Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours, this week I got to delve right into some top-notch high fantasy. This was the genre of my childhood and Kinglet is complete will all the necessary accompaniments. There is an established folklore, a divided kingdom inhabited with mythical creatures, and classes of magic good and bad.
The author effortlessly handles a cast of upward of a dozen characters. It is the sort of controlled mayhem that keeps you invested in their lives and hooks you along while they fight, quest, and fail. Kristan, in particular, is a beautifully written character. He has a complex relationship with his father which, though short in words, has implications stretching until the end of the book. He is the funniest mix of plucky, confuddled, and clever that will make you root for him from the first chapter. His vulnerability will make you love him and his peculiar talent for sword fighting will simply impress you. A solid protagonist if there ever was one.
Fair warning, Migliaccio’s bad characters are just as bad as her good characters are great. That means a good bit of violence. We all love a good morally ambivalent villain, but sometimes there are bad guys that are just meant to be hated. Think Moriarty or, in this book, Daazna. This guy and his one-eyed cronies will gnaw at you like a headache all day until you find out what happens to them.
Kinglet follows the destiny of Kristan Gemeta, an outcast prince whose dead father leaves him the legacy of the Gemeta stone. Said to protect the ruler of Hogia from magic, it is lost to him as a dark wizard ravages his kingdom.
Two years later, while the Kinglet survives off his wits in the harsh Exilwald forests, Heather is drawn into a prophecy that requires her and her family to trek across the wild and return the stone.
The two parties meet, dancing around each other yet always one step apart. They cross centaurs and fight back against the knights of
Daazna. They travel through strange woods and use strange magic.
This is the epitome of medieval fantasy, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Lord of the Rings or A Court of Thorns and Roses.
Overall, this book deserves a solid 3.5 stars out of five. Read it like I did with a cup of tea and a sandwich and it would make a perfect fall afternoon.
Happy reading and happy beginning of autumn,
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Synopsis: Kristan Gemeta has lost everything: his crown, his kingdom, his courage – even his name.
In the vast wilderness of the Exilwald, he’s known to the other outcasts as Kinglet. As long as Kristan stays hidden, he can elude the bounty hunters, brutal soldiers and terrifying spells of Daazna, the Wichelord who killed his father and destroyed his life.
But when a new band of pursuers comes looking for him, Kristan’s wariness gives way to intrigue. For bounty hunters they’re oddly inept, and a young woman in their company is leaving enigmatic drawings wherever they go. As they plunge deeper into the Exilwald, Kristan follows. He discovers the drawings symbolize the Gemeta Stone, an ancient family talisman seized by Daazna but now in the little band’s possession.
With the Stone’s protection, Kristan might stand a chance against Daazna. He could regain his birthright and his honor. But to obtain the Stone, he must reveal his true identity and risk the one thing he has left…his life.
About the Author:
Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres. She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker. Her award-winning short story, “Yaa and The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.