Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The King Slayer ~ Virginia Boecker (earc) review [@lbkids @virgboecker]

The King Slayer (The Witch Hunter #2)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
June 14, 2016
368 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

An action-packed and suspenseful sequel to The Witch Hunter, perfect for fans of Graceling and the Grisha Trilogy.

"I think, in time, you'll either be my greatest mistake or my greatest victory."

Former witch hunter Elizabeth Grey is hiding within the magically protected village of Harrow, evading the price put on her head by Lord Blackwell, the usurper king of Anglia. Their last encounter left Blackwell ruined, but his thirst for power grows stronger every day. He's readying for a war against those who would resist his rule--namely Elizabeth and the witches and wizards she now calls her allies.

Having lost her stigma, a magical source of protection and healing, Elizabeth's strength is tested both physically and emotionally. War always means sacrifice, and as the lines between good and evil blur once more, Elizabeth must decide just how far she'll go to save those she loves.

"[Filled] with everything a good fantasy book needs: swords, poison, black magic, and betrayal."--April Tucholke, author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, on The Witch Hunter

In the very beginning of The King Slayer I didn't remember who the characters were, aside form Elizabeth. I remembered things that had been done, but couldn't match up those characters with these names. As the story progressed, though, because it was so well done and the characters so well written, I came to remember who they were, but more than that, I cared about them for what was happening now. It really deepened my connection with all of them.

I liked that the beginning of The King Slayer is what it was. It was a nice, almost calm way of bringing readers back into the story while still keeping an edge of tension and letting you know that things are about to come, likely dangerous things.

The King Slayer is at least as exciting as the first book. We are now seeing a whole new side of Anglia and they're all facing a new set of challenges and dangers with Lord Blackwell as king, but it's still those characters we came to love (or hate) in The Witch Hunter. I liked seeing how Elizabeth had to adjust to this new role, this new life. She was a witch hunter and is now aiding the witches and wizards. (Plus, I still love Fifer and Schuyler.)

There were times in the book when I was sure the characters were up to something, that there was no way they would let what was happening actually happen and times when I didn't realize they were up to something. Even when I knew (or really, really hoped) they had a plan, I didn't have it figured out. I loved the way you could know something was about to happen, but not what. Whether it was a plan of Elizabeth's that likely wouldn't go completely as planned or something from another character, I loved how things could be unexpected yet then still make so much sense.

I love the characters of The Witch Hunter books, the world they live in, all that they do and all that happens to them. This series is thrilling, exciting, action-filled, at times humorous, at others romantic and always, always a great read.

received for review from publisher, via NetGalley

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