Publisher: Tule Publishing
Author: Nancy Holland
Released: September 16th, 2019
Warnings: Slavery (mentioned), Curses, Dominance, Betrayal
I received a copy of The Witch King through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The Witch King is the third and final novel in The Witch King trilogy by Nancy Holland. The series has been a romantic fantasy; all set in the same world, but with different main characters each time. Though they all connect back to one another, naturally.
Kyr is the son of Thalgor and Erwyn (king and witch, respectively). Now he must do what others before him have done; compromise in the name of peace. For him, that means agreeing to marry a woman he doesn’t love. Only, it turns out that she’s less willing to compromise for the sake of her people.
Ciel is a slave, and one who doesn’t expect to live through this adventure. She would have preferred to stay out of this entirely but felt compelled to do what was right, no matter the cost. So when she had to decide between fleeing or delivering information that would surely result in her death, she opted to do the latter.
“He closed his eyes and looked into the murky future. What he saw surprised him, but once seen, it made sense. A perfect solution, in fact, if he could persuade the woman in front of him both of his power and the innocence of his motives.”
Warnings: The Witch King, like the first two novels in the series, touches upon some darker times in humanity. There is slavery, lack of rights, and sometimes abuse. Ciel herself, one of the main characters in this novel, is a slave. And she acts like one that has been poorly treated. It is painful to see at times. And may be uncomfortable for some.
The Witch King concludes the trilogy that Nancy Holland has been working for. Finally, we got to learn everything there was to know about this land, the people, and their mysterious Witch King. And along the way, we learned about two new characters; Kyr and Ciel.
In many ways, this novel felt like the darkest of the three. Perhaps that is because of one of the leading characters, Ciel. She felt more…downtrodden than the previous two female leads had been. And given her life, I can hardly blame her for feeling that way. But it did make some notes heavier.
I’m not sure how I feel about the series concluding, to be honest. On the one hand, I had been looking forward to this book. I desperately wanted more information on the Witch King they’ve been alluding to this whole time. On the other hand, I’m not sure I got all of the answers I wanted.
And this is certainly my preferences shining through, but I had trouble appreciating Kyr and Ciel’s relationship in this novel. I know it was meant to be a slow growing romance, but it felt like the least romantic of the three novels. And the difference in power was disconcerting at times. Perhaps others would enjoy that subplot more though, so don’t take my opinion too heavily here.
One thing I absolutely adored about this book? The cover. It’s without a doubt my favorite of the three, which is saying something (they’re all quite striking). I wish we could see this style of artwork more frequently.