King’s Folly / by Jill Williamson. (The Kinsman Chronicles, 1) 9.30.2016

Bethany House ISBN 9780764214240

Adult Rating: 4

Award-winning author Jill Williamson kicks off a new epic fantasy series for adults, with political and spiritual intrigue, as well as a dangerous quest by a hero.

In King’s Folly, the king of Armania is convinced the gods are angry. That’s why earthquakes are occurring and volcanoes are erupting. He sends his son, Prince Wilek, to investigate a report of a city being swallowed up. What Wilek discovers is even more disastrous than he thought. Can he save his people before everything crumbles beneath him?

The land is covered in spiritual darkness–people are worshipping multiple gods, living in superstition, and making human and animal sacrifices. The king’s sons battle for the right to be named heir while disasters abound, which many believe are the fulfillment of the prophecies.

Although lengthy (549 pages), Williamson manages to produce another well-written epic fantasy with interesting characters and plot twists. Inspired by the corrupt kings of Israel, Williamson’s Kinsman Chronicles features court politics, mysteries, sexuality (not graphic) and more, making this a book more appropriate for adults and teens over sixteen.

Williamson does an excellent job of world building in this new epic offering, with mostly believable characters. The book includes a list of the key players, a map, and a note from the author, in which Williamson indicates there are discussion questions on her website, as along with a larger version of the map, a genealogy and other supplemental materials for this series.

Recommended for high school libraries, as well as adult fiction collections in public libraries. The second book, King’s Blood, will be available in 2017.

Carol R. Gehringer, worthy2read.wordpress.com