Joseph S. Samaniego is back with another action-packed novel from the Carolyngian Age. The Fate of Kings and Queens is a masterful telling of how two royals came together to create a new dynasty and the bloody war that had to be waged to secure their future.
Title: The Fate of Kings and Queens
Author: Joseph S. Samaniego
Release: April 2021
Genre: Epic Fantasy
For generations, the Kingdom of Lotcala and the Queendom of Amazon were as close as siblings. Never had the two become one, though a few had tired. Now, after a broken engagement, Princess Syrena of Amazon follows a path to reunite with her lost love, Prince Gabriel of Lotcala. Some doubt their future success, but perhaps love could find a way. Fate, however, would intervene. The world knew them both as the King and Queen of Lotcala and their reign for its peacefulness. However, they had to fight before they could claim such a rule.
As usual, Samaniego has a done an excellent job with characterization. I have the benefit of having read three of his other titles, but someone who hasn’t will be just as comfortable with the characters as I was. Samaniego has good way of using flashbacks to introduce us. Not too much, though! I don’t really like too many flashbacks and he keeps them VERY relevant to the story and they only add to the plot. I love the Amazons dearly, but in this book, Prince Gabriel is definitely my favorite character. I love his cool demeanor and in contrast to the women around him, he’s a nice break from the militarized Amazons.
The world of the Carolyngian Age is always beuatiful and well sculpted but I enjoyed the settings of this book even more because there were some mage’s magic involved. There were a few very nice scenes where mage’s used their powers and the otherworldly setting was a nice contrast to soaked battle fields. Speaking of battle fields, Samaniego has definitely honed his skills in battle writing. The scenes were never boring and well orchestrated.
This book has multiple plot lines and I really enjoyed all of them. Samaniego is good to his readers and he gives us what we want. He closes up each plot line nicely and gives us a resolution we can enjoy, while also maintaining reality. I enjoyed the plot of this book and seeing how wars can start from the most innocuous or random occurrences. Additionally, the stories of love and loss are written with rich emotional depth. When I first started this book, I was able to read 80 pages in one night. The plot spread smooth as room temperature butter!
Themes of love, new beginnings and of course, the effects of war, are weaved through the book seamlessly. I especially like how the book addresses the unpredictability of new beginnings. Taking a chance on anything can be terrifying and Samaniego shows us that even a battle proven, tough as nails Amazon can have worries and doubts about changes in her life. Additionally, I really liked seeing the ups and downs of war within the book. Sometimes winning a battle creates prosperity for a nation, but so many other things are lost. Without dragging us down, Samaniego illustrates this perfectly.
Even with the battle, weapon and matriarchal terms, I wasn’t lost or confused about what was going on. I enjoyed learning about those terms additionally. I would recommend this book for anyone who loves epic fantasy, war and just a touch of romance. Nothing is over done in this book. I found it a balanced, easy read.