Hello everyone! I don’t typically take the time to write an update about myself in book reviews but…it’s been a while since I last posted or said anything about myself personally, for that matter. So, I thought I’d just fill you in a little bit on what’s been going on in my life! While I’ve still been reading like crazy, I just haven’t found the time to write reviews lately. My husband was working overseas for a few months, so working, parenting my children alone, and maintaining a household took the foreground (as they always do, but even more so in this period of time). I then traveled with my kids to meet my husband where he was working. We were able to spend some time there with family and enjoying the time together. Now that we are back home, and getting back into the sense of “normal,” you will be hearing A LOT more from me! I have many book reviews that are longgggggg overdue for posting. I’ve made it my goal to write reviews for all pending posts before the end of the year. (Let’s be honest, they take a WHILE to write, so I want to be gracious towards myself and allot the appropriate amount of time to get these all done!)
Enough about me–here are my thoughts of Kingdom of Exiles, by Maxym M. Martineau!
Exiled beast charmer Leena Edenfrell is in deep trouble...
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Kingdom of Exiles
Series: The Beast Charmer #1
Author: Maxym M. Martineau
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Page Count: 438
Genre: Romance, Fantasy
My Rating: ★★1/2
I received a copy of this book via BookishFirst in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review.
Content Warning: Abduction, Death, Torture, Adult Sexual Content, Battle scenes
I want to start off by saying that this book has an interesting idea. It was a “shot-in-the-dark” read for me, if I’m being honest. While I’ve read books that include some romance, I don’t typically read a lot of actual “romance” books besides the Classics. When I read the premise of this book, I hoped that Kingdom of Exiles would shed more light on the world building and fantasy aspects, and not get hung up on the relationship. Kingdom of Exiles crosses elements of Pokemon, Nevernight, and Fantastic Beasts. Sounds pretty interesting (and maybe a little weird), right? I found Kingdom of Exiles to be brimming with little purpose and lots of sexual tension–which for me, ruined possibilities for it to be something I could really appreciate.
The protagonist Leena Edenfrell shares the point-of-view with Noc, the lead hit-man of Cruor–an organization of assassins. Leena, a beast Charmer, has been estranged from her people due to a false accusation against her, and has had to rely on doing the illegal to survive. Selling her beasts as a beast charmer is one of the worst offenses, but Leena must survive somehow. When someone puts a price on her head, Noc’s gang of assassins is sent to complete the job by taking Leena out. With the help of her beasts, she is able to capture one of the assassins, and venture back to Cruor with the imprisoned Kost to negotiate her price. When an agreement is struck, and Leena agrees to procure beasts for the assassins of Cruor, Leena finds herself under their care instead of at the top of their hit list.
The new “crew” embark on a journey together, an inevitable attraction between Leena and the mysterious leader of Cruor sparks to life. It is from this point that the plot loses its progression, and gets stuck on the relationship aspect instead of venturing further into world-building, and overall explanation of Beast Charmers and their interesting beasts that never really get much recognition or real purpose. There are definitely some explicit adult scenes throughout the second half of the book, so beware of that while reading.
Overall, while I found aspects of the premise of this book interesting, it really didn’t offer enough detail to keep me engaged. The character building was lackluster, and I really disliked how the characters interacted with one another. Their dynamics were unrealistic, rushed, and tried too hard to mimic a crew-like trope.
Vulgarity: Quite a bit.
Sexual content: There are a few scenes with explicit sexual content.
My Rating: ★★1/2
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