Rating: 4 stars out of 5
King Solna Nalion is tired of war. Standing in the aftermath of yet another battle over an ancient insult, he longs for the possibility of ending the wars at last — and finds it in Vius Tylele, a wounded warrior who is not what he seems. In light of Tylele’s charm and intelligence, Nalion schemes to unite their countries for a lasting peace, one that might even bring love.
Nothing is as it seems and Vius Tylele knows that all too well. But King Nalion’s marriage proposal, while ridiculous, has merit. Between petulant generals, tainted magic, and falling unexpectedly in love, Vius discovers he has more to lose than he thought. His country, his magic, and even his heart.
Witch King was a surprising find. I loved the book’s premise and how vivid the opening scene was. Solna’s and Vius’s connection became evident with the simplicity of their first contact and the reverence Solna had toward the injured man he kept in his arms until he had to let go.
From the beginning, we get a good view of Solna’s commitment to his people and how hard he had worked to defend them. It was nice to see a king willing to do everything to bring peace to his kingdom even if it was at his expense. Vius was lovely and his reasons, when different from Solna’s, were more important than his own happiness. We get two selfless men in search of more from life.
There are many secondary characters involved in the story. We get their names, relationships, and a good reason for most of them to be part of the story. There’s also a good sense of place, and the world build is perhaps too far reaching for such a short story. It has good bones; it just needed a couple of extra pages.
Yes, the story suffered just like any other novella from the lack of additional content to explain how things happened behind the scenes or to wrap-up every single loose thread. It feels like it’s missing some chapters and a solid ending. Overall, it’s a fantastic story with lots of potential to be turned into a novel or a series of novellas.
I like the cover, but personally, I’d had switched the two pictures, having King Solna on the bottom and Vius on top.
ebook, 88 pages
Published: June 11, 2016, JMS Books
Edition Language: English