Book Review: Seven Ways to Kill a King

Seven Ways to Kill a King
by Melissa Wright

September 1, 2020
Published by Melissa Wright
Fantasy | Young Adult | Romance

Find this book on: Amazon CA | Goodreads

There’s nothing like a story that takes you completely by surprise at every twist and turn. Seven Ways to Kill a King is not that story, but that doesn’t mean I enjoyed it any less.

All opinions and terrible jokes are my own!

Princess Myrina of Stormskeep has a plan. One that involves killing seven kings who murdered her mother and stole her throne. She knows it won’t be easy. She witnessed her mother’s death at the hands of the sorcerers who turned against her, and her sister was snatched away by the traitors, held hostage ever since. Now only Myrina and a handful of loyal sworn guards remain, living in hiding for fear of discovery by the kingsguard.

But now, with her sister’s execution fast approaching, the time to act has come at last. With only her childhood friend, Cass – now her sworn protector – by her side, Myrina plans to take her revenge. To rescue her sister Lettie – the true heir to the throne – held captive by the murderous kings. And to restore the Lion Queen’s throne.

Seven Ways to Kill a King can essentially be described in one convenient nutshell: from the premise alone, you know exactly what you’re getting into, from beginning to end with this YA fantasy romance. And honestly, maybe that’s part of the charm.

The plot is something I’ve seen in various forms in lots of different stories, and there are few surprises to be found in between plot points. But the way it gets there keeps it surprising engaging and lively, even at the plot’s slowest points. Although that could also be due to the fantastic narration of the audiobook – I’m definitely downloading more of those in the future!

The plot itself was actually the novel’s strongest aspect. While nothing novel – I saw the twists coming a mile off – it was entertaining and fast-paced, and it was a nice change to follow a lead who takes charge and actually uses her brain. Myrina was a good choice for a protagonist, if a bit bland at times, and it was fun to follow her plot, scheme, infiltrate, and finally strike against her enemies – like a heist movie with more murder. A choice I’m fully in favour of, and would like to see more of in general: we stan a heroine who takes action and gets her hands dirty. Or bloody as the case may be.

The weakest part was probably the world building and the magic in general. I might be in the minority here, but I love when a book takes the time to explain their magic system at least a little. But this was a little slippery, and I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it. Similarly, the world itself felt somewhat paper-thin; I didn’t get much of an impression of anything about the seven kingdoms, much less that they were suffering under the kings’ rule. There’s nothing that can pull me into the world like the little details that make a place feel real, and I wish I’d seen more of them here.

But that’s not what this book is about: for all it’s king killing and murder-spree-ing (no, that’s not a word, now hush) Seven Ways to Kill a Kingdom is about Myrina and Cass and it doesn’t pretend any differently. There was a sense of mutual respect, genuine care, and actual chemistry with one another, and that alone made it a treat to watch unfold, even if the whole thing was pretty predictable from the start.

Not every book needs to be a wild ride of twists and turns to entertain me. Sometimes I just want to read about fantasy heroine’s triumphing against the odds and romancing the dark, dashing love interest into unrealistically happily ever afters. And Seven Ways to Kill a King delivers that in spades. If all you need is a fun book to sit and enjoy between your next epic trilogy, I’d recommend this one. It’s exactly the kind of comfort read I think I’ve needed for a long time now.

If I had to complain, I could have asked for more King killing. But that’s just what I think about every story.

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A nice three bursts of flame for Seven Ways to Kill a King; an incredibly fun book that probably won’t have any surprises for the seasoned reader, but still manages to be a cozy, entertaining read that will definitely hit that YA fantasy spot.

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