The Five Woes have come, and the Five Realms are now fleeing.
With his world caving in behind him, Sar Wilek has to lead the remnants from his nation--and from the other four realms--in a desperate search for a new land. A new home, where they can settle down and start over.
Starting over, of course, includes resurrecting all of the ancient grudges and feuds between the Five Realms.
King's Blood: the fantasy story that is part Christopher Columbus, part children of Israel wandering in the desert.
That makes for a fascinating premise, and King's Blood, the second book in Jill Williamson's Kinsman Chronicles series, follows along a dizzying number of routes. To keep up with them, you might need to start with the first book, King's Folly, which I reviewed here, last May.
This book actually reminds me a lot of L.B. Graham's Binding of the Blade series. There is a fair amount meandering along, a complicated backstory, and a very strong thread of (alternative) Biblical history.
Beyond that, I'm not quite sure how to describe the book.
For one thing, there are just so many main characters.
When I said it had a complicated backstory, I meant the whole thing is complicated--really complicated. Once you sail beyond the basic premise of "onboard ship, must find land," there are a dozen different plot threads to follow. Each of the Five Realms has its own leaders and often multiple factions among the leaders, each chasing their own interests. Then there are the religious factions (usually muddled up with the political factions), and the romantic interests. Yes, I may have gotten a little lost along the way.
Even still, I did genuinely enjoy King's Blood. There's a lot of intrigue and action going on, I care about the characters, I love how Williamson ties the story to her previous fantasy series (Blood of Kings), and I love how she's created an Old Testament/Hebraic fantasy world for her story.
So, if you are up for following a busy story--have at it! (Even more so, if you've read Williamson's Blood of Kings trilogy, since you'll get to spot all the extra little touches in this story.)
[My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for sending me a copy of King's Blood to review. All of the opinions above are my own.]