I don’t have friends— only accomplices and enemies. You’d be amazed at how often they change sides.
So what’s the book about?
Michael gambles, cheats and duels to ensure his own survival and to provide for his family. When Michael was a royal back then, he did not have to worry about the simple things in life, because his father was beside the King. So David Kingman, Michael’s father, was killed for murdering the king’s nine-year-old son and thus exiled his family. Therefore, Michael must try, in his own way, to inherit his father’s legacy. An opportunity then presents itself for Michael when he takes a new job to step out of the shadows of his father’s past. Nevertheless, this job offers more than just money, as more and more of his past is revealed to Michael and he ends up in a battle between lies and truths. If he can find out the truth about the past, he might manage to step out of his father’s legacy and form his very own story.
Why I wanted to read this series?
I have seen this book many times on Twitter and have read many positive opinions about it. In addition, especially the second book has already impressed many readers. However, I had never taken a closer look at this book. When I looked at the display of the fantasy section in my favourite bookstore Otherland and discovered this book again, I thought to myself that I had seen it so often that I had to buy it now. I also have to admit that I didn’t really like the blurb of the book, but now I don’t let myself be influenced by it, because those few sentences don’t really say anything about the book.
These aspects attracted me the most while reading.
- How much I hate this main character, but also kind of love him. Michael is really so terribly stupid and selfish in many places that I want to scream at him and tell him to please just concentrate on one thing! Somehow, he always wants to do everything at once, but doesn’t even manage to get one thing done and, through his sometimes really stupid manner, manages to impose more and more things on himself and thus gets into conflicts. Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean stupid in the negative way it sounds, but on the contrary, because Michael is actually human. He wants to do everything right and therefore always manages to get into situations that he could have avoided. Especially since Michael knows, exactly what he has to do to make us, the readers, want to read on. Michael also wants to make something of his name somehow, but is then again too caught up in himself to manage that. Moreover, even though I say I hate Michael, I still like him. He is a simple boy or man. He doesn’t defy superhuman strength or cunning or actually have any other outstanding qualities, but he’s an average person – and that’s what makes him special.
- Michael is very much stuck in the past and does not see the here and now. This makes the story even more interesting because the main character does not manage to detach himself from his past and go his own way. He keeps being hung up on who his father was and what he did. The hatred that Michael cultivates towards his father can also be seen in his actions. Because he actually wants to go his own way, but is so attached to the name Kingman, new unpleasant situations keep happening to him, which he would not have had to face if he had gone his own way. Nevertheless, I think Michael just doesn’t know what his own path is and therefore wants to follow in his family’s footsteps, but not his father’s, of course.
- Actually, you don’t know the whole time what the story wants to tell you, what is the aim of the whole thing, what story is being presented to me here? However, that’s what made the book so exciting! You run from one little adventure to the next, all of which fit together, but each of which stands on its own. That was the reason why you couldn’t put the book down and had to read on and on. The suspense is kept high all the time as secrets are explored, battles are fought, or you are introduced to new and interesting characters. Moreover, the only goal is for Michael to understand his past better. Only towards the end, you do understand why these paths and actions were taken and you can connect the pieces and know why the author built this story the way he did. The chapters that had to do with the Endless Waltz were particularly exciting, because there you get to know a really nasty prince, with whom Michael sometimes has funny exchanges of blows, so that I couldn’t get enough of it.
- The supporting characters here enrich the book extraordinarily. There are also many of them who accompany Michael through his story. On the one hand, there is his sister, who really has something going for her. She is a strong personality who knows what she wants in her life – unlike Michael. Then there is also Naomi, who does everything to achieve her goal and doesn’t back down from getting involved with Michael. However, Trey, who is very broken, also has an enormous influence on Michael, because you realise that he has a profound past. Lastly, Domet. Oh, I like Domet and I hope we get to know a lot more about him. He seems like the mentor who doesn’t really try that hard to fulfil his role, but somehow does. I’m really confused about this character because I still don’t know if he’s good or evil and what he actually wants. He also seems like he knows quite a lot and is well versed in the intrigues of the royals, but he is addicted to alcohol. I’m definitely curious to see what Domet has in store for Michael and what his past has in store for him.
So what are my final thoughts about it?
The ending of this book was breathtaking, I would not have expected this ending as everything was really unpredictable. It also took the book to another level. The way the story unfolded and that you know what to expect in the next book and that makes you want more! The ending really did everything perfectly – pace of the story, build-up of the chapter and the tension, that was sometimes a bit lacking in the middle part. I think the plots were sometimes fobbed off too quickly, and the author could have given the whole thing more space. However, the story itself was so exciting, the characters so well written, that this is one of the stories you just can’t get enough of. I can’t wait to see how this story continues, what Michael still has to find out and especially what Domet is all about.
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