Title: Reign of Madness Author: Kel Kade Series: King’s Dark Tidings Genre: YA, Fantasy Rating: Five Stars
Okay, so after re-reading my mediocre attempt at a review of book one I’ve realized that book two just needs way more attention. For some seriously addictive and full on books I need to take a little more time on explaining why I’m loving them so much.
With that said, I’m sorry guys but this will not be a spoiler free review!
I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews on this book, people either love it or hate it. I can see why people are divided over this and I’ll tell you why. Kel Kade has created an unbeatable character, that means that there is not much self development that can go on in this book other than perhaps social learning. I’ll explain, I had been hanging out since book one to try and figure out how many rules there were, how many skills you could master etc, I wanted to know precisely how many Rezkin had mastered . So I had been listening on audible (because again I didn’t read this I downloaded the audible version which is by the way pretty kick ass. Nick Podehl is an awesome narrator.) and noting down the biggest number of rules I’d heard Rezkin mention every time I’d scribble down whatever he said then finally he just told me flat out how many skills. Are you ready? He follows all 258 rules, had mastered all 27 major skills and 63 minor skills. Yes you heard me. So with that in mind you can imagine how hard it is to beat an unbeatable opponent and I think that is where some readers struggle. There might not be enough learning and development of skills throughout the book for them to relate to the character in any way. It also makes the story line or plot predicable and unrealistic in some cases.
In saying that, it hasn’t bothered me in the slightest. Book one was all about finding his purpose, what is he supposed to be doing and also navigating friendships and the outworld. Book two is all about developing those kinship’s and finding out who he is and what he is meant to do. So as much as he couldn’t be defeated I think these hurdles made Rezkin vulnerable and likable.
I was completely hooked on Rezkin’s many characters he played. Every time the Raven came out to play and terrorize I was biting my lips in anticipation. I know it’s bad but I love how calculated Rezkin is when playing the Raven, he’s dark and dangerous and deadly. It’s almost hard to believe that the Raven and Lord Rezkin are one and the same. I think that might be another reason I didn’t mind that Rezkin was the unbeatable character. He is really quite sweet and gentle when it’s needed. For example, when he play’s Lord Rezkin and is protecting Frisha’s honor or proclaiming the obligations the nobles have to their people. I think those ideals make him human where the Raven makes him godly or demonic.
On the other hand Rezkin has so many secrets from everyone that I’m really surprised he managed to keep track of who knew what. In the end I began to get a little annoyed that he told the master swords woman who he was so easily, I don’t believe she had earned the right to know what he had treated as such privileged information. Frisha didn’t even know and he only told that lady (her name starts with a U, I have no idea how to spell it – one downside to audible.) because of Paulus. Everyone else either earned that right or discovered it themselves.
I really like Kai’s character. Someone has to push back at Dark Tidings rules and plans somehow hey? He can’t win every war or fight, not everything should go his way and I loved that Kai has is own plans and motives that are still loyal to Rezkin but show that there is another way to be doing things also.
I’ll admit I was a little disappointed when Paulus died, he was one of the better characters and I sat there wondering why Kai hadn’t gone and got everyone on the boats then stayed to protect his liege. Am I the only one?
The main peeve I had with this book was that some things were explained over and over and over. To the point where the repetition was almost ridiculous. Whereas some things weren’t explained enough. I found myself asking where is that character from? I don’t remember them boarding the boat or joining the group, who is that person? But perhaps that was because this was an audio book and I can walk around doing my house chores while listening and my concentration has slipped in those places? I dunno!
As you can tell by my rating though, I loved this book. It’s dangerous and daring and deadly. Hardly any smoochy stuff and I like that for a change. I think its really well written for a self published novel and applaud Kade for doing such a good job on it. There is certainly never a dull moment. I personally would love to see Kade published by a major publishing house as I think they would clean this story up to perfection with him. The plot is just too good for them to pass up!
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Till next time,