Book Review and Blog Tour: The River Kings' Road by: Liane Merciel

Pages: 384 pages

Received: Publisher for review

Genre: Fantasy

Book Blurb: A thrilling new voice in fantasy makes an unforgettable debut with this "intriguingly twisted tale of treachery and magic" (New York Times bestselling author L. E. Modesitt, Jr.). Liane Merciel’s The River Kings’ Road takes us to a world of bitter enmity between kingdoms, divided loyalties between comrades, and an insidious magic that destroys everything it touches...

The wounded maidservant thrust the knotted blankets at him; instinctively, Brys stepped forward and caught the bundle before it fell. Then he glimpsed what lay inside and nearly dropped it himself.

There was a baby in the blankets. A baby with a tear-swollen face red and round as a midsummer plum. A baby he knew, even without seeing the lacquered medallion tucked into the swaddling—a medallion far too heavy, on a chain far too cold for an infant who had not yet seen a year.

A fragile period of peace between the eternally warring kingdoms of Oakharn and Langmyr is shattered when a surprise massacre fueled by bloodmagic ravages the Langmyrne border village of Willowfield, killing its inhabitants—including a visiting Oakharne lord and his family—and leaving behind a scene so grisly that even the carrion eaters avoid its desecrated earth. But the dead lord’s infant heir has survived the carnage—a discovery that entwines the destinies of Brys Tarnell, a mercenary who rescues the helpless and ailing babe, and who enlists a Langmyr peasant, a young mother herself, to nourish and nurture the child of her enemies as they travel a dark, perilous road . . . Odosse, the peasant woman whose only weapons are wit, courage, and her fierce maternal love—and who risks everything she holds dear to protect her new charge . . . Sir Kelland, a divinely blessed Knight of the Sun, called upon to unmask the architects behind the slaughter and avert war between ancestral enemies . . . Bitharn, Kelland’s companion on his journey, who conceals her lifelong love for the Knight behind her flawless archery skills—and whose feelings may ultimately be Kelland’s undoing . . . and Leferic, an Oakharne Lord’s bitter youngest son, whose dark ambitions fuel the most horrific acts of violence. As one infant’s life hangs in the balance, so too does the fate of thousands, while deep in the forest, a Maimed Witch practices an evil bloodmagic that could doom them all...

Book Review: I wanted to love this book. I really did. The blurb gave me such high hopes. I came to the conclusion after finishing it that it was just OK for me. That's it. I couldn't connect the characters, I have no idea why, but I just couldn't. I also found it frustrating that I didn't have a map or some sort of basic understanding of the area so I could understand where the characters where and where they came from. A map would have greatly improved the reading experience. There are some great things about this book though as well. It has some great fantasy bones, and some super unique ideas for magic and characters, and of course the classic good versus evil with Kelland representing light and the witch representing evil. Battle of good v evil is always awesome in fantasy novels, it's practically required. I might try the sequel because it has just very good bones.

Did you read this book? I want to hear what you think!


For more information or for purchasing visit Liane Merciel's webpage.

Copyright The Bibliophilic Book Blog 2009-2010


  1. I actually just finished it for a blog tour on the 25th. I actually really enjoyed it. I agree with the whole map thing. I felt turned around quite a bit while reading.

  2. I havent read the book. But I find your review ver honest and to-the-point and I really like that.

  3. I got the shoes at a second hand store. : (

    But if you tell me your size I'll keep a look out.

    Also, I am not sure if I have mentioned this or not, but have you read the Kim Harrison series? I am in love. love. love!


  4. Great review! I haven't heard of this one before. I do love the cover!

  5. I must read more Fantasy books *sigh* Thanks for the review!

  6. I think I would really like this book. I do appreciate your honesty in your review. Thanks

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  7. I'm still reading my copy. I agree about the map. I'm not loving it as much as I thought either, but I'm only 1/2 through it.


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