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Kings and Daemons (The Gifted and the Cursed, Book 1) by Marcus Lee

My dear bookish friends!

Today I want to present to you an exceptional fantasy story. One you REALLY shouldn’t miss. (It’s currently free on Kindle Unlimited, so don’t forget to check it out!)
Big thanks to Marcus Lee, the author of this incredible fantasy debut, who kindly approached me and offered me an ecopy. It took me a while to read it (sorry again!! So many books – so little time!), but I’m so glad I made it. Before I get to my review, here’s what the story’s about!

“Over the years as Maya grew, so did her gift, and out of necessity, so did the deceit which surrounded her.”

The Synopsis

If you like fantasy tales of conquest, dark kings, daemonic heroes, and magic, you’ll love ‘Kings and Daemons’ by Epic Fantasy author, Marcus Lee. This is a spellbinding Dark Fantasy novel which will enchant you with its plot of ambition, revenge, love, and tragedy. What the gods give with one hand, they take away with the other, for if you are gifted, you shall also be cursed.

—–

Over fifty years have passed since Daleth the seemingly immortal Witch-King, and his army conquered the Ember Kingdom.
Now, with the once fertile lands and its enslaved people dying around him, the Witch-King, driven by his insatiable thirst for eternal youth, prepares his forces to march on the prosperous neighbouring Freestates. It will be the beginnings of a conquest that could destroy nations, bringing death and destruction on an unimaginable scale.
Then, when a peasant huntress whose rare gift was concealed from birth is exposed, it sets in motion a chain of events that could alter the destiny of generations to come.

My Review

The first book in the The Gifted and the Cursed trilogy, Kings and Daemons, is an incredibly special fantasy read that entertained me tremenduously. The writing is fluid and the story is thrilling; the characters make you want to get to know them better. While the book highlights different characters’ lives, the whole story focuses on Maya’s journey to the ‘Freestates,’ and her run away from the so called ‘Witch King.’ The world we find ourselves in is very bleak, very grey, very dark – hopeless and ruined. The king’s name has a meaning… Daleth, the Witch King, is sustained by his people’s misery, so he enforces it by draining them off their life force. The weaker they get, the stronger he becomes. That is where Maya comes into play.

Maya, the main character, has a very special gift – the gift of healing, so basically the exact opposite of the king’s power. With her gift, she can heal broken bones, but also illnesses and ruin. While the land around her is dying and the people are withering away with it, Maya uses her gift to help people and the land, by healing them and leaving the country behind in a better state. And when she falls in love, her powers get stronger than ever before.

Maya is a special character. A few years ago I think I would have adored her straight away. Now, after my studies and so many countless books read I have to admit that I had a bit of a hard time with her in the beginning. She is beautiful, the most beautiful girl in the world. And she is pure, kind, good-hearted. And on top of that, she is also gifted and bound to save the world. While many people treat her badly, she never speaks up to anybody, and even almost loses her own life trying to save others. It felt a bit as if her character was lacking in some ways – be it in self-preservation or depth, I don’t know. However, after a while she grew on me, because…well, I think you can’t really not like her. She’s just too good of a character for that.

There are quite a few other characters in the book, as a true high fantasy should feature in my opinion. I won’t go into detail for all of them though, but let me just say that some of their life stories broke my heart so much and I loved that. Emotions are a wonderful way of making a reader fall in love with a book, and Lee managed this here perfectly.

I have to admit that the beginning was a little slow for my taste. But trust me – keep reading, and you will be rewarded. Very much so. After a while, the pace picks up – and  keeps up. The worldbuilding is excellent and the overall story is really gripping and exciting. Marcus Lee managed to write an excellent debut and I am very much looking forward to reading the following books in the series, and to finding out how the characters develop.

If you enjoy fantasy with a unique magic system, a dash of romance, dark forces and stunning characters, you will love Kings and Daemons. 4.5 stars from me.

Thank you all so much for reading, and don’t forget to check out this book!!!

xoxo
Noly

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