Once a King by Erin Summerill Series: A Clash of Kingdoms, Book 3

Blurb~

Aodren: A lonely, young king, searching for a way to dismantle his father’s dark legacy.

Lirra: A girl with the power to control the wind, torn between duty and following her dreams

 

For twenty years, Channelers—women with a magical ability—have been persecuted in Malam by those without magic. Now King Aodren wants to end the bloody divide and unite his kingdom. But decades of hatred can’t be overcome by issuing decrees, and rumors of a deadly Channeler-made substance are only fueling people’s fears. Lirra has every reason to distrust Aodren. Yet when he asks for help to discover the truth behind the rumors, she can’t say no. With Lirra by his side, Aodren sees a way forward for his people. But can he rewrite the mistakes of the past before his enemies destroy the world he’s working so hard to rebuild? Erin Summerill returns with a high-stakes fantasy full of romance, magic, and revenge perfect for fans of Susan Dennard and C. J. Redwine.”

Review~

Told through the differing POVs of the two MC, Aodren and Lirra, this dark fantasy his basically a story of good vs evil set within the backdrop of a brewing romance.  A familiar trope of mistrust, if not actual dislike towards one another in the beginning, this story simmers with fantastic chemistry between Aodren and Lirra.  Although the arc is fairly standard, it is still engaging with some storyline surprises that make it a remarkable book. I won’t go into those, as it might spoil some things for you. Let’s just say this takes a different spin than what you might first surmise from the blurb. When I requested this book, I hadn’t realized it was the third in a series. I didn’t have time to read the first two books, but I wasn’t lost at all. I believe this speaks to the writer’s ability to contain one story within others, which takes quite a bit of talent, IMHO.

Summerill is a very descriptive and skillful writer. Her word building skills make the characters come alive and the settings more real. She has the ability to lead the reader to feel as if they are a bystander in an actual world with actual people and events taking places. You can totally get submerged in this novel. The world building and imagery conveyed through the author’s writing is fantastic.

The plot and characters were well developed and Summerill gives enough backstory that you can understand the characters and their motives for certain behaviors and actions. The plot is interesting and keeps you interested and entertained. This was an easy and enjoyable read for me. I look forward to reading the previous books and am anxious to read more from this author. 5/5

I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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