My book reviews are written as a discussion of a book, and not as an advertisement. Please be aware that there may be information that some would consider spoilers. Continue on at your own risk!
A March of Kings is book two in an (at least) 5 book fantasy series. This installment was a little over 200 pages, so it’s not a long story, and it moves at a nice pace. It is a YA novel, and a typical one that tends to be written a bit simply for my taste. Did it have enough to draw me in and keep me reading? Here’s what I thought…
Thor, starts out in prison, saves his cell mate from losing a hand, and creates and opportunity for them both to escape. The king has been killed (by Gareth’s boyfriend Firth) while Thor is in prison, and as Thor sees the king on his death bed, is cleared of all wrong doing. Gwen forgives him for being in a brothel (which wasn’t really Thor’s fault anyway) and they spend a last night together before Thor is off to The Hundred (a 100 days outside of the ring where they must survive real world scenarios). While in route via boat, they are attacked by the Empire, but escape going through a wall of rain, but the new locale promises sea monsters and other creatures much worse than The Empire. (Or so we shall see in Book 3).
The plot was a bit thin and I have a feeling this could have been combined with the next story and not have been a standalone installment.
Plot Score: 3/5
There is something I really enjoy about this book. It’s a little more YA than I prefer, but when I finish reading one I know I’m going to read the next installment. The characters are a bit simple and the plot is a little light, so I’m chalking my enjoyment up to the world that Rice has created. There is so much here: humans, the creatures in The Empire, dragons, druids, magic, myths and legends. This world is worthy of an epic fantasy tale.
Location Score: 4/5
Characters and Relationships
Thor- The main character and, if all goes well, the wielder of the Sword of Truth and the uniter of all the lands. (Pretty big legend to live up to!) He’s all about truth, justice, and the ‘American’ way.
(Does anyone else even matter?)
Thors BFF- Reece-We don’t see him too much in this installment (he helps Thor out of a jam), but I have a feeling he’ll play a bigger role once they get into their 100 day trial.
Thors girlfriend- Gwen, who may or may not end up being his step sister (if the King is his true father…) I guess it’s good they haven’t slept together. Maybe this is why Gwen’s mom was so adamant about keeping them apart.
Thors current enemy- Gareth. I say current, because there are bigger baddies he’s going to have to face, and I have a feeling Gareth should be dealt with by the time Thor completes The Hundred.
Characters Score: 3/5
Life Lessons (fka Bigger Meaning)
Bigger Meaning Score: 0/5
Defining Quote: “Nothing in this world- not you, not I- can stop the current. It is a parade of puppets, in the service of fate. It is a march of kings.”
Is it a cop out to write so many ‘gut feelings’ into a book? Can we get a real reason a character suspects something other than instinct? Thor ‘senses’ Reece will believe him, Godfrey gets a feeling that Gareth is involved with his fathers murder, Erec falls in love at first sight. It seems that after relationships are established, one doesn’t have to ‘sense’ things anymore, you know a persons character. For example, by this point Thor should know Reece will have his back, not cause he ‘senses’ it, but because he has built that type of relationship with him!
Sometimes I feel the characters act out of character- for example, King MacGil sending Thor to the dungeon when he had previously been fair and just- AND loved Thor. Even he was confused by his own actions. And Gareths wavering feelings on killing the king and the actual task of ruling. I guess this is an attempt to build multi dimensional characters, but I’m sensing it doesn’t work for me.
Style Score: 3/5
– We got the old ‘have you ever felt you were meant for something else” line. Who hasn’t felt that way?? Everyone can be more than they currently are…