A well deserved love story …
This is the second installment of Paladin’s Legacy and it continues the story of the people touched by the Paladin Paksenarrion and it takes up the rein just after the events in Oaths of Fealty.
The main character from Oaths of Fealty Dorrin Verrakai is now sworn in as Duke Verrakai of Tsaia and she continues to clean up after her horrible relatives and makes some intriguing finds. She also takes on squires and starts teaching the young nobles in a way that I found really enjoyable. I fell in love with her character in Oaths of Fealty but she is not as dominant here but I think it is all going to come together in the next book.
This is mostly about King Kieri Phelan of Lyonya, Paks former leader and the troubles he faces. The Lady, his Elven co-ruler and grandmother is evasive and avoids him. Things between elves and humans are far from good. He continues to learn about and to connect to the taig, the force of the land. No one around him fails to notice he is unmarried and has no heirs and they want him to marry. Then two princesses arrive from his unfriendly southern neighbors and put him in trouble that threatens war. There is lots of fun here and also a well deserved love story.
Count Jeddrin Andressat of Arrenis is the second prominent character, somewhat surprisingly after his discovery of the true history of his people. Alured the Black is making a bid for power in the south and has started to prepare for war with the North. The more and more humbled Jeddrin sets out to warn them traveling incognito which also is entertaining to read about.
I enjoyed reading this book, the characters comes to feel like family members, you get to know them and you root for them. There is warmth and love at the same time it is thrilling and perilous. Even minor characters like Arvid of the Thieves Guild and Marshal-General Arianya stays on in fond memory.
There is an overall arc about those strange artifacts Paks found and the rightful heir to them that I think will be resolved in the next book. The lore of Paksworld continues to grow and there is an intriguing short story at the end.
Kings of the North is sprinkled with strong vibrant female characters. It is thrilling with assassination attempts, undercover kings, love, fire and dragons at the same time warm and caring. Elizabeth Moon is a master of characters and don’t get me started on her world building. I just wish it was March 2012 so I could read her next novel Crisis of Vision.
This is the best fantasy book I read this year so far and I recommend it with my whole heart. It is not a standalone book, you should start with Deed of Paksenarrion and Oath of Fealty.
Kings of the North (Paladin’s Legacy book 2) by Elizabeth Moon – Orbit 2011 – Copy bought from Amazon UK
They face brigands, broken alliances and the power of dragons.
King Kieri’s realm has been destabilised by political wrangling and his court is blind to the dangers – until an assassination attempt on their king. And when this backfires, Kieri’s enemies start planning an invasion using dragonfire, a force unseen for hundreds of years.
In King Mikeli’s adjoining kingdom, his crown is threatened by a bandit prince. Alured the Black claims his lineage gives him dominion over all the lands. His ambition is boundless, his methods are ruthless and he will not be swayed from his goal, whether or not it undermines a region already on the brink of war. Dark mages also watch for weakness and hunger for their own lost powers. The Kings of the North must plan wisely, as disaster is a sword’s breadth away.