Welcome back to Fantasy Friday where you will find reviews of classic and new books!
This is the first of The Kingfountain Series from the prolific writer, Jeff Wheeler. This man is a full-time writer, living the dream and reaping the rewards of it. What a life! I want to be like him.
This story follows, in thinly-disguised form, the aftermath of an alternate Bosworth Field, where King Richard III of England lost his life through treachery in 1485. This time Richard survives and is modeled after Shakespeare’s infamous wicked uncle. Other personages from this time either appear or are referred to in other guise. But you do not need to know any of that to still enjoy this tale. And I still enjoyed it as a Ricardian, knowing the truth and not believing the immortal bard’s propaganda, because Jeff is a Ricardian also and makes some points in his book to show it.
In this tale, Richard is named Severn, king of Ceredigion, and he is one of the Fountain-blessed, people who have magical powers of one kind or another. His is the power of persuasion akin to Saruman’s poisonous power to appear through words something he is not.
Severn is a thoroughly unhappy person who lives to mock others. He gains power this way and those unfortunate to be at his court suffer much under this scourge. One of these is eight-year-old, Owen, youngest son of one the king’s lords who betrayed Severn in battle. For this crime, Severn murdered the lord’s elder son, who was a hostage of Severn’s. Owen takes his brother’s place at court and is in the same danger of death.
But Owen is Fountain-blessed also, or at least Ankarette Twynneowe, the queen’s poisoner, grooms him to be so to trick Severn and save the boy’s life. She served the wife of Severn’s brother, who was king before Severn and met an unfortunate and mysterious death.
I enjoyed reading this book. Owen endears from the first, as does Ankarette, who the queen sends to protect him from her scheming brother-in-law. The cover art is great. I look forward to reading more in this series.
Have you read this book? What did you think?