heir War
Part 3--The End of All Things
"This series starter is an intense drama of biblical proportions...Wilek, Mielle, and Trevn in particular are intriguing, and the ending leaves readers wondering what adventures await this group of young people searching for truth."--RT Book Reviews
"Williamson crafts a complex and vividly portrayed epic fantasy reminiscent of George R.R. Martin's 'A Song of Ice and Fire' series but less edgy and with a Christian worldview. Loosely following the events in the Old Testament, the author depicts a society in which paganism and superstition are deeply ingrained prior to the coming of the Savior."--Library Journal
"This first book in the Kinsman Chronicles contains all the archetypal elements fantasy readers long for: a dangerous quest, the search for restoration, and a hero's trial and tribulations through vast darkness and adventure. Fans will be swept away by Williamson's fantasy world...King's Folly is an expertly crafted epic tale in the Tolkien tradition that will leave customers impatiently waiting the next installment."--CBA Retailers + Resources
About the Author
Jill Williamson writes fantasy and science fiction for teens and adults. Jill grew up in Alaska, staying up and reading by the summer daylight that wouldn't go away. This led to a love of books and writing, and her debut novel, By Darkness Hid, won several awards and was named a Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror novel of 2009 by VOYA magazine. She loves giving writing workshops and blogs for teen writers at www.GoTeenWriters.com. She now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two children, and a whole lot of deer. Visit her online at www.jillwilliamson.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
KING'S FOLLY sucked me in at once and never let me go till the last page... and even then I'm pretty sure I sometimes felt like I was still inside the book. Not your typical fantasy-world, there was more sand and less green, and it made me think a bit of Prince of Persia (which is a high compliment, coming from me!). Now, with the darkness and creepiness of it, the world of KING'S FOLLY is not one I'd like to LIVE in... but still. ;) Diverse and original, it felt like nothing I'd read before, while at the same time I enjoyed the few little hints we got of the things to come which I remember from the Blood of Kings books, like Shields and some of the names like Hadar. I can't wait to see where it all goes! (Though you don't have to have read the other series to read this one.)
The writing is incredible. It made for that wonderful moment where you just go ''wow, that is GOOD writing'' and proceed to lose yourself in its quality. The world is fantastically well-drawn, the cultures and languages and settings and peoples and legends... Politics and complex situations and character relationships are all crafted brilliantly, with the multiple storylines seamlessly weaving together into a massive epic of a fantasy tale. It's off to a great start which I can't wait to continue with the next book!
There are SO many characters in this thing, and it was fun to sort them all out and follow their stories. I'll admit that I gave up on keeping track of all the side-character names fairly early on, which wasn't usually a problem since I could at least keep the main people straight. (The character list of some of them, as well as the map, were much-referred-to by me as I read, and very helpful.) Though I must say that near the end, there were a few people I was rather confused about... but I think I did all right.
We start out with four or five main points of view (though more are added later) and it was fascinating to get the story from all their perspectives. It was really well constructed, too! They all had a different feel to them, which was awesome. (I didn't like Charlon's chapters, though. Not only for their content, but also because they were composed almost entirely of short, punchy sentence-fragments. It was very effective to get across her fragmented character, but I felt like my head was being pounded open. Though that was probably just me.)
Characters tend to make or break a novel for me lately, and these were awesome and SO well-written. I loved many of the characters, and it would take all day to talk about them all, but three stand out as my favorites. Prince Wilek and Prince Trevn--that's a given!--and then Kalenek, Wilek's Shield. So many awesome characters! And all so different, too.
+ In his mid-twenties, Wilek is sort of the serious-type, responsible-prince sort of fellow, and you just can't help but root for him and feel for him. I love Wilek! He's a very relatable hero. And just... gaaah, poor guy, all the stuff he has to go through. I think he needs a hug. <3
+ Fifteen-year-old Trevn is in some ways Wilek's opposite, but I love him too. He's so FUN! Energetic, mischievous, cocky, funloving, a bit of a trickster and a rebel, he's definitely a favorite. He runs across rooftops! What is not to love. Though he has his own problems, too, and his parts of the story were definitely exciting.
+ Kalenek surprised me as a favorite character. The scarred bodyguard (or ''Shield'') of Prince Wilek, Kal has some struggles of his own and an intriguing tragic past. I was so excited to start getting his point-of-view chapters in the second part of the book, and I'm very much looking forward to learning more about him!
I did almost knock a star off my five-star rating for some of the content, since it was a rather dark book and there were some parts that made me a bit uncomfortable. The book could be dark, creepy at times, a bit brutal, and somewhat mature, and of course the whole point is very much about the cultures having slipped far from the right paths and the true God. It was necessary to the plot, I suppose, but I still could have done without some of it (particularly Charlon's chapters). However, it is after all listed as Adult Fiction, and it was all handled rather well, so on the whole I still enjoyed it in spite of all that. Just don't pick it up expecting a lighthearted tale, and I would vaguely caution younger teens against reading KING'S FOLLY--try the Blood of Kings trilogy first! :)
But another thing I was very happy about was the amount of fun and humor slipped in amidst the darkness. Humor, great dialog and character interactions are some of my favorite things to read about, and KING'S FOLLY had a fair dose of all of those, brilliantly done, which I loved! So despite some of the grimness, it was still fun, which makes me a happy reader. (Speaking of things that make me laugh, all of the parts with the camels are hilarious--who knew camels could be such amusing characters?--and of course, not to be forgotten, there are also Wilek's mother's tiny dogs. XD)
Some of the end rushed a bit too quickly for me, and I found myself wishing to know a bit more concretely some of what was going on; but then, I suppose chaos is to be expected... Ahem. I wouldn't say the ending was exactly a cliff-hanger, precisely? But it's definitely ready for a sequel, and I simply can't wait for the next book to see what's going to happen with all these characters! *excited flailing*
Overall, KING'S FOLLY is a well-written and fabulous, if somewhat dark, epic fantasy read with a plethora of characters you'll fall in love with and an original world to get lost in. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to Book 2 of The Kinsman Chronicles, KING'S BLOOD.
Note: This book was also released in ebook form, divided into three ebooks, of which the first one (Darkness Reigns) is available for free online if you'd like to check it out. (Part 2 is called The Heir War, and Part 3, The End of All Things. ...Which made for me making some comparison jokes such as ''I'm glad to be with you, Wilek Hadar, here at the end of all things.'' ;) Ah, the fun!)
My thanks to Bethany House for the complimentary copy of KING'S FOLLY which I received in exchange for my honest review. These opinions are entirely my own.
Jill Williamson is the queen of epic Christian fantasy! The world in this book...it is just so well developed and achingly real! The earthquakes, desert, deep canyons, the politics...everything.
This book is based off of the Old Testament in how the country that used to follow Arman (the allegorical One True God in this book) have fallen away. Everyone does what is right in their own eyes. While this book is based off the Old Testament, it still feels like it could be today with the same way evil is ignored or even celebrated and people place an emphasis on choosing what they want to believe is true.
This book can get dark, especially in the beginning. Even the main characters don't know truth. There are mentions of concubines, human sacrifice, magic that is shown to be spirit-worship.
But it is also very, very clearly a Christian book.
Maybe because I have read equal amounts of secular and Christian books and because I attended a public university, but I can tell very quickly what the wordview presented in a book is. And this book is definitely Christian. Amazingly so.
No, it isn't explicit right at first. The main characters all are caught up in doing wrong and participating in evil. Yet, that evil is depicted as something so disgusting that it is clearly wrong even when the characters don't know it. That is what separates this book from a secular book that glorifies those same sins. This book evokes horror and disgust at sins instead of glossing over them. After reading this book, there is no way to get the impression that evil is anything but evil.
Would I recommend this for younger readers? No, it wasn't written for them. It was written for an audience that has seen the evil in the world, had to live in it, and won't find anything in this book all that surprising. So that all depends on the age and maturity of the reader. The author on her website recommends this for 16 and up.
Amazing book, and I already have book 2 waiting on my shelf!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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