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.
Praise for THE RUIN OF KINGS
“[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
- “I’m bored,” said Talon.
“Knit something,” said Kihrin.
- When they brought me up to the auction block, I looked out over the crowd and thought: I would kill you all if I had a knife.
And if I wasn’t naked, I amended.
- Sometimes he was tempted to give the kid a break, but Butterbelly always got over the impulse.
- “Touch me, Ferret, and you’ll lose your other hand, too,” Rook said. He’d pulled knives out of his sleeves.
“How many times do I have to tell you? It’s Faris!”
Rook didn’t smile. “That’s okay. You’ll always be a weasel to me.”
- Khaemezra was so bent and shrunken from age she stood no taller than a Quuros woman. If her son Teraeth was the color of ink, she was the parchment upon which it had been spilled. Bone-white skin stretched thin and translucent over her face. Her fine hair, pale and powdery, showed the old woman’s spotted scalp. Her quicksilver eyes – with no irises or visible whites – reminded me of the eyes of a demon. I couldn’t tell if she’d been ugly or beautiful in her youth: she was so wrinkled that any such speculation was impossible.
I fought the urge to ask if she preferred rib or thigh meat on her roasted children.
- “And how do you finance an operation like this? Good intentions? Or do you have a couple dozen more star tear diamonds back home?”
“No, but if you want to keep stealing them back, we could work something out.”
- I figured it had been a short, weird life. Maybe the Goddess of Death would laugh when I told her all about it in the Afterlife.
- “You’re Quuros. This is your legacy. This is your gift to the world: ship after ship of pain, sailing the seas to sate your people’s lust and cruelty and your thirst to conquer everything. Don’t you dare look away from your birthright.”
- “I don’t want to be your hero. Those stories never end well. The peasant boy done good slays the monster, wins the princess, and only then finds out he’s married to a stuck-up spoiled brat who thinks she’s better than him. Or he gets so wrapped up in his own majesty that he raises taxes to put up gold statues of himself while his people starve. The chosen ones—like Emperor Kandor—end up rotting and dead on the Manol Jungle floor, stuck full of vané arrows. No thanks.”
- No living animal, two-legged or otherwise, could stay inside the boundaries of the Arena until the next contest—until the next battle that would end when one man fought all comers. The victor would be the one wearing the Crown and holding the Scepter when he left its boundaries. The ritual would be as it had always been: anyone who wished to take part would gather; the Voices would lower the barriers; the fighting would begin.
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.
And now, for the giveaway!