Book Review

King’s Dark Tidings #5: All the Feels

“King’s Dark Tidings: Dragons and Demons” (Book #5), by Kel Kade

After FOUR long years of waiting for this book to come out…I almost didn’t want to read it. I had a hard time seeing the light ahead after the ending of book 4, and I don’t enjoy stories where there’s no hope.

This series has taken me for a ride. I LOVE Free the Darkness (#1 Amazon link). You can read why in my review here. I love Reign of Madness (#2 Amazon link), but I barely enjoyed Legends of Ahn (#3 Amazon link) for reasons explained in my review for Kingdoms and Chaos (#4 Amazon link) – which I simply enjoyed.
What I’m saying is, just because I love the first book doesn’t mean this book gets an automatic 5 stars. So, let’s break it down.

What about Mage of No Renown (book 4.5)?

I enjoyed Wesson’s prequel/#4.5, Mage of No Renown (here’s my full review), and was sure to finish reading that one before jumping into Dragons and Demons (#5). Having finished them both, I’ll say you don’t need to read Mage of No Renown, but it helps. Several places/characters/events of Wesson’s prequel are brought up in Dragons and Demons, but they’re also explained – just in case you didn’t read it.
Beware: if you read Dragons and Demons before Mage of No Renown, you’ll have lots of spoilers. (As if Mage of No Renown wasn’t already spoiled enough because it’s a prequel to the whole series).

Supposing you’ve read the previous books…

Dragons and Demons finally answers many of the questions presented in books 3, 4, and 4.5. For a refresher, Kingdoms and Chaos (#4) ended with a lot of major problems:

  1. Tam has a hole in his mind that’s slowly driving him crazy, and he’s been captured as a slave
  2. Frisha and Tieran’s betrayal (yes, I’m calling their romance a betrayal because Frisha didn’t break up with Rezkin first)
  3. What the flip–there are two Brandts, and which one is real?
  4. After everything he’s been through, Rezkin’s unconscious and dying from a poison dart. (Seriously, after everything he’s been through, it would be rather lame for him to die by a dart).

Thankfully, most of those issues are resolved within the first two chapters and the plot of Dragons and Demons truly begins with two problems:

  1. Tam’s predicament
  2. Wesson needs to return to Ashai’s Mage Academy to level up and recruit the mages before they’re all taken by crazy King Caydean.
Don’t worry, this is all revealed within the first five chapters. I’m keeping this spoiler free.

Because these issues are in different directions, they split the party.
Wesson takes Striker Kai and a couple others to return to Ashai. Of course, Wesson’s “wife,” Celise, stows away to join him.
Rezkin takes Mage Nanessy (who brings Striker Farson), Reaylin (who brings Jimson), Striker Shezar, and Marlis Tomwell to go after Tam.
Actually, it splits again as Rezkin and a friend are abducted via magic to a community of Eihelvanan (yes, they’re elves), where Rezkin finally gets some answers, but is given his most intimidating challenge yet:

Rezkin must learn to have feelings

For the first time in many, many years, Rezkin felt true fear. The prospect of feeling things was more than he could abide.

King’s Dark Tidings: Dragons and Demons, by Kel Kade

I won’t say more for spoiler’s sake, but while reading, my mind frequently reflected on Sergey Zagarovski’s beautifully macabre collection of “When Death Fell in Love with Life.”

One grim reaper stands before four others, protecting a child reaper who's hugging a small animal.
Unknown titles, by Sergey Zagarovski (When Death Fell in Love with Life Collection)

Cleanliness vs. Vulgarity

If you’ve made it this far into the series, I’m guessing you don’t mind a lot of violence with a dash of gore. Dragons and Demons is more of the same. We get a fight scene in almost every chapter, ranging from duel practices to bare-handed killing. We also get some fantasy fights with wild cats, demons, and . . . dragons! I would say this is a spoiler, but it’s in the title and cover. 😛

As for the romance, it’s more involved than Legends of Ahn (book 3) (let’s be real, that’s not hard), but less sexual than Kingdoms and Chaos (book 4). There are two passionate kisses on screen (one with lots of innuendos, but leaves the reader to decide if the characters are clothed). There’s one instance of off-screen love making, but the descriptions of it are vague enough that, for all we know, they simply had a loud hug.

Concerning crude language, it’s limited with ocassional biblical swears (like d*mn*d, h*ll, and g*d), usually referring to the condition, place, and person(s).

Final Score

As I mentioned above, I don’t love every book in this series, but I really enjoyed this one. Yes, Kel Kade made us wait four whole years for this book, but I think he used those years to make this book the best he could. It answered more questions than it presented, had multiple engaging plots, made intriguing developments on characters (particularly Rezkin, Tam, and Wesson), and expanded the world in adventurous ways.
For the satisfying wrap-up, I’m giving it a solid *****5 stars*****

Rating: 5 out of 5.

To Be Continued…

Yes, there WILL be a book 6.

Without giving any spoilers, the ending of this book left me strangely satisfied. The ending might frustrate some readers, but I thought it was perfect. Like, I can end the series right here and imagine their happily ever afters.
Of course, the truth of what’s likely to happen should be such an adventure, that I’m very curious to know how it pans out.

For spoilers and my predictions, highlight the box below.

Okay, I knew this would happen as soon as they explained what the stone necklace was, but I am so psyched for this.
As I’ve said before, “Dragons make everything cooler.”

I predict everyone else will scramble about, trying to keep Rezkin’s empire from falling apart while he makes final preparations to kill Caydean, raises his dragon, seeks how to tame his new inner-demon, and use his magic without going insane.
According to the age and size of the baby dragon they saved, I expect this to take a few months, maybe a year.
Yes, Caydean’s still alive, but with Berringish gone, the king seems manageable (even if he managed to kill Rezkin once).

I expect Rezkin to seek Wesson’s help in taming his new inner-demon, but I can also see this interaction happening in secret.
I predict Frisha’s predicament (which sucks and I have a hard time seeing her way out of it) to be the catalyst that brings Rezkin back to his friends.
But, as Legends of Ahn showed us, we can’t really predict anything in this series, so…we’ll see. 🙂

Here’s to hoping the next book doesn’t make us wait another four years.

3 replies on “King’s Dark Tidings #5: All the Feels”

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