Friday, March 27, 2015

Review of King by Ellen Oh

Title/Author: King (The Dragon King Chronicles #3) by Ellen Oh
Publisher/Date published: HarperTeen, March 31st 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Girl warrior, demon slayer, Tiger spirit of the Yellow Eyes — Kira is ready for her final quest. In this thrilling finale to the Prophecy trilogy, fans will get even more of the fierce Kira and her quest to save her kingdom!

All eyes are on her. Kira, once an outcast in her home village of Hansong, is now the only one with the power to save her kingdom. She must save her cousin, the boy fated to be the future king, uncover the third lost treasure, and face innumerable enemies in order to fulfill the famed prophecy.

Kira braves a sea of tigers and battles armies of demons as she musters her inner strength and learns to trust herself, the romantic feelings for Jaewon that are growing within her, and the destiny that must be hers.


So this series and I have a difficult relationship. On one hand, I'm fascinated by this non-European fantasy spin, on the other hand, I'm disappointed by the actual execution of said fantasy spin. Let me explain.

The first book was ok, I was a bit annoyed with Kira at times and then the second book left me going *meh*, but I really needed closure, so I picked up King, even though from the title you can pretty much tell everything is going to end well for Kira and her cousin who is the next in line for the throne.
Like I mentioned in my review of Warrior, the second book in the series, thing come pretty easily to Kira. She does things that seem impossible and then she sleeps for a bit, gets a visit from her Tiger Spirit, and is whole again. This pretty much didn't work for me. It was essentially too easy for her to do all of these things and suddenly everyone likes her, when she was universally hated before this crusade started and I really don't want to say this, but there was this voice in my head shouting MARY SUE a LOT while I was reading King. And I hate that. But I mean, little kids and animals and just about everyone she meets keeps wanting to be with her and it was kinda annoying. And she survives something that should be unsurvivable. I mean. Seriously.

As for the love triangle, I wasn't really sure who I was rooting for while reading the second book, because neither love interest held much attraction for me, but in the third book I had a slight preference for one of them and let's just say that what I luke-warmly shipped sank. And OMG the way this love triangle was dealt with felt WAY too convenient. I mean, seriously?? It took away the need for Kira to actually choose between the two and I was outraged at the not 'chosen' boys behalf, he did not deserve to be passed off like that.
Also, while I wasn't really into either love interests, I never felt like Kira was. She sorta has butterflies for the hotness of one of them and she thinks of the other more as a friend/brother in my opinion. So yeah, the romance pretty much fell flat for me. I get that she's a little busy trying to save all seven kingdoms from being turned into demons or being enslaved, but honestly, the way she handled these boys was annoying to me.

Like with Warrior, I though King lacked a sense of urgency. I never once doubted that Kira could pull saving the world off. She has this moment of self-doubt that was more annoying than anything else. I didn't feel like there was a lot at stake, even if it's the enslavement of all the people and the lives of Kira and her friends that actually are at stake. It wasn't exciting and the demise of the bad guys comes a little too easily. Again, I think I mentioned this in my review of Warrior, but I like my protaganists to suffer a bit before getting it right, and I like the villains to be strong and have a real reason for being evil and taking over the world and destroying lives. But mostly, if it's this easy to defeat the villain, why is it only Kira who can do it? It seems like any toddler just passing by could have done it just as easily. Ok, maybe that's a little too harsh. But still.

I did like meeting the Dragon King, that was pretty cool. And I like the premise of this story, just not the way it was executed in the end. I felt like Kira regressed over the course of this series instead of growing as a person and she just got a bit too Mary Sue-ish for me.

My rating: 1,5 stars

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