I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “King’s Quest: Kingdom Of Sorrow” by Kenyon Morr! I was very lucky to find a copy thanks to someone uploading the entire book onto Reddit a while back. This gave me the opportunity to read and review this book. Otherwise, this book is already out of print and very hard to find copies of.
This book takes place prior to the events of King’s Quest III in the series. At least, this is my best guess as of where in the King’s Quest fracnhise’s timeline exists. This is due to details including Alexander not being present in the events of the book (unlike the previous book, “The Floating Temple”). Additionally, Rosella does appear in this book, but as a young child. Since Rosella and Alexander are already adults by the time of King’s Quest III, this means that this book takes place between King’s Quest II and III.
Here’s a quick summary so we know what it’s about:
“A dark, frigid winter has descended on Daventry. A blizzard that will not stop. A cold that will not die. King Graham is alarmed. Snow blankets his kingdom, the wind rips across his land, and the storm will not break. This seems impossible—immediately beyond the boundaries of Daventry, it is spring. Dark forces are at work, and Graham does not know who…or what. But, Quilli’ehennan, King of the Old Wood, does. His beautiful queen has been kidnapped by vile creatures from beyond the Glass Mountains. Unless she is returned, Daventry will remain frozen in a never-ending winter. Armed only with his bravery—and a touch of faery magic—Graham sets out in pursuit. And he soon learns who his true enemy is. The mighty Lord Dunstan—a twenty-foot behemoth who holds his land in an iron fist of sorrow and madness…”
Plot Development: 5 out of 5 stars
I thought that the writing of this story was good. The premise is simple; go rescue the faerie queen from the imps and other evildoers that kidnapped her. If Graham fails in his mission, the entire kingdom of Daventry (and the Old Wood) will suffer from eternal winter.
However, there are several plot twists and sideplots involved in this book. Each of them add to the main plot in ways that I can’t spoil here, but all of them were fun to read. Some sideplots involve Graham getting into dangers other than our main antagonist, while others focus on developing the worldbuilding of the story.
Character Development: 4 out of 5 stars
I really enjoyed reading Graham’s characterization here. In the beginning he’s pretty vulnerable to faery magic and other threats. In fairness to him, he wasn’t originally born a noble (unlike Valanice, his wife and others), and so he would have less knowledge of the faeries and how they function. The same goes for him learning about the imps and their true master (because, spoiler alert, it’s not Dunstan). Additionally, Graham is not a magic-user, but has his combat origins as a knight. This gives him a major disadvantage against most magic-users, and the book isn’t afraid to show that. However, Graham learns to work with his circumstances and figure out ways to beat the odds, which I really enjoyed.
I also enjoyed his interactions with the many original characters that appear in this book. Graham bonds with Shallan in particular. Shallan is a minstrel who ends up joining forces with Graham for the first half of the story. I enjoyed reading Graham and Shallan’s growing bonds and friendship with each other while journeying together. It was really fun to read, and I wish there was more.
One of the things I didn’t like about the characters was that we never see Shallan after he initially is assumed to be dead, after certain events halfway through the book. It’s later revealed to have survived the midpoint events of the book. However, he and Graham don’t get the chance to really reunite before the book ends. This is unfortunate since both of them had some great interactions in the first half of the book, and it would’ve been nice to see both men reunite happily.
Worldbuilding Development: 5 out of 5 stars
There is a lot of magic-related worldbuilding in this book. The good news, however, is that all of it makes sense. Establishing the magic of the faeries makes sense, but same goes for the antagonist and his own allies.
Another aspect of the worldbuilding I enjoyed a lot was the setting. It’s easy to not think too hard about the description of the story’s settings. However, since Graham journeys to many places throughout this book, the reader sees a variety of areas. This ranges from Daventry castle to the Old Wood and the Sorrowing Court. All of them have such unique descriptions that it was easy for me to get immersed in reading about them.
Overall, I’m rating this book 4.75 out of 5 stars!
I highly recommend this book for any King’s Quest fan to read. I also look forward to reading the third book, “See No Weevil!”
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