Sovereign’s Wake by Lee LaCroix
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: November 2015
A kingdom crumbles without its ruler. The people fall to misery and desperation in the shadow of an empty throne. A father does what he must to save his son and his homeland in the absence of kings. Enter Garreth, ranger and former royal bodyguard, who embarks from his woodland home after defending it from the encroaching loggers of the Blackwoods Company. “The King is dead!” they had screamed at Garreth and drove the man to the capital of Amatharsus to resolve the most troubling statement in Malquia’s recent history. Together with his son, Novas, and daughter of a murdered blacksmith, Kayten, Garreth is hounded by bandits, cutthroats, and highwaymen, unleashed upon the countryside by the abolition of the Crown Aegis, defenders of the King, his land, and his people. Garreth unites with the remnants of the Crown Aegis to overcome the military, political, and economic oppression that the Blackwoods Company has imposed on Amatharsus and incites rebellion before the free people of Malquia succumb to crippling recession and the environmental destruction of their verdant nation. But can one man find the strength to challenge overwhelming odds when all hope is lost?
Sovereign’s Wake is the first installment of the debut Fantasy series, In the Absence of Kings, by author Lee LaCroix.
*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review
In Sovereign’s Wake, Garreth, the protector of the King’s Forest, has just discovered that the King is dead, and evil is taking over the kingdom. Having been in the forest for years, Garreth had no prior knowledge of what was going on in the city; and on hearing the news, is understandably shocked. With his son (Novas) in tow, Garreth heads back to the city where his old friend lives, in order to try saving his people and his beloved land from further destruction.
I found the plot to be straightforward and maybe even predictable in some areas. There is a clear demarcation between good and evil, with little to no grey areas in between. I did notice the author’s strength when it comes to world building, and he obviously did his research in terms of sword fighting, landscapes, and occupation in the medieval period. I also noticed that in the first part of the story, little more than world building actually happens. Of course, Garreth is also telling Novas what happened in the past, but other than that, it seems like the reader is being prepared for the action that is bound to happen later.
Once the action begins, it becomes evident that the author is really good when it comes to descriptions. There are parts of the story where the author tells what happens, instead of showing, and those parts do come up more often than not. As the story progresses, there are more realistic conversations between characters, and the character development is also realistic.
Overall, Sovereign’s Wake is a pretty good read for lovers of this genre, although, I would have loved it more if the characters had more complexity and conflict between each other. In light of said lack of complexity, I’d recommend it to younger readers.