ARC Review: The King Slayer by Virginia Boecker


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syn

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.

review

3/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

+++Note that this is a little on the mature side of YA due to graphic violence and sexual situations

Last year when I got my ARC of The Witch Hunter, I didn’t know what to expect. I opened the book and I couldn’t put it down. It was one of my favorite books of 2015. I loved the violence, the fierce way Elizabeth fought and took risks, the heartbreaking sacrifices she made, and the twists that stopped your heart and made you hold your breath. Unfortunately, The King Slayer did not have the same magical, mesmerizing quality as book 1. 

PROS:

  • The action scenes were gory and violent. Exactly the right amount of graphic and uncertainty to keep you on edge. That final battle scene, OMG terrifying and brutal and heartbreaking. Some parts will make you wince, others will tear you open and laugh at your emotions. 
  • Elizabeth is struggling to find her strength after the events of book 1. She doesn’t know who she is anymore or what she has to offer Harrow. Elizabeth fights to find  out how to be the old Elizabeth when everything was taken from her. Healing from her wounds and desperate to destroy Blackwell, Elizabeth is vulnerable, but fierce and determined to protect those she loves even at the cost of her own life. This emotional, open side of Elizabeth adds a depth to her character that is even more expansive that book 1. This Elizabeth is all the more powerful and courageous because of her scars and insecurities. 
  • Blackwell is as grotesque and monstrous as ever. His lack of regard for human life, the way he just takes and takes, the dark magic, the torture, the agony, it’s all so much. Dangerously evil. 
  • That final twist. Stab me in the heart why don’t you? Harsh. 

CONS:

  • From the first page is was like being hit with a brick. The information flies at you and there’s hardly any summary from the last book to remind the reader what happened. Maybe it is my fault for not rereading beforehand (anyone who is reading this on the blog knows I read hundreds of books a year) but for the life of me some of these characters, I had no clue who they were and it made the complicated relationships between them hard to process. I felt panicked and kept scrambling to figure out what was going on and why it was important. It took a chapter or two for me to feel more settled into the story. 
  • The in-between sections dragged a lot. The moments between action were a whole lot of angst and drama, but surprisingly slow. Nothing really happened. Sure, they were building a camp and readying for a battle, and yet, nothing was ever really exciting except for the first sparring scene. 
  • Friendships and romance were less of a focus than in book one and it felt a little lacking because of it. The relationship between Fifer and Elizabeth, her interactions with most of the characters in the first book apart from Schuyler were limited. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Keep reading, 

Jordan

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