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Book Review: Kings of Heaven

Table of Contents

“In the final book of the Ash and Sand trilogy, Ruka, son of Beyla, faces the emperor of the world, yet even victory may not save his people…

With the death of his ally, Farahi Alaku, Ruka ‘Godtongue’ is alone. Or not exactly… The island prince Kale Alaku now haunts his mind, rattling within his once peaceful ‘Grove’, promising revenge and growing every moment in power. Meanwhile, the Pyu isles are in chaos; the coastal kingdom of the Tong is still Ruka’s enemy, and every day that passes brings the empire closer to destroying his dream of a new world for his people.

Once again, the son of Beyla will need the strength of his dark twin, Bukayag. Perhaps together they can unite three peoples, gather an army of ash, and defend or destroy their way to peace. But in the end, there can be only one king of heaven…”

Title: Kings of Heaven

Series: Ash and Sand #3

Author: Richard Nell

Page Count: 411

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 5.0/5.0

Date Read: June 5th, 2023

June brings me the final installment of the Ash and Sand trilogy by Richard Nell. I ended up blowing through this trilogy in just the last two months (42 days to be exact). I had this series on my want to read list for awhile now and when I heard some of the guys from the buddy read group were working toward book three for June, I grabbed the opportunity.
I enjoyed the first book, Kings of Paradise. However, I really felt this series only got stronger as it went on. I enjoyed Kings of Ash a bit more than the first and Richard really stuck the landing with Kings of Heaven in my opinion. The way so many things came together by the end of this book just felt epic to me.
I feel the pacing was very consistent throughout this series and it continued on with the third and final installment. These may have seemed just a bit more gripping to me but that could also be just due to the investment into the story by this point.
The worldbuilding is one of my favorite aspects of this series in general. But the way the regions and realms ended up connected by the end of the third book just hit strong for me. This pattern begins in book two but this one really just brought it all home for me.
Just like the worldbuilding, the character development was nailed in Kings of Heaven as well. I mean it would be difficult to connect all of those dots without the author bringing those characters full circle as well. I actually stated about half way through to my buddy read group that I really hope that Richard was able to stick this landing and I feel he did without a doubt.
This is one of those series I could see myself rereading in the future with a bit different perspective to see some of the things and characters knowing what I do now. It might not feel the same, but I definitely feel it would be interesting for another go around someday.
I would recommend this book and series to readers who are fans of epic fantasy. I do feel you need to have just a bit of patience to allow time for Richard to get you he wants you to be. But I love stories like that! Having some of those twists and turns and ah ha moments really make a reading experience special to me!

World Building 5/5
Pacing 4.5/5
Character Development 5/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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