In “The Ruin of Kings” street thief Kihrin stumbles on a murder while in the midst of a burglary. Things go from bad to worse when he encounters a demon and subsequently his father and would be lover are brutally murdered. Dark forces seem to be following him, hellbent on claiming a stone in his possession, whose provenance remains unknown to him. And then there is the fact that Kihrin seems to have a key role in the centuries long battle between gods and demons over the very fate of the universe.
I have to say this is one of the longest and most complicated stories I’ve ever read. Jenn Lyons definitely engages in a lot of world building creating a universe full of diverse races, each with their own unique histories. I’m still trying to figure out the significance of the various legends shared and how historical figures are connected to one another and the overall plot as a whole.
The book has two narrators and the plot takes place in the past and present converging only at the very end. There is a lot of violence and death so if you are looking for some light reading then this is not the book for you. I have to say though that I really enjoyed discovering the various conflicts going on and Kihrin’s role in them. I’m still not sure if he’s supposed to the hero or the villain of the story.
The ending was a bit unexpected, but seems to be a great way of heading into the next book and potentially reuniting two important characters. The major characters definitely have their hands full at the moment and it is unclear what the ultimate outcome of the unfolding conflict will be.
Overall, I give this book a 5 out of 5. If you enjoy high fantasy then this is a book for you. Stay tuned for my review of book 2 of the series “The Name of All Things”.