Spirit of the King

Spirit of the King Trilogy: Book 1

Fiction - Fantasy - General
180 Pages
Reviewed on 12/13/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Spirit of the King is a work of fiction in the fantasy genre and it forms the first book in the Spirit of the King Trilogy penned by author Amy Hay. The book follows a spiritual vessel named Aria as she journeys through her world, forced to be a walking battleground between two powerful spiritual entities, each of which wishes to form a covenant with her. With promises of power in exchange for a pact of loyalty, the two tempt Aria by offering a portion of their own power. The small sample awakens a deep desire within Aria to wield extreme power, but as her journey through the world encourages her to reflect on herself, she begins to wonder who she could be without them.

Author Amy Hay has crafted a high-quality short novel with tons of power, and one which sets up the future series beautifully. In the first instance, the conceptual set-up of this work is spectacular, delivering a metaphysical and psychological narrative that puts the darkest temptations inside the protagonist’s own head. With this explosive potential for right and wrong, good versus evil, the duality placed the whole plot on a knife-edge and made it intriguing and unpredictable to see which way Aria would turn at any given moment. Overall, I would highly recommend Spirit of the King for fantasy fans seeking a new series to start which is packed with atmosphere, intrigue, and incredible worldbuilding from cover to cover. A real masterpiece of character-led and conceptual storytelling.

Risah Salazar

Keriggor, leader of Morynth, imprisons people by taking control of their spirit. He destroys villages with the help of his Shadowers and his agents, to conquer as many people as possible and then creep through their memories. When Keriggor meets Aria, he wants her right away to be his right hand, for the sole reason that she does not cower in his presence, unlike the others. With nowhere else to run and no one else to turn to, Aria lets Keriggor teach her his ways and waits for the day when he deems her worthy of being his second-in-command.

Amy Hay’s Spirit of the King is the first medieval fantasy adventure in her King trilogy. Symbolism pertains to good and evil, free will and spiritual slavery, being brave on your own, and staying comfortable with the familiar reminder of biblical stories. On the outside, it is textbook good versus evil, but going through the whole adventure with Aria and seeing how the two entities hold her free will in high regard makes everything more interesting. Hay is consistent with her vibrant imagery and evocativeness. It is unconventional to have the climax toward the end, with the resolution following right after, but it works for this book as it brings back the nerve-racking atmosphere.

Spirit of the King is a short but careful and complex story. It unfolds, not right away, but as the pages turn, it leaves no questions unanswered. The overall tone is heavy, but there are humorous moments when necessary. The slow-burn romance is also a good break from all the action. The overarching feminism is obvious but it does not stop with the protagonist being a stubborn girl. The other not-so-obvious example lies with the King and how he presents himself. It’s commendable that he does not feel the need to prove himself despite his title. Aria, Keriggor, and the King have a deep background. Amy Hay’s tale redefines kings, slavery, and power. This book shows that there are not only two sides to everything -- the third one is the self. Before choosing between good and evil, it’s best to know the heart first.

Kayla Cook

Amy Hay’s Spirit of the King is a story of self-discovery and spiritual awakening. In a world where humans form covenants with spiritual entities for protection and power, the two most powerful of these entities, Keriggor and Eli, vie for the allegiance of Aria, a gifted eighteen-year-old with a mysterious destiny. Raised from childhood by Keriggor, Aria is brought up to be his ultimate weapon in an ongoing war for the souls of mankind. However, Eli will stop at nothing to sway Aria toward his own cause, though the motives for his interest in her are less clear. Both spirits offer her a taste of their power in the hopes of winning her over. As she struggles to decide which of the spirits she should trust, the fate of the world and the safety of her own spirit hang in the balance.

With an engaging plot driven by a spiritually empowering message, Spirit of the King by Amy Hay was a short but impressive read that held my attention until the end. Amy Hay’s depiction of the complex father-daughter dynamic between the spiritual entities and Aria was at once intriguing and heart-wrenching. I adored the rich descriptions laced throughout the work, which were just long enough to provide a clear picture for me to envision but not so long that they distracted me from the events taking place. The pacing was superb with an excellent balance of world-building and action. Reading Spirit of the King by Amy Hay was an amazing experience that I didn’t want to end, and I can’t recommend this powerful work of fantasy enough!

Rylanne Burdette

Aria grew up under the wing of Keriggor, an evil spiritual being who trains her in his ways and has big plans for her and their future together, fighting against the light and Eli, the King. She escapes his hold on her and finds herself in a new alliance with the King and the people of Corinnia. Although Aria still struggles with her allegiances and finding out what she truly wants, they set out to defeat Keriggor and his Shadowers, who have been responsible for destroying cities and tearing families apart. Spirit of the King by Amy Hay is a fascinating, quick read that is sure to keep fantasy readers captivated.

Spirit of the King was a phenomenal fantasy story! Although fantasy is not usually a genre I tend to pick up, I loved the combination and the battle between light and dark as portrayed through the characters of the King and Keriggor. Aria was a tough protagonist who stayed strong despite all of the challenges she has had to overcome in her short life, and I enjoyed reading from her perspective. I would consider this to be more of a novella than a novel, and novellas don’t always resonate with me just because they are so short. However, this story was very well done, with elegant writing and an intriguing plot. I was impressed with this story and cannot wait to see what Amy Hay writes next! I would recommend this book to all fantasy lovers who are looking for a fast but enjoyable read.

Alyssa Elmore

A young woman must choose between Dark and Light in the thrilling young adult fantasy novel, Spirit of the King (Spirit of the King Trilogy: Book 1) by Amy Hay. When eighteen-year-old Aria suddenly finds herself in the middle of a battle between Good and Evil, she is faced with the difficult task of choosing sides. Having been kidnapped as a little girl, Aria is accustomed to the darkness that is her master, Kerrigor. For the last thirteen years, she has been carefully trained to take up her master Kerrigor's mission to eradicate the light of Eli, The King of The All High Places in the Spiritual Realm. On the day of her initiation, a disastrous mistake causes Aria to run for her life. Suddenly free from her covenant with Kerrigor, she no longer bears his dark seal. Confused and feeling abandoned, Aria is not left alone for long; Eli reveals himself as a spirit in physical form to her and offers her solace and warmth. With Eli's tender love and support, Aria can survive the cold winter months on her own. Traveling with her new companion, she slowly learns to trust Eli. When a group of Rangers captures her, she finds herself missing Eli's protective presence. Without a spiritual seal of protection, Aria discovers that she is an easy target. She must make a choice; remain loyal to Kerrigor or enter into a covenant with Eli and gain his spiritual protection from her former master and his dark influences? Can she ever truly be free from Kerrigor and her past?

Spirit of the King by Amy Hay is a Christian young adult fantasy novel highlighting the battle of light and darkness that resides within each of us. With colorfully rich settings, engaging characters, and a solid plot, the story moves along at a brisk pace. The characters are easily relatable, even Aria, who at times suffers from dissociative issues from being abducted at a young age with the sole purpose of being groomed for Kerrigor's agenda. While the plotline was interesting, I most liked the thrilling fight scenes. The military aspects were beautifully crafted, and I enjoyed the give-and-take between the Rangers and Guards. The diversity of the cast added another fascinating aspect, enhancing the story further. The story was captivating. I recommend this novel to young adults that enjoy clean adventures, wholesome family life, and stories with a hint of romance.