Shortlisted for Book of the Month
" ...the writing is top class. Descriptions are precise... but it is the characterisations which really win this book for me."
(Crowns of Destiny Book 3)
Fictional Kingdom of Agria
Third in the trilogy telling mostly the stories of Irisa and Kassia, two girls brought up in poverty only to discover their royal connections. We are a few years on from the first book, The Scribe's Daughter, and Irisa is married to Casmir Vitus, King of Agria while Kassia has wed her sweetheart, Jack.
The peace that Casmir has brought to Agria is suddenly threatened when a dangerous prisoner escapes, their daughter and heir, Sybila, is kidnapped and a powerful lord is suspected of plotting to take Casmir's throne. Casmir finds friends and enemies in strange places in his quest to solve these three mysteries.
As usual, the writing is top class as you would expect from an established author. Descriptions are precise of this mythical land, but it is the characterisations which really win this book for me. Casmir is our narrator and we see him change from a loving husband and father, efficient in his ruling duties and beloved of most of his subjects, to a man obsessed with finding his daughter's kidnapper whilst beset with the other problems as well.
His father and grandfather had both been cruel leaders and Casmir is petrified of turning into them. We see his vulnerability increase as do his self doubts. Casmir sees it too, but seems powerless to stop himself sinking into the depths he so fears. This shows the supreme skill of Ms Churchill's writing as we wonder how far he will ultimately go as his actions only add to the increasing rift in his marriage.
Irisa's thoughts and feelings are also dealt with expertly by the author as we really feel the tension between them and, finally, the king's furies are unleashed.
But other characters do not suffer from neglect. Jack is the calm but deadly man he always was despite hiding a deadly secret, Kassia has lost none of her plain speaking and the slightly 'dodgy' Wimarc of Dalery has you wondering exactly whose side he is on. Add in the mysterious mercenary, Jachamin Guimer, some ruthless villains and the mix is complete.
My e-book had a few typos – minor blemishes, though, which did not distract me at all. The book can be read as a stand alone (I have read The Scribe's Daughter, the first volume, but not, unfortunately, The King's Daughter, the second) as there is enough back story contained in this final volume. I say 'final volume' as all loose ends are neatly tied up, but there might be scope for continuations.
I thoroughly recommend this read.
Reviewed for Discovering Diamonds
© Richard Tearle
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