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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 centrepiece 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.

Book Information

  • Title: A King’s Radiance
  • Series: Bonds of Kin #1
  • Author: L.R. Schulz
  • Page Count: 555
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Rating: 4.75/5.0
  • Date Read: April 8th, 2024

Opening Thoughts

A King’s Radiance by L.R. Schulz has been on my radar and want to read list for very near two years. I just looked and I added it to my list May 13th, 2022 and here we are in April 2024 and I finally got to it. This is another read this year that I can thank the Domains Reading Challenge hosted by Trudie Skies. This was my prompt of the month that represented sun magic. I was very excited when I found out that this would fit nicely into the challenge as it’s been hovering right on the edge of my TBR each month for far too long.

Pacing

I felt the pacing went very well. There is quite a bit going on with this book as far as number of locations and characters. The page count was a bit on the higher side than what some non-epic fantasy readers may like. I even thought this one would take me a bit longer to get through than what it did. It was a real page turner for me though. When thinking of peaks and valleys within a book, I never really felt like any of the valleys were very low. It felt more like we had some massive peaks, some lower peaks and baseline. Again, with this being book one and setting things up for what could be an epic fantasy series, this one kept my attention very easily.

World Building

The worldbuilding was also very well done in my opinion. From  friends telling me there was some type of sun magic to help me slide this read into my reading challenge selection, that was about all I knew of it going in. That was rather intriguing though. And that aspect didn’t disappoint. I really liked the magic system in this story. There was really only a couple of moments that I couldn’t quite tell if I was understanding the scene or intent quite right but I think that was my own lack of understanding and hopefully as the series continues we might learn yet more about this magic. The geography of the world was also great. As characters were introduced it helped us get an idea of how many regions and cultures there were. Then as the story progressed, we got to know more and more about those as well.

Character Development

The character development was exciting. I previously mentioned there are a lot of characters in this book and that might even be an understatement. Not to mention we see a lot of change or growth with many of them by the end of the book. One of my favorite parts of this read though was the way that so many of the characters were connected in one way or another. The reveals start fairly early and then they just keep coming at you with a flurry! A couple of my favorite characters were Draz (comic relief), Echo (young but finds his strength) and Veil (tragic love). That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy many of the other characters as well. I still hope we learn more about Puk in the future.

Roundup & Recommendation

All in all this was a very enjoyable read for me. There were a few editing issues along the way in the form of typos or wrong words used (not always easy to catch) but for a book with this much going on, they didn’t really trip me up much.
 
I’d certainly recommend this to readers looking for a read with a lot of characters, those twists and reveal moments, a good magic system and a bit on the epic fantasy side but still keeping that sword and sorcery feel to it.

Scoring

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

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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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2 Comments

    1. I was at a loss looking for a book to fill this challenge prompt. Then a friend mentioned and I was excited as it’s been on my list for so long!

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