Saturday, April 16, 2016

Book Review: King's Folly by Jill Williamson

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Title: King's Folly

Author: Jill Williamson

Series: The Kinsman Chronicles #1

Genre: Fantasy

Audience: Adult


The gods are angry.

Volcanic eruptions, sinkholes, ground shakers--everything points to their unhappiness. At least that is what the king of Armania believes. His son, Prince Wilek, thinks his father's superstitions are nonsense, though he remains the ever dutiful heir apparent to the throne.

When a messenger arrives and claims that the town of Farway has been swallowed by the earth, the king sends Wilek to investigate. But what Wilek discovers is more cataclysmic than one lost city. Even as the ground shifts beneath his feet, Wilek sets out on a desperate journey to save his people and his world. But can he do it before the entire land crumbles?

**5 stars**

Epic. This is the word that immediately comes to mind when I think of King's Folly by Jill Williamson. Fantastic, action-filled, diverse, brilliant. This book is the first in a new series called THE KINSMAN CHRONICLES; (it's actually a prequel series to Jill Williamson's other fantasy trilogy). And it's a tremendous start! I was captivated from the beginning.

In a world being torn apart by earthquakes, a grand cast of characters find mystery and meaning as doom approaches. Two sons of a king, Wilek and Trevn, must carefully navigate their lives of royalty, praying they don't get cast to Barthos as a sacrifice like their brother did. A girl, barely a young woman, seeks to be a companion to a princess's daughter. Another woman is lost in the grasp of darkness amidst a strange tribe where magicians rule. A burdened queen, a eunuch, a long-suffering friend, and a guard also have their tales told. Darkness reigns in the lands ... How will their people be broken from the bondage of wickedness?

I simply loved this book. (I got fangirly many times while reading it. My sister gave me an odd look when I hugged it and half-sighed, half-squealed after finishing it.) It starts full-force, capturing you with intrigue and its rich fantasy world. Jill Williamson and her ability to create such amazing worlds! She is an incredible writer! From the five lands, their traditions, histories, and their interesting peoples; to the epic plot; to the subtle Biblical retelling. It was fascinating. Colorful. Vivid. Tangible, like you're there, living this adventure. I mean, I was sucked into this book. (I think I vanished from earth altogether for a few days ... *winks and grins*)

The characters were amazing. Each one so real, and different from the next. It didn't bother me a bit that there were so many POV characters; each of their stories gripped me. Trevn is my favorite! He's so ambitious, fun-loving, and rebellious! *grins* (Rebellious in a good way ... like rebelling against the idea that grown princes must have a harem.) I also really liked Mielle. She was different than the average female character, yet overall relateable and loveable! ^_^ I quite like Wilek as well! And the rest of the main characters had interesting views to show that enriched King's Folly altogether.

I loved all the endearing relationships - the wonderful friendships. Mielle and Lady Zeroah have a lovely blossoming friendship that I hope to see more of! And the scenes of Wilek with his mother and grandmother ... those usually made me chuckle. *grins* Which leads me to another point: the humor. Despite having a fairly dark theme, King's Folly definitely had its humor as well! I love a book that makes you laugh; characters and personalities that bring a smile or giggle. Trevn and Mielle both did that for me. *smiles*

I think what makes this book such an epic fantasy for me is the combination of it's rich fantasy world, diverse cast of characters, and incredible plot. It sort of retells, in a fantastical way, Old Testament stories of when the lands turned away from God and got caught up in idolatry, sorcery, perverseness. King's Folly shows that darkness, yet it also reveals a mighty God (Arman, the "father god"; in truth, the only God) who has a mighty plan for the people who are wondering if there might be something more; something different than the wickedness their kingdom has fallen into. It's so very thought-provoking and intriguing, and I can't wait to read the next book and see where Jill Williamson goes with this Christian allegory.

On a cautionary note: I would probably recommend this book for 18 and up. At least late teens. There is many mentions of concubines, mistresses, fornication, and the like. Most are merely mentions and scenes that imply something happened afterwards. Wilek has a mistress at the start of the book, who's been with him since he was fifteen. In one scene, they are in his room, and he kisses her and then the scene ends. Trevn, though he has no concubines, meets a girl and they soon exchange some kisses. I felt these situations are both to kind of show what kind of kingdom they live in. What kind of example their father, the king, sets. Their land has long turned away from Arman, the true God, so they don't understand godly morals.
   There were a couple scenes that started making me uncomfortable. Both centering on a character named Charlon. She lives, not by her own doing, in a strange tribe. In one scene, she practices dark magic; and it just weirded me out, her chanting and whatnot. In another scene, she clearly intends to give herself to a man, deeming herself healed after years of fear of and abuse from men. I felt it was a little too sensual, though it ended before too much happened.
     So. Though there were many mentions of sordid lifestyles and whatnot, I felt all of them were appropriate, mostly implying; except for the two of Charlon I mentioned above. But yes, it simply calls for an older audience.

Overall, this book was thrilling. Such depth. Such epic-ness! I'm enthralled, my friends! If you're looking for rich fantasy, an astounding tale told by many wonderful characters, a story of life and love, adventure and mystery, danger and doom, look no further than King's Folly! It's truly a remarkable novel, and I eagerly await the second book, King's Blood!

I received a copy of King's Folly from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.


  1. I've been so wanting to read some of Jill Williamson's books. :)

    1. She is an excellent writer! ^_^ I can't wait to read more by her!

  2. Ahhhhh I have a free e copy of this, and I REALLY want to read it now! I love epic books. Especially when it's the first in a series and I'm not ten books behind ;)

    1. Yes! :D I LOVE epic books too!! You should really pick it up and read it! :) :)