Packed with vivid characters, plot twists, dragons, and intrigue, The Worth of a King fascinates the reader with a unified blend of theme depth and imaginative fantasy in a memorable journey for both characters and readers.
Kendra E. Ardnek, whose name you may know if you’re a regular here, is releasing The Worth of a King today! I had the privilege of beta reading/editing this book, and it is indeed a “worth”-while title for your bookshelf. Characters, drama, intrigue, plot depth – this book has it all.
First, can we take a moment to once again admire THAT COVER? Alea Harper did an amazing job and captured the themes of the book in a work of gorgeous, amazing art.
The story of Worth starts with a common premise: there’s a throne, and there are people who need to ascend to the throne. More than one, so who will get it? What’s more (surprise, surprise), the unassuming peasant isn’t who he thinks he is. Yet it very quickly branches out from that ordinary starting place with unique twists and amazing character development. Behold the summary:
Princess Obsidia’s father was killed the night she was born. Since there was no male heir, the crown went to the man who killed him, by Dialcian law. This never bothered her, growing up, and when it comes time for Obsidia to choose her husband, she chooses Prince Delaney, the son of that man, with little hesitation. Only then does her life start crumbling around her.
Adrian expected to live a normal life, taking his father’s place at the print shop when his father retired. But, on his eighteenth birthday, when the princess’ engagement is announced, his world is ripped out from under him when he learns that his life was a ruse, and he is the twin brother to the princess – and expected to take back his father’s throne.
Delaney knows that his country is hovering on the brink of war – and that his father may harbor murderous intentions towards his intended bride due to her Zovordian blood. He wants nothing more than to protect Obsidia and his people, but as merely prince, he has little power against his father.
The ancient war between the Dragons and the Immortal King and Queen is nearing its climax, and the three are already caught in it.
The Worth of a King is told from all three points of view: Adrian’s, Obsidia’s, and Delaney’s. This provides a unique feel to the story and a relaxing, immersive pacing that allows us to identify with each character and fully understand the story. Personally, I loved being able to track events through each person’s viewpoint and put the pieces together one by one.
What I Loved:
- Character development. Worth is a book of character development, and I absolutely loved the realistic way that each character learned, developed, and changed throughout the course of the story. The relationships that progressed were well done, and every major character had a beautiful arc in this story.
- The three points of view, as I already mentioned. This rounded out the story excellently.
- Laura, Amber, and Granite. If you’ve read any of the Rizkaland Legends, you’ll recognize these three. Initially, I was interested in reading Worth simply for the Amber backstory, and it did not disappoint. It was wonderful to see Amber and Granite pre-scale – such a new dimension to them and new insight into who they are! – and of course Laura always takes center stage whenever she appears. Yet I must be quick to add that this book is so much more than these three. It’s well worth reading even without them.
- Jerolin. He adds so much to the story and he’s a hilarious, loyal, lovable character who spills books, spouts sarcasm, and unceasingly comforts and supports those he loves.
- El Shaddai and how the characters grew in relationship with Him. Relationship with Him wasn’t a given for all the major characters from the beginning, and the different stages of characters’ walks with Him came across as realistic and also interesting to the story line. I especially loved His part in the climax.
- That said, I loved the climax and conclusion. The way it was written and portrayed with all three points of view; the way it built and built and everything came down to one perfect God-moment; everything. Go read the book and see for yourself.
- The theme of the book: the worth of a king. While I’m still pondering all the nuances of the meaning of this phrase, I will say it’s the perfect title for the book. Indeed, this theme is thought-provoking, and, though it may raise more questions than it answers, I count that a positive benefit. After all, the best books don’t even pretend to answer every question and give every moral; rather, the best books spur personal thought and meditation. And The Worth of a King is one of these books.
Adrian heard the door, then a long silence before Father announced, in a regretful voice, “She chose Ossian’s boy.”
Mother gave a small gasp.
Frankly, Adrian didn’t see what was so surprising about the news. Obsidia was far from the first Dialcian princess to marry the son of the king who had killed her father.
“This means that we have to tell him,” Father continued.
Tell him? Him who? Tell him what?
“I can’t believe that this day has already come,” said Mother. “It seems only yesterday that Adelaide…”
“Do we really have to tell him?” This was Jerolin. “Right now?”
“There’s no time like the present,” said Father. “In my opinion, we should have told him years ago. Celeste, can you get the letter?”
“Yes, yes, of course,” said Mother, distractedly.
“But right now?” Jerolin repeated, voice rising. “He’s still asleep!”
“It’s nearly noon,” Father replied. “It’s high time the boy woke up. We can give him cake to soften the blow.”
Jerolin snorted. “Like cake will make up for finding out that his entire life has been a lie.”
Adrian went to his bedroom door. It was now clear that he was the “him” in question, but how was his life a lie? What did it have to do who Princess Obsidia chose to marry?
He pushed the door open and stared at his father, seated at the kitchen table, and Jerolin, pacing frantically. “What blow?”
Adrian had never experienced a more awkward moment of silence than the one that followed.
Kendra E. Ardnek loves fairytales and twisting them in new and exciting ways. She’s been or acting them on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years. “Finish your story, Kendra,” is frequently heard at family gatherings. Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children’s tales that glorify God and His Word.
Find her online at:
Giveaway: Kendra is giving away a paperback copy of the book and a 15ml bottle of Peppermint oil (US only). She also has a special prize for whoever leaves the most comments across the blog tour – and that one is international. Go find the giveaways here.
Monday, August 27
Knitted By God’s Plan: Intro to the Party
Morgan Elizabeth Huneke
Lit Aflame – Kendra E. Ardnek
Light and Shadows – Kendra E. Ardnek
Jenelle Schmidt – Granite
Elvish Pens, Fantastical Writings – Christa
Don’t forget to come back right here to Resting Life on Thursday for an exclusive interview with Jerolin – Adrian’s hilarious brother.
Click here for the full blog tour schedule!