The King’s Trial (Morgan Horse Publishing, 2019)
By M.L. Farb
Via: Author request
Palace intrigue. Love. Loss. Double crosses. An evil queen bent on enslaving a third of her people. An unassuming tavern hand with a knack for picking up vital information. A petulant prince and his beautiful, spirited fiancé. A kingdom teetering on the verge of anarchy.
Yosyph: The protagonist is a “shadow walker” wannabe.There’s more than meets the eye with this guy. Just like this book.
Katrin: the feisty seventeen year-old daughter of a wealthy merchant. She’s been betrothed to Prince Halavant since infancy, but is now targeted for assassination by the Queen, Halavant’s mom.
Prince Halavant: Haughty and supercilious, Halavant is about a mile wide and a quarter inch deep when we first meet him. But then… Well. You’ll have to read for yourself to find that out.
Naven: Personal servant of Katrin’s father and her trusted friend.
“When we overthrow the monarchy, we will have a rule of law and not of whim. A law that will protect the weak and give everyone access to justice.”
Yosyph says little, observes much, and is assumed mute. Posing as a tavern hand, he gathers intel on the wicked queen. When he learns she plans to enslave his people forever, Yosyph vows to raise a rebellion. But he fears that such a revolt will only result in needless bloodshed and the death of thousands.
After saving Katrin from the queen’s would-be assassins, Yosyph and Katrin embark upon a dangerous journey across a peril-filled desert in search of Yosyph’s kin. He hopes they will join him as allies in the war that is to come. Can he muster the faith necessary for his plans to come to fruition? Will Yosyph’s unexpected answers to his prayers stop his realm from descending into bloody darkness? What exactly is a “king’s trial,” anyway? Why does it exist, and for whom?
“Wishes and horses, and a year to ride them.”
Enchanting & Echoes
All of these questions and more are addressed in this enchanting, fast-moving fantasy. Fans of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings will find much to enjoy here. If you know what to listen for, you may also hear whispers of The Once and Future King.
Rife with unexpected twists, the plot is complex and intricate without devolving into unwieldy or clunky. The narrative flows smoothly as it switches POVs between Halavant and Yosyph.
“Stockpile swords and speak softly.”
Indeed, there’s a lot going on in this sturdy, gently faith-flavored story. A robust plot is buttressed by prodigious world-building skills, full-bodied characters, and rich word pictures. A fresh and original tale saturated in courage, sacrifice, love, loyalty, and loss, this expertly crafted story reels you in from chapter one and doesn’t let go until the very end.
Book 1 in The King Trials series, The King’s Trial is an absorbing, rousing read that’ll have you turning pages faster than Secretariat rocketing around the final turn in the Belmont. It’s a delightful read that’s ripe for a sequel. Keep an eye out for more! Cuz this one’s a keeper!