A King’s Radiance, by L. R. Schulz
Three siblings… a rebel, a prince, a prisoner
The sun’s light shines bright over the land of Zapour, and only a select few can harness its power. But all power comes with a cost, and the world is not kind to those who refuse to pay it.
Raiz Glaive, a strong shine wielder, was born into royalty, though even royals have to answer to someone. When the King-Radiant sends one of his precious underlings to the Kingdom of Trost, Raiz quickly learns who holds the true power in the realm. After his sister is taken prisoner simply for having the violet eyes of a mystic, Raiz swears vengeance. But when an unwilling father stands in his way, Raiz promises to take revenge into his own hands.
Dazen Glaive remains heir to the throne of Trost, and a sworn defender of the King-Radiant, but he has not forgotten what happened to his sister, and will not forgive their cruelty.
Forced to be the centerpiece of her “master’s” twisted human art gallery, Isha remains a prisoner. Though she has not lost hope. Finding friends among fellow captives, she begins to formulate a plan for escape. Though what she discovers has a much more sinister bearing on the fate of all of Zapour.
My Review (4 out of 5 )
Firstly, I want to disclose that I was given a copy by Escapist Book Tours in exchange for an honest review and to host a stop during the book tour.
I think this is not a book for everybody, and that will bring mixed reviews to it. Although I love grimdark and I think the genre is marvelous, I can understand that not anybody is going to enjoy it. And A King’s Radiance doubles down into the genre premise.
While the first quarter of the book might be slow, cause it is used with a double purpose, presenting the characters and acting as our first contact with the world. Let me say something, I love the creation of Luke Schulz: the world feels like something unique, the magic system of Light is hard but not too hard and especially I want to bring the spotlight on the characters.
The book is narrated from three different POVs, the three brothers: Daze didn’t particularly click on me in the first half of the book, but Raiz and Isha are marvelously written. Raiz is probably the epitome of an outlaw that has a clear objective in mind and is a really powerful Light user. Issa, on the other hand, is a slave in the house of one of the Eagles. Because I think I kinda forgot that Eagles are powerful rulers of this world and that have absolute control over the kingdoms that are subjugated to their will.
An interesting equilibrium of power between the Six Kingdoms and the Eagles is shown, at least in the meanwhile Eagles have access to a weapon that allows them to control them.
I have to remark that Luke’s prose is really powerful and it let some absolute banger of sentences, which also helps to empathize sometimes with the characters. The plot is really interesting, and honestly, I hope this is the first book of a series.
My only problem with the book and I think it’s the reason it only gets 4 stars is that I find some problems of pace in two main points of the plot: the start is excessively slow, while you are being dumped a real ton of info, which can make you feel a little bit disoriented; and for me, the ending is too abrupt, too fast in comparison with how many pages there are in a slower pace. Said that, the story hooked me fastly.
In summary, I find this a really great book that I enjoyed, but that can be hard at some points. If you are a grimdark enjoyer, and an Abercrombie fan, you should totally read A King’s Radiance.
Luke is a fantasy addict born in Melbourne, Australia. He discovered a passion for fantasy at a young age which developed into a love for the imaginary and a desire to write.
Despite an early passion for storytelling, Luke obtained a teaching degree before beginning a career as a primary school teacher.
When he is not reading and writing, Luke enjoys spending time with his Golden Retriever named Gem, gaming, and surfing.
A King’s Radiance is Luke’s debut novel, though he is always coming up with ideas for his next project, as well as working towards a sequel.