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Seven Kings
Books of the Shaper Book II
John R Fultz

Orbit (Little, Brown)
15 January 2013 / ISBN: 9780356500829
US || UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

In a black city on the edge of a red jungle a slave named Tong yearns to be free, and one day gets his chance.  Racing into the jungle with his enemies in hot pursuit he is soon overwhelmed, but he is rescued by strange, eyeless horned creatures.  They take him to their underground home and nurse him back to health, and thus is set in motion a revolution that is going to have consequences for the rest of the world….  

I was thrilled to read the second exciting installment of this series as I have always enjoyed the sword and sorcery style of fantasy.  This is a fast paced and entertaining tale that not only gives the modern reader all the world building, court intrigue and violence more current styles contain, but more besides. There is a lushness to the descriptions of the exotic cultures and a feeling that the author had a lot of fun creating his world that makes it a joy to discover. What this book lacks – fortunately – is the middle book syndrome, as although we are learning more about the people in the first book there are new characters and fresh developments galore.  At no times does the story take a break or indulge in too much introspection or “info dump”, it is action, action, action all the way.  I said that the first book was not original, but in many ways this one is.  Mr Fultz seems to have Edgar Rice Burrough’s Mars books as inspiration rather than Tolkein as well as a feel of ancient epics like Gilgamesh.  If you think that this is yet another D&D style trilogy then dive in and think again. There truly is something for most fantasy readers in here and more besides.  Very highly recommended.

Other Titles in this Series

Seven Princes #1 [BOOK] [AUDIO]
Seven Kings, #2   [BOOK]

Reviewed 2013