King of Realms

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
246 Pages
Reviewed on 12/18/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Tracy Traynor for Readers' Favorite

King of Realms by Britt Asher is a magical fantasy adventure for kids aged 10-14 and is book 1 of 5. Although a magical beast stole a precious item, Varric is caught trying to steal it and he is dragged before the throne. He is sentenced to death by the King of Iloria. Luckily, one of the king’s guards steps forward and suggests an alternative. The king agrees and gives Varric two weeks to return with the stolen relic. An unlikely trio sets off to recover the magical relic. Varric is a Transporter, Princess Setia is a Shifter, and a big guy called Argo (a fantastic character) is not only a tournament champion but a Bonder who can summon powerful beasts to aid him. These three must visit magical places and take on all manner of mystical beasts in this fast-paced, exciting read.

I loved the light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek repartee between the characters, especially Varric’s comments, which are normally muttered for his ears only. King of Realms by Britt Asher is a compulsive page-turner that I couldn’t put down. I think this is pitch-perfect for children’s coming-of-age books. I found it to be a truly unique and original story with amazing world-building and very memorable characters. It is rare to find a fantasy book that has both fantastic world-building and characters that you love, but this book has both. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading the next one. A great book for young and old alike!

Nino Lobiladze

Although he is just twelve years old, Varric has the magical powers of an Interloper and can teleport between the realms. He uses this ability to try to steal the relic of Iloria. The boy hopes that the magical artifact will help restore his mom's declining health. But a beast resembling a big bug had already stolen the relic, leaving Varric in the hands of Iloria's royal guards. The king of Iloria ordered Varric to find the relic in two weeks, otherwise, he would activate the explosive bracelet on Varric's wrist. Princess Setia and the fearless Argo from the realm of Yerevir will accompany Varric on his quest. They will face many dangers, meet incredible creatures, and make stunning discoveries on their journey to magical places. King of Realms by Britt Asher, the first book in a series, is a delightful read for children from ten years up and adult fans of fantasy and adventure.

King of Realms will impress those who prefer classic fantasy novels. At the same time, this wonderful book will not disappoint readers looking for a new, exciting approach to the genre. Britt Asher starts King of Realms with a very intense scene and continues in the same manner until the unpredictable ending. King of Realms is a coming-of-age and character-driven story. Varric, Setia, and Argo are very interesting and profound characters. Argo is the only adult on their team. He is kind and strong, yet there is an air of mystery around him. The author adds a touch of humor to the appealing writing style. King of Realms emphasizes the significance of honesty, duty, responsibility, and acceptance of those who differ from us. The book has strong visual elements, thanks to the imaginative prose. I liked the touching twist in the plot. I cannot wait to read the next book in this fascinating series.

Luwi Nyakansaila

King of Realms by Britt Asher is a fantasy novel that follows the story of Varric, a twelve-year-old boy with teleportation abilities. Varric attempts to steal the magic relic of Iloria to help his sick mother, but a beast attacks him and steals it before he can get to it. As a result, Varric is apprehended for trying to steal the relic and is dragged before the king of Iloria, who gives him the choice between death and retrieving the relic. Varric chooses to search the realms for the relic, and he is accompanied by the king's daughter, Setia, a Shifter, and Argo, a Bonder who can summon beasts to fight for him. The trio sets out on a journey into the realms, learning to rely on each other and discovering secrets about the relic. They realize that it could bring an end to the realms if it falls into the wrong hands. The race against time begins to recover the relic and save the realms.

King of Realms is a fast-paced story that effortlessly blends fantasy and science fiction. It takes readers on a thrilling adventure and introduces them to intriguing characters. As the first installment in the King of Realms series, Britt Asher does an excellent job of laying the groundwork for future stories. Her use of a conversational tone and chapters ending on a suspenseful note make the book engaging and enjoyable. I liked the development of Varric, Setia, and Argo's friendship because it was natural and heartwarming. The suspicious characters intrigued me. Both the heroes and villains had secrets and motives that were questionable. I loved this because it kept me on the edge of my seat, constantly anticipating what would happen next. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and cannot wait for more in this series. I highly recommend King of Realms to anyone who loves intriguing adventures.

Doreen Chombu

The Kingdom of Iloria is holding a competition where someone can win the chance to use a magical relic that allows them to see whatever they desire. During the commotion, a twelve-year-old Interloper named Varric, who possesses teleportation abilities, attempts to steal the relic to help his sick mother. Unfortunately, he is beaten to it by a beast that takes the relic first. Varric is caught by the king's guards and tasked to retrieve the relic from the beast within two weeks. Setia, the king's daughter, and Argo, one of the competitors, who desperately wants to use the relic, join Varric on his quest. Together, they travel through different realms, both high and low, in search of the relic, all while learning about each other's strengths and the hidden powers of the relic. To join Varric, Setia, and Argo on their adventure through the realms, get a copy of King of Realms by Britt Asher.

I had so much fun reading King of Realms because the story was so intriguing, and it flowed smoothly. I could not put the book down because I did not want to miss anything. Each character had complex emotions that humanized them and made them relatable. Varric is just a kid who wants to protect his family, Setia wishes to make her father proud, and Argo wants to reunite with his family. All their stories are emotional, and readers will find something that resonates with them in each character. I loved Britt Asher’s detailed descriptions of the realms and the magical creatures because she brought them all to life with her words. There are still so many questions that need to be answered. Varric’s journey is not over, and I cannot wait to read the next book in this series to learn what happens next. Overall, this is great work.

Bruce Arrington

King of Realms by Britt Asher is a middle-grade sci/fi story about Varric, a teleporter who is more or less an outcast in his country. He is on a quest to steal an essential item because he thinks it will help save his mother's life. Or at least that’s what he’s been told by someone he trusts. But of course, things go sideways, and after being jailed, he is sent to retrieve the item from the real thief within two weeks otherwise, he won’t live much beyond the ripe old age of 12. He is accompanied by a princess and a strange man who has unreal powers at his disposal. They set off to figure out the mystery: what or who is this creature who stole the relic, and how are they going to get it back?

King of Realms by Britt Asher involves portals to other realms and Varric’s ability to teleport, which adds to his inherent value. But as the story progresses we realize the value of the relic, and how it will soon shape the destiny of humankind. This story is fun, fast-paced, and endearing. Learning more about Varric’s background and why he hoards food helps the reader appreciate the dismal life he has led to date, though it doesn’t go into unnecessary detail. I found the book a clean read and the violence is moderate and not graphic. This is book one of five in the series, so if you have a middle-schooler who enjoys a fantasy series read, I recommend checking out this book.