Author: Fiona Tarr
Title: Destiny of Kings
Synopsis: The King is going slowly mad, bewitched by the dark magic and seductive powers of the Egyptian Princess. As war breaks out, his trusted General seeks to raise an army and will find a young shepherd boy, bound for greatness.
General Martinez grows tired of the fighting and craves retirement until he meets the Priestess and the strange little Holy man who share a prophecy that cannot be ignored.
The General must now choose between the life of a young boy and his life long friend and King. Death is inevitable and when it comes, pain will follow…..
A controversial twist on the Old Testament story of King David. Where dark magic, prophecy and religious turmoil reign.
Destiny of Kings is described as being a twist on the Old Testament tale of King David. But I picked it up because it was categorised as ‘fantasy’, promising magic and struggles and battles.
First things first: the religious side definitely overshadows anything fantastical. For some, I imagine this is a strong selling point and they would thoroughly enjoy the book. Personally (just my opinion here), too much emphasis was placed on the whole ‘one true God’ which stopped me from connecting emotionally with the book.
However, it wasn’t the genre that really put me off. It was the characters.
David was perfect. Without even speaking to Martinez, he leaves a lasting impression on him. Martinez recognises a man – no, a boy – of great talent and wisdom and welcomes him with open arms when David takes off after the army. All he did was not interrupt a conversation!
But of course, David can also perfectly play the harp and sing, making the king immediately hire him as a companion and a…bodyguard? A sixteen-year-old kid who has never fought before? That makes sense!
When would she learn some tact and diplomacy? The whole concept eluded her. Why people danced around each other was beyond her, why did they not simply get straight to the point?
Never fear though, because it only takes a few lessons before David can horse-ride, use a bow with deadly accuracy and look at that, he is even good with a sword. Did I mention he can also handle all his older brothers, despite having described them as having a temper?
Talking of said brothers – several are mentioned, as are lots of sisters. But only two are named, and only one sister. It would have been nice for more character development – or even names – here.
The timing doesn’t help. Apart from a few occasions where it states months have passed, it was incredibly difficult to judge the passing of time. For instance, when David is training, the whole chapter reads as if it takes place over a couple of days. Later on, however, it mentions weeks have passed. With no concept of how much time has passed, it’s harder to accept David’s progression because it seems to just happen.
Every character in this book – male and female, David included – only thinks lust-filled thoughts. Jezabel is a temptress, true, but literally all she does is plan who to bed next. The king can’t think with his brain and even David describes one of his wives as his “pleasure-playground”. A character can justify what they say to their comrades. But never should a narrator try and explain what they’re thinking – that initial thought made the impression, and trying to backtrack and make sure he sounds like a good guy again just made it worse.
I understand the several wives. But I didn’t understand how David was supposedly enamoured with one, goes off, finds a damsel in distress and without any further ado, marries her as well. It didn’t make any sense.
Unfortunately, as you can tell, this was not a book for me. Maybe with a greater understanding of religion, I would have enjoyed it more, but it just infuriated me.
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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Destiny of Kings by Fiona Tarr”
This sounded like such an interesting retelling of a biblical story but it’s unfortunate that you didn’t enjoy it very much. I appreciate the honest review and I enjoyed hearing your thoughts too – perhaps the next book you read will be better (: Thanks for sharing!
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Thank you! It wasn’t the biblical part that put me off either, it was how annoyingly perfect the character was, haha! I hope so! Xx