Series: Steps of Power: The Kings

Kings or Pawns by J. J. Sherwood

Posted April 15, 2017 by karenbaron in Elves, Fantasy, Fiction, Magic, Review, Series / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Kings or Pawns by J. J. SherwoodKings or Pawns by J.J. Sherwood
Series: Steps of Power: The Kings #1
Series Rating: three-stars
Published by Silver Helm on July 5th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
Pages: 383
Format: ebook
three-stars

Aersadore: a world of magic and intrigue, elves and demons, dragons and gods. Millennia of magic, war, and legends have shaped a complex past and an unstable future. Now the shift in power ripples outward yet again, promising intrigue, action, and adventure for those swept up in the conflict. And even more so for those who dare to shape it.

8,994 P.E. The elven city of Elvorium has become corrupted to the core by politics. With his father dead and The Royal Schism at his back, Prince Hairem becomes the king of the elven world on Sevrigel. Young and daring, Hairem is determined to undo the council's power, but quickly finds his loyal council members brutally murdered by an assassin loosed within the city.

As corruption and death threaten to tear the city apart from within, the warlord Saebellus threatens the city from without, laying siege to Sevrigel's eastern capital. With the elven world crumbling around him, Hairem finds himself in a dangerous political balance between peace and all out war.

Kings or Pawns. Kings or Pawns? This was much like reading a Tolkien book. There are lots of characters, lots of subplots, an extremely bad guy (or is he?), the good guys, who aren’t so white hat good, as each has their own agenda. Yes, there is drama, mystery, romance and lots of intrigue.

My favorite character is Jikun. Jikun is from Darival, the northern part of the kingdom.  He wields the magic of ice and water. Jikun is General of Sevrigel’s army. He is extremely knowledgeable of strategy and battlefield tactics, all things that make a good general. However, what I liked the most is that he is honest about not abiding by their regime, his use of prostitutes (against the law), and for the most part his opinion of the council and citizens of Elvorium which he doesn’t mind voicing in front of them. Jikun would like to return to Darival, but he is honor bound to finish the war with Saebellus. He is strong and yet he has flaws. He is loyal to the few friends that he has. What Jikun’s role in the next book will be, I don’t know. Hopefully, he will be back.

I think my least favorite character is Nilanis. He is the head of the counsel and he controls the ports. He is a widow with grown children. He dotes on his daughter, Ilsevel. While he seems to be a good father to her, you don’t really hear much about his other children. Nilanis has much wealth and way too much power. He spends way too much money and makes sure everyone knows how wealthy he is. Nilanis has no morals that I could see. He does whatever has to be done to maintain his wealth and way of life, at the cost of anything and apparently everyone.

I enjoyed the story. The settings were fabulous, I could completely see the cities, forests, and lands all clearly as I was reading. As with a Tolkien book it sort of drags on with so many details. I have to say I knew something was off about two-thirds of the way through but the ending was “Wow!” I didn’t see that specifically happening. The title of the book says more than you would think about the story. Are they Kings or Pawns? Is there power being a king or are just the counsel’s pawn?

Even though I enjoyed the book, my mind wandered at times. Therefore my rating will be 3 stars. It took me quite a while to complete it, but I am glad that I did. There is a second book available Heroes and Thieves. Make sure you check this series out, especially if you like Tolkien.

**Where to find Kings or Pawns **

** Goodreads **

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

three-stars

About J.J. Sherwood

On a cold winter night, wind howling into the desert sky, one ordinary hospital gave witness to a historic event. JJ Sherwood was born at 2:30 a.m. on December 31st, just barely managing to squeeze in to supplant New Year’s Eve. JJ has always had a flair for the dramatics.

Sherwood began writing in the womb after a harrowing incident in which Mother Sherwood swallowed a pen—and thus, destiny was born. JJ’s first work was completed by the age of 5: a riveting tale of a duck attempting to climb into an apartment during the pouring rain. Unfortunately this book is not in print, but it served as the first spark that spurred on a lifetime of creativity.

Much of JJ’s childhood was spent tearing through the woods, playing out fantasy worlds, and tying Barbie to the roof so that the Power Rangers might rescue her. Middle and high school carried on this roleplaying, while college encompassed creating and refining over 250 characters in the world of Aersadore.