“Book Review: Fall of the Kings”
Reviewed by Alexandria Ducksworth
Kings, warriors, and faraway kingdoms. DL Gardner is back again with another captivating high-fantasy.
In the first book of The Sword of Cho Nisi series, Princess Erika of the Tobian kingdom accidentally kills the Cho Nisi king. To make matters even more complicated, the king’s son, Prince Arell, falls in love with her.
When Prince Barin finally returns to the Tobian kingdom after being kept by the dark wizard Skotaldi, he hasn’t returned mentally in one piece. He would be unfit to be the next in line as king after King Tobias dies.
Things take a turn for the worse in Fall of the Kings.
A new kingdom threatens both the Tobian and Cho Nisi kingdoms: The Casdamian Empire. Skotaldi has turned his attention to Emperor Barte, using him to gather armies to venture into Mount Ream. Barte initially refuses Skotaldi’s request until the wizard reminds him of his family curse and threatens to kill his beloved falcon. With his parents dead, Barte’s feathered friend is his only family.
Meanwhile, Erika worries about her father and brother Barin. Barin shows little signs of recovery from Skotaldi’s mind-warping spells. And King Tobias’s life is slowly slipping away from old age. Despite the council’s constant reminders, Erika still has no intentions to marry. But when Arell visits Erika’s kingdom for diplomatic purposes, she might have to change her mind. With Barte and his army on the Tobian gates, Erika must do something to save her family, friends, and her precious land.
Sequels are always either hits or misses.
Fortunately, Fall of the Kings is a hit. Where book one was an invitation to Gardner’s world, the sequel reveals how the characters endure more challenging situations and the great unknown.
Every vital character in this book adapts to their new situation. Erika has to accept a new life as the royalty seats of the Tobian kingdom transitions. Arell may have to take a new position he’s not fully prepared for, including dealing with a rising war. Even Tobias’s wizard Kairos faces his fears to become a courageous, powerful magician. These character transformations go a long way in making this book even richer and more exciting than the first.
It’s even got the Game of Thrones angle of constant conflict between the powerful kingdoms. We need to know who will be on top at the end. Like George RR Martin places the Starks and Lannisters on the chessboard, Gardner has the Tobians, Cho Nisi, and now the Casdamians.
The Sword of Cho Nisi: Fall of the Kings is the sequel we deserve after the stellar first book. If you’ve been following the series since the beginning, you won’t be disappointed, especially with an alluring dark element absent from book one. The series continues to rise; it’s time you rise with it.
Genre: High Fantasy
Print Length: 288 pages
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