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The Bastard King
by Dan Chernenko

Category: Fiction / Fantasy
448 pages; ISBN: 0451459148

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


In the Kingdom of Avornis, King Mergus took a seventh wife when his concubine gave birth to his son and heir, an action that was illegal since a monarch is only allowed six spouses. When Lanius is still a young child, his father dies and his uncle declares himself the ruler with nobody contesting his right to the throne. When he dies, Lanius is still too young and a regent is appointed to rule until the true heir comes of age.

The regent proves himself incapable of handling military matters and Lanius’ mother takes over. The kingdom is under siege by the Chernagors in the North and the Menteshe in the south. The Menteshe worship the Banished One who was thrown out of the heavens centuries ago. Navy Commodore Grus is chosen as the king’s protector and one of his first acts is exiling the Regent and declaring himself co-king along side Lanius. The youngster realizes that he is only a figurehead as Grus holds all the power, but the two kings, after a long struggle find they must put aside their differences if they hope to vanquish the Banished One.

Dan Chernenko has created a world so believable and different than our own, a place where magic exists and gods roam the planet, that readers will find themselves finishing the book in one sitting. The author is a gifted storyteller who makes the audience care about the characters even when they prove they are not perfect. This novel’s quality will be very hard for the sequel to THE BASTARD KING to match, but readers will anxiously wait to find out how the two kings deal with their mutual enemy.

Harriet Klausner


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