A Drowned Kingdom

The Drowned Kingdom Saga, Book One

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
438 Pages
Reviewed on 11/19/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by JC Minnaar for Readers' Favorite

A Drowned Kingdom by P.L. Stuart follows the story of Othrun, Second Prince of Atalantyx. Having ambitions of becoming king himself one day but resigning himself to the fate of faithfully serving his brother and first in line to the crown, First Prince Erthal, Othrun is thrust into the position of king after the island kingdom of Atalantyx meets with an unprecedented catastrophe. Othrun, now tasked with building a new kingdom on foreign lands and keeping the last of his people safe from extinction, discovers that being king is far more challenging and fraught with peril than he first anticipated. He is faced with fulfilling prophecies, new foes, forging alliances from unexpected sources, and overcoming his personal demons - all this lies in Othrun’s path to ascending to his role as king.

The lore and world-building of P.L. Stuart’s A Drowned Kingdom is some of the finest writing I’ve had the joy of reading in a long time. Whether characters, weapons, mountains, or grounds in the kingdom, everything has a rich cultural significance within A Drowned Kingdom. Othrun is a compelling character that juggles his own ascension to kingship with a predetermined destiny and faces challenges of betrayal, loyalty, religion, and duty head-on. I especially admired P.L. Stuart’s focus and emphasis on Othrun’s conflict with religion, and religion being Othrun’s main motivation to push forward, often making me wonder how Othrun will react once the cracks in his faith start showing. A Drowned Kingdom is an epic in the making and I can’t wait to see how the series unfolds.

P.L. Stuart captivates with his writing

P.L. Stuart takes the reader into the mind of Othrun, the Second Prince to the Throne of Atalantyx, where his ethnocentrism and pride is readily apparent. Stuart intricately builds his storyline and character development early in the book. This is apparent when Othrun embarks on a quest with his brother on behalf of their father.

The first third of the book I found to have had a lot of character background and lineage. While it makes the book a slower read during this time, I urge you not to quit reading, as the character development is necessary to take you into the eyes of Othrun and to understand his desires, motivation, and intentions. Stuart's writing style is old-fashioned, and it impressed. I found that I had to look up a lot of words that I have never heard before (bonus if you are reading a digital copy and can easily search the definition or synonym of a word).

On the second-third of the book, the plot development draws you in. This is were Stuart's storytelling excels; with his ability to draw the reader in to feel the struggles and challenges faced by Othrun and his naïve nature, his perspective slowly starting to change, along with his morals and beliefs.

This is the first book I have read since the Game of Thrones series, and I will say that I am impressed by Stuarts writing. There is a lot of foreshadowing - I feel that perspectives will open up and characters will start to embrace change rather than fear it. Religion is used to accomplish this feat, and it largely undertones the storyline in this book. However, it helps remind us that while we are all different, we are all really the same. As I mentioned, it is slow to start off, but quickly gets into the plot mid-way through the book. I am excited to read the second book!