Genre: LGBT fantasy romance/adventure
High fantasy and futuristic romance are genres I've struggled with in the past. I'm not the right reader for a huge cast of characters, worlds unfamiliar to our own and complex plots regarding differing kingdoms warring with each other.
That said, I enjoyed The King Trials immensely. How is it one author can make the characters so accessible, the plot easy to follow yet woven with skill? If more fantasy books were like this one, I would definitely read more of the genre.
I won't pick apart the plot, because I always include the blurb so the reader can see for themselves, but I loved the representatives of each kingdom, chosen to compete in the Trials for the right to be King. One of those combatants is Andalen, who is taking part in place of their brother, who is academic but not strong enough to compete in the physical aspects.
Another is Grantham, a man with a secret love for his best friend.
I could go on, but each character has their own unique skill and personality, with their own personal challenges going on with regards to family, sexuality and gender. There is an emphasis on relationships, whether parent/child, friends or brothers and sisters, told with empathy. There are meaty fight scenes, and moments of genuine sadness and tension.
Ikar is one of the standout characters, at war with his powerful older brother and I'm not going to spoil it but the ending is bittersweet and beautiful.
D L Sims is not afraid to kill their darlings, that's for sure. Again, the skill is in making me care, so further down the line there are real moments of shock. Thanks, dear Author!
The writing is brilliant, soulful, gorgeous and colourful. I was hooked within the first few pages and genuinely enjoyed every part of it. It's a promising start to a series in a pretty crowded genre, and deserves to do well.
This is the first in the Chronicles of Wehlmir series, and I'm definitely going to check out the next book, but as a standalone story it works very well too.
The king of Elthare is dead. Invitations have been sent out to the noble families to put forth a Champion to participate in the 43rd King Trials, a grueling competition that has left former competitors permanently injured, disabled or dead.
Who will be king?
Grantham Sinero, a man skilled in hand-to-hand combat and armed with the ability of telekinesis.
Andalen Amadon who can inflict pain and suffering with a single touch and is a highly trained archer.
Khett Pedgram, the former prince of Elthare, able to control the four natural elements and has an immense knowledge of the kingdom's history.
Ikar Dominikov who holds no special powers, but is a great hunter and tracker.
A kingdom at war.
When soldiers from the empire of Mezerah invade Elthare, the Trials are cut short, and the Eltharians must prepare for a war no one ever saw coming. Many lives are lost, but with the help from their allies to the north, Elthare may have a fighting chance against the Mezerans.
At the end of the Ten Day Battle one Champion will be crowned the new monarch of the now fractured kingdom.
But who will be left alive to claim the throne?
I did an Instagram post with some Macaroons I made today, and people have been asking me for the recipe ever since. They are super-easy but I'm not sure on allergy information as the recipe is very old. I've had this book for over 35 30 years! Anyway. Here it is. I hope you enjoy them.
250g (8oz) caster sugar
150g (5oz) ground almonds
1 tablespoon rice flour (I use semolina)
2 egg whites
rice paper (available in all good cook shops)
Mix the sugar, almonds and rice flour together and set aside.
Beat the egg whites lightly, then add the dry ingredients. Beat to a smooth, firm consistency.
Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then roll into small (walnut sized) balls and place slightly apart on a baking sheet lined with rice paper.
Flatten slightly and place a split almond or a glace cherry on each one.
Bake in a preheated moderate oven, 180 C (350 F), Gas Mark 4, for 20 minutes, checking after ten minutes. Turn the tray around if they are browning unevenly.
They should be golden brown but still moist. Cool on the baking tray.
Makes between 20-25 macaroons.
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