ARC Review: The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons | Jean Booknerd Book Blog Tour

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Rating: ★★★★✩

Date Read: January 18, 2019 -January 31, 2019

Publisher: Tor

Series: A Chorus of Dragons, Book #1

About the Book

The Ruin of Kings


There are the old stories. And then there’s what actually happens.

Kihrin is a bastard orphan who grew up on storybook tales of long-lost princes and grand quests. When he is claimed against his will as the long-lost son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds that being a long-lost prince isn’t what the storybooks promised.

Far from living the dream, Kihrin finds himself practically a prisoner, at the mercy of his new family’s power plays and ambitions. He also discovers that the storybooks have lied about a lot of other things things, too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, true love, and how the hero always wins.

Then again, maybe he’s not the hero, for Kihrin isn’t destined to save the empire.

He’s destined to destroy it . . .

Uniting the worldbuilding of a Brandon Sanderson with the storytelling verve of a Patrick Rothfuss, debut author Jenn Lyons delivers an entirely new and captivating fantasy epic. Prepare to meet the genre’s next star.  



“[A] jaw-dropping, action-packed story of betrayal, greed, and grand-scale conspiracy . . . Lyons ties it all together seamlessly to create literary magic. Epic fantasy fans looking for a virtually un-put-down-able read should look no further.” ―Kirkus, starred review

“Rich, cruel, gorgeous, brilliant, enthralling and deeply, deeply satisfying. I loved it.” ―Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians

“It was one hell of a ride. I gobbled it up and was hungry for more.” ―Glen Cook, author of The Black Company

“The Ruin of Kings is a fascinating story about a compellingly conflicted young hero in an intriguingly complex world.” ―L. E. Modesitt, Jr., author of the Recluse series

“A thriller plot of revenge and loyalty with a get-under-your-skin and keep-you-reading-all-night mysetery at its heart. I loved it.”―John Gwynne, author of Malice

“The Ruin of Kings revs up with the glitz of a high-speed, multi-level video game, with extreme magic and a teen hero with angst.” ―Janny Wurts, author of The Curse of the Mistwraith  

Thank you to JeanBookNerd and Tor Teen for providing me with a copy to review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.

My Thoughts on The Ruin of Kings

I was super excited about this book and when the blog tour was announced I knew that of course, I had to join!

I am going to start with a bit of a negative comment. This is not towards the author or her book but towards whoever wrote the synopsis. I don’t usually read the synopsis of a book but this was a rare occasion that I did. AND I FELL SO HARD FOR THE BOOK! I was totally pumped to read it and was a bit confused when I started it which made it hard for me to get into the book. The synopsis leaves out about half of the story and to me, it was the better half. To explain, the story begins with a frame narrative of Kihrin, who at the time is jailed by Talon, a shape-shifting, mind-reading, soul-eating, (for all intents and purposes) demon. Here Talon bullies Kihrin to tell his story which starts were he was sold as a slave to the Black Brotherhood, basically the Red Church from Nevernight but with less blood overall. Talon is unhappy with this beginning and she tells his story from when he was still a rascal child and not caught up in this mess. So yes, the synopsis is not a bad way to tell what the story is about but it is not the best way either.

Aforementioned, I liked the Kihrin’s chapters better as he had this humor about him that I really enjoyed. Lyons does an excellent job at differentiating between Talon’s and Kihrin’s voices. Talon is far more serious which bodes well with her character of being serious and mysterious. Also, I mean his chapters had a dragon, but that is no way affected my opinion of them. One reason why I would suggest you read this book is Lyon’s writing is on point. There is nothing in this book that is fluff. It all is important for world-building, character arcs, and moving the story along. The world-building in this book is where it is at. Lyons has created it with such depth that it is a believable world with customs, jokes, and an intricate history that needs its own book. A lot of the culture is explained using footnotes, again reminding me of Nevernight. These footnotes can be annoying because I found that they do interrupt my reading flow but I also find them endearing. That being said this is not the book to read when you are exhausted. I tried many times and I just could not do it because it needs your full attention especially in the beginning when Lyons is laying down the groundwork for the plot and the world. But have no fear, if you do slip up and miss something because someone (and bless their soul) put a glossary in the back of this book which is essentially the crash course for this book. There is also a Vane Family Tree. a pronunciation guide (there truly is a god!) and a guide to The Royal Houses. I used these many times through the book and you know it is a serious book when there is a Family Tree involved.

To talk about the main character, Kihrin definitely did not ask to be put into the world that he has been thrown into. He is a great kid, who yes would get into trouble but does not deserve to be put into the center of a prophecy. Alas, we cannot control our fates and he does make the most of what he has been given. My favorite character was, of course, the dragon: Old Man. I mean how can you not love the dragon that could easily destroy the entire Black Brotherhood complex when he was having a temper tantrum.

All in all, the beginning was a bit bumpy for me but Lyons has created a vivid world that I can’t wait to be a part of again.


Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

– 2 Winners will receive an Exclusive THE RUIN OF KINGS by Jenn Lyons Gift Box (ARC, A Dragon Pint Glass and a Dragon Bookmark).

– 2 Winners will receive a Copy of  THE RUIN OF KINGS by Jenn Lyons .

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jenn lyons
Jenn Lyons lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, three cats, and a lot of opinions on anything from the Sumerian creation myths to the correct way to make a martini. At various points in her life, she has wanted to be an archaeologist, anthropologist, architect, diamond cutter, fashion illustrator, graphic designer, or Batman. Turning from such obvious trades, she is now a video game producer by day, and spends her evenings writing science fiction and fantasy. When not writing, she can be founding debating the Oxford comma and Joss Whedon’s oeuvre at various local coffee shops.



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