"The High King: Riothamus Book 2" by Rosemary Fryth
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This book picks up right where its predecessor, ARANTUR, leaves off with the finding of a new King for a land that has not had a High King in a very long time. However, this revelation comes in the midst of war on the horizon and the newly found High King must immediately round up his people and ride into battle. Additionally, he has untamed and undiscovered powers which no one knows how to train him about since he is believed to be the last of these abilities.
The travels from area to area recruiting soldiers continues to illustrate the large amount of worldbuilding regarding the land and politics. As in the prior book, the thrust of the text comes in the lead's personal conflict with his duties and abilities versus the opportunity lost to be the ordinary person he was raised as. More interpersonal conflicts do appear in this book than in the prior one, but they are always addressed within pages with the exception of one (but it also has political overtones so in some ways plays more into worldbuilding). Most characters are developed only as much as need be for their roles, save a couple such as the High King and Alissa his love. We also learn that that the overarching title of the books, RIOTHAMUS, is the name that Alissa's people refer to the High King as. Unfortunately, the pacing is very slow and moving from town to town looking for the recruits feels almost methodical, like playing a game of chess.
As I said in my review of Book 1, the multi-faceted nature of the lead character is the only thing that made me want to follow this through to the end. If he were less interesting, I am not sure I would want to complete the series.
Reviewed by: Shannon Muir
A free copy of this book was furnished by the author for review, but providing a copy did not guarantee a review. This information is provided per the regulations of the Federal Trade Commission.
Thursday, March 08, 2012