The Kingsmen Chronicles: Book 3 – Goldenmark (ARC Review)

Due to some technical hitches I’m rather late with this ARC review, however better late than never.

 

The long awaited conclusion to the first trilogy in Jean Lowe Carlson’s Kingsmen Chronicles is called Goldenmark, and was actually released back in August 2018. It continues the story of Elohl den’Alrahel, the Alrashemni Kingsman turned Rennkavi, tattooed with the magical goldenmarks that designate him as leader and uniter of the kingdom, Alrou-Mendera. However, a false ruler has tricked his way into power, also bearing the sacred goldenmarks. Elohl must find a way to unite his people and beat Lhaurent den’Karthus in the war for the Menderian throne. Will he succeed or will Laurent annihilate his opposition?

 

Blackmark, book one of the Kingsmen Chronicles was actually the first novel that I reviewed here on the Sci-Fi Kingdom blog, way back over a year ago on October 2nd 2017. Check out the review of Blackmark here.

 

Goldenmark, as with its predecessors, Blackmark and Bloodmark, has an extremely well written, researched and painstakingly planned out story. The detail that goes into making this dark, epic, sword and sorcery fantasy series come to life is extraordinary, rivalling even George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, with its complex plot of war and treason.

At 4 out of 5 stars Goldenmark is a fitting conclusion to a great series. It binds this complex story together nicely, and has far less spelling errors/typos than the earlier novels. I especially love the keshar-cats and the warrior women that ride them into battle. However, I’m still mourning the loss of one of my favourite characters who doesn’t feature this far into the series, and I sometimes feel that the overly descriptive narrative draws out the story a little too long for my liking. These are all large books, mostly weighing in at over 700 pages, with Blackmark the slimmest volume at just over 500 pages.

I received a free copy of this novel direct from the author and have voluntarily chosen to write this review. I would recommend it to adult fans of epic sword and sorcery fantasy, such as A Game of Thrones, who like to get stuck into long, dark and gritty books. Pick up your copy of Goldenmark from Amazon.co.uk here.

 

See also:

The Kingsmen Chronicles: Book 1 – Blackmark

The Kingsmen Chronicles: Book 2 – Bloodmark

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The Kingsmen Chronicles: Book 2 – Bloodmark (Book Review)

After reading Blackmark, book one of the Kingsmen Chronicles by Jean Lowe Carlson, I was looking forward to the follow-up novel, Bloodmark, in which the denizens of Alrou-Mendera have found themselves at war. With nation pitted against nation, can the Rennkavi unite his people and return peace to the kingdom?

Just like its predecessor Bloodmark is an extremely well written, researched and painstakingly planned out book with a unique story, but due to its large size it took me a long, long time to finish. I found the first half to be quite slow and drawn out, full of detailed descriptions and complex characters with difficult to pronounce names, scattered over numerous locations. I could only read a couple of chapters at a time, before having to take a break in order to absorb and process all of the information.

However, by the time I reached the second half I found myself much more immersed in the story, as unexpected twists revealed themselves and previously unknown facts about important characters suddenly came to light.

Bloodmark is epic fantasy, with complex characters and storylines, rated at 3 out of 5 stars. It does have quite a number of spelling and grammatical errors which is disappointing, and makes a complex book with over 700 pages, all the more difficult to read. But if you enjoy such writers as George R.R. Martin, then you’ll love the Kingsmen Chronicles.

I received a free copy of this novel direct from the author in exchange for an honest review. Get your copy of Bloodmark from Amazon.co.uk here.

 

Also keep an eye out for part 3 of the Kingsmen Chronicles series, Goldenmark, which is now available.

 

See Also:

The Kingsmen Chronicles: Book 1 – Blackmark

The Kingsmen Chronicles: Book 3 – Goldenmark

The Kingsmen Chronicles: Book 1 – Blackmark (Book Review)

The first book review on the new Sci-Fi Kingdom wordpress.com site is Blackmark, book 1 of The Kingsmen Chronicles by Jean Lowe Carlson.

 

After being summoned to Roushenn Palace and an audience with the King, the King’s army, known as the Kingsmen, are dubbed traitors, mysteriously vanishing from existence. As a result, ten years later, there are very few Kingsmen and Kingskinder (Kingsmen children) still in existence who sport the famous brand on their chests – black tattoo’s which signify a soldiers’ allegiance to their King. Elohl is one such soldier, carrying the ink of the Kingsmen, despite being a year shy of fully completing his training. He is despised for carrying the ‘blackmark’, and after a decade of betrayal, Elohl seeks the truth behind the incident at the Palace all those years ago.

 

There is a large and varied set of characters within Jean Lowe Carlson’s Kingsmen Chronicles. This provides a lot of depth to the series, however it can be difficult initially to keep up with this vast array of complicated names and locales, making for slow reading. There are also a few inconsistencies in the spelling of certain names, a minor point, but rather irritating at times.

Now please don’t mistake me, this does not mean that Blackmark is not an enjoyable novel, far from it in fact. This is an extremely well written, researched and painstakingly planned out book which I have given 4 out of 5 stars. I just had to read slowly and carefully in order to keep up with all of the different aspects to the story.

In a similar vein to large, epic tales of war and strife, such as George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire Series A.K.A. Game of Thrones, once you grow accustomed to the plot and begin to differentiate between the houses, armies, names and locations etc. Blackmark is an enthralling start to a much larger series.

I now look forward to reading the follow-up, part two of the Kingsmen Chronicles, Bloodmark.

 

I received a free copy of this novel direct from the author in exchange for an honest review. Get your copy of Blackmark for free from Amazon.co.uk here.

 

See also:

The Kingsmen Chronicles: Book 2 – Bloodmark

The Kingsmen Chronicles: Book 3 – Goldenmark