If you enjoyed Virginia Boecker’s The Witch Hunter, definitely check out the sequel, The King Slayer 

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If you enjoyed Virginia Boecker’s The Witch Hunter, definitely check out the sequel, The King Slayer 

Virginia Boecker’s The King Slayer definitely improved my opinion of this series.  I enjoyed the first book, The Witch Hunter, well enough, but it was a bit of a lightweight entry in a genre that grows more impressive every day.  The second installment adds some much needed oomph.

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Goodreads Summary

An action-packed and suspenseful sequel to The Witch Hunter, perfect for fans of Graceling and the Grisha Trilogy.

“I think, in time, you’ll either be my greatest mistake or my greatest victory.”

Former witch hunter Elizabeth Grey is hiding within the magically protected village of Harrow, evading the price put on her head by Lord Blackwell, the usurper king of Anglia. Their last encounter left Blackwell ruined, but his thirst for power grows stronger every day. He’s readying for a war against those who would resist his rule–namely Elizabeth and the witches and wizards she now calls her allies.

Having lost her stigma, a magical source of protection and healing, Elizabeth’s strength is tested both physically and emotionally. War always means sacrifice, and as the lines between good and evil blur once more, Elizabeth must decide just how far she’ll go to save those she loves.

“[Filled] with everything a good fantasy book needs: swords, poison, black magic, and betrayal.”–April Tucholke, author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, on The Witch Hunter

My Thoughts

Picking up shortly where the first book left off, The King Slayer doesn’t waste much time before introducing new conflicts and revealing some surprising fallout from Elizabeth’s somewhat disastrous confrontation with Lord Blackwell.  Relationships old and new continue to evolve in this story, and, while they may not have been what I expected, I found myself very pleased by the conflicts and resolutions that The King Slayer offered.  I particularly enjoyed the fact that Elizabeth’s character was forced to struggle with limitations she never expected to face again, and that struggle made her a much more relatable character this go round.  I honestly believe this is the stronger book of the two because, though I enjoyed The Witch Hunter well enough, it felt a little lacking in complexity, and I remember thinking the climax came a little too quickly.  The King Slayer does not suffer from those issues.  Overall, fans of The Witch Hunter are going to be delighted, and those who were a little less impressed by it will certainly be glad they gave this series another chance.  Language and situations are appropriate for grades 8+.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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