Review + Giveaway: Kings or Pawns (The Kings 1) by J. J. Sherwood

Kings or Pawns by J. J. Sherwood
Published by Silver Helm on July 5th 2016
Genre(s): Fantasy, Political
Pages: 383 pages
Format: eBook
Source: Author

The first book in JJ Sherwood’s Steps of Power epic fantasy series. The Kings, Book I: Kings or Pawns is a political intrigue that spirals into an action and adventure series as the final events unfold.

8,994 P.E.—The elven city of Elvorium has become corrupted to the core by politics. With his father dead and the Royal Schism at his back, Prince Hairem ascends the throne as king of the elven world on Sevrigel. Young and bold, Hairem is determined to undo the council’s power, but the brutal murders by an assassin loosed within the city threaten to undermine the king’s ambitions.

As corruption and death threaten to tear Elvorium apart from within, the warlord Saebellus threatens the city from without, laying siege to Sevrigel’s eastern capital. With the elven world crumbling around him, Hairem finds himself in a dangerous political balance between peace and all out war.

Here, everything was resilient. Here, everything had learned to survive.

HOLY CRAP. New favourite fantasy book right here. This book surprised me in all the right ways. I honestly did not think I would have enjoyed such a politic-heavy book, but I LOVE this book. The world creation is amazing, the characters are fantastic, and great writing tops it off! This read is a fully fledged five star for me.

The story focuses one, on the newly appointed King Hairem, who is thrust the responsibility of defending his country from notorious warlord Saebellus. Hairem is young, inexperienced, and unfortunately compassionate. As the new ruler of Elvorium, he discovers first hand just how complex its politics are, and truly how power and influence are divided among the influencers of the city.

On the other side, we have General Jikun, who is hard headed but caring. He is brought forth from his homeland to fight for the royals as one of the best military combatants in the nation. He has his own demons to battle too though. While he is very different from Hairem, it is nice to see the parallels between the two.

I absolutely adored the characters in this book. I fell in love with them before I even realized it! The struggles of each protagonist, their motives, and their feelings are all very well expressed. There are many characters in this book, which can be overwhelming, but the development of each character is done well enough that each character stands out in my mind. I hope to see more of the secondary characters later in the series. I’ve only recently finished this book, and my heart already longs to see these characters again.

This book is very well written. The easy to read writing balances the heavy subject of the book. As well, there are perfect proportions of romance to action to comedy. I can’t begin to imagine how much time and planning went into this book.

I literally have nothing negative to say about my adventure with this book. If you are looking for your next fantasy read, look no further than here. I wholly recommend this book, and cannot wait to see what this author will bring in the next installment. I NEED THE NEXT BOOK. ASAP. (Also, have you seen these covers?! Definitely going to have to get this series in print for my book collection.)


The author is currently hosting a huge giveaway featuring autographed copies of the first two books in The Kings series as well as other fantasy themed goodies. There are also second, third, and runner up place prizes. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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