the harp of kings

4 stars

An exciting, entertaining first book in a new fantasy series.

I was very excited to see that Juliet Marillier was starting a new book series, and couldn’t wait to start reading the book. I’ve read several of her books and really enjoyed them. This one does not disappoint.

The book is 464 pages long, but it’s such a quick and easy read that you don’t notice its length. The book centers on a new main character, eighteen-year-old Liobhan. She is an accomplished singer and whistle player. Her brother is a genius harp player and has a voice that melts the most hardened heart. Despite these skills, Liobhan’s greatest ambition is to join the elite warrior band on Swan Island.

While still candidates in training on Swan Island, Liobhan and her brother are sent on a secret mission with some of their trainers. Their musical skills make them the perfect pair to assist as they go undercover as traveling minstrels. Their task: find and retrieve a special harp that has gone missing. If the harp is not retrieved and played at the coronation of the new King, the people will not accept him and may revolt. Working undercover, and not able to trust anyone other than their fellow Swan Island warriors, the duo must navigate life at court, the secretive druids, and beings from the Otherworld. As Liobhan and her brother get closer to answers, heartbreaking choices and decisions must be made.

The book is set in the same world as previous Sevenwaters books, but readers that have not read the previous books will not be lost if they start this series. There is a bit of context and worldbuilding in the book, but not enough to drag the pace of the book down. As usual with this author’s books, the action starts quickly and is evenly paced throughout the book. The characters are well developed, interesting and grow as the book progresses. The story is compelling, and while one story arc is completed at the end of the book, there is definitely more story to be told.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I highly recommend you read this book.