Jill Williamson. King’s Blood. Bethany House Publishers, 2017. See here to buy the book.
King’s Blood is the second book of the “Kinsman Chronicles” series. It is a fantasy work.
As would be expected, Book 2 takes up where Book 1 left off. Armania has been destroyed through an earthquake, so the remnant of Armania is on a sea-ship. Prince Janek of Armania is accused of being the son of the occultist traitor Rogedoth, who is still up to his subversive tricks. The country of Magonia is still anticipating a Magonian Messiah who will rule Armania and Magonia, and Magonian women are assuming the form of specific Armanian women so that an Armanian prince will impregnate them. There are Armanians who believe in worshiping the god Arman alone, as well as Armanians who worship Arman alongside other gods. And people in the Magonian elite are guided by spirits called shadir.
Some of the questions from Book 1 get resolved. New characters are born, and some characters die.
The world that the book depicts is intriguing, and there were notable plot-elements. The bodyguard Kal is exiled from the Armanians after a scandal, and he is among the Magonians, helping to raise the boy who may be the Magonian Messiah. This boy is physically maturing rapidly, yet he is still a boy mentally. What’s more, due to a root that his mother took, he has the power to kill people with his mind. Kal tries to teach him to control his anger, even though Kal has a problem with anger himself!
Another notable scene was when a concubine was sharing why being a concubine was so difficult: she had to appear happy and loving all of the time!
There is a scene in which King Wilek of Armania wants to go to war against Rogedoth, and the blind prophetess Onika seeks to dissuade him. Wilek believes that Arman has provided an opportunity to attack, and Onika responds: “You think Arman made Rogedoth’s army attack Sarikar? Arman does not move his people around like clay figurines” (page 575). Actually, in the Old Testament, there are places in which God seems to operate that way (i.e., Judges 14:4; I Kings 12:15). Jill Williamson should know that, since she bases one of her scenes on the story of Micaiah in I Kings 22, showing she is biblically-literate. Maybe Onika is wrong about how Arman acts, since Onika admits that she has not heard from Arman in a while.
Charon is an interesting character. She is to become the ruler of Magonia, and she has a cunning streak. Yet, her impoverished background makes her compassionate and empathetic.
The book was rather dry and plodding, so I am giving it three stars. Due to its intriguing world, a few compelling plot elements, and the occasional interesting religious discussion in the first two books, however, I may very well read the sequel when it comes out.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My review is honest!