** I received an ARC for an honest review **
Kai-Enna is the Witch King, though he hasn’t always been, and he hasn’t even always been Kai-Enna!
After being murdered, his consciousness dormant and unaware of the passing of time while confined in an elaborate water trap, Kai wakes to find a lesser mage attempting to harness Kai’s magic to his own advantage. That was never going to go well.
But why was Kai imprisoned in the first place? What has changed in the world since his assassination? And why does the Rising World Coalition appear to be growing in influence?
Kai will need to pull his allies close and draw on all his pain magic if he is to answer even the least of these questions.
He’s not going to like the answers.
I recently read the dark fantasy Witch King by US author Martha Wells.
The protagonist Kai, a demon prince of the Fourth House called the Witch King who uses his touch to drain the life of his victims to fuel his own magic and life force wakes in a disembodied state to find he has been assassinated. Sacrifices are dragged into his tomb and in this disembodied state, Kai takes possession of a recently deceased sacrifice, drains the life of his captors but spares the life of Sanja, a girl prisoner who’d been taken to his tomb along with the dead. Now back in a body, Kai must find and rescue his companion the witch Ziede from a similar imprisonment. Once Ziede is rescued, the two rely on Sanja to explain the world they have woken into and begin their quest to find and rescue Ziede’s lover Tahren who is separated from them both and unreachable by magic.
The events put in motion by Kai’s search for answers and the quest to rescue Tahren in this newly flooded world, begins a chain of events that uncover lies and deceptions, false friendships and true ones.
Witch King was at its core a dark fantasy but Wells has created genuine characters with dark humour and wit woven throughout. In part a dystopian tale with a water-drowned fantasy world, Wells crafted a unique and plot of deception, friendship, love and loss which added the necessary links to humanity in those who survived the ending of their world – albeit a demon who drains life to survive and swaps bodies, a witch bent on revenge and finding her lover and a mortal child saved from the darkness of the Rising World Coalition and Blessed Hierarchs with their expositors and necromancy magic. In this new world, Wells draws on the darkness and deception that surround the Rising World Coalition where truth and lies can be hard to distinguish. Wells has created a masterfully written story with genuine characters and unique world-building.
A wonderful read for fans of dark fantasy with humour, witchcraft, necromancy and fantastic world-building for a water-drowned dystopian unique fantasy world. Highly recommended!
** This is my personal opinion and does not reflect any judging decisions **