Hello people! How are you? And how is your February going? I am working on a TBR for this new month, and I think it would be ready very soon, but in the meantime, I am here with a new review, for an ARC I received in January, so… let’s start with it!
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley and to the editor.
Title: All King’s Traitor
Series: Highwings #1
Author: Keylin Rivers
Page count: 358
Publication Date: August 31st, 2019
Over a thousand years have passed since the first Godstones ripped through the skies and mangled the earth. With their fall came centuries of chaos and destruction, but also immense power.
Power that separates humans from Gods.
Now, in the Kingdom of Azanthea, two adoptive brothers flee from unjust conscription.
A fugitive struggles to truly be free.
A double-crossing warrior must choose where his allegiances lie: with his wife or with his daughter.
A traitorous heir to the Kingdom’s throne roams the lands in search of an army to call his own.
A prodigy in the House of Historian competes in a grueling trial to prove her loyalty.
And one God-King rules over them all.
I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, I was expecting more and I was somehow disappointed by it. On the other hand, is a good debut with a ton of potential. I think that the sequels could be really good books.
To be honest, I can’t say that this was a bad book, because it has quite some good points but I was expecting more. I think that, for me, the main problem was that is an… Acerbic book, with good potential but not as good realization. I mean, I can’t point a finger and tell you “that, that is the mistake” but I wasn’t as captivated by it as I was hoping to be.
We have an interesting magical system, that leaves you with the right amount of questions. And it’s original, I think is one of the things that I liked best because it’s really well written into the story, it has a ton of social and political reverberations and this makes things more interesting. But I was a bit dissatisfied with the worldbuilding. Again, it’s not bad, but it’s not enough. We have a new world, with its own societies, folklores, and cultures, and it has different settings, too. Our story is not set in a single city or a single area. We see a lot of this world while our characters move through it, but we don’t see enough. We have some explanations and some descriptions, yes but I needed more for it to feel real.
And then we have a very controversial point for me: the characters. We have a group of three, who are sort of the main characters (we have quite a lot of characters and POV in this one, but those three are in some ways the main ones, if this make sense at all), Kuba, Ion, and Aurelia, but I found myself not caring so much about them. I wasn’t bored, but I was not invested in them.
I think the best character, and my favorite, is Vallich. He is playing the long game and he is a complex character who leaves you wondering on which side he is. Or better, you know which side it is, it’s own. But where would this take him? And that’s a thing that I appreciated and that is also the main reason for me to go on with this series. I can’t truly say that I would go on with it, I haven’t decided yet because it’s a hard choice. On one hand, I am trying to cut loose all the series that I am not so fond of, because I have so many of them around that I have to be a tad more selective with them, and I wasn’t hooked up or invested in this reading. On the other hand, I want to see where Vallich would take us, and there are some other questions that I want to be answered! So… If I would continue with this one or not is anyone guess, but I have some more things to say about this book, so let’s proceed!
We have other characters too, and in particular, we have two of them that I didn’t like. They are well developed characters, complex and coherent, so it’s not a fault of the author, so to speak, but it’s a matter of personal taste. Kari and Rohan. They are not alike in any way, and each one of them has his/her own voice and personality, but I didn’t like them. I think Kari would grow a lot in the sequels and she could reserve us some surprises, and even if I can understand her I am not a fan of her. With Rohan is a different matter altogether, I think he is one of the most divided characters ever, his loyalties are so fractured and conflictual that, on one hand, I pity him, because he really leads a hard life, but on the other hand I don’t like him. At all.
And last but not least we have the plot. There are a couple of twists here and there that keep things going and that keep you guessing and wondering, but all in all, is quite a standard plot. I am not saying this in a bad way, it’s not that is unoriginal or boring. It’s just pretty standard.
So… I let some time pass before writing this review because I was hoping to have some clearer ideas about it, but I have not reached a decision so far. I don’t know if I would continue the series but it wasn’t a bad reading and it has some interesting point in it!
What about you? Have you read this book? Or have you this one on your TBR? Let me know!