The Kingdom War

Book 1

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
304 Pages
Reviewed on 08/19/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

J.D. Ruffin was born in March 1970 in Nashville, Tennessee. He never really enjoyed reading until a friend loaned him a dog-eared copy of J.R.R. Tolkein’s Fellowship of the Ring. From that day, he was hooked, discovering fantasy authors Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, R.A. Salvatore, Terry Goodkind and many, many others. Not long after, Brad Thor, Vince Flynn and a host of other thriller/suspense writers entered the picture and captured his imagination.

J.D. attended David Lipscomb University, studying speech communications and political science. Becoming an author was never part of the master plan, but…

As a fourteen-year-old nerdy boy, J.D. and his friends would gather around the D&D dice for hours on end, trading reality for fantasy, if only in their minds. In his quest to “stump his friends” with an impossible campaign, he dreamed up a storyline that captured his imagination. Then… well… nothing happened. He grew up and went to work in a completely different world.

Too many years later, that story he dreamed pulled at the corner of his mind, demanding to be heard… to be written.

Hence, an author was born.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Delene Vrey for Readers' Favorite

The Kingdom War by J.D. Ruffin is a fantasy that starts with a prophesy inscribed in a glassy black stone. A loyal servant sworn to her cause will see Irina, the most powerful mage on the continent, return when the time is right. Hidden in the mountains between the Kingdom and Melucia, the Children have waited patiently for the time to come for them to fulfill their destiny. Now, all over the continent, the Gifted are taken and not seen again. In Melucia, the healer Tiana is taken and Lt. Keelin Rae is placed in charge of the investigation. With a team specially picked for the task, they quickly trace the missing healer to the border between Melucia and the Kingdom. Meeting up with Declan, Keelan’s brother and a Ranger, they enter into the mountains following Tiana’s trail. As Keelan and his team sneak over the mountains into the Kingdom, Declan is sent on a secret mission of his own. Meanwhile, in the Kingdom, 16-year-old Crown Princess Jessia runs away with Danym. They run across the Kingdom with both the guard and men in brown chasing them. In the end, Jessia makes a shocking discovery which makes her question the trust she gave without thought. The Kingdom prepares for war, Melucia searches for a healer and the Children prepare to fulfill the prophecy of Irina.

The Kingdom War by J.D. Ruffin is a wonderful read. The characters are real with a sense of humor and an authenticity that makes you feel part of the story. The vivid descriptions of the landscapes and buildings are breathtaking. The plot is straightforward – the all-powerful mage who swears to return and rule over all men - but the way the author reveals the story is so mesmerizing that you are pulled in and almost miss the hidden clues to how the many parts fit together to become whole. The Kingdom War was what I expected from a good fantasy. An exciting adventure fantasy that I could not put down. J.D. Ruffin has the talent to write in such a way that the reader is carried away into the world of the story and becomes invested in the characters. Loved it, read it in one sitting and I'm looking forward to the next chapter in the story of the Kingdom. Real characters, unexpected twists and turns, and strong characters, both male and female, carry the story to its fruition. This is a series to look out for.

Ruffina Oserio

The Kingdom War is the first book in an epic fantasy series by J.D. Ruffin, a gorgeous treat for fans of the genre from a veritable wordsmith and skilled world-builder. Keelan Rea is a Guardsman charged with investigating the kidnapping of the famed healer of the land. With another kidnapping, the trail leads to a dangerous cult that sacrifices the Gifted in their bid to resurrect a magical queen. If they succeed, the peace that has reigned in the land will be utterly destroyed. The Crown Princess Jessia “Jess” Vester is at loggerheads with her mother. She flees from her overbearing and war-mongering mother as well as from an impending betrothal, but her life is in imminent danger from the same horde that has been kidnapping the Gifted. Can Keelan stop the nefarious plot of the cult and can Jess escape being the next sacrificial lamb to resurrect Irina? The fight is for the survival of Melucia.

Melucia is a place of magic, a setting that is well-written. J.D. Ruffin writes characters that are fleshed out and the quest for power becomes a central theme in the story. While I adored Keelan, his ungifted brother, Ranger, is one of the tautly developed characters on a mission that should be reserved for the gifted, and his flawed nature won my sympathy. That the hope of survival for the entire kingdom rests on his mission is genius, and this made me want to see how he would fare in the story. The descriptions are strong and the writing lyrical. From the opening lines where the author describes Irina with her all-seeing, clairvoyant gaze and her beauty, I was pulled in, thanks to the excellent and lyrical prose. I became engrossed and wanted to know if those who worship and work for her, those who sacrificed Bel for her return, would succeed. The Kingdom War has a gripping plot, unforgettable characters, and a conflict that involves an entire kingdom; one of those books with everything readers want in an epic fantasy tale.

Divine Zape

The first in a promising series, The Kingdom War is an epic fantasy tale by J. D. Ruffin. It transports readers to a magical world threatened by a powerful, ancient evil. Men in brown robes are kidnapping the Gifted. When Guardsman Keelan investigates the case, he discovers an underground, semi-religious cult that dates back to the time of the Kingdom War, over a thousand years ago. It was established after Empress Irina died and has persisted ever since. Their plan is to resurrect Irina, and she is awakening. Meanwhile, an ungifted young man takes on a perilous mission to get help for the kingdom. Will he survive the odds? And what about the fate of Crown Princess Jessia Vester, at war with her manipulative and war-loving mother, and who is running away from an arranged marriage with someone she does not love?

The Kingdom War is a suspenseful story with believable and fully drawn characters, a cleverly written plot, and a setting that feels real. The plot is so twisty and ingeniously written that I found myself looking forward to what happens next. Princess “Jess” is one of my most favorite characters. She is like a modern girl growing up within the walls of an ancient tradition; she is free-spirited and intelligent. The drama in the palace is well-written and readers will enjoy the relationships between the different characters and the exciting events. The Kingdom War by J. D. Ruffin is an action-packed, intriguing story, with a powerful conflict developed at the physical and the magical levels. It features excellent prose and characters that will stay with readers. I can’t wait for the second book in the series.