The Heretic Kings by Paul Kearney

(7.6/10)

Book two of Paul Kearney's 'The Monarchies of God' series - The Heretic Kings - continues on very much in the same vein as the first book, so I would recommend you start by reading the review for that book first, Hawkwood's Voyage. I loved that book, and book two has a lot of the same about it.

That can be both a good and a bad thing. Kearney relies in this book a lot on contrived situations to drive the story forward, or leave it on a cliffhanger. Considering the content of the book, you can excuse him, for the moment, while similarly hoping that he doesn't make a habit of it in the remaining three books.

All that being said though, The Heretic Kings was a good book, and I enjoyed it.

The story continues, following the split in Normannia between three of the Kings and the church, which really is intriguing even if less seems to happen in the whole of this book than in the last half of the first book. It feels a little drawn out at times, and you wonder whether things couldn't have been made to happen with a little less moping amid scene.

Corfe Cear-Inaf continues to be my favourite character, and I'm disappointed to see less of him – I think – in this book than in the other. There may be just as much, honestly, I'm not certain, but what he does is definitely less. I'd love for the whole series to be split between him and Hawkwood.

Kearney does one of those things that is just a pet hate of mine. Instead of mixing all the stories in together, he splits the book in to three parts; a and c are on Normannia, b is over in the west. I would have liked to have the whole story mixed in, but I soon lost my irritation a chapter in to both part b and c, so it can't have been that bad.

There seems so little to say about this book. The story is developing, and that seems to be this books sole purpose. It seems a little more like a companion book or a novella than its own standalone book, but well written nonetheless. The story is captivating, if minimal, the fight scenes are brutal and vivid, if contrived. If you liked the first book, then The Heretic Kings will only make you want to read more of it.

Review by

All reviews for Paul Kearney's Monarchies of God series


Hawkwood's Voyage
Monarchies of God: Book 1
9.5

As the once great Fimbrian nations of the West begin to fall to heathen Murduk hordes, bloody religious fanaticism threatens to consume the land from within, and rogue mari [...]


The Heretic Kings
Monarchies of God: Book 2
7.6

When a power-hungry fanatic wins himself a highly influential religious position, threeresistant kings must fight a brutal war merely to maintain their thrones. [...]

More Paul Kearney reviews


The Ten Thousand
9.5

10,000 elite mercenaries of a legendary race known as the Macht are hired by an Empire exile to take the throne by force. But when their employer is killed, and they are su [...]


Corvus
9.7

It is twenty-three years since a Macht army fought its way home from the heart of the Asurian Empire. The man who came to lead that army, Rictus, is now a hard-bitten merce [...]


Kings of Morning
9.1

For the first time in recorded history, the ferocious city-states of the Macht now acknowledge a single man as their overlord. Corvus, the strange, brilliant boy-general, i [...]

15+

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