Friday, 25 September 2015

{Review} The Sleeping King by Cindy Dees

23847975Posted by Melanie
Release Date: September 8th, 2015

Finished Date: September 13th, 2015
Publishers: Tor Teen
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 496
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / Book Depo 
 
The Sleeping King is the start of a new fantasy series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Cindy Dees.

Dees has won a Golden Heart Award, two RITAs for Category Suspense and Adventure and has also twice snared RT's Series Romantic Suspense of the Year. She is a great storyteller, and the adventures in her more than fifty novels are often inspired by her own life. Dees is an Air Force vet-the youngest female pilot in Air Force history-and fought in the first Gulf War. She's had amazing adventures, and she's used her experiences to tell some kickass stories.

But as much as she loves romances, Cindy's other passion has been fantasy gaming. For almost twenty years she's been involved with Dragon Crest, one of the original live action role-playing games. She's the story content creator on the game, and wanted to do an epic fantasy based on it, with the blessing and input of Dragon Crest founder Bill Flippin.

The Sleeping King is the first in an epic fantasy series, featuring the best of the genre: near immortal imperial overlords, a prophecy of a sleeping elven king who's said to be the savior of the races . . . and two young people who are set on a path to save the day.

The Review: The Sleeping King is the first book in a new epic fantasy series by Cindy Dees and epic it turned out to be!

The synopsis seems to tell the reader more about the author than the actual book so I’ll try and tempt you a little….

In this adventure fantasy story we have a world – Urth – that has varying lands and inhabitants. Magic is aplenty but so is the tyranny. We start the book with events that happened years ago, a controlling emperor who can bend anyones thoughts and will to his own, his power hungry overlords who rule regions of Urth in any manner they choose as long as they line the Emperor’s pockets and some good people who a forced to make sacrifices for the greater good…… but there is also a prophecy…. One that portends the downfall of the Emperor and his regime! The emperor will do everything in his power to stop this from happening but can you change fate?

Fast forward a few years and we meet Will, a young lad on the brink of adulthood wanting to prove to his parents that he should be allowed to train & fight for his little village. Little does he know that his village will need fighting for very soon and everything he thought he knew – is not all there is to know. He is sent on an errand to a nearby city to report to one person alone and to warn them that the enemy is moving and they need to prepare – but will he be taken seriously when the Governor of the city is corrupt as they come?

Elsewhere Raina is on the verge of becoming a woman, 16 and on the cusp of life – that is until she has a family tradition thrust upon her that will change everything and leave her all but caged. Headstrong Raina will refuse her family tradition, she will not accept what is laid out for her and she will flee her home in a desperate escape from a life that she doesn’t want. With help from a mysterious Elf she will search for a way to relieve her family from its duty so that no other daughter will be forced to accept a fate like that which is waiting for her.

Both Will and Raina believe the answer to their problems is in the prophecy of the ‘Sleeping King’ who will conquer all and bring the world back into balance. They head out with some friends in the hopes they will find the Kings resting place so they can awaken him…..but many enemies await and they journey will be full of danger – will they set a prophecy in motion? Will they wake the Sleeping King?

So, it sounds good right? Well it was! It was epic! I love books like this that can take you far away from your life and deposit you into a whole other world filled with all kinds of wonderful things. The author did a great job of bringing this world to life, as you may have read – it is based upon an online game ‘Dragon Crest’ and how fab that she has made it into a book! I loved nearly everything about this although I didn’t really get into it until the 20% mark when things started to get moving. I really enjoyed getting to know all of the characters, they were all written as such that their character is true to their person for instance Will is extremely brave and moral and that really comes across well, which helps connect with them. Raina is another example in that you can tell she is headstrong, sassy and not afraid to fight for what she wants. The bad guys felt like bad guys, as a reader I wanted them caught and punished, I wanted bad stuff to happen to them for what they put everyone else through so that indicates to me how good the author portrayed the characters of the book because I was invested in every one of them.
The storyline was great, lots of different lands and scenery to be discovered with all of its creatures too. It was quite easy to understand the dynamics of Urth and I didn’t feel like I got overloaded with information. To be fair, the characters really made this book for me but I really appreciated the rest too, I mean when you have portals that drop you in a dryad grove – it’s always going to impress. I loved the prophecy angle, it gave the book a very adventurous feel where the main characters go on a quest and encounter all manner of things. I suppose it could be compared to a Lord of the Rings –esque scenario on a lesser scale but the same sort of enjoyment to be had. For all the story had a really slow start, once the character were in place and things started moving, the pacing was good and I was kept interested all of the way through. There are side threads to this story also which will probably develop over the series so it isn’t all focused on the prophecy and I do look forward to those being revealed. As fantasies go though, this was brilliant! It had everything you could want in a fantasy – prophecy, strange worlds, diverse set of characters & species, evil enemies with one that you just know will be the end series bad guy, plenty of magic, secrets, discoveries, battles, puzzles……even a smidgen of romance -  it’s all there and it’s all very enthralling. I simply can’t wait for book two! 

4.5 stars!  

Thank you to Tor Books for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 
 

No comments: