**ARC provided in exchange for an honest review**
Title: The Harp of Kings
Author: Juliet Marillier
Series: Warrior Bards
Publication: September 3rd, 2019
Read: August – September 2019
Rating: 5 Caffeinated Stars
Trigger Warning: Childhood Abuse, Animal Abuse, Sexual Assault, & Sexual Harassment
Eighteen-year-old Liobhan is a powerful singer and an expert whistle player. Her brother has a voice to melt the hardest heart, and a rare talent on the harp. But Liobhan’s burning ambition is to join the elite warrior band on Swan Island. She and her brother train there to compete for places, and find themselves joining a mission while still candidates. Their unusual blend of skills makes them ideal for this particular job, which requires going undercover as traveling minstrels. For Swan Island trains both warriors and spies.
Their mission: to find and retrieve a precious harp, an ancient symbol of kingship, which has gone mysteriously missing. If the instrument is not played at the upcoming coronation, the candidate will not be accepted and the people could revolt. Faced with plotting courtiers and tight-lipped druids, an insightful storyteller, and a boorish Crown Prince, Liobhan soon realizes an Otherworld power may be meddling in the affairs of the kingdom. When ambition clashes with conscience, Liobhan must make a bold decision and is faced with a heartbreaking choice.
When I first got approved for The Harp of Kings, I literally jumped for joy. Juliet Marillier is one of my all-time favorite fantasy authors, and I couldn’t wait to read the beginning of a new series by her. What I love about her as an author is that she knows how to create vivid worlds where a reader can escape in. The Harp of Kings is no different.
The world in The Harp of Kings is crafted beautifully. Juliet Marillier writes in a way that puts you in the middle of the story. Her details make it so that you can almost smell the forest the characters are walking in. Not only is the detailing in-depth, but the characters are well crafted. Liobhan, Brocc, and Dau were three-dimensional characters who were incredibly relatable.
The plot was also complex but not hard to follow. I do warn you all to look at the trigger warnings that I posted above. Though all of those trigger warnings are present, they’re well done. They do a decent job of capturing the horrific nature and show the complexities of healing as well.
All in all, I loved this book. The plot was quick-paced, and the story was enthralling. I especially loved all of the lore written into this book. I especially loved the mention of the fair folk & faes. I’ve always had an obsession with faeries, so I was happy to see them mentioned throughout the book. If you enjoy fairytales, the fair folk, fantasy this is the book for you!
Did my review convince you to buy this book? If so here are the links to buy your very own copy!
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