Bard. Warrior. Rebel.
Eighteen-year-old Liobhan is a powerful singer and an expert whistle player. Her brother has a voice to melt the hardest heart and is a rare talent on the harp. But Liobhan’s burning ambition is to join the elite warrior band on Swan Island. While she and her brother are competing for places in this band, they are asked to go undercover as travelling minstrels. For Swan Island trains both warriors and spies.
Their mission is to find and retrieve a precious harp, an ancient symbol of kingship. If the harp is not played at the upcoming coronation, the heir will not be accepted and the kingdom will be thrown into turmoil. Faced with plotting courtiers, secretive druids, an insightful storyteller and a boorish Crown Prince, Liobhan soon realises an Otherworld power may be meddling in the affairs of the realm. When ambition clashes with conscience, Liobhan must make a bold decision – and the consequences may break her heart.
Published 27 August 2019 | Publisher: MacMillan Australia | RRP: AUD$29.99
My Blurb (4.5 / 5 stars)
All I knew was that it’s a new book by Juliet Marillier. I. Must. Read. It. I didn’t really bother finding out what the book was about so you can just imagine my pleasure to find out when I started reading that it’s set in the same universe as that of Blackthorn & Grimm’s because I really loved that trilogy.
The opening scene was exciting with a fight in the rain and being told from the perspective of Liobhan, it was easy to fall into the story & liking her. When perspective changed (there are 2 others, Brocc & Dau), I wasn’t quite sure whether I was keen on the other 2 povs so it became a bit slow because I was reluctant to read these 2 but impatient to get on onto the next Liobhan’s chapters. I think you all know this struggle with multiple povs. You find a favourite and tend to stick with them. There are some novels that I just can’t get used to multiple povs but this isn’t one of them.
Even as I struggle with uncertainties with multiple characters, the tale itself progresses rather quickly and in the end, it was a rather fast read because I found that I could barely put it down. I enjoyed the dynamics between these 3 characters, Liobhan being the centre piece but I love how close the siblings are (Liobhan & Brocc) and the development of Dau’s character and therefore, his relationship with Liobhan.
The Harp of Kings is really a comfort read for me so I’ve really enjoyed it. Points taken off only because I didn’t feel the pull right from the beginning and one particular incident in the novel that I just didn’t click with. Otherwise, I love this Otherwordly tale.
I adore these Celtic infused stories by Marillier. I love how she combines my love for historical fantasy and mystery so this was a perfect read for me. If you loved Marillier’s recent works, you’ll enjoy this read too. This new series, Warrior Bards, promises to be one full of music, many stories, and intriguing mysteries.
My thanks to MacMillan Australia for having me on this tour and paperback copy of book in exchange of honest review
Courtesy of Macmillan Australia, I’ve got 1 paperback copy of The Harp of Kings to giveaway!
To enter, simple leave a comment with most recent historical fantasy book you have read (or are currently reading) and include a random sentence/short paragraph from it. I will draw the winner on the evening of Monday, 9th September 2019. You may also wish to enter via Insta and/or Twitter and/or Facebook as well as commenting on this post however there is only 1 copy up for grabs.
Please note this giveaway is limited to ANZ residents only.
About the author
Juliet Marillier was born in New Zealand and grew up surrounded by Celtic music and stories. Her own Celtic-Gaelic roots inspired her to write her first series, the Sevenwaters Trilogy. Her lifelong interest in history, folklore and mythology has had a major influence on her writing.
Juliet is the author of twenty historical fantasy novels for adults and young adults, as well as a book of short fiction. Juliet’s novels and short stories have won many awards. She is a member of the druid order OBOD (the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.)