Book Review: ‘Rise of Kings’, by Ben Emery

Rise of KingsI picked this up on the kindle store page, based on other purchases, and having read the blurb, thought it’d be right up my street. I have to confess, I was badly disappointed. My initial impression, right from the first scene was that it was poor. As a massive fan of military fantasy, and a military historian, I always enjoy a good opening battle scene, but the open of Rise of Kings was filled with imprecise language and oversimplified battle scenes, with a complete lack of formations and non-sensical strategic and tactical decisions. Having said that, I have never started a book and not finished it, so I decided to give it a chance and continue, in the hope that it improved.

Around about the 25% mark (only about 50 pages in – it’s very short), I thought the plot a little too predictable and derivative, but again decided to persevere in the hope that twists appeared as the plot progressed. As well, I found it hard to keep track of scenes due to mid-action shifts in point of view, something I try to avoid at all costs in my own writing. Overall, I failed to detect much in the way of subtlety of plot, and found the whole thing a little simple, to the extent I wondered whether or not it was intended as YA. Having said that though, there are parts where it is probably too bloody to be considered suitable, so I was left a little confused. In one sense, this book is incredibly frustrating, because the premise and the ideas (not the mention the world-building) are fantastic, but there is just the feeling that not much care has been taken over both editing and research.

I hate writing reviews as negative as this, and I try to be as constructive as possible. Whether that’s been achieved or not, I’m not entirely sure. In short, the premise is great, and Emery’s book has been completed and published (which is more than I can claim of mine), but the execution is a little off.

‘Rise of Kings’, by Ben Emery is the first in The Flameweaver’s Prophecy.

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