I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. Its one thing to be blown away by a great book but it is quite another to see the progression and growth from a debut author becoming the master of his craft, Lord and King takes the very best from the first two books in the series and builds on them with every chapter. There was not a word out of place no a slag in the tone, pacing, or action along the way. The best word I can use to describe this novel is CHAOS, for the characters, the plot, and everything else in between. I was on the edge of my seat the entire book and the ending will leave you wanting more. Hands down P.L. Stuarts best work and a Top 5 read of 2023 for me. Hope you are ready for the pain! This will be a spoiler free review but I will be touching on scenes from the previous novels.
At long last Othrun has been named Lord and King of his new land Eastrealm. With his trusted allies and wife carrying his first child, Othrun must work diligently to establish his new kingdom. The community, temple, homes, and people assigned to leadership must be done in swift order as Othrun’s enemies are always looking for weaknesses. Othrun realizes that he will need a mage of the Six at his side to combat the list of ever growing enemies but is Queen Lysi really the one to be trusted? Another powerful ruler of incredible power both in wealth and military is looking to make a power move in the Eltnish civilization. Undala has come to reclaim what is rightfully hers and lets hope Othrun is ready for the challenge.
Let me just say this from the start, you will be enthralled from the time the prologue is finished until the very last page. P.L. starts you off with a huge revelation and the surprises just keep on coming. Othrun is still very much a character you seem to hate most of the time but can’t seem to turn away from. Othrun believes his religion, people, and practices are the superior ways that people should and need to follow. However, as this novel runs its course Othrun may start to move away from the practices he holds dear for reasons I am not at liberty to say. Betrayals are poping up around every corner and some people are not who they claim to be!
The writing and plot progression in Lord & King is the best of the three books so far in this series. Of course this is just my humble opinion, but with essentially most of the worldbuilding stored into the first two books, P.L. really gets to drive home the conflicts to come. Several chapters in this book will get so rough and bloody that you may need to take a breather but it never crosses over into a grimdark story. It walks a fine line to a tee and I can already tell the best is still to come. An epic fantasy series written in the style of a classic tale of old. I couldn’t have asked for anything better!
The Drowned Kingdom is quickly shooting up the list of my all time favorte series and we aren’t even at the half way point. I hope you are not looking for happy endings as some of these scenes are anything but. Keep the good and the bad time coming each and every year! Oh, and stay tuned for a special suprise on my podcast coming up very soon with P.L!