The Thief's Daughter (Kingfountain, #2)
Owen Kiskaddon first came to the court of the formidable King Severn as a prisoner, winning favor with the stormy monarch by masquerading as a boy truly blessed by the Fountain. Nine years hence, the once-fearful Owen has grown into a confident young man, mentored in battle and politics by Duke Horwath and deeply in love with his childhood friend, the duke’s granddaughter. But the blissful future Owen and Elysabeth Mortimer anticipate seems doomed by the king’s machinations.A pretender to Severn’s throne has vowed to seize the crown of Kingfountain. But Severn means to combat the threat by using Elysabeth as bait to snare the imposter—and forcing Owen, as a pawn in the dangerous charade, to choose between duty and devotion. With poisoners and spies circling ominously, and war looming on the horizon, Owen must make painful sacrifices to beat back the advancing shadows of death and disaster. Will Owen’s conflicted heart follow the king’s path or risk everything for his love?

The Thief's Daughter (Kingfountain, #2) Details

TitleThe Thief's Daughter (Kingfountain, #2)
Author
FormatPaperback
ReleaseMay 31st, 2016
Publisher47North
ISBN1503935000
ISBN-139781503935006
Number of pages349 pages
Rating
GenreFantasy, Fiction, Young Adult, Magic

The Thief's Daughter (Kingfountain, #2) Review

  • Dannii Elle
    September 1, 2016
    This is the second book in the Kingfountain fantasy trilogy and, in my humble opinion, a vast improvement to the first installment.It wasn't that the first book was bad, in any sense of the word, it just contained too many inconsistencies of character for me to see past and fully immerse myself in the intricacies of the story. Here, however, the plot has progressed nine years and, with it, so have the characters. The older perspective made for a far more enjoyable reading experience.Seventeen-ye This is the second book in the Kingfountain fantasy trilogy and, in my humble opinion, a vast improvement to the first installment.It wasn't that the first book was bad, in any sense of the word, it just contained too many inconsistencies of character for me to see past and fully immerse myself in the intricacies of the story. Here, however, the plot has progressed nine years and, with it, so have the characters. The older perspective made for a far more enjoyable reading experience.Seventeen-year-old Owen Kiskaddon proves a more reliable narrator than in the first book, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading of his personal character growth. Gone is the shy young boy and, in his place, a tactical and feared warrior has emerged. Owen and his childhood friend, Lady Elysabeth Victoria Mortimer, are just as close friends but their relationship has continued to blossom along with their age. Their feelings toward each other were very sweet and innocent and it made me smile at how strong their emotions were and yet how hesitant their actions. The historical element really shone in these moments, as the strict culture regarding courting was adhered to almost biblically.This is just as dense on court intrigue and crown politics, as the first book, but it was also framed nicely by action-heavy opening and closing segments. The action-heavy scenes provided a nice mix of pace that kept me intrigued and eager to continue reading as I never knew what was next in store: I could second-guess none of the action and there was nothing that proved predictable about the plot or the characters!It was interesting that the enemies of the first book proved to be the cohorts of the latter. New enemies had arisen, and yet these were also painted in a forgiving light, leading the reader to guess who the real foe of the state and the crown really was. Owen is caught up in this young adult game of thrones and his lesser status and magical abilities made this a unique and thrilling perspective to read from.
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  • Aristea
    December 11, 2016
    I am genuinely in awe; I liked the first book of the series but I was somehow puzzled by the fact that the main character was 8 years old. This book though follows Owen's adventures when he is 17. As a side note, I genuinely find Kiskaddon as musical and I smile every time I hear it. I listened to the book while I spent most of the day in the car and I was absolutely entertained. Owen, Evie, Etayne are just characters I like, clever, hard working, hiding secrets. The villains - that are not real I am genuinely in awe; I liked the first book of the series but I was somehow puzzled by the fact that the main character was 8 years old. This book though follows Owen's adventures when he is 17. As a side note, I genuinely find Kiskaddon as musical and I smile every time I hear it. I listened to the book while I spent most of the day in the car and I was absolutely entertained. Owen, Evie, Etayne are just characters I like, clever, hard working, hiding secrets. The villains - that are not really villains - are well described too. I would actually go as far as to say that the villains is a very fluid category and the people in this category are not necessarily bad people. I find the book is construed in a way that there is an explanation for all loose ends. I enjoy the magic system - so unique, linked to the fountain, such a powerful fountain, connected to the water even visually. Impressive clever idea!I feel like there is a reference (if not an entire retelling) of King Arthur and I cannot stop being in love with this aspect. The only aspect that is somehow missing is action; better said, there is action but it is very limited. The book is just perfectly tailored though despite my personal interest in more action driven books! I cannot wait to start with the next book of the series!
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  • Tina
    March 9, 2017
    first off, I want to say that I adore the names of the characters that this author has chosen. This is the second book of the king fountain trilogy and I liked it better than the first. This story is full of magic, battles, love and loyalty. A perfect setting for a story. The author paints a clear picture in my mind and I'm very in touch with the tale. I listened to the audio book and enjoyed the narrator's performance and voice technique. I look forward to the next book
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  • April
    March 31, 2017
    Each book deserves its own review, but I'm too busy moving on to book three to write one. Suffice to say if you got this far you're going to keep going.
  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    August 30, 2016
    $1.99 on kindle or on kindle unlimited 8-30-2016
  • Nicole Hewitt
    February 16, 2017
    4.5/5 StarsThis review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction AddictionOwen and Elysabeth have spent the past nine years together in the north and they have long assumed that they would one day be married. But when King Severn’s throne is being threatened, his plan for saving it involves quite a bit of sacrifice—on Owen and Elysabeth’s parts. Elysabeth is now promised to the enemy (or at least one of them) and she’s bound by duty and her love of her kingdom to follow through. E 4.5/5 StarsThis review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction AddictionOwen and Elysabeth have spent the past nine years together in the north and they have long assumed that they would one day be married. But when King Severn’s throne is being threatened, his plan for saving it involves quite a bit of sacrifice—on Owen and Elysabeth’s parts. Elysabeth is now promised to the enemy (or at least one of them) and she’s bound by duty and her love of her kingdom to follow through. Elysabeth is every bit as passionate as an adult as she was as a child—her character lights up the story every time she’s in it. And the longing between Owen and Elysabeth is palpable. This book is all about duty versus the heart, and both Owen and Elysabeth have spent their lives putting kind and country first. Fountain magic plays an even stronger role in the plot in this book. Which makes sense, since Owen has had nine years to develop his talents. I loved the magical elements, but I won’t go into any detail about them since part of the fun was discovering how Owen’s magic has progressed and finding out who else has fountain magic and the ways they use it. This book easily gets 4.5/5 Stars from me!***Disclosure: I received this book from eStories.com in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given for the review and all opinions are my own.***
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  • julia ☆ [owls reads]
    August 16, 2016
    4 stars!* Say nothing. The Thief’s Daughter picked up nine years after The Queen's Poisoner ended. The writing and the complex plot reflected those changes, which made this book even better than the first one.The change in Owen’s POV was a welcome one. As much as I liked him as an eight-year-old, there was a lot more to work with when he as a teenager. It left room for more secrets and lies and schemes, and we got just that.And there were soooo many secrets this time around! So many reveals an 4 stars!* Say nothing. The Thief’s Daughter picked up nine years after The Queen's Poisoner ended. The writing and the complex plot reflected those changes, which made this book even better than the first one.The change in Owen’s POV was a welcome one. As much as I liked him as an eight-year-old, there was a lot more to work with when he as a teenager. It left room for more secrets and lies and schemes, and we got just that.And there were soooo many secrets this time around! So many reveals and plot twists and new information surfacing, it made this a very engaging read. We also got a little more world-building both on the magic front and other kingdoms, as well as seeing how Owen’s magic worked, which was really cool.We sadly didn’t have a lot of Evie this time around, and what we did was filled with dread and a bit of sadness. It was a little hard getting through the parts with her and Owen, seeing as everything I didn’t want to happen… was… happening.I did love how Ankarette was still missed, though. She had such an enormous impact on Owen when he was a child, and he still grieved for her even now. Jeff Wheeler did not forget how important she was to Owen when writing this book, and it was bittersweet having Owen remember her during his most difficult times.We did get a few interesting new characters who were very important to the plot. They were part of some new mysteries that were introduced, and will probably have a big impact in the next installment.And the character development of the old characters is also worth mentioning, especially that of Severn and Owen. Severn changed a lot from the king he was in the first book, and Owen was faced with a lot of difficult choices this time around. I’m really curious to see where that will take both of them as the series progresses.*Review of The Queen's Poisoner.Series: #2 in the Kingfountain series.POV: Told from Owen’s POV.Content Warnings: (view spoiler)[None. (hide spoiler)]Cliffhanger: Yes.HEA: (view spoiler)[No yet. (hide spoiler)]Up Next: The King's Traitor.
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  • Denae Christine
    July 29, 2016
    Reader thoughts: There are so many things I could say about this book. This book left me feeling empty (or maybe that's because I had cookie dough instead of lunch while I listened today). That's how you know it was a good book, I guess.The secrets. I can't talk about the rest of the book without mentioning all the secrets and disguises and lies. I am a big fan of secrets (extra tension!), but this was beyond almost all other novels I've read. People not only kept secrets from allies, but they k Reader thoughts: There are so many things I could say about this book. This book left me feeling empty (or maybe that's because I had cookie dough instead of lunch while I listened today). That's how you know it was a good book, I guess.The secrets. I can't talk about the rest of the book without mentioning all the secrets and disguises and lies. I am a big fan of secrets (extra tension!), but this was beyond almost all other novels I've read. People not only kept secrets from allies, but they kept secrets from ones they loved. There were secrets of identity, power, allegiance, and news. Everyone played with their cards close to their chest, so to speak. And Owen was caught in the middle of it all, pulling strings and trying to hold onto everything and everyone he loved.The loyalty. It amazed me how often loyalties could conflict, or how often loyalty conflicted with integrity, curiosity, friendship, and ambition. Which loyalty counts more? It's tough to decide.The magic. Owen can do a tad too much with the fountain magic. It seems a tad too easy when it whispers answers to him all the time (not all the time, but maybe half a dozen times). Is he actually deciding for himself or just doing it because the fountain told him to?The poison. I love attempted assassination attempts and when people are all desperate to save a character's life. It feels like they all really care about each other in those moments.The romance.(view spoiler)[ Owen and Evie never got their kiss, and I'm glad. Unfulfilled longing is more exciting, and this way Owen's memory of Evie isn't muddled by him kissing her. She's someone else's wife, and he gets to move on.I don't think he'll end up with Atina. I think she likes him more than Owen will like her back. My real suspicion is that he'll end up with the one hidden duchess in the third book. She's his age and a powerful ally. My small suspicion is that he ends up with no one, that he gives his life to serving his king and kingdom and the heir (it would be a happier ending, though, if he has people close enough to call family, even if he doesn't marry). (hide spoiler)]Writer thoughts: How can books like this feel so emotionally draining? What do authors do?1, authors have to know how to metaphorically put their characters through hell. (When they literally put their characters through hell, you get a Mark of Athena book, and that's been done.) Readers are stupid masochistic careless enough to be invested in these MCs and feel what they feel.2, authors have to know how to hit every chord. That is, they know how to turn a story from a side dish into a feast by itself. This book wasn't quite that filling (The Way of Kings gives you a king-level feast), but it was no one-trick pony. Wheeler put action, humor, love, betrayal, friendship, teasing, worry, slow contemplations over tiles, fast races through blizzards, pain, and death in his book. Hey, the kingdom was being attacked on three sides. What do you expect?If you want something more upbeat, read Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians.
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  • NoraJLeSueur
    June 26, 2016
    Excellent!!!!!!!!!Great storyline, loved the way that the characters were believable. Loved the way that they were portrayed as they got older and the problems that they had to endure as they aged.
  • Sandy Blackwell
    April 2, 2016
    Awesome book. I was so engrossed I simply consumed it in a couple days. It is fast paced and gets you thinking. Not to mention magic, characters you will love and full of emotion. I highly recommend this series.
  • Lars Kongsrud
    December 9, 2016
    I liked this book better than the first. It is stil not a great book, but it makes me want to know what happens in the next book.
  • Wendy
    January 21, 2017
    The Thief's Daughter is the second installment of the Kingfountain series. I recommend this book for lovers of fantasy with a twisted sense of history and a touch of magic. This book continues the adventures of a much older Owen Kiskaden, Elizabeth Victoria Mortimer and some of the characters we met in book one. This book also contains new characters, enemies and challenges. I recommend this book as something light and different to read if you find yourself in a book rut or just want to try some The Thief's Daughter is the second installment of the Kingfountain series. I recommend this book for lovers of fantasy with a twisted sense of history and a touch of magic. This book continues the adventures of a much older Owen Kiskaden, Elizabeth Victoria Mortimer and some of the characters we met in book one. This book also contains new characters, enemies and challenges. I recommend this book as something light and different to read if you find yourself in a book rut or just want to try something different. Although you won't totally be lost reading just this one alone, as it does a good job filling in the blanks, I recommend you read the series in order.
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  • Viv
    February 4, 2017
    MehIt was ok. Not great. I don't know if I will continue with the series, I think I might move along.
  • Ali
    March 30, 2017
    Ooooo! Onwards... And quickly!
  • Gehayi
    December 11, 2016
    Much, much better than the previous book. Much of the improvement is due to Owen Kiskaddon, who has become far more vocal and far, far more active. Whereas before he was scarcely in danger at all, now he seems to be under threat constantly, rarely knowing who he can trust or what he should do. Even better, there are those who dislike and distrust Owen for his political power and his Fountain-blessed power. All these things give him many more obstacles to deal with than he had in the first book, Much, much better than the previous book. Much of the improvement is due to Owen Kiskaddon, who has become far more vocal and far, far more active. Whereas before he was scarcely in danger at all, now he seems to be under threat constantly, rarely knowing who he can trust or what he should do. Even better, there are those who dislike and distrust Owen for his political power and his Fountain-blessed power. All these things give him many more obstacles to deal with than he had in the first book, which makes for an infinitely more entertaining story.Owen's main problems this time around are Eyric Argentine, the alleged younger son of King Severn's brother Eredur, now grown, allied with multiple kings and nobles (far more than Severn can fight at once) and the Dreadful Deadman prophecy, a foretelling that is the equivalent of the prediction that King Arthur will return to Britain at the time of its greatest need. Many of the common folk believe Eyric to be King Andrew returned from the grave; Owen is certain that he is not, but that does not improve matters, as the Fountain wishes him to protect the real Dreadful Deadman. And how is he to do that while remaining loyal to King Severn? Complicating matters is the fact that Severn treats marriage as a means of gaining political alliances, and that he does NOT want Owen, Duke of Westmarch, and Elysabeth Victoria Mortimer, the granddaughter of the Duke of Howath, to marry, as uniting the duchies in marriage would give the two most of the north of the kingdom and political and financial power equivalent to the king's own.Another problem that Owen has to face in this book is the fact that his long friendship with King Severn is based on a lie. Severn began trusting him because, as a child, Owen lied about having prophetic dreams. Now Owen is nearly an adult, and the king is still relying on Owen's "prophecies"--which are rooted in Owen's perceptiveness and his contacts within the king's espionage network. For the first time, Owen realizes how angry and hurt Severn would be if he realized that he had been deceived for so very long--and that Severn would very likely never trust him again. The secondary characters are excellent, including a short and stubborn not-Welsh king; an enigmatic Brythonian (read: Breton) general who seems to be ahead of Owen every step of the way; Lady Kathyrn, Eyric's loving and all too perceptive wife; Tunmore, a Fountain-blessed opponent of Severn, who is driven nearly to madness by the Dreadful Deadman prophecy; and the titular thief's daughter (and king's poisoner), Etayne, who has an uncanny knack for disguise and a--so far--unrequited love for Owen. Elysabeth Victoria Mortimer is likewise back and in fine shape, most notably when she faces down a mob intent on regicide. (While on a diplomatic mission, Elysabeth is so outspoken as to seem rude to me, but this is still very much in line with her personality.)All in all, an excellent book, and one that I enjoyed so much that I had a hard time putting it down. Well done, Mr. Wheeler. I hope that the next book is even better.
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  • lacy
    December 19, 2016
    I just love it when books in the middle of the series don't suffer. I know that we have all read those middle of the series books where everything is so dull and it's just all info dump. I can't think of any off the top of my head but I know that I have. Okay, so in an effort to be a more efficient reader, I have started taking little notes and writing my feelings about the book. This is an effort to pay attention to the book more. I have a terrible habit of glossing over things sometimes and no I just love it when books in the middle of the series don't suffer. I know that we have all read those middle of the series books where everything is so dull and it's just all info dump. I can't think of any off the top of my head but I know that I have. Okay, so in an effort to be a more efficient reader, I have started taking little notes and writing my feelings about the book. This is an effort to pay attention to the book more. I have a terrible habit of glossing over things sometimes and not realizing that I have done it and thus missing out on like the whole book. According to my lovely notes, Owen and Evie are 17 years old in this book. They have basically grown up together. Evie's grandfather has mentored Owen and has helped him to become a force to be reckoned with. Owen is extremely intelligent and has multiple Fountain gifts. Owen and Evie are very much in love as well. Having grown up together, this is to be expected. They hope that the king will allow them to get married but everybody is against that, including the king. I was super excited that Owen and Evie were so close. I had hoped that this would happen. Evie helped Owen get over his fear of speaking to strangers and she was a positive influence on him. The plot of this book is similar to what happens during the time of monarchs. There is a pretender that wants to take Severn's crown. This is a fun little plot twist that I won't reveal because it is a massive spoiler. But let's just say, it turns the entire story around. We get a new character in this one. The King's poisoner, Etayne. I really liked her. She was blunt and told you the way it was. She was incredibly cunning and very loyal...to those that treated her like a human. Yes, she was the king's poisoner but she was loyal to Owen first. I felt so much frustration but in a good way. Severn is starting to turn into the person that everybody says he is. He is constantly testing those that are loyal to him with ridiculous tasks, knowing that he is setting them up to fail. He is also terrible to Owen. The king helped Owen expand on his Fountain gifts so Owen has been nothing but loyal to him but still Severn denies him Evie and treats him like crap. There isn't quite as much action in this book but it more than makes up for it with mystery. Almost everyone has some sort of secret that they are holding. People are saying one thing and then doing something completely different. There is literally no one Owen can trust but a few people. I would suggest this series if you are new to fantasy and want to start out small. It is so much fun to read about the different types of Fountain gifts and how people use or disuse them. This would be the part where I would say that I am anxious for the third book and what it might hold. But actually I finished it after I read this one. I was just too lazy to write a review.
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  • Shelby Hild
    May 31, 2016
    This book was well researched and well written. there were just a couple of things that made me give it four stars rather than five. The first being this (along with the first) book style-wise continually reminded me of the author Robin Hobb and her Farseer trilogy. As someone who also enjoys history, I thought this book was entertaining and well researched. The second thing that bothered me though was that some of the names were completely different while others were incredibly similar. I wish This book was well researched and well written. there were just a couple of things that made me give it four stars rather than five. The first being this (along with the first) book style-wise continually reminded me of the author Robin Hobb and her Farseer trilogy. As someone who also enjoys history, I thought this book was entertaining and well researched. The second thing that bothered me though was that some of the names were completely different while others were incredibly similar. I wish Wheeler had either made all of them very different or all of them very similar. I did enjoy this one much more than the first though. It held to a quicker pace, there was less filler (although I hated the bits with Mancini), and overall it was much better written. In fact, I finally grew attached to the characters (which made the ending much harder to cope with-- I'll admit it, I almost shed some tears). I wish the Fountain wouldn't speak quite so much because it feels more like that is what's driving the second half of the book forward. The last thing that bothered me goes along with the first. We didn't need the little history bits. At all. It works in Hobb's story. It was okay in the Queen's Poisoner (still a superfluous thing, though). But it almost ruined this book for me. While Wheeler is doing better showing rather than telling in this book, those just told. They gave away what was about to occur. The completely halted the pace at some points AND they weren't consistent. I'd have rather have either not any of them or one per chapter. They didn't particularly add anything, except introduce another character which easily could have been done another way. Now that I'm thinking about it, that alone could easily have made it three stars. But as I said to begin with, I did enjoy the book and it did make me feel something. So I will stick with my four stars.So... now I'm going to go reread the Farseer Trilogy.
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  • Chelsey Saatkamp
    April 8, 2016
    Ugh. These book gave me the feels, as the kids would say. The Thief's Daughter jumps forward nine years from The Queen's Poisoner, and Owen and Evie's adorable friendship has blossomed into a deeper love. Only they can't act on it, because 1) it's medieval times and they ain't engaged yet, 2) they're followed by a chaperone everywhere they go, and 3) the king has other plans for the two of them. So the whole book was basically just me going:But alas, the king has other plans for these two, and Ugh. These book gave me the feels, as the kids would say. The Thief's Daughter jumps forward nine years from The Queen's Poisoner, and Owen and Evie's adorable friendship has blossomed into a deeper love. Only they can't act on it, because 1) it's medieval times and they ain't engaged yet, 2) they're followed by a chaperone everywhere they go, and 3) the king has other plans for the two of them. So the whole book was basically just me going:But alas, the king has other plans for these two, and this is what sets off the plot of the book. Like the first book, this one has a LOT of political intrigue inspired by the events of The War of the Roses, and it sometimes got a little difficult to remember who was king or duke of which kingdom and who was betraying who. Which may be the point. Owen's grown up a lot from his childhood days, but he's still recognizable. He's still quiet, smart, resourceful, with a better handle on his powers, but you can tell all the politicking is starting to get to him emotionally. One thing I appreciate in this series so far is how almost all the characters are layered and three-dimensional; even the annoying chaperone mentioned above gets her time to shine. And the titular character is really intriguing and more than meets the eye.The Fountain magic system in this world is interesting and well thought out. I dig it. One thing I don't dig? (view spoiler)[If Owen and Evie don't get together in the next book. (Yeah, yeah, it'd be more realistic if they didn't, I know. DON'T CARE.) (hide spoiler)]I received a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • LOURDES (ChaptersWeLove)
    February 8, 2017
    LOVED IT!
  • Kelli
    April 25, 2016
    Obviously I loved this book. Took me 5 days to read. I picked it up since I read the first one. I couldn't stop reading. Jeff wheeler is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. He develops the characters very well. I can picture each one of them. The story pulls you in quickly. He mentions little snippets of his first book which would help someone who had not read it but not enough to ruin the second book for those who have. His fantasy world is incredible.
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  • William Edmondson
    September 18, 2016
    Jeff Wheeler might be my new favorite author... The children from the first book have grown up and are now involved in the intrigues they were caught within. Great character work; the king is tragically flawed and Owen and Elysabeth are normal young adults with responsibilities and parts to play of their own but they are all caught upon new intrigues. The end is heartbreaking and again I want to go out and read the next book right away.
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  • Kathy
    March 11, 2016
    Second in the series and set some years after the end of the first. Owen and Evie are grownups. Or, what counts as grownups in those times. Lots of political intrigue, magic, death and heartbreak. It ended with a good setup for the final book.
  • Dee/ bookworm
    May 8, 2016
    Awesome book!! Jeff Wheeler is a wonderful storyteller.
  • T.
    November 2, 2016
    Good bookThis was just as good as the first one. I've come to love Owen more and more. I can't wait to see what happens in book 3
  • Conie Mencia
    January 28, 2017
    I really really liked it, it keeps getting better
  • M. McMonigle
    June 7, 2016
    A wild ride.Mr Wheeler once again provides a well crafted story with believable characters that I could identify with as they developed. Thanks for the fun.
  • futty
    June 23, 2016
    Late nightAt about half way through I couldn't stop until I knew what happened to the characters. Stayed up late to read and can't wait till next book.
  • Kayla Beck
    June 16, 2016
    I'm really sad that I have to wait until September for the final installment. Review to come.
  • The Captain
    December 9, 2016
    Ahoy me mateys! Grab your grog! Though the first mate and I have very different reading tastes, occasionally we do overlap in our reading choices. When I found out he had read this series, I commandeered his reviews! So you get one from me and a bonus additional review from me crew. Please note that I write like I talk and the first mate writes like he thinks. Hope ye enjoy!From The Captain:This novel is the second in Kingfountain series. Another stunning cover. And another stunning engrossing r Ahoy me mateys! Grab your grog! Though the first mate and I have very different reading tastes, occasionally we do overlap in our reading choices. When I found out he had read this series, I commandeered his reviews! So you get one from me and a bonus additional review from me crew. Please note that I write like I talk and the first mate writes like he thinks. Hope ye enjoy!From The Captain:This novel is the second in Kingfountain series. Another stunning cover. And another stunning engrossing read. This one flew by almost as fast as the first. This novel takes place nine years after the events in book one. Owen is on the eve of commanding his very first battle. Even though it does make some logical sense to skip some of the childhood events, I was startled by such a jump. I had wanted to see more of Evie and Owen as children! Nope. Owen has gone from 9 to 17 years old.Owen has dreams and ambitions regarding his friend and love Evie. The King has other ideas regarding the use of his two loyal subjects. As Goodreads puts it, "Will Owen’s conflicted heart follow the king’s path or risk everything for his love?"This book was not as upbeat as the first novel and is much darker. Owen is struggling in his role as Duke and being a leader of men. This story basically centers around Owen's pain and ambition. Every choice seems to have negative consequences and Owen suffers.And oh the ending . . . it pissed me off. I have to admit I was mad at the author. How could he? Grrrrr! But I still enjoyed the book and wanted to dash into reading book 3.From The First Mate:That little flaw in the first book that was not significant enough to ruin my enjoyment of it? Yeah, that flaw becomes a major problem in the second book.Movies and books about geniuses are typically problematic for one fairly mundane reason: the writer is rarely a genius. We learned in "The Queen's Poisoner" that the magic in this world (i.e., being "Fountain Blessed") confers on one great abilities. Our Richard III analogue has the ability to be extremely persuasive with his words, another character is able to influence through writing, and we're told that a very rare magic is being able to see the future. All abilities that are fairly straightforward. Unfortunately, Owen's magic is the ability to find weaknesses and formulate strategy. The finding weakness part is actually kinda fascinating; Owen is able to psychically reach out and probe people and find out if they've got a trick left knee or a balance issue because of water in their ear or, presumably, if they'll dissolve in a fit of giggles with the right joke. It's an extremely useful skill in a fantasy world, and we get to see numerous quality uses of it. It's the strategy part that leaves something to be desired.Owen uses his magical strategy abilities three times in the novel and each occasion left me wanting to believe that his magical ability was more of the "manipulating reality" variety. That somehow his magic worked by altering the world so that regardless of what boneheaded stratagem he settled upon would lead to his desired outcome. But, no. Schemes that make no sense whatsoever lead to Owen's opponents blindly walking into his traps.Does it cripple the book? It didn't for me. I still found a lot to like in the characters (Evie becomes very kick-ass, and the Thief's Daughter is a wonderful addition to the cast) and the further expansion of the magic ideas of the world. The Joan of Arc references were a particular source of amusement. Ultimately, though, where one comes down on this book is going to rest on how willing one is to overlook the flaws of plotting that are, unfortunately, central to the book and the main character. If, like me, you're willing to find joys in the minor characters and the world, the book will be a fun diversion, albeit less fun than the first book.This review was originally posted on https://thecaptainsquartersblog.wordp...
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  • Karina
    February 5, 2017
    Nope, still not giving it four stars, although this book is better than its predecessor. Owen is now 17 and kings and seasoned soldiers listen to his military advice. He is a genius he knows war and men and his magic is flexible enough to let him do what he wants. But he can't act on the love he feels for a woman because he's just a boy. Really? Owen is a saint. He is wise and chaste. He is the most fantastical thing in this trilogy so far. And then I read in the epilogue that this American auth Nope, still not giving it four stars, although this book is better than its predecessor. Owen is now 17 and kings and seasoned soldiers listen to his military advice. He is a genius he knows war and men and his magic is flexible enough to let him do what he wants. But he can't act on the love he feels for a woman because he's just a boy. Really? Owen is a saint. He is wise and chaste. He is the most fantastical thing in this trilogy so far. And then I read in the epilogue that this American author is "a devout member of his church". That explains the value that is being put on abstinence, for one. I don't like the ideology 'sex bad, war good'. And: all saintliness and no sense of humour make Owen a dull boy. But I will go to book 3, where the messiah returns, or so I suspect.
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