#1: King's Folly  -     By: Jill Williamson
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#1: King's Folly

Bethany House / 2016 / Paperback

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Product Description

When a messenger arrives and claims that the town of Farway has been swallowed by the earth, the king sends Wilek to investigate. But what Wilek discovers is more cataclysmic than one lost city. Even as the ground shifts beneath his feet, Wilek sets out on a desperate journey to save his people and his world. But can he do it before the entire land crumbles?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 480
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764214241
ISBN-13: 9780764214240
Series: Kinsman Chronicles

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Publisher's Description

An Epic New Fantasy Series from
Fan Favorite Jill Williamson

This edition includes the first three parts of the
Kinsman Chronicles originally released as ebooks.
o Part 1--Darkness Reigns
o Part 2--The Heir War
o Part 3--The End of All Things

The gods are angry.

Volcanic eruptions, sinkholes, ground shakers--everything points to their unhappiness. At least that is what the king of Armania believes. His son, Prince Wilek, thinks his father's superstitions are nonsense, though he remains the ever dutiful First Arm of Armania.

When a messenger arrives and claims that the town of Farway has been swallowed by the earth, the king sends Wilek to investigate. But what Wilek discovers is more cataclysmic than one lost city. Even as the ground shifts beneath his feet, Wilek sets out on a desperate journey to save his people and his world. But can he do it before the entire land crumbles?

Author Bio

Jill Williamson writes fantasy and science fiction for teens and adults. Jill grew up in Alaska, staying up and reading by the summer daylight that wouldn't go away. This led to a love of books and writing, and her debut novel, By Darkness Hid, won several awards and was named a Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror novel of 2009 by VOYA magazine. She loves giving writing workshops and blogs for teen writers at www.GoTeenWriters.com. She now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two children, and a whole lot of deer. Visit her online at www.jillwilliamson.com.

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  1. Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Complex Fantasy Novel
    July 4, 2016
    Faye
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes plague the five kingdoms, growing and groaning with increasing frequency, and the kingdoms rumble with unrest.

    In Armania three princes vie for their father's throne. Wilek wishes to end his father's cruel practice of human sacrifice, but when he is taken captive by the Magon he is forced to fight for not only his crown, but his life. Trevyn dodges through the webs of conspiracy at court, destined for the priesthood, Trevyn spends his days translating the Book of Arman, and running the rooftops with his backman Hinck. Trevyn finds himself maneuvering through the foils of court life, while trying to reveal the dark secrets of his elder brother, Janek, finding an unlikely confident in Mielle, handmaiden to his brother, Wilek's betrothed.

    Charlon longs for safety and belonging, having just escaped a life of abuse she seeks refuge with the Magonians, welcoming their spells and their coaxings to become a mantic--one who consorts with spirits.

    Kal goes in search of the meaning behind the mysterious rune left in the wake of a cruel murder, but his search leads him instead to a blind prophetess and her guide cat, a mysterious boy who defies the laws of nature, and hired exiles sent to bring about the rescue of his prince.

    As the earth crumbles and shatters beneath them, will they heed the prophecies of the true prophet before it is too late?

    Originally released as three e-books, comes the first installment in The Kinsmen Chronicles. Told through many characters, amazingly I didn't have too much trouble keeping track of them all, and there were many! A tightly woven storyline that had me rushing back to its pages whenever I had a spare moment, I couldn't put it down, as I came to care for one character they were thrown into peril, and I was introduced to yet another that captured my sympathies. Excellent pacing and storytelling, the names may sound familiar-ish as this is prequel of sorts to Ms. Williamson's much acclaimed Blood of Kings Trilogy, though the connections are not yet easy to connect beyond the Hadar name.

    A well built beginning to a new saga, that left me wanting more, I dreaded the ending, yet raced on towards it, needing to know what would happen next, yet dreading that I might not get the answers that I desired. I was completely drawn into the story, not knowing from one moment to another who should be trusted and who I should cheer for.

    I admired Trevyn, though often underestimated by those around him, the son of the King's unloved wife, he is full of fire, and knows his own mind. I liked his discerning mind, and that he weighed the things presented to him to consider, as well as his sense of adventure, and how he treated those around him as equals.

    I can't wait to read more about Kal and Onika, and also to learn the significance of Grayson's abilities.

    For much of the book I wasn't quite sure what to make of Wilek, which you will likely understand as you read this book, and perhaps that is what makes him one of the most interesting characters as he showed a well done complex growth throughout the novel.

    One thing I will mention is that this book has a more adult tone to it, due to the immorality common in the courts of Armania, nothing is graphically detailed or played out explicitly, but it is there nonetheless, and I would advise this book for adults or older, mature teens.

    Overall, a masterful read with a well built storyline, and many complex characters, full of adventure that kept me on the edge of my seat. There is so much going on, between the multiple interwoven stories and characters, and I can't wait to read the rest of the series!

    Thank you Ms. Williamson for providing me with a review copy of this book in return for an honest review!
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    DO READ THIS
    April 18, 2016
    cannadutch
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    For any big fans of fantasy, this is a must read that stands out. It has the feel of a fantasy series that doesnt need to be concluded in one book, but rather the longer, more languorous feel of a true fantasy epic that wont be easily forgotten. With this comes the slow, slightly confusing beginning that sets some readers off right away, but for those that stick around, a story of twisting and hidden loyalties, manipulation, discovery, and even a little bit of love blossoms on the pages.

    The complicated culture, full of superstitions and practices and wars that was created by the author was probably my favourite part of the book. The ritual offerings of people to the god of soil, Barthos, and the picking of ones five gods to follow, each with their own personalities and domains, a complicated system of ages and rankings, not to mention a completely different system of magic than Ive ever seen before made the world very unique.

    My favourite characters were probably Prince Wilek, despite him sounding slightly whiny in the beginning (he gets a lot better, trust me), and Prince Trevn and Miss Mielle. They really made the story enjoyable, to watch them grow and learn to rely on each other. While there were a lot of characters to keep track of, it was definitely worth it to see the interweaving between the characters in the end.

    This book defied my expectations somewhat. I went into it thinking it would be another general Christian Fantasy, which in no way are bad, and most of my favourite books fall under this category. However, I soon realized how wrong I was. The expectation of oh look, theres the God of the world, the main character is the only devotee/going to convert while going through large amounts of hardship, but in the end the prince comes back and takes back his crown and marries the pretty lady, and they live happily ever after was only half fulfilled in this book. It is not immediately obvious which of the numerous gods that exist is the true one, however with time it does become clear, and the several main characters mainly Princes Wilek and Trevn, along with Kal and several others drift closer to acknowledging the truth. Wilek goes through much, including the loss of his beloved, being soul-bound to another, and kidnapped by mantics (sorceresses). In the end though, he comes back, and becomes the Heir, claiming his rightful position as crown prince of Armania. His pretty lady however, is not all she seems, and this along with many other mysteries are left off at the end of the book, which ends simply with these words:

    Not the end

    So if youve enjoyed Jill Williamsons work in the past (I know I certainly have), or even if you haven't, I highly recommend reading this first installment in her new series, The Kinsman Chronicles.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Epic Christian Fantasy!!!
    April 18, 2016
    EmilyAnne28
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The world is falling apart. Earth quakes, floods, volcanoes, sinkholes, and avalanches all point to one thingthe prophesied Five Woes have come upon the Five Realms. Why? There are conflicting reasons, but one thing is for surethe gods are angry. But that will not stop politics and international trouble. One of the three princes of Armania must be chosen as heir in the midst of natural disasters, sacrifices, marriages, prophecies, cults, murders, kidnappings

    Where do I even begin with Kings Folly? It was wholly and entirely epic and awesome. It encompassed so much, I would even compare it to the Lord of the Rings Series. Both series had a myriad of characters, cultures, subplots, and prophecies that required a glossary and could only be split into more than three books for publication. And Kings Folly is only book one, despite having its three major parts published individually! But I can say thisit was epic! It is a great beginning to yet another fantastic series by Jill Williamson.

    First off, yes, there were many, many characters. As you read, though, you grow to know each of them and are able to keep from getting them confused. Jill Williamson did a great job with the characters, too. You grow to feel for and understand even some of the villains. Then there are the characters like Wilek, Trevn, and Mielle who you really grow to love! I cannot wait until the next book comes out!

    Second, this book is Christian but it is also dark. Think human sacrifice, false gods, consorting with demons, dark magic, drugs, and cults. Yikes! Part one, Darkness Reigns, was aptly named. But the book still had an air of hope about it. The main characters hate and fight against those things as much as they can. Love and hope prevail. The true, allegorically-Christian God will be revealed, of that I have no doubt. The pieces are already in place for that to begin. But, like Israel and Judah just before their judgment in the Old Testament, the nations are definitely evil. Be prepared. Because of this, I would recommend this book to older teens and adults, no one younger than sixteen, unless they are really ready for it.

    I really loved this book and would highly recommend it to those who enjoy Christian fiction or epic fantasy. It is an adventure of the best sort!

    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Definitely Read This Book!
    April 13, 2016
    daleenc
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    After the first two hundred pages, I was ready to put the book down. I was thoroughly disgusted that such a book could come from a Christian publisher. From what I'd read, there was dark magic, human sacrifices to a fake god, politics over concubines, and discussions of how Janek's goal was to bed every woman in the kingdom. Basically, the only thing that kept me reading was the fact that I had to read it to post a review...and I was a little curious as to why a book like this would end up in a Christian publishing house. I couldn't even see any one god that was served above the other here!

    By the time I got halfway through the book, I was intrigued. About three fourths through and the one true god, Arman, showed up. Well, he was there all along, but this time, he showed as supreme. By the end, I wanted to read the next one.

    And my question as to how this book came from Christian publishing? Jill Williamson answers here:

    This book was a challenge for two reasons: it's scope and the darkness of its story world. I spent a lot of time researching the kinds of the Old Testament and the word in which they lived. And while The Kinsman Chronicles does not directly parallel any story in the Bible, I wanted to capture the darkness and superstitions of that ancient world and show how those things continually led God's chosen people astray.

    I'm excited to lead the Armanians back to He Who Made the World during the course of this series.

    Now, I can't wait for the next book.

    Jill Williamson switches around between characters quite a bit in this book. I didn't have that much difficulties with it (I love complicated storylines), but I've heard from others that it is confusing for them. Jill helpfully put a list of the major characters in her story at the front of your book if you need help with it.

    And this is a big book. I love it, but just to let you know, it's about 544 pages long and ends with the words 'Not the End'. You like big books? You'll love this. You don't? Oh well, you should read this story anyways.

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
  5. WV
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: Female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A Book For Many a Fantasy Lover!
    April 12, 2016
    Kara Lynn
    WV
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    King's Folly is the first book in the Kinsman Chronicles, focusing on many characters, the two main ones being Trevn and Wilek, as well their family, in a time where the world is seemingly about to end. The earth quakes, horrible storms are constant - the gods are angry.

    Darkness is covering parts of the realms, which are teetering very close to coming to war. Armania is in danger, people are dying, and Wilek must learn what is going on before it's too late and the world falls away.

    This book is full of a wide range of characters, places, and a very different genre then I'm used to. Ms. Williamson gives us a story that is vast and very, very, complex. This isn't a simple story, but one that is full of magic, gods, and the sins that have bound Armania, such as having more then one wife, the taking of concubines, etc.

    I think Trevn was my favorite character of the lot and the most interesting - I followed his story with a lot of hope that he'll rule one day! The writing style is really good, with just enough contemporary style to allow you to understand what the author is saying but with the biblical/fantasy overshadowing.

    I'm not a fan of the biblical feel (preferring dragons and castles myself), but the plot is good - a lot being at stake in the story, and it is (at times) very dark. For something different it was a good read - not at all the norm. Which can be good because it will stand out more in its genre.

    That being said, there was a few things that I didn't like that need to be pointed out....

    the wide range of characters. Always nice to have that, making everything more realistic. However, the book jumps to a new character pretty often in the first part (Darkness Reigns), making this story a MUST to read very slowly and taking me quite a bit to get into the story. By the third part of the book (even with the jumping about) I was enthralled, but it took a bit for Ms. Williamson to deliver me into the story enough to understand it.

    I wanted to get to the main characters as quickly as possible and stay there to get to know them, but we ended up with some of the later more villainous characters as well as minor people. This is fine, but it went a bit too far and much of the time I needed to stop and look over what I read, trying to figure out who was who (the names of the characters also are a bit hard to get used to).

    There is something I look forward to - the country doesn't believe in the one true God, but many, and I can't wait to see how the story changes as they find Him, how they will take their places in the book - will they follow Him or continue the way they are at the moment?

    That being said, I think I will enjoy book 2 more because I will re read book 1 beforehand, reacquainting myself with the characters and understanding and gleaning more from the story (always do second time around).

    This is a good piece of fantasy, the vastness not always great because of needing to understand it all, but it's still good.

    I recommend this to any fantasy lover out there - anyone who is a fan of Jill Williamson will probably love this book too because it is good!

    Bethany House sent me this book for free (isn't that always an amazing word?! ;) in exchange for reviewing it with my honest opinion. Thank you!
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