All The King’s Traitors: Highwings Book One

Rate: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Author: Keylin Rivers

Published: August 31, 2019

Series: #1 in Highwings

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Thank you so much to Xpresso Book Tours for giving me an ARC of Keylin Rivers’ All The King’s Traitors via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am the best, but I am no fool.

– Vallich, God-King Heir

All The King’s Traitors is set in the nation of Azanthea. Years have passed after overpopulation and humanity killed one another, until a meteor killed everyone except for a few humans who were given Godstones, a stone that gives the first human who touches it an ability to control an element. Now, Azanthea is ruled by a powerful God-King, and an uprising is coming led by traitors, who each have their own different reasons to go against the king.

All The King’s Traitors have a concept, and I actually liked it. But it did not show what the book is about. I was put into an adventure and this whole worldbuilding, but what was this book about? The novel is told in the different perspectives of the traitors, each have their own reason to commit treason, and we get different contrasts and perspectives. They are going to lead the uprising, but then, after that, what? Rivers do not establish a clear, strong motivation that would make you root for the characters. It’s the usual, ‘I will save the family’, or ‘I want to usurp the tyrant king’. The subplot about the Allstones or whatever was nice but we did not delve in deeper.

The characters are wonderfully molded, their tone exquisite between the words. However, Rivers seems to set Vallich, Aurelia and Ion on a love triangle, but it comes through as stale. While Vallich and Aurelia do have some spark, Aurelia and Ion don’t. More like a brother-sister relationship. But I wouldn’t like to see any of the three ending up on one another. I already like Vallich and Aurelia’s ‘You-murdered-my-father-but-I-will-not-kill-you-yet’ friendship.

I get that this is book one of a series, and it’s laying out the foundations. It did lay out its foundations but I guess it was just too slow for me? Slow in a sense that I am dragged into this sudden adventure without even knowing anything or establishing a goal that I can root for in the characters. It’s too weak as a Book 1 of an epic fantasy. The concept is honestly there but it lacks something, like a spark, or maybe more fresh flesh and avoid the usual cliche tropes.

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