The Almost King by Lucy Saxon | Weaving Pages: The Almost King by Lucy Saxon

Thursday, 3 September 2015

The Almost King by Lucy Saxon

Hello Everyone!

I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley, so thank you to the lovely people at Bloomsbury for letting me review this, as I've been waiting for this book for a long long time!

Title: The Almost King
Author: Lucy Saxon
Series: Take Back the Skies #1
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: June 4th 2015
No. of Pages: 416
Aleks Vasin is the youngest of four brothers, each with his path mapped out. But Aleks doesn't want to work in his father's shop and live with his family in a village in the westernmost corner of Siberene. And when he hears his parents fretting about money, he decides to save them the cost of his keep and leave.

First he heads south - though everyone tells him not to - to Rudavin, headquarters of the kingsguard, and he signs up for the army, little knowing what brutality it entails. After only a few weeks, Aleks realizes that this garrison is full of liars and thieves; he's signed away four years of his life to a commander who steals his money and a captain who's already hurt Aleks's beloved horse. This is not a noble destiny.

After a brutal beating, Aleks escapes, hoping to find safety and a new life somewhere in the north. And there, this deserter finds love, adventure, and a skyship in which he might just prove himself a hero after all - if he can evade the soldiers who seek to capture him.(-Goodreads)
3 stars: Page tweets once, he didn't have strong
feelings for this book. It was just ok.

You may remember my little review last year of Take Back the Skies, which involved a lot of Caps Locks and a lot of me taking breaks to sob quietly in a corner. In short, I was left utterly heartbroken, and at every mention of TBTS I would dissolve into a puddle. Alas, nothing has changed, and if you need proof just ask Arianne. She has witnessed me dissolving into puddle-ness. However, I decided to once again sacrifice my feelings and delve back into Lucy Saxon’s world, because otherwise I would be an terrible reviewer.

Anyway, this is a brilliant opportunity to tell you that Lucy Saxon still manages to completely nail her world building. I cannot not tell you enough how much I adore the steampunk fantasy world she has put together, from the Stormlands to Anglia to Sibrene, everything is brilliantly described and moulded to the characters. It’s almost enough to make me forget my sadness at the ending of the last book… I think that also helps shape the characters too, though. For example, one of my favourite settings in the book was Luca’s workshop because I could picture it perfectly with all th half finished projects littered everywhere. It matched his personality exactly and helped me get an idea of who he was too, which is something I’ve never really realised happens.

The one thing that did bother me whilst reading this was the plot of the book itself, or shall I say the pace. It was slow, and kind of boring. To me this didn't make sense because its predecessor had been exciting and compelling, but The Almost King felt very safe. I wasn't excited or challenged or vaguely led on by the plot. I was just left to wander through the story, which wasn't thrilling at all and in turn made things quite different from the 5 starts I had given Saxon's debut.

In addition, the cast of characters was good, but nowhere near enough as sob inducing as those from the first book. Aleks was quite plain in my opinion, and that for me made it hard to once again feel particularly excited. His relationship with Saria was better and gave me some hope that not everything in Lucy Saxon's books will end in pain, but it also took over a good part of the book. That meant that when I was expecting an epic fantasy adventure, I instead was reading about Aleks winning Saria over which I didn't find too thrilling. The good part it that once we got to the adventure that was interesting- especially since I saw a new side of this world. However, the first half did let me down.

If ├Żou loved Take Back The Skies, I would say continue the series based on what the third book is like, but give this a go and decide what you think!

rita xo

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