Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Kings Of The North Kings Of The North
by Elizabeth Moon

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

Kings of the North is the second volume in the Paladin’s Legacy cycle (started with Oath of Fealty), which forms a direct sequel to the The Deed of Paksenarrion trilogy. All of which means that the story neither starts nor ends with this book – do not expect a standalone volume. Elizabeth Moon has constructed another satisfying episode in the Paksenarrion world that continues the story begun in Oath of Fealty without a break.

The predecessor volume was released a year ago and this book continues the story with nary a pause for breathe nor a recap of actions past. War’s afoot, so take no prisoners – and that means you too.

Kings of the North fulfils the role of second book in a trilogy admirably: the story from book one is picked up where it had been left hanging; the sub-plots carried over are advanced or resolved, with new ones added for those closed out; new characters with new information and motivations are added; and old characters are brought back with new impetus.

But as befits second books in a trilogy: the story is left hanging and the reader is left going "is that it?" So this reader is left wanting volume three, and maybe volume four as there are a lot of unresolved sub-plots, to get to the end of a very well pitched story.

My only negative is that Kings of the North assumes the reader is already familiar with the story and the world in which it is set, however, given the way the story is delivered that is not an unreasonable expectation.

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