TITLE: Kings and Daemons
BY: Marcus Lee
SERIES: The Gifted and The Cursed #1
GENRE: Young Adult Fantasy, High Fantasy
NOTE: The author has given me a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.
The problem with this book is that I don’t have any problem with it, not even a tiny issue. That is a problem because now, I’m finding it hard to make this review long. But I have to…
The story…“Kings and Daemons” features Kings and Daemons. (Sorry, can’t help it. Hehe.) But kidding aside, the story is set in a world where daemons exist and ruled by one who feeds on life. It’s been decades since the Witch-King Daleth conquered the Ember Kingdom, turning the lands grey and people dying. Still with his thirst for eternal youth, now the Witch-King prepares his forces to conquer the neighboring Free States. Meanwhile, a group of misfits, each with their own past and motives, find themselves together and help change the world.
Kings and Daemons has everything I love in fantasy – strong plot, well-constructed fictional world and magic system, great ensemble cast, and even romance. As a lover of romance, this really pleased me. Several main characters are introduced and the story is told in three main POVs – Maya, Taran, and Kalas. I can say who to focus more but I won’t, besides it wasn’t my favorite. My favorite character would be the warrior Kalas. I love a character whose external battle is as important as their internal battle. Kalas is a perfect example of such a character. But despite not being my favorite, I still like Maya and her arc. She’s one of those characters you can’t help but root for right from the start. Her gift of healing can change everything because it is the direct counterpoint of the Witch-King’s power. Taran, on the other hand, is a typical character but his actions make him interesting to follow.
The secondary characters have their POVs shown throughout the story as well, just not as long as the main ones. But I am amazed that the author managed to give everyone the right amount of spotlight in the book, so in the end, no character seems flat or unnecessary. I even found myself connected to the Witch-King’s character. I also enjoyed the switching of the POV mid-chapter. I don’t think I’ve seen that done before but it’s very effective. It provides all the necessary tension, making the story more engaging.
Another thing is that the author used the multiple POVs to perfectly introduce the world, avoiding info-dumping. It’s really amazing to see and learn more about the world through all the character’s POVs, even through secondary characters’ POVs. The story kept surprising me, especially about how the magic system works. Everyone who has a gift/power is also cursed (thus the series title, The Gifted and The Cursed). It’s amazing to discover the characters’ gifts and how exactly they’re cursed. Also, the creatures that exist in the book’s fictional world made me more enthusiastic to read. When the daemons were introduced, I was amazed because I wasn’t expecting them to be like that.
So this is definitely a character-driven book, which is my favorite. No matter how complex the world is and how compelling the plot is, the book still gives more value to the characters’ personal goals. I just love it when it is the characters who are moving the story/plot forward and not the other way. Even better when the characters are as interesting as the ones in this book.
Finally, the book wrapped up neatly, and with a promise of more excitement in the next book. It tackled various themes that I really hope to see again in the next book, and darker. Kings and Daemons already has a dark undertone but I’m expecting it to be darker in the next book.
RATING: 5 blissful pages with lilies
I highly recommend Kings and Daemons. It’s perfect for all fantasy lovers since this is both Young Adult and Adult fantasy. And whether you like high fantasy or dark fantasy, you will love this book.
Have you read this book? Or planning to? What do you think of it? Let’s chat.