- Paperback: 590 pages
- Publisher: David Burrows (6 May 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0955676088
- ISBN-13: 978-0955676086
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.3 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,811,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Prophecy of the Kings - Trilogy Paperback – 6 May 2017
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While the writing is good, and the battle scenes are excellent, the true highlight of these novels for me, were the characters. Each were distinct and interesting. While it did take me a bit of time to absorb their personalities, once I did, I deeply cared for the outcome of their lives. Kaplyn, whom was the main character, was very likable, and Vastra, a wizard with a secret, was compelling all the way through. There was also a decent amount of character development, which is something I always enjoy. For me, if the characters aren 't interesting, the writing will never truly grab me. (4/5 stars) tyrionfrost.wordpress.com
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This is a book that slowly builds into a great epic tale of adventure. Like a good stew, it takes time for the full flavour to be revealed but it is well worth the wait. It builds and builds as the story is revealed until it becomes a masterful piece of fantasy. It is a long read, but well worth the effort and you will be well rewarded for your perseverance. I know I was.
In particular, I loved the dark psyche of the dragons, which was very cleverly thought out and presented within the second part of the story. By the time you get to the third book of the trilogy, where you are transported into the realms of hell and fight demons, as well as feasting with dwarves, and many other adventures, the tale has you well and truly hooked, and there is no getting off until the final, explosive finale. Brilliant read.
For example the relationship that Kaplyn has with the dragon is similar to the one that Thomas has with the dragons in Raymond Feist's series, the Riftwar. Also Pug's struggle with demons further on in this series. There are also parallels with Lord of the Rings - the depression of the soldiers and the bleak landscape (Mordor), destroying the jewel (Talwyn) which had an evil influence but mainly the sword. Bilbo's Sting being very similar to Vastra's sword. And why are there so few women in this type of book?
But if you accept that there will always be similarities because of the type of book, then this book has coped with them well.
The first book is very much a story on its own and I think it is the best of the three books which make up this series. I think the second book is very much a roller coaster ride, up and down, even (I hate to say) a little boring in a couple of places. I do like the way the various threads are pulled together for the ending without having one chapter about this character then the next about a different one etc until you forget what is going on.
I am not going to go over the story as there are plenty of summaries elsewhere and I prefer to write about what I liked or not. I thought that the main character Kaplyn was very good, without too much moaning "why me?". He wasn't forced to go, he was looking for adventure - and found plenty. I would have liked a little more development of some of the other characters - Lormar and Lars - but has it been left like that on purpose, sort of `watch this space'?
If I tell you that the worst thing I found about this book was its size (I recommend you buy the books separately and not in one volume), then you will see that I liked the story.
During the last couple of years I've noticed that several lesser known traditional fantasy books are often more interesting and fascinating than well known traditional fantasy books. Prophecy of the Kings is one of these books, because it's pure entertainment from start to finish. When I began to read this book I didn't know much about it, but the story turned out to be surprisingly entertaining and it was fun to read what happened to the characters and what kind of plot twists the author had invented.
Prophecy of the Kings is a story about a group of peple who try to save their world. Demons and their worshipers are trying to open a gateway to a demon world, which would let demons loose in the world and all the inhabitants would either die or become slaves. The heroes of this story try to find the mysterious Eldric, which have disappeared and have left behind only certain items (the Eldric may be the only a hope against the demons, so finding them is important). This quest takes the heroes on a big adventure and changes their lives dramatically.
The four main characters are Kaplyn, Lars, Vastra and Lomar. Kaplyn is a prince who escaped from his home. Lars is a man who was shipwrecked and can't return home to his family. Vastra is a mysterious sorcerer who doesn't reveal much about himself. He hires Kaplyn and Lars, because he needs help in order to find what he's looking for. Lomar is an interesting character, because he's an Alvalah (the Alvalah are albinoes who live in the middle of a secluded forest in a place called Gilfillan).
I was amazed how fluently the author wrote about the adventures of the characters and the events, which ranged from travelling in the forest to a war with the demons. Reading about beautiful landscapes, magical happenings and action scenes was enjoyable. The author has created an interesting history for his fantasy world, so revelations about the past were fascinating.
I think it's good to mention that the story is surprisingly complex. Although this book is clearly traditional epic fantasy, it's more complex than several other similar books, because David Burrows has had ambition to create a complex story. It's nice that the author manages to end Legend of the Eldric and Dragon Rider in an addictive way so that the reader wants to know what happens in the final book.
The author's love for traditional fantasy can be seen in this book, because the story is true to the genre in almost every possible way. This can either be seen as a good thing or a bad thing depending on the reader's interest in traditional fantasy (I know that there are several readers who don't like traditional fantasy, because they only want to read realistic adult fantasy without traditional fantasy elements, but there are also readers who enjoy good old-fashioned fantasy). I personally found this book to be entertaining, because I've always liked traditional fantasy and I've been able to enjoy reading it. (I'm not trying to be a spokesperson for traditional fantasy, but I have to mention that it seems that more and more people have become alienated from traditional fantasy, which is a shame.)
This book is full of intresting details and lots of traditional fantasy elements (sorcerers, magic, demons, dwarves, spirits, dragons etc). What I liked most was that the author wrote fascinatingly about the demigods (Kalanth), which were guardians of the world. I also enjoyed reading about the dwarves and the Alvalah, because both races were different and had their own cultures. Reading about the ancient and extinct Eldric was very fascinating, because the author managed to prolong telling about them and didn't reveal what happened to them in the beginning of the book. I also have to mention that the author has come up with an original idea involving aging and magical sleep (this kind of fantasy elements can usually be found in fairy tales, so it was interesting to read about it).
The home of the Alvalah, Gilfillan, reminded me a bit of Lothlórien (the forest realm of the elves in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings). I'm not sure if Lothlórien has been an inspiration for this forest realm, but it's nice that the author invented Gilfillan, because it's a beautiful creation and the author writes almost poetically about it and its wonders.
In my opinion Prophecy of the Kings Trilogy is a good example of a neglected fantasy trilogy, which deserves to get more publicity, because several fans of epic fantasy stories may find it interesting. This kind of traditional fantasy is fun to read and it offers harmless entertainment for its readers, because the reader simply has to allow the story to transport himself/herself to an imaginary fantasy world. I'm sure that fans of Terry Brooks will like this kind of fantasy very much because there are certain similarities between Brooks' Shannara books and this trilogy. Fans of old-fashioned quest fantasy may also enjoy this trilogy.
I'll also mention that it was refreshing to read a fantasy book, which didn't contain sexual situations or swearing. The lack of these things makes this book ideal reading for younger readers (I'm sure that young adults will enjoy reading this book).
Although I liked this book, I think it's good to mention that there were some rough spots in this book. The character development could have been a bit better, because it would've been nice to read more about the feelings of the characters and how they grow as persons. Certain situations were solved a bit too easily and fast (this can be a bit annoying for readers who have read lots of traditional fantasy books), but this is normal in traditional fantasy. I think that the author's purpose has been to keep the story flowing as fluently as possible so that the reader doesn't become bored, because the heroes have to face many kinds of threats and problems and have to find a way out of difficult situations.
Despite certain shortcomings, Prophecy of the Kings Trilogy is an exciting, easily likeable and fast-paced fantasy adventure, which is difficult to put down once you start reading it. Fans of adventure stories will be delighted by how easily the author keeps the story flowing and delivers plot twists along the way (if you're looking for an enjoyable fantasy adventure, this trilogy will offer good entertainment for a few hours). I can recommend this book to readers who enjoy reading traditional epic fantasy stories, because it's among the best new traditional fantasy books published during the recent years.
The author acknowledges that he is a fan of fantasy books, especially Lord of the Rings and this does show. There are points in the story where you can clearly see influences from other books. Writing something completely original though is not easy. It is original enough to be a book in its own right
The characters here are great, the story strong and the description of the locations amazing. In places it could do with a little editing but overall this is a great read.
Suitable for teens to older fantasy readers.
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