Rating: 5+ stars out of 5
Prince Allen has trained his entire life to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious mother, who has made their kingdom one of the wealthiest and most influential in the empire. For the past few years he has trained to become the new consort of the High King. The only thing no one prepared him for was the stubborn, arrogant High King himself, who declares Allen useless and throws him out of court.
High King Sarrica is ruling an empire at war, and that war will grow exponentially worse if his carefully laid plans do not come to fruition. He’s overwhelmed and needs help, as much as he hates to admit it, but it must be someone like his late consort: a soldier, someone who understands war, who is not unfamiliar with or afraid of the harsher elements of rule. What he doesn’t need is the delicate, pretty little politician foisted on him right as everything goes wrong.
The High King’s Golden Tongue is an excellent fantasy tale of love, trust, family, and friendship.
The original story, in which this book is based on, was written in 2012 and was around 40 pages long. I read it about two years ago and rated five stars as well. I went back and skimmed over it, and found myself reading further than I first intended. The bones were all there, but this extended version is everything a reader could have wished for and so much more.
The fantasy world the author created includes several kingdoms with different languages and traditions— each of them with a rich history, royal families, and plots to take over the Empire. Simple things like food predilections, crops, and fashion are taking into account and spun into a well-connected tale.
Prince Allen is that connection between the kingdoms, but especially between the reader and the story. He had trained all his life to be a silver tongue, but more specifically, to be a King/Queen’s consort. He’s knowledgeable in politics, business, logistics, and many other things a regent would need to be taken care of. When Lord Tara’s family suggested him to be the Consort of the High King, he trained for two years just to be what King Sarrica needed.
Being a widower with two small children and a kingdom ready to go to war takes King Sarrica’s full attention. It’s not until the moment the Council brings a consort for him that he realizes that he didn’t want anyone to replace his late husband, Nyle. If forced, Sarrica wants a soldier, like him, to help him defend his Empire. He didn’t see value in Prince Allen’s knowledge and training. He pegs him as a spoiled royal looking for pampering and multiple lovers.
Sarrica’s dismissal puts Allen in an awkward position. If he returns home, his family would see him as a failure and his kingdom can take offense. If he stays, he would constantly be waiting for Sarrica’s call. Even if it’s just to warm up his bed, Allen wants to serve the stubborn King.
A series of misunderstandings, clever resolutions, and dark situations would mark a separate path for Sarrica and Allen. Their separation would show Sarrica how much he needed Allen and what he was willing to do to get his Golden tongue back. At the same time, Allen would find the friends he never had and a real reason to survive. He’s finally putting to practice everything he learned since childhood and discovering his own strength.
All these adventures are detailed, engaging, and fascinating. There isn’t a slow moment in this book. The plot moves forward steadily with every situation, and all the characters had a reason to exist. The amount of characters and setting involved is grant, but not overwhelming. Everything is presented cohesively and the narrations, as well as the dialogues, were well-written and witty.
I loved Tara, Rene, Lesto, and many of the Fathoms Deep and Three-headed Dragons. The friendship between Sarrica, Lesto, and Rene added a sense of familiarity and reality to the story. The settings, the fashion, and the food descriptions were great; the books and treaties, too. I only had trouble following some of the gender neutral names and I wished the author had explained the reason why some of the males were able to bear children.
Overall, an exquisite fantasy story filled with unique scenes and engaging characters. Really happy to see more books being added to the series.
The cover by John Coulthart is beautiful. The intricate design and the attention to detail bring small parts from the setting & the castle to life. It definitely has the feel of a medieval High Court.
ebook, 400 pages
Published: November 4, 2015, by Less Than Three Press
ISBN: 1620046245 (ISBN13: 9781620046241)
Edition Language: English