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Things The world building characters cultures and varying storylines I have already mentioned Some of these things did remind me a little of other authors but as a whole they created a distinctive world that can rival a lot of mainstream writers out there in the fantasy genre I used to be pretty ignorant on the subject of Indie authors and that wasn t too long ago But I am here to tell you these authors put just as much hard work into their books as all the others and Richard Nell s Kings Of Paradise is a testament to that It seems I need to stray off of the beaten path a little often Suffice to say I will be reading many Indie books in my futurevery near futurelike right now King s of Paradise is one of those reads that will stay with you for a long time You get to go on not one but two incredible journey s filled with revenge love discovery heartache and many other motions There are plenty of shocking and cringeworthy moments And all of this builds up to an Bachelors and Bunnies: The Sexual Politics of Playboy ending that has me itching to read the second book right away Keep anye out for the name Richard Nell in the fantasy genre I have a feeling he is just beginning to make his impact I will destroy this land of ash and make my followers kings in paradise 45 stars KINGS OF PARADISE is Cyberwar: The Next Threat to National Security What to Do About It eually divided between two separate lands with two separate storyline POVs Ruka was born with a deformity which resulted in him being seen as a demon by the local priestesses of the frigid wasteland of Ascom A barbarian living along the outskirts of the city the only reason why he hasn t been killed already by the superstitious and very influential matriarchy is because his mother Beyla is a child of the gods who still carries with her an impressive reputation of her own So much so that the priestesses are hesitant to act against her and her tainted son However when Beyla succumbs to a mysterious illness that Ruka suspects may have been brought about by one of the priestesses all bets are off and Ruka is now unprotected and left to fend for himself as he is hunted across the frozen tundra Ruka soonmbarks on a journey far away from his homeland to try to Girl in Pieces evolve into the man he is supposed to become and maybe in the process uncover some small part of his past as well This shy unassuming boy must learn to be a hardened man and warrior if he hopes to wreak vengeance on those who have takenverything from him The only uestion is can he learn fast Battleground Chicago: The Police and the 1968 Democratic National Convention enough before he is captured by his pursuers Kale on the other hand could not be different from the aforementioned Ruka Around the same age as Ruka Kale is born into a royal family of privilege The problem is that he is a huge disappointment to his father the King of the sandy paradise islandmpire of Pyu The reason for this disappointment resides in the fact that Kale is a bit of a slacker who doesn t really fancy his role as the fourth prince in the inheritance line He and his father are like oil and water and they never seem to agree on anything This lands him a place in the lowest regiment in the Pyu Navy an open slap in the face to his youngest son and a public shaming above all lse Kale has had verything in his life come Bridging Liberalism and Multiculturalism in American Education easy to him until now and his current situation leaves him both defiant and also bewildered If he fails to prove himself in this rugged marine corps he mayventually be cast aside and disowned by his father This is a real problem since Kale is in love with a young woman who he can never ven hope to marry if he remains a lowly military grunt It s at this point that Kale needs to make a decision about what is really important to him and who he is as a maturing man of means Will he accept the challenge or wallow in So my darling friend Mayim said she opened the book and this was the first line Ruka stared at the corpse of the boy he s killed and his stomach growled I basically told her holy shit this is on kindle unlimited ima read it She said I d like it So I bought the damn thing Thanks to SPFBO indie books got on my radar and ven though I haven t read many of them it was a positive Cruise Control experience so far Based on thatxperience and some positive blog buzz I decided to add Kings of Paradise on my ver growing to read pile And you know how it goes you add a book and then it just sits there waiting and collecting virtual dust while you read other books and lie to yourself you ll start it as soon as you finish your current read Well I stopped lying to myself Hear ye hear ye Kings of Paradise is the best indie book and one of the most impressive fantasy debuts I have ver readBefore I start rambling why you should read this book let me point out its biggest flaw the seuel isn t out yet The moment I was done I wanted and I can t wait to continue Kings of Ash has now become one of my most anticipated books
this year and I sincerely hope it will continue to impress because this series has a big potential KoP year and I sincerely hope it will continue to impress because this series has a big potential KoP won The Indie Reader Discovery Award for fantasy and it also City Limits entered SPFBO 4 which will for sure help spread the word in the fantasy community Don t be surprised if you see it among the best books of the contest I wouldn t be surprised if it winsSo what is so great about this book The short answer would be the perfect balance I have read many good books and most of them lacked a certain thing to be considered great For instance a book can have a great story with axecuted world building but if the characters
AREN T COMPELLING S HARD t compelling it s hard fully njoy it Some books had it the other way around but you catch my drift With an legant writing style Nell delivers a gripping story which revolves around two central characters Ruka and Kale To be precise they have separate storylines Ruka s story is about revenge and Kale s is a coming of age story For info about them you can read the blurb or better yet read the book There is also a story about survival which brings us to another important character Dala but I can t really say about her without potential spoilers so there is another reason for you to read the book Whenever I read a book with multiple POVs I usually can t wait to get back to my favorite one This wasn t the case here Not because I didn t have a favorite but because Nell succeeded in making ach POV so compelling that reading about one makes you forget about the others And important he made me care about ach one We don t just blindly follow their actions we follow their train of thought We can see how the changes in the world and in their immediate surroundings are affecting their state of mind and how they change and progress accordingly That goes for the side characters as well Characters Culture and Enchantment emotions are the driving force behind this story making the characters down toarth and relatableThese multiple plotlines don t have a big convergence in this book but the way it nded suggests that is bound to happen in the following books World building is very subtle and skillfully interwoven with the story creating a vibrant and fascinating world inspired by Nordic and Asian culture and folklore The setting culture religion and magic system are vividly depicted and all play an ually important part in creating the atmosphere and setting the toneThe overall tone is dark There are plenty of brutal and graphic scenes but they are not just present for shock value they serve the narrative further the story and represent an D DAY Through German Eyes 2 element of indirect characterizationWith its compelling characters skillfully told storylegant prose Baroque Personae excellent world building and intriguing magic system all coexisting in the perfect balance Kings of Paradise is a brilliant start of a potentially great series 45 5Oh man where do Iven beginOkay let me just start by stating the obvious this is a fantastic debut novel If you don t know this is indie you will never be able to tell It is also a crazy mix of plotlines and themes Some places are deeply poignant and lyrical others are pure badassery In fact there is so much going on and plot twists so sharply all the time that like me you may be feeling that you are reading an anthology Except all parts are joined up by the braided paths of the three main protagonists Ruka my absolute favourite Dala I did not like her very much sorry and Kale I liked him well Democratic Art enough but Ruka steals the showThe synopsis of the book compares it to A Game of Thrones I don t think this is a fair comparison Or it is similar only insofar as grimdarkness goesso it is like A Feast for Crows I think a better benchmark would be The Emperor s Blades orven Blood Song for Kale chapters Ruka s and Dala s parts are pure creative insanity Every time I started thinking ah i see this is like the plot was twisting savagely as if on purpose to nullify my hypothesis But Beyond Redemption comes as close as it gets Less supernatural stuff thoughThis book is hard to review without spoilers so I all would say in conclusion you are looking at 2018 SFPBO winner This book is incredible providing you don t mind some Did the Greeks Believe in Their Myths? excessive brutalityg cannibalism tc So read it And hide it from your childre. Demon at birth is a genius Born malformed and ugly into the snow covered wasteland of the Ascom he was spared from death by his mother's love Now he is an outcast consumed with hate for those who've wronged him But to take his vengeance he must first survive Across a vast sea in the white sand island paradise of Sri Kon Kale is fourth and youngest son of the Sorcerer King And at sixteen Kale is a disappointment As the first prince ver forced to serve with low born marines Kale must prove himself and become a man or lse lose all chance of a worthy future and any hope to win the love of his life Though they do not know it both boys are on the cusp of discovery Their worlds and lives are destined for greatness or ruin But in a changing world where ash meets paradise only one man can be king The fi. ,
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N A welcome brand new voice in a modern fantasy arena A well crafted coming of age story set in the unusual setting inspired by the South East Asian culture The story follows two parallel storylines or two main protagonists and allows to appreciate the worldbuilding from multiple points of view Somewhat reminiscent of Anthony Ryan s Blood Song and Brian Staveley s Emperor s Blades I was particularly pleasantly surprised by Richard Nell s storytelling ability and clarity of his writing I will definitely be on a lookout for his new releases and recommend others to discover his writingYou can find Kings of Paradise on Kindle Unlimited Review copy provided by the author in xchange for an honest reviewI finally got around to review Richard Nell s highly acclaimed indie debut Kings of Paradise My verdict an impressive grimdark debutI was first offered to review Kings of Paradise by Nell himself back in November 2017 Back then Kings of Paradise had around 20 ratings and I simply didn t have time to read it because I was swamped by ARCs review copies and Oathbringer s release which was also in November I told Nell that I ll give his book a read in 2018 I certainly didn t Conscience and Memory: Meditations in a Museum of the Holocaust expect that the book would garner 150 new ratings and manyxtremely positive reviews I m pretty sure there s a Nell fan club being formed already I won t bother you with rearranging the synopsis into my own words the blurb is spoiler free and you should read that if you want to know what the plot is about I ll start off this review immediately with my favorite part of the book Ruka s storyline I can t Conscience and Memory emphasize highlynough how much I love Ruka s storyline If you think Jorg Ancrath was a good anti hero I ll raise Ruka to challenge that Just within one book in my opinion Ruka has already triumphed over Jorg as an anti hero Nell is Pansy Vol. 6 extremely good at his characterizations of the two main characters but what he did with Ruka was truly something special Ruka s story was dark a deliciously grim and dark tale and I ll be honest here Ruka s POV wasasily one of the best anti hero POV I ve Edible Memory: The Lure of Heirloom Tomatoes and Other Forgotten Foods ever read in grimdark fantasy The story of the book literally begins with him cannibalizing someone and then it immediately shifted to his traumatizing past as a kid Being deformed and growing up in a cruel world he started off as this sweet child who loves his mother but became ruthless with the story progression Right from the first chapter I was immediately hooked to find out what made him become such a character in the present timeline Howeverven importantly what made his story Elizabeth I even better was the depth ofmpathy I have towards his character despite the insane dark savage and brutal actions he had to do growing up Enough said truly a brilliant original and fantastic coming of age anti hero story Although Ruka completely stole the spotlight for me Kale s story was one of the most positive aspects of the bookKale and Ruka s story can be described as light versus darkness in comparison but they do have similarities in the harsh way they were brought up despite their different circumstances Kale s story is centered on his coming of age and he genuinely tries to become a good person The best way to describe Kale s story in my opinion would be the combination of both Vaelin from Anthony Ryan s Blood Song and Brian Staveley s The Emperor Blades Kale s story is one of brotherhood forbidden love and military school If you love Vaelin s story in The Emperor s Blade and Blood Song like I did I have no doubt you ll love his POV Despite my issue with the abundance of romance that didn t work for me no surprise really coming from me in Kale s story I was never bored with reading his POV delightful gripping and definitely one of the highlights of the book for meThe originality in Nell s world building is another factor that I highly appreciate The setting of his world didn t stick to the famous medieval European setting he instead adapts a lot of different cultures of our world into his book The first Education in a New Society example the Ascomi which came from Ascomanni which is what the Scandinavians called themselves originally The meaning behind it is men of ash Anotherxample Orang Kaya which was the term used to describe wealthy people in the book If you re not Indonesian you probably won t know about this but Orang Kaya is literally an Indonesian term for guess what rich peoplehuman Don t believe me Go search Orang Kaya on Google and I guarantee you ll see images of rich people throwing their money Education in a New Society: Renewing the Sociology of Education everywhere There are of course plenty such as Pyu a group of city states thatxisted in Burma and a few Norse inspirations but I ll have to stop here and let you find out for yourself Nell s prose was also praise worthy His prose was lyrical and ngaging to read and there was literally only two typo I spotted within this 600 pages tome It absolutely didn t feel like a debut as it was very well polished asy to read and words flowed wonderfully A bit of a very minor gripe is that Nell used a lot of italic words I don t think re really necessary I m not speaking about characters inner re really necessary I m not speaking about characters but this is the best The Baby Swap Miracle example As for the typo I literally spotted only two typos out of this 600 pages tome There was however a lot of words being italicized which I thought was unnecessary It didn t detract my overall ratings but it did distract my immersion several times because the majority of the pages were filled with it and I m not talking about inner dialoguesAfter all these praises you might be wondering why not 5 stars Trust me I wish I can give this book 5 stars but I can t I have two main issues with this book despite all its greatness Have youver read POV s that was so good that it became a double dged blade for the book This is one of those cases I have mentioned my love for Ruka s and Kale s story but there was actually one main POV in the book Dala this is where one of my main issues lies I never stop wishing to go back to the other two main POV Was Dala s story bad Not really it just pales in comparison and I personally wasn t interested in her story at all Dala s story felt like an unnecessary side dish in the face of the main courses to me Her POV did ventually converge with another main character at 70% mark That s the point where I finally started to care about her POV but it s not because I was invested in her character but because I care about knowing the other main character s storyline from her view not her She s just not memorable in my opinion give it a day or two and I know I ll forget about herThe other issue I had with the book was the pacing The last 30% of the book moves way too fast with many completely new POV s to follow popping out and there was plenty of time skip happening This felt different from the first 70% which really took its time building the characters and story meticulously Also the amount of time we spend with a character can be too long and the POV s changes between characters were too far in between Here s an xample the first 32% was dominated heavily by Ruka and Kale s POV Kale s last POV in part one nded at the 32% mark By this point I was already super ngaged with both Ruka and Kale s storyline but the story shifted its focus to a new character Dala and it never goes back to Kale s story again until the 56% mark that s around 140 pages This probably would be okay if I actually care about Dala s story but like I mentioned before I wasn t This means that I was forced to read 140 pages before getting back to POV that I care about In this kind of pic fantasy I also wish there were Excommunication: Three Inquiries in Media and Mediation engaging female characters for variety Other than Dala there was only one or two very brief side female character s POV to read so if you don t like Dala there probably won t be any female character for you to root for In fact other than Ruka s mom which appeared briefly none of the female characters were memorable at all to meI ll be honest here some of the problems I mentioned most likely come from the fact that myxpectation for this book was uite high I can t help it When you saw many reviews saying something along the line of this will win SPFBO for sure I ll be surprised if this doesn t win SPFBO several times before the competition Gender Justice even startedxpectations bounded to increase Don t get me wrong I do believe that this is a strong contender for the competition and like they said it might Generations and Collective Memory even actually winspecially knowing the judges preferences with loving grimdark and pic fantasy The book just fell short a bit from my high xpectation so I m partly to blame hereDespite the issues I had on the book my rating 4 stars speaks for itself that overall I From Notes to Narrative enjoyed reading this book I m pretty sure that Nell s career as an author will be a bright one I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves A Song of Ice and Fire and grimdarkpic fantasy Kings of Paradise was a fascinatingly dark original and magnificent read I m definitely looking forward to how this will fare in SPFBO You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notion. Rst installment of an pic low fantasy trilogy Kings of Paradise is a dark bloody coming of age story shaped by culture politics and magicThe world that Mr Nell has created is pretty incredible But the thing that really made me love this story was the characters he filled that world with Goodreads If Kale changes Ruka grows and festers like a storm Without a doubt the darker of the two characters I feel Richard Nell has created a compelling and classic character here GoodreadsThis dark fantasy pic will be held up against George RR Martin's masterwork A Song of Ice and Fire Read this book now so you can act pompous around your friends when HBO turns it into a television series GoodreadsKings of Paradise presents a brutal world of complex yet simple politics reminiscent of Game of Thrones Goodreads. .
I was sent this book from the author in xchange for an honest review I must admit I picked this up largely because of Esme s recommendation as she just made it sound so good I love pic fantasy stories particularly those which have a lot of characters I like to follow and this story is uite a mixture of old favourites and new ideas I audiobook Hard Bread (Phoenix Poets (Paper)) ed this one and I recommend the audio as I think it was done well and I personallynjoy the characters being brought to life as it helps distinguish them We follow two main characters Ruka and Kale and there are also uite a few side characters who get a look in too Dala is probably the next most important character but Linnea sp also gets a chance to shine a little later in the storyRuka is a very young boy with a disfigurement when we start the story and he and his mother live alone after she became an outcast in order to raise him away from society They live in the middle of a harsh land away from most of the other characters in the story and as Ruka grows he learns a lot from his mother and the Book Kale is a prince who lives a fairly glamorous life xcept that he is sent away by his father to the army to train there Whilst there he develops some strong ties to friends and he bonds with the men who are forced through the ordeal with him It helps him to learn a lot which he will need as time goes on Finally we have Dala a young girl who s left with her younger siblings to die when her father s farm is starving and he wants to rid himself of xtra mouths She is abandoned in the world and she nds up trying to become a Priestess in training but her low status means she is an outcast among the girls What I liked most about this is that there is magic throughout and it feels like a good old classic pic story There s heroes who are clear to see like Kale but then there are also morally grey characters like Ruka who have been through a lot and come through changed Ruka and Dala are both grey in their ambitions and their intent but I think this makes them interesting to read about whilst Kale is inspiring Sometimes it s hard for a character to really feel fun to read if they re always being good but Kale defies the odds and remains a great character throughout I believe he and Ruka were definitely my favouritesThe magic of this world is varied and comes in a few forms We have the inspiration of people fighting back and inspiring change as we do in many stories but we also have the magical Foraging for Survival enhancements that some of these people possess We see Kale develop some powers as the story goes on and he is tested further and Ruka seems to possess something peculiar and wonderful from the start when he can learn ultra fast and he has his own world inside his head where he can traintc and then really hone his skills The magic had some familiar traits but some of it was original too and the blend worked well Overall I think the start of the book was slower than the Fragments end and Injoyed the build up but I loved the second half and Foundations of Tropical Forest Biology: Classic Papers with Commentaries ending whereverything was crazy I found this to be an xcellent way to nd the book and it left me super xcited for the seuel which luckily is due out in just a few days I cannot wait to pick it up and see what comes next 45s Updated to include audiobook linksI thought I d make myself useful and mention a few things1 This book is always on Kindle Unlimited2 Now available as an audiobook US link UK link3 If you d like to check out something smaller I ve written you can get a 100ish page flintlock fantasy novella for free by subscribing to my mailing list free books are awesome4If you d like to know the meaning of life please just message me Have your credit card ready Twitter Facebook Vast in scope and intimate in its telling Kings of Paradise is an impressive novel from a brilliant mindThe story unfolds naturally and starts with humble beginnings Ruka an only child raised by a single mother and Kale fourth son of an island king and not very skilled at anythingIn the land of Ash Ruka is an xile who longs to xpose the corruption of the religious order and claim some personal justice for crimes against his mother These are tribal people whose governing system is centered around women and their hierarchy of priestesses They are isolated from other cultures and have an ancient lineage of gods and legends Ruka is uniue for his knowledge of runes which his mother taught him though most of his people no longer understand specially not menIn a distant but no less uniue culture we follow the life of Kale a young prince who goes through many different types of studies and training trying to find his purpose where he can best serve and what his contribution to the world should be He learns some rare and powerful metaphysical skills that One Ticket To Texas earn him a few followers and a fewnemies The most impressive aspect of the book is COMPLEXITY OF THE CULTURES POLITICS AND RELIGIONS the complexity of the cultures politics and religions increasingly revealed as the mature are themselves gaining perspective The world building is so intricate and so Helpmate expertly shown only as details pertain to the story at hand There are many point of view characters whose lives contribute to the story in different ways sometimes only for a chapter or twoMy only critiue is that the distribution of point of view changes is somewhat irregular at times spending several chapters with one character before switching to another It only mildly affected my reading pleasure as I sometimes took a few pages to remember who the next character was and what he or she had going on at least in thearly stages of the storyThis book is so Art, Culture, and Cuisine: Ancient and Medieval Gastronomy engaging It was incredibly hard to put down The characters have much at stake and their personalities are inspiring and demandingI highly recommend Kings of Paradise for readers ofpic fantasy who are looking for something impressive uniue authentic and complex A malformed hero that would make Joe Abercrombie proud A prince who would prompt Mark Lawrence to weep with nvy A leading female that not ven NK Jemisin could have written betterAnd a story so intimate you will hold it in your heart forever and so vast that it can shatter the world Full review to come So I opened the book late at night because I like to get a teaser of something new before I go to sleep But this book starts in the following way Ruka stared at the corpse of the boy he s killed and his stomach growled Wait a moment Are we starting with cannibalism Then what comes next I needed to know And as you can imagine I went to bed uite late last night It has been some time since a book shook me so from the outset I wanted to thank Richard who is both kind and brave for sharing his work with me I m still reading but keep those drugs at hand First I would like to thank Richard Nell for reaching out to me and offering a free digital copy of Kings of Paradise for an honest reviewWell where do I begin The world building the characters the uniue feel to the story It doesn t matter really It is all top notch and very well done So well done in fact that I am adding book 2 to my most highly anticipated releases of 2018 I know we only have 4 months left in the year but what the hell I will be reading it as soon as it is released so I may as well add it now On to the reviewThe world building Nell has demonstrated in Kings of Paradise is detailed in such a way that it really brings the characters and cultures to life The harsh tribe like peoples of The Ascom and the merchant society of the Pyu Islands felt like real places while I was reading the book I know this is the intent of all authors but not many have captured me in a fictional world the way Nell did with this book The people places and overall atmosphere had me hooked from the beginningI have read my fair share of coming of ages stories but I have yet to read one like Kings of Paradise Instead of one character that dominates the story Nell has given the reader two characters that share page time This does seem a bit unconventional but believe me it works brilliantly Ruka and Kale could not be different and I believe that is what helps this book work so well The cruel and grimdark style that Nell demonstrates in Ruka s storyline contrasts with Kale s conventional coming of age storyline Both characters grew and changed so much from beginning to Black British Cultural Studies: A Reader end They bothndured a journey of hardships and unfair treatment but came out changed in a completely different way in the Gypsy World: The Silence of the Living and the Voices of the Dead end Injoyed both Ruka and Kale s chapters but if I had to pick a favorite it would be Ruka by a slight margin Mainly due to my preference for grimdark and Ruka s story did keep me a little on the Bryozoan Evolution edge of my seat You must take that good boy and hide him here She put her fingers to his chest Put him so deep my son that only you and I can find him in a special place Hide him there until it s safe to return She swallowed and took his lumpy chin and held it hardnough to hurt Then you take this world by the throat and you throttle it The uniue feel this story had can be attributed to any number of. Winner of the 2018 IRDA for fantasy #1 Best Seller in Canadian Dark Fantasy 99% liked it Goodreads A deformed genius plots vengeance while struggling to survive A wastrel prince comes of age finding a power he never imagined Two worlds are destined to collide Only one can be king An intriguing low magic world packed with interesting cultures to be further delved Nell shows considerable skill in displaying his world distinctly through the yes of his different characters Fantasy Book Review The novel's brilliant world works on so many levels; it has a rich political landscape moral complexity and immense nvironmental challenges all told in beautiful thoughtful prose Indiereader A must for lovers of fantasy Silvers Edge especially those whonjoy losing themselves in a pic tale Reader's Favourite Ruka called ,