The Uncrowned King – King Rolen’s Kin – Rowena Cory Daniells
Rolencia’s ancestry enemy, Merofynia, has invaded and marches on King Rolen’s castle. Powerless to help, thirteen yeard old Piro watches as her father, King Rolen, listens to poisoned whispers against Bryen. How could the King doubt his second son? Determined to prove his loyalty, Bryen races across the path of the advancing army to ask the Abbot to send the warriors monks in defence of the castle.
We start off immediately where The King’s Bastard left us. Byren is leaving behind a blazing Dovecote estate and skating as fast as possible to warn the monks of Halcyon of the impeding danger. Meanwhile Piro is still trying to escape the cunning Cobalt who has wrapped her father around his finger and Fyn, left behind with the young and elderly while the monks went to battle, realizes there is something very wrong with the message the abbot received from his father to call the monks to arms. Each of King Rolen’s Kin is faced with new threats and danger lurks around every corner. And like every good book it made me anxious to read on, to find out if the characters I’d come to care for so much would find a way out of this mess.
The story moves on at breakneck speed, switching between the three children of King Rolen and his Queen Myrella, just like in the first book. The pace was ideal for the situation described in ‘The Uncrowned King’, because Rolencia is now fully at war and there is so much happening all over the country, that the story really needed to move forward pretty fast. I’m glad there wasn’t a lull here, Daniells succeeded in keeping us on the edge of our seats.
The writing was again very good, aside from some repetitiveness in sentences that I’ll gladly overlook because the story itself was yet again very entertaining.
I loved the way the Affinity beasts came back in this book. The reader gets to see a whole other side of them and wonder what more there is hidden behind the dangerous demeanor of those roaming beasts.
The ending leaves us with the children at locations we couldn’t have imagined at the beginning of the book. They’ve been through a lot and all of them are determined to take Rolencia back one way or another. I did feel that the pacing slowed down a bit after the first part of the book, but again, it didn’t bother me, because it seemed to fit the story. All of them are trying to get their bearings and trying to reorganize their lives so they can go back to Rolenhold stronger.
Was ‘The Uncrowned King’ a stronger book than ‘The King’s Bastard’? Not really, but it was definitely on par with it. It has its own strengths and weaknesses and the story has switched to a whole different level. Where the first book was more of a ‘get to know’ book and the start of the action, ‘The Uncrowned King’ throws us full on in the action, without flinching back from some cruelty and horror. Definitely a series I still enjoy reading. Now on to ‘The Usurper’ to find out what happens with all my favourite characters.