Title: The Almost King
Author: Lucy Saxon
Release Date: June 2015
Retail Price: $15.99
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance
The Almost King is Lucy Saxon’s second novel in the Take Back The Skies series. Lucy Saxon’s one of a kind story, immerses the reader into a dystopian cross old-London world and tells the heroic tale of Aleks. I loved jumping into a whole new world with an action-packed adventure, whilst reading this novel. I sped through it and despite my post-negative predictions of this novel, I really enjoyed it! With a whole lot of adventure and a pinch of romance, I highly recommend this novel to fans of the 5th Wave and Sarah J. Maas.
The Almost King follows the story of Aleks Vasin, who sets out to be different from his family, by becoming a noble soldier. Little does he know what lies behind the fenced soldier camp, as he faces torture and torment in conscription he makes the decision to flee. Taking his horse and a stolen possession, he stumbles upon a small town and along the way meets an inventor, falls in love and begins a journey, he won’t regret.
The Almost King is filled with a page-turning adventure you won’t regret reading told by a unique voice. Purchase The Almost King by Lucy Saxon in your local bookstore!
*SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE ALMOST KING BY LUCY SAXON*
The Almost King was truly a distinctive novel. It was very different to the normal fantasy novel and I had a hard time comparing it to other books because I couldn’t find one similar to Lucy Saxon’s novel. The novel was jam-packed with action, plot-twists and adventure. It was a really entertaining novel. Lucy Saxon’s writing is beautiful and it wasn’t too verbose or too laconic, which is one of the reasons why I flowed through the book really well.
We start off with Aleks signing up to conscription as he wants to impress his family, when he enters the “dorms” of the army he notices a bad feeling he is getting and starts to understand why taking this route was a bad idea. What a really like about this novel, is the fact that we drove straight into the novel but the world-building and character development was unfolded smoothly throughout the novel.
The steampunk cross dystopian cross “old-London” world, was introduced and explained very clearly. After reading the first chapter, I got really nervous that I wouldn’t understand the setting and ambience of the world it was set in, Tellus. This book was a spin-off of Take Back The Skies, which I haven’t read and so before I started the novel, I was very paranoid that I wouldn’t understand it. However, after three or four chapters I noticed how much I learnt about the world. Lucy Saxon subtly hinted the system of Tellus through Aleks words and thoughts that at about a quarter through the story I fully understood how the world worked.
The character development of the story was done fairly well. Aleks, the main character, was an relatable character who had a really unique voice. His backstory was really noteworthy, which added a lot of depth to his character. It was easy to see how he drew on his decisions based on his previous encounters. He was slightly reckless but not over-confident, which is why I really enjoyed reading from his perspective. It would have been nicer to read his view through first-person. Shulga was a seriously annoying character and I really wanted to strangle him. His character was designed to be hated due to the way he treated Aleks but I would have loved to read his backstory and how he got his hands on the journal Aleks stole.
At first, I really liked Saria, Aleks’ love interest, and I enjoyed her presence in the story as it really showed how Aleks’ personality changed and how he really tried to step out of his comfort zone. However, the first time she called their relationship off, I knew from that moment that Saria will begin to irk me and she seriously did. I hated how she didn’t stop to listen to Aleks’ side of the story. What really annoyed me was the fact that she actually had the nerve to go up to Shulga and dib Aleks into him (WHAT???)! Their relationship development, was really fast and I was really surprised when they went on their second date and Aleks immediately fell in love with her.
In terms of the storyline, there were some major plot twists in there. I couldn’t believe that Zhora died. I was stunned! I really liked how the title foreshadowed the fact that Aleks was almost a king but it got taken away by both the king and Kara. I really liked how the ending was an ending but still left it open-ended for the future. I really wanted to see how Prince Erik and Alek’s relationship would have developed. I wanted to know if the government could figure out a way to the Stormlands.
I really enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it to fantasy enthusiasts. If a second book was to come out, I would definitely get my hands on it! FIlled to the brim, with an amazing journey told by a remarkable voice, I definitely savoured this thrilling novel.
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