Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Fury of Kings by RS Moule
Narrator: Colin Mace
Series: Erland Saga #1
Published by Hachette Audio on May 17, 2023
Length: 17 hours,
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n the shadow of Eryispek—a mountain said to have no summit—a dark power is stirring. Storms rage in the frozen heights. Unexplained disappearances shake the kingdom below. And old enemies are sharpening their swords....
Andrick the Barrelbreaker first led an army at 16.
His victories secured the throne of Erland for his brother and shattered the rebellious noble houses in the West. Decades later, a fragile peace still holds.
But when the king’s only son is murdered, Erland is plunged into crisis. The new heir will stop at nothing to secure his claim. The king, maddened by grief, stalks the halls and hidden passages of his keep, growing more unpredictable by the day.
As war and magical disaster loom, Andrick must decide between protecting his family and marching out to serve a brother he barely recognizes.
His children must also choose their destinies.
Training in the practice yard every day, Orsian dreams of fighting beside his father. Now, for the first time, he faces the brutal reality of battle.
And Pherri is haunted by very different dreams—of figures struggling up the mountain, of a voice more chilling than the wind, of blood on the snow. Only she can resist the darkness that waits on the slopes above....
The Fury of Kings is a the first book in a new series The Erland Saga, a new debut fantasy set in a recognizable format of warring families and various PoVs that roll out the world around you. This is a staging book with a few epic battles and a question of what is happening in the mountains, with some disappearances and something ancient making its way back into the world. I would call this GRRM-lite, just because most people will be able to relate to that reference.
There is a large cast of characters and many PoVs so this story has some pacing issues that I think we see a lot with this set up, especially from newer authors. In the beginning, we get a nice prologue that will not make sense until much later in the book. The first chapters cover the death of the heir to the throne throwing the line of succession into disarray. After that it slows down and you will have to be a patient reader in between the action happening
The current king won his throne through the strength of his brother. He will have to call on him again if he has any chance of keeping it. A new generation will also need to decide if the King is a man of honor worth fighting for or if he is just a man obsessed with power. While we never see the world through the eyes of the king, we do see the king through the eyes of multiple PoVs and while the alternative to the throne doesn’t seem much better. I do wonder if the current King will be able to keep the loyalty of all those surrounding him through the entire series.
The main plot is of the next player to sit on the throne, very GRRM in that respect, however the rest of the book is about magic and the awakening of something in the mountains. Some of the characters currently embroiled in the main plot will be pulled of into new adventures as the possibilities of what is happening high in the mountains makes itself know.
I read a lot of fantasy and I will say that RS Moule has done a good job of setting up the series. There could have been a little more editing to make the story flow a little better and possibly not having so many PoVs in the opening book. I think the series has a lot of potential and if you are an Epic Fantasy reader then you know how much patience can pay off in the end. I will say this is very Game of Thrones-lite. There is sex and some rape-ish features as the king beds his new unwilling bride, but it is all off page. There are some battles and even those while intense are not too gruesome. Overall I think it is much tamer than some of the other fantasy books out there in that regard.
With a nice little cliff hanger at the end, it will be interesting to see how the writing and the story are fleshed out in future books. I did enjoy the overall story even though I predicted quite a few of the twists before they happened (I read a lot, it is hard to trick me) but still enjoyable to go on the journey. I wish Mr. RS Moule luck in his completion of his series and hope he finds ways to bring even more of this world to life.
Colin Mace is not new to this genre and I enjoyed his performance of The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne. He does really well with a complete cast of characters and multiple PoVs. He is also so versed in how to portray an epic tale. He was a great choice to be the voice for this series. I was able to listen at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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