Review: “King of the Rising” by Kacen Callender

Release Date: December 1, 2020
Series: Islands of Blood and Storm #2
Publisher: Orbit
Genre: Fantasy


“A revolution has swept through the islands of Hans Lollik and former slave Loren Jannik has been chosen to lead the survivors in a bid to free the islands forever.
But the rebels are running out of food, weapons and options. And as the Fjern inch closer to reclaiming Hans Lollik with every battle, Loren is faced with a choice that could shift the course of the revolution in their favor — or doom it to failure.”

My Review

This book is going to be a tough one for some people. For one thing, it doesn’t follow the same protagonist as the first book, Sigourney. It centers instead on the man who was supposed to kill her, Løren, and his perspective of her and her actions is not all that kind. Sigourney was never the hero she believed herself to be, and neither, for that matter, is Løren. King of the Rising is also very heavy on description—Løren describing to the reader what he sees in other people’s memories or experiences through their kraft—and light on dialogue. The ending, while absolutely the right one for this story, will leave some readers feeling frustrated and unmoored. Western fiction readers are trained to expect a certain kind of ending from books like this, and Callender does an excellent job turning those expectations inside out.

To read the rest of my review, head over to

Buy it at (affiliate link).

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy.

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