Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book Review: My Kingdom for a Quest

My Kingdom for a Quest by Kendra E. Ardnek

Recommended for: All Ages

Rating: G 

Arthur is the rightful king of Briton, but his Uncle Mordreth refuses to give up the regency. Arthur and Grandfather are now returning with allies to wrestle the kingdom from his uncle's grasp. But not all is as it seems among his allies, and everyone has secrets. New loves, old loves, lost loves, kingdoms conquered and kingdoms stolen. Who is the real "rightful heir" and will the nearly forgotten sword in the stone finally answer this question?

I saw Kendra Ardnek's books around the homeschool author community for awhile before reading them. My first was The Ankulen, which got me hooked on her writing. Then I ventured back to the Bookania Quests and read Sew, It's a Quest, which wasn't as good as her later writing, but I still enjoyed it greatly and wanted to continue the series. I read the second book, Do You Take This Quest in one day when I was sick around Christmas. I liked that one even more, and, since I loved it and can highly recommend it after reading it when I was sick (nothing serious, but I felt pretty awful), I would guess that means it is really good to be able to transcend illness. My Kingdom for a Quest is better than either of the two previous books in the series.

Writing: 5/5

Kendra's writing has improved considerably throughout her journey as a published author. Not that Sew was bad, it wasn't, it just isn't as good. Kingdom is the same quality of writing as The Ankulen, though the style is slightly different being in third person instead of first. It's sort of like older books, but a lively, fun type of writing, and at times it reminded me a bit of C. S. Lewis. She weaves many stories together in one, and handles the very large cast of characters well. Honestly, the various characters have more distinct personalities than I remember the dwarves in the book of The Hobbit having.

Setting: 4/5

Bookania is a fantasy world, but other than fairy godmother gifts, there is little magic left. Things have Changed. Much is inspired by various fairy tales and legends, but woven together into something new. There isn't really much new in the realm of setting in this book, but it is consistent with the worldbuilding of the two previous books. Bookania is an interesting place, and I feel there is still more to be revealed in it's cultures and histories.

Plot: 4/5

The main objective is to get rid of Uncle Mordreth. How to get everyone they need to help in the right place and willing to work together... It picks up after the honeymoons of Robin and Eric and Robert and Rosamond who had a double wedding in the last book. There are many personal things going on as those who have been asleep come to terms with it being one hundred years later, and as Robin behaves like Robin. And Eric has to deal with her. The plot wasn't terribly complex, though not entirely straightforward either, and I really enjoyed the storyline.

Character Development: 5/5

And now to my favorite part: Robin and Eric. They're just so funny together. There's more background on them in this book, about their long running childhood rivalry. I enjoyed it immensely. And their collections! No spoilers on it, though I just HAD to tell my sister even though she hadn't even read Take yet (I let her borrow my kindle to read it as soon as I finished Kingdom and she had it done by bedtime). But those were definitely some of my favorite parts. There's not quite as much of Robert and Rosamond, but they are still in it. There's more of Arthur and Shira's character gets explored more, as does Samson's. And the way things were for these characters before the Change is expanded on. But still, Robin and especially Eric take first place as favorites. I'm pretty sure Eric is my favorite. He's pretty awesome.

If you love fantasy, adventure, or are just looking for a fun read for any age, I highly recommend The Bookania Quests.

I received a free ARC in exchange for an honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Find the rest of the My Kingdom for a Quest blog tour here!

Four of Kendra E. Ardnek's other books are free on kindle today!

Author Person: Kendra E. Ardnek loves fairy tales and twisting them in new and exciting ways.  She's been practicing her skills on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years, "Finish your story, Kendra", is frequently heard at family gatherings.  Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children's tales that also glorify God and his Word. You can read more about her on her blog,

And here's an excerpt from My Kingdom for a Quest.

    As they continued to search for some sign of life – even Doranna’s aviary was empty – Robin became more and more frantic. Soon “everyone’s missing” escalated into “they’re in danger,” from which naturally followed “we must rescue them!” And that somehow translated into Robin storming through the entire castle, gathering every weapon she could find, and depositing them in a huge pile in the front entry way.
   “You know,” Eric remarked, as he followed at a safe distance – Robin with a sword in her hands was a dangerous thing in any situation, and right now she was on the warpath, “I’m not sure King Jonathan would be too excited about finding every weapon in his castle in the front entry way …”
   She spun around. “Well, we can’t just sit around doing nothing!” She spun back around and continued her march. “They’re in trouble, I know they are!”
    Eric took a deep breath. “And I’m quite sure they’re not.”
    “And what makes you so sure?” she threw over her shoulder. “They’re missing – explain that!”
   Eric hesitated a moment, not exactly sure how to put it in words. “It’s a feeling I get. I just know when someone’s in trouble. They’re not.”
   “You’re the one who thought that the path was going to disappear.” She reached the pile and deposited the sword she carried.
   “Robin, can we please think about this logically for a moment,” Eric pleaded, positioning himself in front of the door she headed towards.
   “Them being in danger is perfectly logical,” she pointed out, shooting him a glare before she disappeared through a different door.
   Eric sighed and followed her. “Yes, but piling all the weapons in the entry way is not.”
   “We have to do something!”
   “I understand, but how will a pile of weapons help them?”
   “They’ll need them when we find them.”
   "And exactly how are we going to get the weapons to them?”
   She actually paused for half a moment. “I …” she began, and then she snapped back into her brisk pace. “You think of something.”
   “Ah, so that’s how it’s done,” said Eric, shaking his head.

See, aren't Eric and Robin amazing together? :)

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