Originally posted here. http://www.fantasybookreview.co.uk/Jenn-Lyons/The-Ruin-of-Kings.html – below are my notes that accompany Emma’s viewpoints. We had many of the same opinions so I thought it was needless to repeat her sentiments.
I agree with what Emma said about the point of views switching between 1st and 3rd person sometimes being confusing and the reader having to readjust. The beginning and middle I rated 10/10. The ending occasionally felt forceful and rushed until the final 30-40 pages which I found absolutely stunning. There are a lot of characters and many of which have very similar names and there are very complex family trees. Lyons kindly includes a Dramatis Personae as well as explaining difficult or uneasy context to help us understand the deepness and complexities in her amazingly crafted world.
Following on from there being many characters it does get confusing with the two timelines. One being Kihrin’s 1st person perspective which is his recent antics and the other being his jailor Talon’s descriptions of what happened before his sections. Many of the cast are in both timelines and with short, sharp and often very thrilling chapters and I believe only 4-years difference between the action of both segments it does sometimes take a few minutes to work out, or it did for me if this is before or after what happened last. First of my two further negatives is that I didn’t really grasp the reasons for the whole prophecy about our main character and I never thought he wasn’t the hero as the tagline states. Also, the 80-90% section of the narrative is too swift, and however amazing it is, pardon my french – it’s a bit of a ‘head-fuck.’
I sound like I’ve been negative here but I’m really not. Emma summed up perfectly what I enjoyed about this book. I still believe this will be an instant classic and TOR have got an absolute winner on their hands. My comments might have been the harshest but I’ve pushed the rating up because of how great I think this book is, albeit including minor issues. The Ruin of Kings will be in many top-10 lists next year and I cannot wait to see what comes next because I’m 100% here for the whole ride.