Series: Steps of Power: The Kings #1
Author: J.J. Sherwood
Publisher: Silver Helm
Publication Date: October 01, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
Source: ARC from author
The first book in JJ Sherwood's Steps of Power epic fantasy series. The Kings, Book I: Kings or Pawns is a political intrigue that spirals into an action and adventure series as the final events unfold.
8,994 P.E.—The elven city of Elvorium has become corrupted to the core by politics. With his father dead and the Royal Schism at his back, Prince Hairem ascends the throne as king of the elven world on Sevrigel. Young and bold, Hairem is determined to undo the council’s power, but the brutal murders by an assassin loosed within the city threaten to undermine the king’s ambitions.
As corruption and death threaten to tear Elvorium apart from within, the warlord Saebellus threatens the city from without, laying siege to Sevrigel’s eastern capital. With the elven world crumbling around him, Hairem finds himself in a dangerous political balance between peace and all out war.
I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Wow. Just wow! This book has everything that I love about epic fantasy. Diverse fantastical races, political intrigue, war, epic landscapes...just wow!
The world building created in this book is outstanding! There are so many descriptive details that create a masterfully designed world. If you are looking for a quick and light read, then look elsewhere. This book is a behemoth of complexity. When I am reading a fantasy, I want to be immersed into the world that the author has envisioned. J.J. Sherwood does a brilliant job making the reader feel like they are within this world. I can't even imagine all the time that has been put into the creation of this intricate world. My mind is officially blown!
I really love the character development in this book. It is incredible! The reader really gets a sense for what kind of person each character is and what really drives them. I love the diversity of characters as well. There are many different races of elves, and I love all the details that went into each race to distinguish them. I loved seeing into the lives of all the different walks of life. We get to see the king, politicians, the general, and even servants.
The writing itself was so pleasant to read, and the plot was fantastic. There was never a dull moment in this story, which I loved! Sometimes fantasy stories can lull a bit, but not so much in Kings or Pawns. When there isn't action there is political drama or intense character development. It's quite a brilliant concoction of words that blends into a compelling story that you can't put down. There were some things about the plot that I was able to pinpoint early on, but there were also some very good surprises and twists in there.
There was only one criticism that I had in the entire book. The author uses the term "brow knit" or "brow knitting" a little too much for my liking. Reading the same term over and over was just too repetitive. It could have been changed up a bit.
Overall, this book is outstanding! There is so much depth to this story. If you are a fan of richly imagined fantasy worlds and races, then pick up this book immediately! J.J. Sherwood has a beautiful way of melding characters and worlds. You will enjoy every moment!
On a cold winter night, wind howling into the desert sky, one ordinary hospital gave witness to a historic event. JJ Sherwood was born at 2:30 a.m. on December 31st, just barely managing to squeeze in to supplant New Year's Eve. JJ has always had a flair for the dramatics.
Sherwood began writing in the womb after a harrowing incident in which Mother Sherwood swallowed a pen--and thus, destiny was born. JJ's first work was completed by the age of 5: a riveting tale of a duck attempting to climb into an apartment during the pouring rain. Unfortunately this book is not in print, but it served as the first spark that spurred on a lifetime of creativity.
Much of JJ's childhood was spent tearing through the woods, playing out fantasy worlds, and tying Barbie to the roof so that the Power Rangers might rescue her. Middle and high school carried on this roleplaying, while college encompassed creating and refining over 250 characters in the world of Aersadore.
After escaping college, finally armed with the tools of the trade and a lifetime of development, JJ set to writing what would become the Steps of Power series: it was then that Eraydon slew his first dragon, Jikun battled the warlord Saebellus, and Taranus rebelled against his brother's throne.
When not orchestrating the lives and deaths of the people of Aersadore, JJ's hobbies include drawing, video gaming, wearing a bathrobe, and eating too many baked potatoes. JJ Sherwood lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with one loving and extremely patient spouse, a bearded dragon, a monk parakeet, and four cats who look far too similar.