Rowena Cory Daniells (aka Cory Daniells) is an Australian fantasy author, who has been involved in speculative fiction since 1976. Her latest fantasy trilogy, The Chronicles of King Rolen's Kin, was published by Solaris. The King's Bastard is the first book of this trilogy (the other books are The Uncrowned King and The Usurper).

Click here to visit Rowena Cory Daniells' website.

Here's a description of The King's Bastard from the publisher's website:

By royal decree, all those afflicted with Affinity must serve the Abbey or face death. Sent to the Abbey because of his innate Affinity, the King's youngest son, Fyn, trains to become a warrior monk. Unfortunately, he’s a gentle dreamer and the other acolytes bully him. The only way he can escape them is to serve the Abbey Mystic, but his Affinity is weak.

Fiercely loyal, thirteen year-old Piro is horrified to discover she is also cursed with unwanted Affinity. It broke their mother’s heart to send Fyn away, so she hides her affliction. But, when Fyn confesses his troubles, Piro risks exposure to help him.

Even though Byren Kingson is only seven minutes younger than his twin, Lence, who is the king's heir, Byren has never hungered for the Rolencian throne. When a Seer predicts that he will kill Lence, he laughs. But Lence Kingsheir sees Byren’s growing popularity and resents it. Enduring loyalty could be Byren’s greatest failing.

Cloaked in silent winter snow the Kingdom of Rolencia sleeps as rumours spread of new Affinity Seeps, places where untamed power wells up. Meanwhile, King Rolen plans his jubilee unaware of the growing threat to those he loves.

And here's the review:


The King's Bastard is a traditional epic fantasy book, which contains plenty of action, surprises, magic, intrigue and plot threads. Although this book is a traditional fantasy book, there are certain things, which aren't usually handled in traditional fantasy books.

The characters weren't very complex, but it was nice to read about Byren, Orrade, Elina, Illien, Piro, Fyn and other characters. What I found interesting was that Fyn reminded me a lot about Wintrow in Robin Hobb's The Liveship Traders, but he was a different kind of character and Daniells wrote about him in a different way. It was also a surprise that one of the characters was a closeted homosexual.

The world building was handled nicely, but it would've been nice to read more about the places, because I've always enjoyed reading about exotic places etc (on the other hand, it was probably good that Daniells didn't write extensively about the places, because it would've easily ruined the story). The history related things were handled well, because Daniells had created an interesting and dark history for her fantasy world.

The outlawed and despised magic was interesting, because this kind of magic has always fascinated me. It was satistfying to read about magic which can completely change the lives of the people who are affected by it. The appearances of the old renegade Power-worker were fascinating.

Certain events in this book were a bit melodramatic, predictable and black-and-white, but these things didn't bother me much, because when I began to read this book I was looking for something light and entertaining to read. This book turned to be an entertaining fantasy book, so I wasn't disappointed in it.

In my opinion The King's Bastard is a harmless and entertaining fantasy adventure. It was fun to read what happens to the characters, because the story flowed nicely and there was lots of action. I think I'll read the second book before Christmas, because I want to know what happens next.

If you're looking for a light, fast moving and entertaining fantasy book, The King's Bastard is a good book for you. I think that readers of Gail Z. Martin and Jennifer Fallon will find this book interesting. (By the way, if you like this book, you don't have to wait several years to read the sequels, because they've already been published by Solaris.)

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