Tomorrow’s Kingdom

If you haven’t read the Gypsy King read that first.

Maureen Fergus hooked me with the first two installments of the trilogy so I was excited to dive into the final book. Like the other books in the series, Tomorrow’s Kingdom is an exciting fantasy adventure.

The idea of a lost royal child having a unique perspective towards peasants, servants, and outcast tribes that will unite the kingdom is a bit cliche, but I must admit I enjoy it. There’s modern sensibilities towards prejudice and class divide injected into a setting of castles, corsets, horses, and adventure.

The romance is steamy but not explicit. The war has action but is not gruesome. These factors make the book appropriate for teens although I think many adults would enjoy it as well.

The villains are despicable men who are greedy, misogynistic and violent but they are also believable. They have reasons to be the disgusting people they are, formed by both nature and nurture they are well rounded characters.

This is a series I would recommend to readers looking for historical adventure, strong female characters or medieval fantasy. The fantasy elements do not play a large role, so it would appeal to people primarily interested in adventure who don’t mind a touch of legend or a sprinkle of magic in a story.

Sea of Shadows

Kelley Armstrong has created an exciting fantasy world in Sea of Shadows. The first couple of chapters lagged a bit but by midway through the book I was completely hooked.

The twins are strong female characters with very different strengths. Moira is tough, brave and bold- a character that will be loved by girls who admired Merida the most out of the Disney princesses. Not that this is novel is Disney-esk. In fact, it’s often grotesque with gruesome death, scary monsters, and suspense.

Ashyn is intelligent and sweet, although a tad too naive for her age. She lives in her powerful sister’s shadow but isn’t spiteful about it.

The action is well done. Mythical beasts that are a nightmarish cross between fairy tale creatures and monsters from a horror movie.

The only thing that disappointed me was that the novel does not stand alone. I’m happy it’s a series because I want to experience more of this strange world and the wonderful characters in it, but I don’t like that it’s a cliffhanger. It would be great to have a series where everything was connected but each book left you with a sense of completion.

I think the undertones of class struggle and prejudice will be explored further in the sequel.