Ebook review: King’s Mark by Stephanie Herman

About the author: “Stephanie Herman was born in Ann Arbor, MI surrounded by cats. Now she lives beside Puget Sound with four fluffy chinchillas, a few fish, and a basil plant. When she isn’t slaving over a hot laptop, she can be found caring for all things wild and wonderful as a wildlife rehabilitator.”

From the dust cover: “He Chose Them. And Then He Left. Nearly a century ago, the immortal King disappeared. Now, his Marked servants are hunted as demons and his land is falling into chaos. Three Marked have survived: a sheltered river princeling, an exiled mercenary, and a charismatic street urchin. Faced with overwhelming odds and blessed – or cursed – with a magic they cannot control, these three must fight to save the people and land they love.”

My Ebook review: The book cover says a lot about the genre of “King’s Mark” and even though the description of the book is relatively truculent about what one should expect Stephanie says more about her book on her blog “If you like magic, adventure, and a touch of steampunk (or if you’re simply interested in what I’ve spent the last two years working on) you should check it out!”

So it is fair to say that I had very few preconceptions about “King’s Mark” before reading it. Having read the book I can now fully appreciate the description. The plot unveils itself relatively sedately during the early pages as we get to meet some of the main characters and understand the rules of this world and some of the history of this society. By a third of the way through the book the scene had been set and by the halfway point I was loath to put it down.

There is much that is hidden from the main characters and much that they seem to hide from themselves for the usual reasons of fear, dogma, persecution and the simple desire to get on with life. The various layers of the plot become clearer correlating with a large cast of characters and an at times confusing change of perspective from one character to another. Inexorably, though, they are dragged towards the climax of the book where the agendas become discernible.

As always, it is hard to say much about a plot without giving away something crucially interesting. I will restrain myself to saying that this is a nicely written debut filled with intrigue, splendid relatable characters and a neatly controlled, if relatively complex plot. “King’s Mark” has all of the elements of a magnificent fantasy.

There is much that is hidden from the main characters and much that they seem to hide from themselves for the usual reasons of fear, dogma, persecution and the simple desire to get on with life. The various layers of the plot become clearer correlating with a large cast of characters and an at times confusing change of perspective from one character to another. Inexorably, though, they are dragged towards the climax of the book where the agendas become dicernable.

As always, it is hard to say much about a plot without giving away something crucially interesting. I will restrain myself to saying that this is a nicely written debut filled with intrigue, splendid relatable characters and a neatly controlled, if relatively complex plot. “King’s Mark” has all of the elements of a magnificent fantasy.

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