Published by Reckless Siren Publishing on October 27, 2020
Series: Nine Kingdoms Trilogy #1
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy & Magic
Source: eARC from Author
A lost princess…
Tessana Allisand had a family once. A home. A title. A future. Until one night when everything she loved was taken from her. Secreted away to an isolated monastery in the farthest region of the realm, Tess was raised in the silence of monks and the loneliness of tragedy. And there she would have stayed if the dark magic that killed her family hadn’t finally found her.
An impossible quest…
With her identity discovered, Tessana must face the home she fled all those years ago. The Crown of Nine must return to its rightful place and Tess must be the one to carry it across the nine kingdoms. And when she arrives? She’ll need to convince a dying kingdom that the crown that has belonged to one hundred kings should be given to a queen.
A rebellious prince…
Taelon Treskinat was in love once. With a princess. The daughter of a slaughtered king. He risked everything to save her, to make sure she survived. When that same princess tumbles back into his life no longer the scared little girl he remembers from childhood, he must decide where his duty lies. With the girl that will threaten everything he knows and loves. Or the kingdom he will do anything to protect.
Crown of One Hundred Kings is the first book in the young adult fantasy Nine Kingdoms Trilogy by Rachel Higginson. I love Rachel’s adult contemporary romances so I was super excited to see that she was coming out with a young adult fantasy series, because you all know that fantasy is my one true love. The Crown of One Hundred Kings has such an interesting world setup. I really enjoyed this book and I am super excited to carry on with this series. If you are a fan of fantasies with a heavy romance subplot (like I am!), then I think this will be a great option to check out. I can’t wait for book 2, because I feel like the action is really ramping up for something pretty epic!
In Crown of One Hundred Kings, we meet our main character Tessana at 17 years old. She is living a silent order of monks, and we learn early on that she is in hiding because years ago, someone murdered her entire family. Tragic for sure, but when you couple that with the fact that her family was the ruling family of all the kingdoms, it becomes even crazier. Our book starts with Tessana, or Tess(a), ready to go back to her kingdom of Elysia to remove her corrupt uncle from the throne.
The world in Crown of One Hundred Kings is a really interesting set up. There are nine main kingdoms, each with their own ruling kings and queens, but one of the nine kingdoms is the seat of power over all the kingdoms. This kingdom is Elysia and it’s ruling King wears the Crown of Nine, which symbolizes his ruling power over all of the kingdoms. There is also a council system, but I am not completely clear on all the matters that are kingdom specific, council governed or ruling kingdom governed. I think we will get some more answers on the specifics of the politics of the kingdoms in the next book because of where this installment left off, and I am super excited for a deeper dive into the world political structure. I think Rachel Higginson did a create job creating a fascinating fantasy world with rich landscapes and lush scenery. I really enjoyed journeying through the kingdoms with Tess, her friend Oliver and the rebels they pick up along the way, like Arrick. The plot of the story was great. I did guess at a few of the twists and reveals, but I don’t think they were meant to be all that surprising to us as the reader- just to Tess.
Tess is a young main character, and she felt young. This was my only minor issue with the story. At times Tess felt very naïve, which would not serve her well if she is to become a ruler of the nine kingdoms. I understand that she is young, but I was hoping that she would be a little more critical and skeptical, especially since she witnessed such a horror at a young age. She knows someone killed her family and likely wants her dead as well, so I was hoping for a bit more skepticism when it came how she envisioned her return to Elysia. That being said, I think she had shown impressive character growth by the end of the book, and I am really excited to see what type of young woman she grows into throughout this trilogy. I think she has the makings to be great!
My favorite aspects of the story were the plot and the romance. I absolutely love the banter and bickering between Arrick and Tess. Arrick is fantastic, and I am super excited to see more of him in the next books. I love them together! Overall, the Crown of One Hundred Kings was a really great first book in what seems like it is going to be a fantastic young adult fantasy series. If you are a fan of interesting world building and a great romance alongside your fantasy stories then the Nine Kingdoms Trilogy is one that should be on your radar. Rachel Higginson is a fantastic author, and this is another one of her books that I have really enjoyed.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2020 New Release Challenge
- Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2020