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Second book in the Kingsfountain trilogy, and unlike the middle book of some trilogies, this is NOT a weaker story. In fact, I'd say it improves on the first. The main character Owen, who was 8-9 in the first book, is now 17-18 and makes a more nuanced narrator who plays a more active role in making things happen. He's come into his power and responsibility as a Duke and fountain-blessed, and is now in a position of trust to the troubled King Severn. The king's mistrust and bitterness are growing by the year, causing him to constantly test the loyalty of those who serve him, and Owen and Evie are no exception. Throughout the book the king demands more and more from them both, as a pretender arises claiming to be the son of the king's older brother and rightful heir to the crown of Ceredigion. As other rulers back the pretender and the king is forced to defend himself on multiple fronts, Owen's and Evie's loyalty is tested to the breaking point.
I picked this up on audiobook immediately after finishing the first book and ended up listening to it for the entire day instead of all the other things I should have been doing instead. The politics and history of Ceredigion are detailed and well thought out; the mysterious magic system of the fountain plays a larger part but is still fairly mysterious; and the characters are nuanced and have many layers and changing loyalties rather than being simply one thing or the other. Even minor characters like Evie's maid/chaperone get to have personality and plot, and the author makes you understand the perspectives of both the king and the pretender. It's often hard to tell who will turn out to be an enemy or an ally, and I forsee more twists still to come in the third book of the trilogy.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I am ruined for any other author or narrator. This series has me enthralled! Kate Rudd reads as I would read to myself. Give me more PLEASE
3 of 3 people found this review helpful