Once a King carries on the story of King Aodren and his fight to bring peace between his people and the Channelers who were persecuted under his fathers reign until most of them escaped to other kingdoms. This novel takes on the topic of drug dealing, although in a fantastical way. Someone is creating an oil called Sanguine that seems to give the non magical Channeler abilities, but in fact causes them to go mad with anger and cause death. Lirra, who we met in the previous novel, investigates the mystery of who is distributing this drug, reporting her findings back to Aodren. Whew!
While all of this is going on, there is a tournament between all of the kingdoms champions. It is a sort of Olympics but with jousting, sword fights and blood. Needless to say, this fake Sanguine (the real Sanguine is a miraculous healing drug and really rare) is being taken by the champions. Needless to say, bad things happen.
I really liked Aodren in the previous book and had looked forward to reading his story. I wasn’t disappointed! It’s easy to admire a character that wants to make a big change like racial discrimination and hatred. The tournament setting gave him the chance to be a “hero” in a physical way, which balanced well with the honorable aspects to his character. It made him come to life more than in the previous novel where he seemed to be not fully fleshed out.
I was a little confused by the Lirra in Once a King. In Ever the Brave she was more of a hard ass so I was surprised by how youthful she seemed. Yes, she was still heroic in investigating Sanguine but there was another side to her in this novel that was sweet and young. It made the budding romance between she and Aodren more believable. The young honorable King with the beautiful uncertain maiden.
I liked the story overall and enjoyed Erin Summerill’s writing again. She’s a very consistent writer and I know what I”m going to get when I read one of her books. An enjoyable fantasy written with a lot of heart. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.
Click this link to purchase!*Once a King (Clash of Kingdoms Novel)
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