Book Review of The King's FuriesLet me begin by saying that I love reading classic novels. Two of my favorites are Villette by Charlotte Bronte and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. What does this have to do with Stephanie Churchill? Her writing creates the feeling that I am reading classic literature. It is intelligent and sophisticated in a way that much modern fiction is not. The settings are so magically described, one would swear that the author has actually visited the fictional lands. The characters are deep, realistic, and surrounded by intrigue. No facet of good storytelling is neglected.
The previous books in this trilogy have focused on sisters Kassia and Irisa, but in The King's Furies we see Casmir's perspective. He just may be my favorite. Casmir is no stereotypical storybook hero. He is confident but deeply troubled by the darker side of his character and born to rule but uncertain how to establish himself as a better king than his father. Casmir is a man with the kingdom at his feet but without the power to protect his own family. We see him helpless and angry, sometimes even arrogant and cruel, but always as human and a man striving to do his best. He is flawed, as we all are, but not unforgivably or irredeemably.
Irisa is the perfect wife to balance Casmir's fiery impetuousness. I appreciate their relationship even more knowing it is partially based upon the marriage of Henry Tudor and Elizabeth of York. Like the first Tudor couple, Casmir and Irisa struggle with unifying their families and bringing peace to their kingdom. It's not always as simple as we think it should be. Of course slavery should be abolished, but what should be done with those displaced and bankrupted by this change? This is just one of many difficulties that Casmir and Irisa face together - and it's nowhere near their biggest problem! Through it all, Irisa has her own quieter thoughts, disappointments, and achievements. I almost accidentally called her Elizabeth.
I don't know if this book is better than the first two - because they are great! - or if I just like seeing everything satisfactorily concluded, because this was my favorite of the trilogy. Don't misunderstand me and think this is a 'happily ever after' story. It's not. It is suspenseful, action-packed, and sometimes I wanted to give Casmir a firm slap! (Or at least advise Irisa to administer one.) That's the great thing about this novel. The reader feels connected to the characters, experiences their pain and rejoices in their victories. In a world filled with fictional fluff, these characters will stay with you long after you've finished their story.
Long live, King Casmir!
All three books in the Crowns of Destiny trilogy are available on Kindle or in paperback.
The Scribe's Daughter
The King's Daughter
The King's Furies
Connect with Stephanie Churchill on her blog, Twitter, or Facebook.
Enjoy more stops on The King's Furies blog tour!
Especially make sure to stop by the blog of author extraordinaire Sharon Kay Penman, where you have the chance to win BOTH of the first two books in the Crowns of Destiny trilogy!