The Heart of the Kingdom
Author: Sasha L. Miller
Title: The Heart of the Kingdom
Series: Kingdom Curses 1
Genre: High Fantasy
Pairing: M/M, Bi
Rating: Four Petals
On the Author's Website:
All Cenric wanted was a necklace to gift to his lady love, in the hopes it might persuade her to actually become his lady love. Instead of love, however, Cenric is informed of her engagement to someone else, wakes up to find his house burning down around him, and is dragged away by a man who might have saved him, but won't say much about why one necklace has Cenric running away from someone willing to kill to get it back.
Cenric lives in a small town working as a scribe where his only goals in life are to get the town's taxes done correctly and maybe impress a girl he likes. When he sees a pretty necklace for sale, he buys it in the hopes that it will convey his feelings to the girl. Except, his house is burned down that night and Cenric is suddenly on the run from a magical being that wants to kill him and steal the necklace.
I read this book years ago when it first came out, but when I learned the next book in the series would be published soon, I dug this book out to reread. I remember liking this story back then and I enjoyed reading this time too. My favorite part was the plot, which weaved aspects of fairy tales in with the general drama of Cenric trying to stay alive. Every twist and turn kept my interest and I had trouble putting the book down even though I was rereading and therefore already knew what was going to happen next.
The weakest part of the book is the ending. I'll try not to give anything away, but I felt like there wasn't enough foreshadowing about who the bad guys actually were. Cenric walks into the room at the very end of the story and the three bad guys are people he, and therefore the reader, haven't been introduced to. There is almost zero frame of reference to understand why these guys are bad or what they're really after. However, rereading this story with the knowledge that there is a second book coming soon, I can see that perhaps the sudden introduction at the end of this book is the start of foreshadowing for the second. If that ends up being true, then I can forgive some of the abruptness.
I really enjoyed rereading this story in preparation for the next book's arrival. The plot is very interesting in the way it ties fairy tales into the drama, but I felt the ending was a little weak. I do recommend this book and am absolutely looking forward to the next one.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.