Saturday, February 22

King by R.J. Larson

Though I can’t tell for sure, King appears to be the finale book in Larson’s “Books of the Infinite” series. Akabe Garric has been chosen as king, though he had not asked for kingship. Despite this, he decides to prove himself to be a worthy king and begins undertaking a major project: Rebuilding the Infinite’s temple in the land of Siphra. He quickly runs into a problem, that land is held by worshippers of another god and will only relinquish the land if Akabe marries their leader’s daughter. Intent on rebuilding the temple, Akabe agrees to the terms.  Meanwhile, there have been numerous assassination attempts against the king, and the prophet Ela worries that the new queen may lead to the destruction of the new kingdom.

Containing undertones from Solomon and Moses, King moves at a brisk pace. Whereas the previous two books jumped back and forth between Kien and Ela alone, this time around Akabe and his queen (Caitria) are strong supporting characters, though most of the time they are also present with Ela and Kien. As I’ve mentioned in my earlier reviews, I’ve never found Ela to be a strong character, as she mostly reacts to events around her, or reacts to the visions she receives. While I understand that a part of this is due to her role as a prophet, it also makes her boring. Akabe is a reluctant king, trying his best to lead his people, and I would’ve enjoyed reading more about his struggles as ruler.

I also found that the humor was not present as much. In the first two books, the destroyers provided some needed comic relief, and that was not felt in this story. In fact, the destroyers barely showed up at all.

At times, the story logic did not seem to make sense. Early in the story there are assassination attempts against the kind, and the power planning these is not fully known. Instead of being careful in his interactions he decides to marry someone he has never met from a country that has religious tensions with the king. While I get that he wanted the land for the temple, it seems strange that he never considered the risk involved either.

In the end, King was probably the fastest paced of all of the stories and was helped by spending even more time with characters other than Kien and Ela. However, some strange story choices, and the lack of interest in Ela kept this from hitting even higher.

3/5 stars

See my reviews for Prophet and Judge

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