Quest of the Kings by Robert Evert had so much potential, but it lacked the depth needed to make it a great novel. The world-building was limited, the writing was overly simple (for my taste), and the main character grated on my nerves from the first page until pretty much the last. However, the plot was intriguing, and some of the supporting characters had compelling stories, enough to keep me reading until I had finished the book.
In this novel, we follow Natalie, a headstrong, stubborn teenage girl, living in a medieval-esque society that treats women as lesser beings, especially if they aren’t nobility. And Natalie, a peasant, isn’t a fan of this social hierarchy, a fact she makes perfectly clear throughout the entire novel, complaining every chance she has about how awful her life is in comparison to everyone else around her. And since this book was written from a limited third person point of view, Natalie’s whining is front and center for a majority of the novel.
The main reason I wanted to read Quest of the Kings was because the summary boasted a tale of adventure and intrigue, as a teenage girl takes control of her life and uses her strength and wit to prove that women can be adventurers too. That’s not the book I read. I think it was there, hidden beneath all the whining and not-so-subtle sexism, but you really have to be looking for it.
I will say this, Natalie started to show improvement in the last few chapters of the book, and I know this is supposed to be the first book in a trilogy, so maybe Natalie’s character growth was meant to be extremely slow in the beginning so that it could stretch across the entire series.
I think I would’ve enjoyed this book more if Natalie’s point of view wasn’t the only lens through which the story was told. Because, again, the plot had potential. And I know there will be readers out there who absolutely love this story because they aren’t as concerned with world-building or the holes easily poked into the plot. If you’re the type of person who can read a book without questioning everything, than you’ll probably find this book enjoyable.
Overall, I give it 2.5 out of 5 flowers.
Quest of the Kings will be released on March 14, 2017. You can read the summary on Goodreads, where you can also find links to pre-order the book!
I received a free advanced reader copy (ARC) of this e-book from the publisher through NetGalley for review consideration.