Review: The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan

Book Review

The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan
(Empire of the Wolf #1)

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The Justice of Kings, the first in a new epic fantasy trilogy, follows the tale of Sir Konrad Vonvalt, an Emperor’s Justice – a detective, judge and executioner all in one. As he unravels a web of secrets and lies, Vonvalt discovers a plot that might destroy his order once and for all – and bring down the entire Empire. 

As an Emperor’s Justice, Sir Konrad Vonvalt always has the last word. His duty is to uphold the law of the empire using whatever tools he has at his disposal: whether it’s his blade, the arcane secrets passed down from Justice to Justice, or his wealth of knowledge of the laws of the empire. But usually his reputation as one of the most revered—and hated—Justices is enough to get most any job done. 

When Vonvalt investigates the murder of a noblewoman, he finds his authority being challenged like never before. As the simple case becomes more complex and convoluted, he begins to pull at the threads that unravel a conspiracy that could see an end to all Justices, and a beginning to lawless chaos across the empire. 

What I thought
Thank you Orbit Books and Netgalley for giving me an ARC copy of this book for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings expressed are my own.

It has been a little while since I have finished this book, and I am still having issues getting all of my feeling written down.  This is just one of those books that I just love, and I really can’t put my finger on what it was about it that really got me.  Oh, before we get into everything, I just want to point out that this is a debut and if I had not read that in a couple of places I would not have believed it. 

Let’s start with the fact that this book just checked so many boxes for me, it is essentially a Character-Driven, Fantasy, Murder Mystery. For me, that is like you taking all the things that I really like and putting them into one book.  

This is the story of Justice Sir Konrad Vonvalt; however, it is told from the perspective of his 19-year-old clerk Helena.  Helena is writing this story as an older woman, using the journals and ledgers that they were keeping at the time.  This was not what I expected from reading the synopsis, so I was really worried in the beginning about how this was going to go.  I have to say that I really like this way of storytelling.  Helena is sometimes reflective as she is telling the story, making comments like “this didn’t work out as well as we hoped”.  For me, this added a whole other layer to the story, and I really liked it. 

Traveling with Helena and Konrad is Dubine Bressinger. We do not get a lot about him, he is kind of a mystery, however, I really liked him.  I am not sure what it is about his character, but I became attached nonetheless.  I really hope we see more about him in future installments.

The relationship between Konrad and Helena was done so well and is a good example of how a mentor/apprentice relationship should be written.  Konrad was more of a father figure and not a creepy older guy that “saved” her, so she owes him.  Helena even reflects on this in the story, which I appreciated.  

If anything that I have said appeals to you, then I encourage you to pick this book up!

My Rating: /5

Have you read this book? If so what did you think? Tell me in the comments below.

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3 thoughts on “Review: The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan

  1. I enjoyed this one even though it seemed to take me longer than usual to read. I think it’s one of those books though that I might like more depending on the rest of the series.

    Liked by 1 person

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