(For my small thoughts on books 2 and 3,
check my comments below my review for Book 1)
Book 4 continues as you would expect it to after book 3, with more visits with monarchs, some battles with fae and demons, building up Rezkin’s kingdom with the restoration of Ashai in the distant background. But then there’s a lot more ridiculous romance.
My personal qualms with the previous book
1. They didn’t go save Ashai as I expected.
2. It threw a loop of supernatural creatures beyond the established magic system.
3. Rezkin touched a door and went crazy paranoid for the last 30% of the book.
4. No romance. Not even one usage of the word “kiss” in the entire book. Go on, search for it. Nada.
Do you love characters like Rezkin who live by rules, fight monsters, and get confused by everyday society?
Check out Pansy Finster in “Don’t Date the Haunted,” a survivor from the land of Horror who flees to the land of Romance.
Considering book 4 as a continuation of book 3, here are my thoughts:
- The main plot of book 4 is pretty similar to book 3. It’s very linear as Rezkin approaches several different monarchs/rulers who all say “If you want me to do this, then do this.” This can be slightly frustrating since this makes the main plot feel like a check-off list of errands.
Still, the “errands” are interesting as they unfold in various ways. The other countries are well developed and all act differently to Rezkin’s offers and abilities, so even though the concept (of asking rulers for something, and they grant it IF Rezkin does _fill-in-the-blank_) is repetitive, the motions are not.
- There’s a little expansion on the fae and demons, as they battle more strange creatures and Rezkin encounters more mystical beings, but it doesn’t take a huge leap with a bunch of info-dumping like the third book did.
- Strangely (but thankfully), Rezkin almost instantly returns to his regular state of paranoia, and he spends most of the book in countries other than Cael. So, it’s not really explained, but at least he cares for his friends again.
- The romance plot takes a swing on the pendulum for this book. FOUR new couples are arranged, and thankfully not ALL the women are in love with Rezkin (which was my main irritation for book 1). They spend a significant amount of time in one country ruled by women, and apparently that means everyone gets married/bonded.
HIGHLIGHT FOR VAGUE SPOILER>> Funny enough, the only couple who doesn’t get married/bonded, is the only couple who’s actually happy with their arrangement.<<
Cleanliness vs. Vulgarity
If you’ve read the other books in the series, then I’m guessing you don’t mind bloody deaths and sexual references. The amount of reference banter is about the same, though this book does include one instance of off-screen love-making. Rezkin does spend half a chapter in the nude, though it’s less detailed and sexual than even the river scene from book 1.
As for the violence, it does take a turn from the careful assassin to smash-and-slash war. Deaths are less detailed and analytical, and more gory.
I give “Kingdoms and Chaos” a solid ****4 stars**** because I still love the humor, the characters, and the ever-building story. Considering the new pace and direction of the story, I expect at least two more books in the series.
Here’s my review for Mage of No Renown, the series prequel (also labeled as #4.5).
Also, after finishing Kingdoms and Chaos, I highly recommend continuing the story to Dragons and Demons, (book 5). It resolves many issues and it answers most of the questions presented in book 4.
2 replies on “King’s Dark Tidings #4: For the Love…”
[…] UPDATE: check my comments below for my quick thoughts on books 2 &3, then read my review for book 4 here. […]
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