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The Blood of Kings

Warden of Fál, Book 2
Narrated by: Matt Addis
Series: Warden of Fál Series, Book 2
Length: 11 hrs and 59 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Summary

Being a warden is tough work at the best of times. Keeping the tenuous peace between the five kingdoms of Fál is a difficult business, especially in a land of monsters and magic.

Esben Berengar, the realm’s most feared warden, relies on his wits and his axe to deal with unscrupulous rulers, bloodthirsty outlaws, and the occasional witch.

When the king of Munster is murdered, Berengar is called upon to investigate. Many had cause to want the king dead, and treachery lurks behind every corner.

As tensions between humans and all others threaten to boil over, the warden finds himself reluctantly partnered with Morwen, Munster’s court magician, to solve the murder before the killer strikes at the royal family again.

©2019 Kyle Alexander Romines (P)2019 Kyle Alexander Romines

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent sequel, brilliant book

We return to our warden Berengar, a character I have really come to enjoy. This time around in the five kingdoms of fal, berengar has a murder to solve, and I quite enjoy the injection of mystery into this fantasy epic. I particularly enjoyed the new addition of Morwen.

Matt Addis is just as excellent in this as he was in the first book. He portrays the voices excellently, and he manages to carry the mood of the book perfectly.

I can't recommend this book enough.

I was given a review copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great fantasy sequel

The second entry in Warden of Fal series which carries on following our main character Warden Berengar.

Berengar received a request from the king of Munster to rescue the court's magician. What starts as a simple task draws him into a larger plot after the king is killed. Berengar must puzzle together who killed the king while working out who is friend and who is foe.

This book introduces some new character that get beautiful detailed backstories, characterisation and development. There are plenty of twist and turns that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the story. There is plenty of world building with history, geography, royal intrigue and different type of magical creatures, witches and ogres.

Once again Matt Addis is outstanding with his narration.

I'm really liking Kyle Romines writing style and he keeps up this standard he is going to be rising in popularity. I can't wait to see what lies ahead for Warden Berengar in the next book.

[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Surprisingly Good

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this, and the previous book (The Wrath of Lords) in this series. I hope Audible will be adding the next two books to this collection, ('The City of Thieves' and 'The Will of Queens'). It would be a great shame if they stopped here. I for one would purchase the next two books if they were made available. Fingers crossed.

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good fantasy

well read book with enough difference in impersonation by the teller to easily distinguish persons.

good fantasy with a old dark fairy tale feel to it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Does not disappoint

I recieved a review copy of the book, and I'm glad I did because it surpasses the last. Again we follow the main character as he picks apart a mystery, and when magic is involved nothing is quite as it seems.

The story is excellent and keeps you guessing until the end, with plenty of action worthy of a fantasy novel. The narrator is also a perfect choice for the book.

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An Epic Tale

I loved the first book in this series, and I am glad to say this one does not disappoint.

You don't have to read book one to understand what is going on in The Blood of kings, since both books occur in different places with different people and plot. Only the main character Esben Berengar is in both books. It follows his journey as a Warden as he investigates murders and lays down the law.

However, I would still recommend reading/listening to the first book because you get a better understanding of Berengar and how his past shaped him. He is different in book one compared to this story. You'll understand the change in his personality better.

This novel is full of twist and turns, complex characters and great world building. It is about power, greed, family, friendship, betrayal, loyalty, justice, persecution and love. It is told from Berengar's pov and follows his journey as he tries to solve the murder of king of Munster.

One of the reasons I loved this story is the complexity of the characters. Everyone has a little darkness as well as light and we sometimes take a little from the darkness to help us achieve our goal. However, there are those that take more of this side, yet they also show love and compassion to others. This makes them human and the author shows this in this book. Some of the characters have similar pasts yet they all turn out differently.

The murder mystery reminds me of Agatha Christie's books. Now it is not as good as hers since I figured out ‘who done it’ early on and why, but he did have me doubting who I thought it was. Like the Queen of crime, the author has a creative plot structure, with various suspects with their own intent and potential clues.

The blood of Kings also reminds me a little bit of beauty and the beast. Now before you get your pitch forks out or throw the audiobook in the computer abyss where it would never be found, I did say a little. There is a scene in the story that made me think of beauty and the beast. I don't know if this was intentional on the authors part or it just happened. Either way it does not matter, since, in my opinion, it is a better version of the story (I am a fan of the tale and there are not that many good retellings of it either) because it felt more realistic. Ironically, I liked the twist.

Merlin also came to mind whilst I was listening to the audiobook. Instead of a male wizard we get a young female who is naive, and life has not turned her into a cynic like the warden. She reminds me of Merlin, and I could imagine her turning into the mythical man. I usually hate stories that portray Merlin as being a female unlike the original story but if the female had a background like this character then I would accept it and go on to read her story.

If you like Game of Thrones (just without the sex and profanity) or Legends of the Gods by Aaron Hodges then you will love this one.

As for the narrator I thought he was perfect for this book. He had me glued from the first sentence. He voiced all the characters (there were many) and gave them their own personality, so I knew who was saying what without being told.

Would highly recommend this book!

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  • Spooky Mike
  • 14-10-19

A Really Fantastic Fantasy Action Mystery

I have to say I really enjoyed this book a lot more than I did the first. The first book was a lot of fun, but this one felt like Conan had a deerstalker hat on and his side kick wasn’t Watson, but a young female Merlin. This felt like a movie sequel that was better than the original. This story had it all and a lot of it. The action was intense and came off more swords and sandals then fantasy. I kept thinking he acted liked a viking until he bested a group of them, then I realized he is just a one man war-machine. While this is a series, this serves quite well stand alone and if you want to jump in at book two, go right ahead. You might miss a few things but nothing to upset the story.

Berengar really steps up his game in this story and I absolutely loved it. I really like how his role was weaved into the plot and was able to appreciate his character a lot more. Not only does he seem stronger and more capable, his Wolfhound picks up any slack he may have. Really enjoyed their relationship and partnership, as a dog owner, I envy that relationship and know the connection. I definitely was more emotionally connected to the characters this time. I also enjoyed the softer side that slipped out from time to time. His relationship with Morwin is one that was dynamic and touching and I hope to see more of her as the story continues.

The plot was great and the game is afoot. I thought that there was still a bit of a presence of wandering that I felt in the first book, but with a purpose that drove Berengar from place to place. Each new place he arrived at reminded me of the boss you need to beat in order to get to the next level, with each level and boss being harder than the previous. The way the story was told really worked well and I couldn’t stop listening because I had to know what was coming next. Each chapter was a new level that forces you to keep going.

Matt Addis continues to tell the story of Berengar the way it should be told. I love his accent and his character voices. His voice really helps set the setting and bring life to all of the characters. I really hope to hear him continue on with the series.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

3 people found this helpful

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  • David Haynes
  • 15-10-19

An Outstanding Sequel

I received this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

The Wrath of Lords: Warden of Fál, Book 1, written by Kyle Alexander Romines, is fantastic. The story is engaging, suspenseful, unique and fast-paced, and Matt Addis does a superb job with the narration. The Blood of Kings: Warden of Fál, Book 2 shares those same great qualities: it's expertly paced, action-packed, captivating and distinct. Warden Berengar is as mysterious and captivating as he is in the first, and each new character is deep and intriguing. It seemed like a difficult task to create a sequel that is as enthralling as The Wrath of Lords, but Addis mastefully succeeds with The Blood of Kings.

Romines finely crafts more of the world he introduced in Book 1. He shares lore, tales and descriptions that create a vivid image of a fantasy world that's begging to be explored. Berenger's quest takes him to many places in this world, where he meets monsters, hags, witches and rival armies. The new characters presented throughout the nearly 12 hour book are possibly the strongest aspect of this work. Princess Ravena and court magician Morwen are the two strongest additions, and they adeptly compliment Berenger's stern personality. The story moves quickly, but Romines knows when to linger on descriptions and character development. Although parts of the story were predictable, there were some great twists and surprises throughout. Romines does an excellent job inviting the reader into another chapter of the Warden's life, and he masterfully prepares the reader for Book 3.

Matt Addis is a great narrator, and he truly shines as Warden Berenger. His pronunciation is clear and confident. His accents are subtle but precise, as no two characters sound alike. He seamlessly switches between each character, and he does a great job conveying emotion. This joke is a bit stale, but there's no better way to convey my appreciation for Addis' narration: I'd enjoy reading a phone book if he was narrating it.

Romines is a incredible story teller, and he's bound to go down in history as one of the greatest fantasy writers of the 21st century. Addis is an expert narrator. If you have any appreciation for fantasy and if you loved the Wrath of Lords, you should be reading The Blood of Kings.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-01-20

Now I have to go back for the first

I didn't realize this was the second in a series until I was a little ways in already, now I need to get the first!

1 person found this helpful

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  • korinka
  • 25-12-19

Great sequel

After the Wrath of Lords, I had my expectations for this book set high, and I wasn't disappointed in the least. The story takes you to a royal court which very quickly becomes a crime scene. A fledgling magician Morwen pesters Berengar until she can join his investigation and help him out. After he finally gives in, they make an unusual but very effective (and likeable) pair of warden-detectives. Morwen makes Berengar reflect on his tragic past and so you get glimpses of his softer side. This story is very much worth a listen.

Mark Addis' narration was a pleasure to listen to, as always. The man knows his craft.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Seth
  • 03-12-19

Even better than the first one

I received this book for free but the review is left of my own accord.

The first book was good. I compared the Warden to Batman, if I remember correctly. This book moves away from that a bit. The story doesnt seem to rely as heavily on the Warden following the clues. Well, it does, but there's other people being interacted with and other events taking place between so it doesnt seem like one big long trail of clues this time.

I wish the fight scenes were a little more drawn out (I was pretty disappointed by how quickly a couple of them went), but they're interesting, and the Warden DOES take some hits along the way. Him taking hits is particularly appealing to me because I do not care for the kinds of stories where the good guy literally walks all over the bad guys without getting a scratch.

Read this if you like detective stories.
Read this if you like gritty heroes.
Read this if you are a fan of the fantasy genre at all.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Margaret
  • 21-11-19

6/5. Can’t wait for book 3

This is the second book I’ve read/listened to by this author and I will look for more. I thoroughly enjoy his writing style. The characters are fleshed out enough to carry the story and we gain insight into different characters as the story evolves. This is likely due to the mystery component of the storyline. There is also magic, confrontation, monsters, and subtle comedy.

This is the second book I’ve listened to by this narrator ( Matt Addis ) and I would listen to another in a heartbeat. His character voices are excellent. He uses accents subtly and appropriately. His female characters are spot on. He adds the right amount of expression to each situation. His voice acting really helps draw me into the story because I don’t feel like I’m being read to.

There are no explicit sex scenes, excessive violence or swearing.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review.
Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John Stringham
  • 19-11-19

Dark Fantasy Meets SVU

The Bloody Big Bear Warden is back, solving crimes and bringing justice to the lands. I really love this dark fantasy series, admittedly much less dark than the first, but really great in its own right. In this stand alone second book the Bear Warden is rescuing damsels and with the help of a young magician solving Regicide. The writing is phenomenal. The narration is perfect. I highly recommend the series to any fantasy and/or mystery fans.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dave G.
  • 14-11-19

Great Sequel!

I really enjoyed The Wrath of Lords and hoped that this book would live up to the original, thankfully Kyle Alexander delivered. The outstanding narration of this audiobook by Matt Addis enhanced my listening experience. Much like the first book this story is a fantasy mystery, revolving around who killed the king and more importantly why? Berenger is put in a tough situation where he has to investigate the death of the king in a foreign land. During his investigation, Berenger meets some new dynamic characters that I suspect we'll be seeing in future books. If you were intrigued by the ruthlessness of Berenger in the first book, rest assured that this book expands on Berenger's origin story. I'm looking forward to Berenger's next adventure! I'd recommend this book for any fantasy, mystery or RPG enthusiast.

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Austin
  • 07-11-19

Book 1 was awesome, Book 2 is even better!

What an awesome addition to the Warden of Fal series. Berenger is still Berenger, gruff, tough, brutal when he must and in this book, surprisingly tender at times. Romines has crafted a completely fresh story with a satisfying pace, heart-throbbing action, light-romance, loyalty, betrayals, and an introduction to new foes and alliances.

The supporting characters are well fleshed out in a teasingly slow way that I found most enjoyable. I like it when a book stirs in me a great impatience to know more about the characters and their back-stories. There was so much going on, not just one story-arc but several. Yes, there was the issue of solving a crime but there was so much more that had me captivated and thrilled. The story was enhanced by a truly incredible narrator.

I was given this audiobook upon my request in exchange for a review. I give it five stars and would give it more if it were an option. Oh, the ending is such a surprise, truly one of the best endings of any book I've read in a while. This is an author to watch, such a talented storyteller.


1 person found this helpful

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  • Philip Glenn
  • 06-11-19

An Great Sequel

The Blood of Kings is a very complex piece of work but at heart a good old-fashioned tale of murder mystery. The gradual disclosure of the big picture, exposing Berengar's part as an inspector in the larger game of kings, kingdoms, and betrayal is artfully done.

I am all in for Kyle Alexander Romines' Warden of Fál series. Both books have been excellent and I am anxiously awaiting the next in the series. Matt Addis is superb as a narrator.

I received a review copy of this audiobook in exchange for a voluntary honest review.

1 person found this helpful