BLOOD OF ANCIENT KINGS and QUEST OF THE KING * by V.J.O. GARDNER.
SOURCE: Both books were received for review from publicist V&E Enterprises.
A medieval story of love, honor, and courage.
As a young prince grows up and advances through the military ranks, with his true identity unknown to his friends, he meets a young girl and they become friends. As the years pass their friendship blossoms into true love, knowing that she already has an arranged marriage and he being royalty most certainly has one as well, they still continue with their relationship. As their friendship progresses he must be courageous as he goes through many trials, testing his love for her, his loyalty to the kingdom, and in doing what?s right as an officer and a gentleman. The story spans multiple generations, their families deal with many problems, going from the pain of death, to the joy of birth as they feel running through their veins. **
...... Authors website
FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1: Life And Death): Langward stood in the open doorway as blood dripped from his sword.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 144): "That stitching is not regular thread," Monau said. "My mother says that young women in love often send a handkerchief to the man they love. The handkerchief is stitched with their own hair."
continues the by introducing the Lord of Dracona. He is a lonely man with a dark past who is thrust into unexpected responsibilities. He faces tasks that he has no hope of accomplishing on his own and no one to turn to for help. It is also the story of a nation in search of the answer to an ancient riddle and another nation in the grip of a tyrant king. *
..... Authors website
FIRST SENTENCE (Prologue): "Why doesn't anyone go into the forest to the east?" Cherie asked Olvan as they walked towards his house.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 109): ..... "They will each eat a half of a mature cow at each feeding for three months. They will need to be fed cut up meat once a week for the first three months and one whole cow once a month after that. As soon as they master flight, they will be capable of feeding themselves."
MY THOUGHTS: Despite the obviously ancient castle on the front cover and the synopsis on the back cover Blood of Ancient Kings is not historical fiction but what the author describes as medieval fantasy. Though to describe it as such is perhaps a bit misleading as just as in book 2 there is little sense of time or place.
What I'd describe as a hybrid fantasy/romance. This is the story of two kings, of two fathers each of whom has a deep and abiding love for their offspring who, prophecy has it, destinies lie together.
Whilst both books have several themes in common (love, honour and a prophecy to be fulfilled) Quest Of The King, with its tale of dragons, is marginally more magical and certainly much easier to identify as being fantasy fiction and therefore should appeal more to this audience.
Though part two in a trilogy (part three is entitled Three Kingdoms Of Alessandrine) this book is the story of a different ancient king and kingdom and therefore is totally readable as a standalone novel though I'm hoping that part three will follow on and pick up on some of the loose ends with which this ended.
Aimed at a Young Adult audience (though with a lack of swearing, no sexual content and relatively little violence, none of it very graphic, the author certainly recommends Blood Of Ancient Kings as suitable for readers as young as ten) because of the chaste nature of the love stories, the rather sanitised war element in book one and the generally innocent nature of both books I feel that these are probably best suited to 'tween-age' girls.
* The book I read was in fact a paperback edition and not the kindle version as linked to.
** These are shortened versions of the synopsis, for full versions see the authors website HERE.
Disclaimer: Read and reviewed on behalf of publicist, V&E Enterprises, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.
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