Review: For the Killing of Kings, by Howard Andrew Jones

I received a copy of “For the Killing of Kings,” by Howard Andrew Jones for review. Cirsova Magazine has regularly ad-swapped with Howard Andrew Jones for Tales from the Magicians Skull and has ad-swapped for this title in the Spring issue.

FortheKillingofKings_comp-2I’ve always been wary of starting new fantasy series that have not yet been completed. The last time I committed myself to such a series, it stalled out after the third of five books (though rumor has it book 4 may finally be coming out!). Given Jones’ track record, I don’t think I’ll have to worry about that, but the wait for the conclusion of a story can be rough. I think this one may be worth it, though.

Narrator voice:

“A kingdom has enjoyed a fragile peace for seven years after the end of a great war. The final battle of said war and the uneasy peacetime has fragmented the kingdom’s heroic top-cop force, the Altenari. Their previous leader died in the fight, many senior members resigned or went missing, and squires with magic potential are being siphoned out of the corps into a new mage auxiliary. The great fallen hero N’lahr’s sword, kept on display in a reliquary, proves to be an elaborate fake, and conspirators are willing to murder their sworn comrades to maintain the cover-up. As the mystery of the false sword unfolds, the kingdom teeters on the brink of war while its most ardent defenders are hunted down as traitors by their mad sorceress queen and her scheming minions.”

“For the Killing of Kings” is a very modern fantasy, in its style and plotting, in rather sharp contrast with the last book I’d read. It’s not a bad thing, and tastes may vary, but it definitely took some shifting gears to go from a Kline adventure to this. The opening of the book is a very slow burn as Jones builds his mystery and establishes the atmosphere. The multiple perspectives and introspection from some of the characters can drag out the pace of the story in places, but it ultimately evens out. The action is grand and exciting, and while the myriad characters are a bit shallow, they remain endearing.

Spoilers below

Admittedly, the one worry I had throughout the book was whether there would be a pay-off at the end. “For the Killing of Kings” is a bit of a brick, and being the first of three bricks, one could understandably be concerned and hope that it not end on too big of a cliff-hanger. “For the Killing of Kings” is more two shorter novels with their chapters interspersed that split off from a common starting point. One of these novels, the one which follows the first group of characters introduced at the beginning of the book who are forced to flee from the conspiracy, delivers a payoff, while the second, which follows characters who initially remained behind and try to unravel the mystery behind the conspiracy, ends with a “darkest hour” cliff-hanger.

Overall, though, the book delivers on its premise: at the beginning of the book, we’re told of a prophecy that a sword will kill a king, and by the end of the book, someone has killed said king with said sword.

Spoilers end

Most important, perhaps, is the question of whether I’ll be picking up the other books in the series. Yes, I will, because yes, I want to know how it ends!

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New Beyond the Farthest Star Comic from Michael Tierney

Michael Tierney’s had a lot of projects going on lately. Not only does he have Young Tarzan and the Mysterious She coming out this Friday in the new Cirsova, he’s got a new weekly webcomic series hosted at edgarriceburroughs.com.

Additional details here.

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ShanePlays Feat. Michael Tierney & Cirsova Up Now!

The podcast version of the ShanePlays broadcast from saturday is available online now.

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So, if you missed it live, you can check it out here:

https://shaneplays.com/young-tarzan-and-the-mysterious-she-edgar-rice-burroughs-podcast/

You can pre-order the new issue here from Amazon.

If you’re interested in getting a hardcover, sign up for our mailing list–we’ll send out an announcement with the link when they’re available, plus we’ll send you a promo-code for a discount.

 

Free D.M. Ritzlin Story – The Infernal Bargain

With all of the excitement about the new Tarzan story in our upcoming issue, it might seem easy to overlook some of the other cool stuff we’ve got coming out next month.

Well, it would be a mistake to do so, for sure!

One of the other stories our spring issue will be featuring is by D.M. Ritzlin of DMR Books. Dave publishes some of the best Sword & Sorcery out there today, and we’re thrilled to have one of his stories, Born to Storm the Citadel of Mettathok,  in our upcoming issue.

And if you sign up for DMR Books’ mailing list, you’ll get another of his stories free: The Infernal Bargain!

Don’t forget to sign up for Cirsova’s mailing list, either! We’ll be sending out discount codes for hardcover copies to our mailing list subscribers when the hardcovers become available.

Cirsova Volume 2 #1 Softcovers Available for Pre-Order

Softcover Physical Copies of Cirsova Magazine of Thrilling Adventure and Daring Suspense #1 are available now for Pre-Order!

Paperbacks Available for pre-order on Amazon for $9.99.

This new issue of Cirsova not only showcases Young Tarzan and the Mysterious She, an all new Tarzan story by Edgar Rice Burroughs, completed by Michael Tierney, it features eleven other exciting tales of fantasy, romance, and science fiction, including the return of Harold R. Thompson’s adventuring scholar Anchor Brown in Seeds of the Dreaming Tree, and the ongoing exploits of Jim Breyfogle’s roguish duo, Kat and Mangos, in The Valley of Terzol.

Hardcover copies WILL be made available on March 15th through Lulu, however certain limitations prevent us from making them available for pre-order. We’ll send out a reminder + a Lulu coupon code (fingers crossed!) when the time comes! Sign up for our mailing list to receive your discount code!

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