The Chronicles of King Rolen’s Kin, Books 1 – 3
by Rowena Cory Daniells
The King’s Bastard: June 29, 2010
The Uncrowned King: July 27, 2010
The Usurper: August 31, 2010
Publisher: Solaris Books
WOW…I just finished the third book in THE CHRONICLES OF KING ROLEN’S KIN trilogy and I have to say: I am blown away. Author Rowena Cory Daniells is an amazing storyteller and builds a world both vivid and believable. I don’t think I’ve read epic fantasy this, well, ‘epic’ since the last Forgotten Realms novel I read, which would have been around 1996. Whatever you do, pick up these three books as soon as possible.
If you are not familiar with THE CHRONICLES OF KING ROLEN’S KIN, here is the overall plot synopsis courtesy of the Solaris Books website:
Cloaked in silent winter snow the Kingdom of Rolencia sleeps as rumours spread of new Affinity Seeps, places where untamed power wells up. Meanwhile, King Rolen plans his jubilee unaware of the growing threat to those he loves.
By royal decree, all those afflicted with Affinity must serve the Abbey or face death. Sent to the Abbey because of his innate Affinity, the King’s youngest son, Fyn, trains to become a warrior monk. Unfortunately, he’s a gentle dreamer and the other acolytes bully him. The only way he can escape them is to serve the Abbey Mystic, but his Affinity is weak.
Fiercely loyal, thirteen year-old Piro is horrified to discover she is also cursed with unwanted Affinity. It broke their mother’s heart to send Fyn away, so she hides her affliction. But, when Fyn confesses his troubles, Piro risks exposure to help him.
Even though Byren Kingson is only seven minutes younger than his twin, Lence, who is the king’s heir, Byren has never hungered for the Rolencian throne. When a Seer predicts that he will kill Lence, he laughs. But Lence Kingsheir sees Byren’s growing popularity and resents it. Enduring loyalty could be Byren’s greatest failing.
If you’ve never read high fantasy before, now is the time to start. This is a master of the genre at her finest. I have only read these three books of Daniells’, but I will tell you right now that I am a life-long fan. I will certainly be reading whatever else she writes.
Daniells writes with a simplistic yet efficient style. Her prose in THE CHRONICLES OF KING ROLEN’S KIN is smooth and flows in effortless waves, right off the page. I found myself mesmerized by her story and never once stopped because of a wording snafu, awkward sentence structure or anything similar. This is, in short, a joy to read.
The characters are also well written. They are vibrant and alive, ready to leap out of the story and into your room. This again is a true testament to how well Ms. Daniells can convey and illicit emotion with the written word.
If I were forced to find a flaw with THE CHRONICLES OF KING ROLEN’S KIN, I simply could not. The story is full of intrigue and action, the characters are both likable and hatable, and each book leaves you craving more. This is a series to be reckoned with, for sure.
I highly recommend this series and suggest you check it out soon. There are three follow-up books after this trilogy, although I’m not sure how they fit into the equation just yet. This series is available now, so snatch them up.