Kings and Daemons (The Gifted and the Cursed book 1) by Marcus Lee

Kings and Daemons by Marcus Lee

A tale of conquest, dark kings, and daemonic heroes. A spellbinding story that will enchant you with its plot of ambition, love, betrayal, sacrifice and redemption. Over fifty years have passed since Daleth the seemingly immortal Witch-King and his army conquered the Ember Kingdom.Now, with the once fertile lands and its enslaved people dying around him, the Witch-King, driven by his insatiable thirst for eternal youth, prepares his forces to march on the prosperous neighbouring Freestates. It will be the beginnings of a conquest that could destroy nations, bringing death and destruction on an unimaginable scale.Then, when a peasant huntress whose rare gift was concealed from birth is exposed, it sets in motion a chain of events that could alter the destiny of generations to come. (taken from Amazon)
Wowza, Kings and Daemons was fantastic! This book felt very old-school fantasy to me – and I loved it! It had so many of the elements that I love to see in fantasy. A group of characters to follow? Check. Inner conflict to match the external struggles? Check. Fantastical creatures? Check (daemons: need I say more). A terrifying Big Bad who is deliciously evil? Check.

Despite having these well-known and well-loved fantasy building blocks, this book is in no way a copy of other works. It is wholly original and incredibly creative. The characters were fantastic. I loved them all, but at the moment my favorite is Kalas. I reserve the right to change my mind, however. Each character has so much going on that not only provides fascinating backstories, but explains their personalities and the choices they make.

The world is grim and bleak, but not enough so that it killed my reading mojo. I know that sentence makes next to no sense, but sometimes a world is too dark for me to enjoy -this wasn’t the case here. The shades of despair in this book were nuanced and offset by the sheer waves of stick-to-itness that the characters possessed. Here was a group who had taken their hits and were still kicking. I love characters like that!

The pacing was fabulous. The story started moving and never stopped. I was immediately drawn in and I stayed enthralled from beginning to end. Everything unfolded with perfect timing and nothing felt forced. There was no dreaded info-dump. It was obvious that the author knew exactly what story he wanted to tell and confidently went about doing it.

The world was incredibly well-developed. The history was fascinating, and I’m excited to see it explored even more in future installments. In case you can’t tell, this is my long-winded way of saying Kings and Daemons was fantastic and I highly recommend it.

8 thoughts on “Kings and Daemons (The Gifted and the Cursed book 1) by Marcus Lee

  1. Hallo, Hallo,…

    Sorry its been so long since I’ve been on your lovely blog – migraines were kicking me in the head for the past quarter or so of months! What drew me to your blog today is seeing this review pop up in my WP Reader!! We’ve read the same book at the same time this time round! Eek. Also, I definitely understand what your saying about “its not too Dark for me but usually this kind of Dark Fantasy is too dark” because I said something similar on my review! Its currently the pinned tweet right now on my feeds – drop by and see if we share any of the same takeaways! Except to say, you and a lot of others on the blog tour I participated said they love Kalas and honestly? It wasn’t a good fit for me – he’s not my favourite and my favourite didn’t seem to agree with others either! Isn’t that interesting? I love see how everyone reflects and ponders the same story as we all have these different insights and reactions to share!

    OOh! Speaking of diving deeper and pulling out more discussions about this book – keep your eyes on news for Wyrd And Wonder Year 4 – that’s all I’ll say about it right now. (smirks)

    I think you hit one nail on the head quite well indeed – if the whole of the story was not nuanced with the hope and the courage of its characters to find a way forward in their lives and if the re-genesis ability of this world hadn’t been explored either, I think it would have fallen into that darker realm of Fantasy I could not have sunk my bookish teeth inside. It would have felt unbalanced but rather the author did a brill way of anchouring us into their journey ‘towards’ a better future and gave us a reason why that was dearly important to each of them whilst owning to the fact that past choices in this world paved their condemnation by the daemons.

    I think the reasons I was invested in this one – as Dark Fantasy is a rare read of mine is the sociological aspects of it and how you get to peer into the characters internal worlds to see whom they are and where they stand and understand *why!* they are the way in which they were as we are seeing them in the plot!

    So happy we both enjoyed the same story! Here’s to the rest of the series giving us as much joy as the first installment!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PS: I blame the 8x migraines of September for quite literally erasing me of realising I was here in August and celebrating our mutual love of the pen of Marcus Lee. I mean… seriously, 8x in one month? I’m just super grateful its *Winter!* as I’m currently migraine-free!

      Like

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