1. King's Blood #2, The Kinsman Chronicles
    King's Blood #2, The Kinsman Chronicles
    Jill Williamson
    Bethany House / 2016 / Trade Paperback
    $10.49 Retail: $16.00 Save 34% ($5.51)
    4.5 Stars Out Of 5 12 Reviews
    Availability: In Stock
    Stock No: WW218311
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  1. Pacific Northwest
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Epic fantasy at its best
    May 23, 2018
    Tracie
    Pacific Northwest
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Readers of epic fantasy will love Jill Williamson's extensive story world in King's Blood, the second book in "The Kinsman Chronicles" series. Most of this part of the overall story takes place at sea, yet the background story world elements (civilization, government, magic, religion, etc.) remain intact and consistent. I appreciated the strong spiritual thread woven in.

    I have not yet read book 1, so it took a while for me to learn and sort out the characters. The author cautioned me to read the books in order, and I would echo her advice. That said, once I figured out who everyone was and their roles, I found many characters to like. Williamson does a good job developing Grayson and hints at what I hope will become an expanded role for him in book 3. She also carefully sets up Trevn and Charlon for their ongoing roles in the next book. I was disappointed in one aspect of how this book ended--that's all I dare say.

    Even out of order, I would definitely go back and read book 1, perhaps on an extended vacation. :-) It seems to me I heard or read somewhere this trilogy serves as a prequel, laying a foundation, for Williamson's (previously published) series, The Blood of Kings Trilogy. So at some point I might also reread those books.

    As others have said, Williamson is a "master storyteller."
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Must-Read for Fans of High Fantasy
    May 7, 2018
    CrazyWriter94
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    [I received an advance reader's copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.]

    It has been a while since a book has made me tear up. Im generally a pretty stoic reader/viewer, the one weirdo in a group of friends who watches a screen with minimal expression and giggles when others exclaim in reaction to an emotional trauma onscreen. This could be partially due to the fact that Im a writer, and therefore, even when a book, movie, etc. rips my heart to shreds with a plot twist, I dont necessarily think of it in terms of the writer having attacked me I think, Dang, that was so masterfully done that Im not even mad.

    This was my reaction to Kings Blood, the second installment in The Kinsman Chronicles.

    The first installment drew me in with its vivid characters, rich worldbuilding, and suspenseful plot, and though it was a bit grittier than the Blood of Kings trilogy (the YA series that got me into Jills books in the first place), I didnt mind too much. It fit the world and the storyline, as well as the target audience (this one is meant for adults, not teens), and I appreciate a certain amount of darkness when its used to provide contrast and therefore intensify the emotional impact of the light. Both the first book and Kings Blood have done a good job of presenting that balance and contrast.

    I will admit that, as a writer, I did figure out a couple of twists ahead of time (though with the aid of some people accidentally semi-spoiling things while trying to be vague about them), but that only gave me time to watch for the set-up and appreciate how well it was done, and also braced me a bit for the turmoil that was ahead. I wont spoil them for you by giving any more details just know that if this book doesnt make you feel something at some point, I question your humanity. (Kidding. Sort of. Remember, I am a heartless robot person, and yet, I got very emotional at certain points throughout.)

    This book also saw multiple changes in situation and environment for the characters, and it was interesting to see how each of them responded, and also to see some new elements which tie the series further into Blood of Kings. (Ill also admit that the titles of Kings Blood and one of its parts, Voices of Blood, got me excited enough to bounce in place when I read them.)

    Its also worth noting that, even with all the changes that occurred and how much they influenced the characters for better or worse, they were all still recognizable and as relatable as they were in the first book. I still rooted for the ones with good intentions, hissed at those with evil ones, and wanted to yell at some of them when well, youll just have to read the book to find out.

    All in all, I very much enjoyed and appreciated this book, and may or may not have gone into withdrawal almost immediately after finishing it. If you appreciate high fantasy, rich characters, and intense interpersonal conflicts as well as a healthy dose of faith-bolstering messages and challenging questions built into the key character arcs I recommend you read this book. Though of course, Id recommend you read the first book first the books are well-written, but with all that goes in throughout the storyline, youll likely be lost if you come into this second volume without that foundation.

    [A minor note that could be relevant for paperback readers: Due to the sheer length of this novel, the physical edition is printed in a small font with dense, though still pleasing, formatting. This probably wont be a problem for most of you, but could be an issue for older readers or those who like me have processing/concentration difficulties that could make dense formatting harder to read in large doses. Thus, if this is something that concerns you, I would recommend buying the e-book edition so that you can change the text style to suit your own needs.]
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Two Words: Wow and WOW!
    March 5, 2018
    Lavay
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Oh, my goodness. Where do I begin?

    Since King's Folly, I have been eagerly awaiting this sequel's release. Though I had to re-read King's Folly to catch up, I began to devour King's Blood eagerly. I was honestly not prepared for the sudden onslaught of unexpected twists and emotions. The plot has become bigger and far more complex than I've ever imagined, and the characters, old and new, captured my attention.

    (But what shocked me the most was the ending... I don't want to spoil it, but to be honest, I was saddened that it had to end in such a way.)

    Each event, I am found asking the very same question certain characters would ask: "Why?" Why would Arman allow things such as grief or betrayal happen? As Jill Williamson had pointed out in her "Note to Reader", and from what I came to learn: no matter what happens, Arman (God) is in control. Though we may not see it, He is always there. And evil will not always have the last word.

    Nevertheless, Jill Williamson never disappoints in her epic continuation of the Kinsman Chronicles. From the events leading to the final chapter, I am left with the desire to witness how the story would end.

    *I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader's copy of this book*
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Epic Fantasy!
    June 5, 2017
    EmilyAnne28
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    King's Blood ... what's left of the five nations have set sail for a new world, since their continent was destroyed. Will they find one or die at sea? And just because the five nations are at sea doesn't mean they have ceased to exist as nations or have learned how to get along. The three princes of Armania still vie for the throne, Charlon still hopes to give birth to a "deliverer," and pirates have begun invading many of the ships in the fleet.

    One thing I can say is that King's Blood is just as complex as King's Folly - and it's longer, the publisher's longest book, in fact. There are close to twenty POV characters to complement the plots and subplots. And the storyworld with it's magic, different races, and monsters was fascinatingly well-done. If anything can be classified as High Fantasy, King's Blood can.

    Amidst the slough of characters, I found myself drawn into the lives of nearly every one of them. Wilek, Trevn, Kal, Zeroah, Mielle, Hinck ... I loved them and always wanted the best for them. I felt sorry for them sometimes, too. I even developed an attachment to some of the villains. Charlon comes to mind. I don't exactly want her to succeed. I just feel sorry for her and wish that she would go to Arman (God) for her sorrows rather than trying to succeed on her own, ruining everyone else's lives in the process. Yikes, right?

    Racism played a part in the story. It existed among all the nations and between them and the people's they discover in the other parts of the world. It seems as though people's natures are to reject anything different than themselves, unfortunately. The racism went both ways, too. Perhaps it could have been treated better, but for a group of fantasy characters with no concept of real-life, modern ideals rejecting racism, the characters did all right.

    One thing I would make mention of is the magic. There was magic given directly from Arman, which was good and had few to no negative consequences. But the other form of magic was from the shadir, aka demons. And not the fantasy re-imagining of demons, where they aren't actually "evil." I mean the evil, manipulative, would-destroy-humanity-but-it's-more-fun-to-use-them kind of demons. In order to use magic, the human characters have to take a hallucinogenic drug that allows them to see the demons and partner with them (sell their soul) in order to gain their power and avoid dying form the drug. Sounds cheery, right? So, yes, dark magic is a thing in this book. It was not written for children. Keep all that in mind if you like reading really clean books or are looking for your kids.

    Finally, there was a bit of biblical allegory. It's sort of a cross between Exodus, because of the "sailing to a promised land," and the Judgement and Exile, because they were being forced out of their land because they turned their back against God. Very well-done in my opinion.

    I really enjoyed this book. Not just anyone could pull off that level of complexity so well. It was fantastic, and I highly recommend it ... but not to the faint of heart.

    I received a complementary copy of this book from the author. I did not receive compensation, and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    So good!
    May 10, 2017
    bookstoregal
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    Wow! Great book! Now eagerly waiting the next one!! Lots of things going on here. So much new. And what an ending! (I did have a suspicion of what might happen when I got closer to the end because of parallels to the Old Testament...). And Kal, oh how I want him to escape!!

    Still loving the characters. Very interesting story. Keeps your attention! If you've read King's Folly, you must read this book!

    Thanks Jill!!
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