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A KING’S RADIANCE (BONDS OF KIN #1) BY L.R. SCHULZ | BOOK REVIEW | Escapist Book Tours

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TITLE : A King’s Radiance (Bonds of Kin #1)

AUTHOR : L R Schulz

GENRE : Fantasy, YA, NA, Epic Fantasy

Intended Age Group: New Adult (12+)

Pages: 543

FR RATING : ⭐⭐⭐⭐(3.75 – 4 Stars)

DATE OF PUBLISHING : 22 May 2022

Welcome to my tour stop for A King’s Radiance by LR Schulz hosted by Escapist Book Tours. I am so grateful to be part of The Escapist Book Tours and for getting the chance to review A King’s Radiance early. Make sure to check them out because they do an awesome job of introducing a lot of new titles mainly self pub and indie published SFF books.

A King's Radiance blog announcement

If you are interested in checking out the official page for the book tour – CLICK HERE

Content/Trigger Warnings:

Shown on page:

  • Child abduction
  • Death of a child

Alluded to:

  • Slavery
  • Genocide

FR REVIEW

A King’s Radiance is a debut from Indie author L R Schulz. With the release of his new book, Schulz looks like he is going to be a permanent fixture in the book world and I am super excited. This book is for the YA+ audience. The story is set in the Kingdom of Zapour, and we follow three Glaive siblings who get separated by unfortunate circumstances. This is a story of familial love, friendship, and of course – justice! I have seen this title floating around Instagram quite a bit in the last couple of weeks. Also, I have heard good things from people I know and so obviously I had to add it to my TBR. The cover initially drew me in, then reading the synopsis got me further interested. When I saw the book was going to be part of the Escapist Book Tours I had to immediately sign up for it. One more thing to keep in mind would be, that Schulz has entered this book for SPFBO 8. I love that Indie books are getting a wider reception and more love nowadays. A King’s Radiance is a plot-driven solid debut of fantasy with a memorable cast of characters, fantastic world-building, and a unique magic system.

A King’s Radiance is a thrilling and exciting adventure of a found family against the oppressive system. This debut is a plot-driven, satisfactorily paced story that does a great job of keeping the readers hooked to the story till the end. It’s also a perfect book for anyone from the “Young Adult Plus ” age group. I really liked how the story played out, even though it was predictable at times, and the way it ended. The possible culmination of events is easy to see for someone paying close attention to the details. There were a few twists and turns that happened, and I did see those coming after piecing together a few clues. I didn’t mind that I already knew what would happen. I was just happy to see I got it right. The plot is pretty straightforward, but the author has laid a solid foundation for the continuation to be built on in his upcoming books.

Raiz Glaive has sworn to rescue his sister from the people who took her away and plans to do it by toppling a corrupt Kingdom. He is an outlaw and a rebel with a chip on his shoulder. He is angry at the system that has taken his sister away from him. He refuses to back down and world with a new group of similar-minded outlaws to topple the corrupt Kingdom. Each of these rebels had their reasons to fight, and they are united in their goal to take back the power from the underserving King and his underlings.

Isha is the sister of Raiz and Dazen and has been Raiz’s shadow and support ever since they were children. She gets captured because of a small mistake the duo makes and now will have to live with the consequences of their actions. Being the centerpiece of human art for the depraved Eagles (the King’s underlings) and the court takes its toll on her. But she has managed to survive and learn more about her captors and not only that she has made a few friends.

Dazen is the oldest Glaive and is the next in line for the throne. He is honorable and honest. He hasn’t forgotten his sister’s abduction and wants to rescue her, but the pressures and responsibilities of a Crown Prince doesn’t permit him to act his will.

The world is interesting and we have several countries as a part of the kingdom that make up Zapour. There are people from different races, cultures and traditions in these countries. The world-building is done naturally and feels organic. The tie-in of religion and how that has influenced this world’s power structure was fascinating to see. It also shows why corruption and injustice have prevailed for as long as they did. The magic system is unique and for one major magic used in the story the power is drawn from the sun. This power of the sun that manifests in people is called the Shine. It is used in different ways and happens in people differently. There is also new magic that is alluded to in the book related to the mystic eyes. It’s not fully developed, and its power and scope are not explained fully. I believe Schulz is planning to expand on it in future books. The lore and history of the world are intriguing, and as they are connected to religion I am even more excited to explore all the different angles it provides. I also find the system that came to be in existence because of it rather interesting. I am sure we haven’t fully seen the potential of the magic power and scope of the world in this book. There is a definite possibility of the world expanding and I am sure we will be getting to see the different places and countries in more detail in the upcoming books. There are references to what’s coming and I am excited about it.

The writing style is easy to understand and compelling in its delivery. The author has managed to convey the right tone that helped me get a clear feel for each character. I loved the descriptions of the world and the powers. They were done so well and it makes me want to know more about the world. I am sure I am not the only one who would love to see each of these Kingdoms mentioned in the book in much more detail. When it comes to some of the quotes in this book, I have to say Luke has managed to establish the right tone and emotions with the character’s inner thoughts. I have so many quotes I loved and each of them was better than the one that came before. That is saying something about Luke’s ability to convey the right emotion through words.

Having said that, I had bit of a problem with the dialogue delivery in the beginning. In my opinion, some of the dialogues could have been better in their delivery to make it flow better. This was only in the beginning as I mentioned and the author does a fantastic job of getting everything on track after all of the key players and their relationships are introduced. And as the story goes on I have to say he managed to bring everything together and we can see how well things start to flow together moving forward. The story was enjoyable and easy to follow. It is a debut and so some of these minor things are to be expected. In the end, Luke is definitely talented and has crafted this story successfully and that is what counts. I can’t wait to see what he does in his upcoming books.

As I mentioned earlier, the story to me felt more plot-driven than character-driven. Despite this, the author has managed to bring a great cast of characters to life. I liked Raiz’s POV the most. My small critique for the story would be that I wish we got a bit more character interactions on-page to establish certain relationships further, rather than them being off the page. But I think this is only something that I have felt and it is a personal preference because I haven’t seen anyone else say this. Not just that, when the author asked the question of how people would want the next book to be in terms of plot and character, it was close to half and a half for both options. This shows that there is no one way people will enjoy a story and while I would have loved to see more character interactions thereby giving a bit more depth and layers that could be gleaned on the page, many others prefer action and plot progression in their stories.

When it comes to themes and tropes there are quite a few of them in the book. Some of my favorite tropes were there and I loved seeing them in this book. I am not someone who has a problem with the tropes and so I had a good time with the story. There are themes of religion, racism, classism, slavery, elitism, vengeance, justice against the oppressive regime, and a few others explored in the book.

Overall, this book was an exciting and a strong debut that stood out in many ways. If you love an underdog story of vengeance and justice then definitely check it out. I can promise you two things: 1) You will not be wasting your time reading this and 2) If you like it – there is more to come from the Kingdom of Zapour. I gave the book 3.75 – 4 stars. If you are looking into starting fantasy and are looking for recommendations, then this book is definitely a good place to start. I am adding this book to my beginner-friendly YA/NA fantasy recommendations.

I made a reel video for instagram –

Here are some of the quotes from the book for those of you who are interested..

I also made 2 artworks inspired by this book on Picsart app –

Book Links:

Amazon | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

Three siblings… a rebel, a prince, a prisoner

The sun’s light shines bright over the land of Zapour, and only a select few can harness its power. But all power comes with a cost, and the world is not kind to those who refuse to pay it. 

Raiz Glaive, a strong shine wielder, was born into royalty, though even royals have to answer to someone. When the King-Radiant sends one of his precious underlings to the Kingdom of Trost, Raiz quickly learns who holds the true power in the realm. After his sister is taken prisoner simply for having the violet eyes of a mystic, Raiz swears vengeance. But when an unwilling father stands in his way, Raiz promises to take revenge into his own hands. 

Dazen Glaive remains heir to the throne of Trost, and a sworn defender of the King-Radiant, but he has not forgotten what happened to his sister, and will not forgive their cruelty. 

Forced to be the centrepiece of her “master’s” twisted human art gallery, Isha remains a prisoner. Though she has not lost hope. Finding friends among fellow captives, she begins to formulate a plan for escape. Though what she discovers has a much more sinister bearing on the fate of all of Zapour. 

See Also: 

(This is our attempt at a bit of fun. We ask our authors to come up with a few short, clever, possibly pop culture laden, descriptions of their books just to give a little taste of what’s to come for readers.)

Attack on Trost • #DaddyIssues • All Roads Lead to the Tower

AUTHOR BIO

Luke is a fantasy addict born in Melbourne, Australia. He discovered a passion for fantasy at a young age which developed into a love for the imaginary and a desire to write.

Despite an early passion for storytelling, Luke obtained a teaching degree before beginning a career as a primary school teacher.

When he is not reading and writing, Luke enjoys spending time with his Golden Retriever named Gem, gaming, and surfing.

A King’s Radiance is Luke’s debut novel, though he is always coming up with ideas for his next project, as well as working towards a sequel.

Instagram | Twitter

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