Howard Andrew Jones' powerful world-building brings this epic fantasy to life in For The Killing of Kings, the first book of his new adventure-filled trilogy.
Their peace was a fragile thing, but it had endured for seven years, mostly because the people of Darassus and the king of the Naor hordes believed his doom was foretold upon the edge of the great sword hung in the hall of champions. Unruly Naor clans might raid across the border, but the king himself would never lead his people to war so long as the blade remained in the hands of his enemies.
But when squire Elenai’s aging mentor uncovers evidence that the sword in their hall is a forgery she’s forced to flee Darassus for her life, her only ally the reckless, disillusioned Kyrkenall the archer. Framed for murder and treason, pursued by the greatest heroes of the realm, they race to recover the real sword, only to stumble into a conspiracy that leads all the way back to the Darassan queen and her secretive advisors. They must find a way to clear their names and set things right, all while dodging friends determined to kill them – and the Naor hordes, invading at last with a new and deadly weapon.
Creating an extensive new world full of swords, archery, magic and bravery, Jones (a longtime Pathfinder Tales tie-in novelist) takes readers on a harrowing journey through Darassus, a realm where a few heroes face an abundance of enemies. For the annual celebration of the late N'lahr, his friend and fellow Altenerai warrior, Asrahn, takes N'lahr's sword out to clean it and realizes it's a fake. Shortly after, Asrahn is found dead. Adventurer Kyrkenall returns to Darassus, learns of Asrahn's death, and believes it was no accident; he and Asrahn's squire, Elenai, investigate. They too become targets and flee the city to find the truth about the sword. When the remaining Altenerai are sent to hunt for them, warriors Varama and Rylin stay behind to conduct their own investigation. They soon realize they're the only ones who can save Kyrkenall, Elenai, and themselves. Meanwhile, the realm's most fearsome enemies, the Naor, are moving in. Multiple protagonists thrive amid immersive details of the realm and the creatures found therein. Jones's exciting epic will have readers laughing, crying, and cheering for the men and women of the Altenerai. Correction: An earlier version of this review incorrectly stated the book's author also wrote Forgotten Realms tie-in novels.