Blood of Ancient Kings by V.J.O. Gardner
Blood of Ancient Kings begins as an evil king is overthrown and his kingdom taken from him on the same day his wife dies in childbirth. He’s devastated and wants to die, but the new king having compassion offers both a punishment and a blessing. He must raise the child on his own – but there is a catch: He is stripped of title and privilege and forced to live among the very people that he abused as king.
The first night in the village, the villagers block the door shut and set the house on fire! He rescues his daughter as the roof falls in! He finds himself surrounded by angry villagers that pelt him with rocks as he runs seeking shelter. He crawls under a bridge and huddles in the mud to protect his infant daughter. For the first time in his life he is truly afraid of death, but not for himself – for his daughter. And that’s when it starts getting exciting!
A medieval fantasy novel that has been loved by teens and adults, both male and female, Blood of Ancient Kings drops two men into new and unfamiliar circumstances. One must figure out how to care for himself and his infant daughter, while the other must learn to lead and defend an entire nation instead of just a troop of men. Each must learn to be a father and gain the respect of others. Follow their children as they find friendship and inner strength while searching for love and their own identities. Meet two brothers that are as different as their fates are. Discover how they cope with life together and apart.
There are a lot of things I liked about this book. I enjoyed the medieval fantasy setting. There were some great characters and I cared about what happened to them, making me keep reading. There were politics, secrets, and sweet love stories. There is a contrast between royalty and commoners, palace life and village life. The story is clean with little violence and suitable for younger readers as well.
I liked the story. I want to rate it higher, there were just a couple of things that bothered me. There are some descriptions of people and events that are repeated so often that they become redundant. It just takes away from the story after a while. I also felt like the ending was a little abrupt. The story follows generations, but seems to suddenly stop in the middle of the next story. I get that this is the first book of a series, but it seemed to me like an odd place to end.
I do recommend this if you like stories set in medieval fantasy lands with royalty and sweet love stories and can overlook the repetition and abrupt ending. I liked it enough to want to read the next book.
*Note: The author has done some re-writing to take care of the repetition issues. I will check it out.
My Rating: ***
Steam Factor: !
My Source: Sage's Blog Tours
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About the author, V.J.O. Gardner
Growing up in a small Utah town, I was a voracious reader. In college I took Fantasy Lit and writing classes. I’ve always enjoyed observing people and how they interact based on their individual experiences and upbringing. I found that I enjoyed writing to take a break from the reality of life. After trying my hand at a variety of jobs, I felt it was finally time I begin to publish what I had been writing.
There have been so many great authors that I have learned from and a few very poor ones. I do not presume to compare myself to any other author’s style but only attempt to tell the story in such a way as to immerse the reader in the story. Just as some of the characters spend most of their time trying to figure out where they fit in this life, I too have been searching for a place where I fit only to realize that it’s the journey of discovery that is the most important part of life.
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