Fantasy · Historical Fiction · Romance (All) · Young Adult

[Audiobook] The King’s Traitor, book 3 in the Kingfountain Series by Jeff Wheeler

After this book I think we’re going to be taking it slower as I’m still not done with the next book, which turns out is book 0.5 instead of 4. And if you guys remember, book 0.5 (aka The Maid’s War) is the book I wanted to read because it had more Ankarette! Also, SPOILERS for the previous books and I hope not too much for this one!

It’s been 7 years since Owen lost the love of his life. 7 years since he closed himself from the feeling of love and hope, and 7 years since he’s had to pretend to be on good terms with the man who caused him this pain. Now at 24, Owen must right the wrongs of the world by being the protector of the new king and toppling Severn off the throne he took by force

OK, so before I start I’m going to talk a bit about the stuff that happened in book 2 that I didn’t mention in the review because I felt it was spoiler content. In the second book, not only does Owen lose Evie to Iago (part of me wonders if he’d kissed her, would she have changed her mind?), he also finds out that the Pretender (Eyric) is indeed the true nephew of Severn. Why hadn’t he revealed himself sooner? For fear that Severn would come after him again to finish the job that he didn’t when he was a child

However, after some undercover work from Owen, Eyric’s identity is confirmed and he is brought to the King. Believing that he’s doing the right thing, Owen presents Eyric as Severn’s nephew only for Eyric to play dumb, claiming that he was just a pretender and the son of a fisherman. This ends up surprising everyone as Owen’s word holds truth, especially for the King

Unfortunately for Eyric, his deception ends up with dire consequences he’d not thought of. Instead of being killed or even let go, Eyric is sentenced to be a prisoner and his bride Kathryn, the new ward of the king. But she isn’t just under the King’s protection because Eyric deceived her. Severn also wants to woe her and he’ll do it even if he needs to brainwash her with his Fountain magic


In this book, we pick up from all of these events and we also get more details with others. For one, at the end of the book, we witness Kathryn giving birth in secret in a Sanctuary, but her child ends up being stillborn. Using the Fountain’s magic, Owen ends up reviving the child and hiding him in the North, with nobody but he and Atayne knowing about the child’s parentage. While Eyric can no longer be crowned rightful king, his son may have the chance to carry that out in the future

We also learn that Owen is still pining over Evie and is devastated over her marriage to Iago and to learn that she is truly happy, having moved on from their teenage love. He’s so heartbroken about it that he even has Atayne make sure to remind him he’s never to fall in love again. I also think it’s this reason here that he finally decides to take the plunge and become the King’s Traitor

Not only had the King separated him from his first love, but Severn was also becoming the monster the people were accusing him of (still trying to seduce Kathryn, imprisoning Eyric, being the cause of certain deaths). Unfortunately for Owen, whether Severn stayed or not, he’d left his mark on Owen. Owen could no longer feel easy in the King’s court, constantly wondering who to trust. He had to watch over his every move towards the King and after a war injury, he found that he was physically similar to Severn as well

There were other things going on in this book, a lot of it focused on the Deadman’s reappearance (ie. the rightful ruler), the end of the world because Severn had “broken the rules to the game” by becoming King when it wasn’t intended, and the repetition of history. The repetition of history was something we started to see in the last book but it’s only here that it’s hammered down on the reader. We’re told tales of the past and how they parallel to the events unfolding now

In terms of characters, we gain new and lose some of the old ones in accordance to a Wizer board. The one that hit me the most was [SPOILERS] losing Atayne. She wasn’t really the main character even in her own novel but she was one of the few people Owen could confide in. She learned she was Fountain Blessed because of him, he treated her like a human instead of a weapon, and she loved him enough to give her life for his. And what I found sad about this is that Owen never returned her feelings because he had the excuse of “Evie broke my heart” to shield him (but then enter Brythonica and he’s all healed now)

I really feel like she deserved a better ending. Not only did she have a complex over being a thief’s daughter, but even as a poisoner she didn’t find joy and Owen, while her friend, would never be more

Which leads me to the character I really disliked: the Duchess of Brythonica, Sinia. We’d heard of her previously when Owen defended her people in the second book. Aside from this, there wasn’t really any mention of her and she never appeared until Owen had to go to her country to start a war. To find that she’s one of the main characters, has been in love with Owen for her whole life, and that she has Zero flaws really puts me off. Especially with how easily Owen accepted her and her affections after brooding for seven years

Overall (and besides Brythonica), I liked this book the most. The Queen’s Poisoner served to introduce us to the world and the King’s court (deception, power plays). The Thief’s Daughter took us out of Ceredigion and into other countries like Atabyrion (as well as introducing Brythonica and Occitania. It started the plot of the pretender and the eventual dethroning of Severn. In the King’s Traitor, we had a culmination of events, as well as some new concepts (like the countries and people being pieces on a Wizer board, which I’m still feeling iffy about. It just feels like it was introduced so late in the series to feel natural)

At this point in the series, I’m not sure where we’re headed. We do get a time skip at the end of the book and we’re told about the fates of certain people (like Severn, Kathryn, Evie, Iago, Sinia) and it just feels like it’s over for this cast. Part of me is glad because I feel I need new mains, but another is slightly skeptical because Drew (Eyric’s and Kathryn’s child) and Genevieve (Evie’s child) are almost replicas of little Owen and Evie, and who wants repetition? I don’t

The next book I should read, according to the Reading Order on the author’s website, is The Maid’s War (book 0.5) instead of the Hollow Crown. I’ll try to get through with it soon since that one takes place in the past, I believe before Owen was even born (or maybe when he was a wee child)

I ended up giving this book a 4/5 and the series a 4/5 so far. It’s a rather slow read for me since I’m so used to sporadic characters and for the most part, Owen has always been cautious and makes sure his plans will work before he acts, but the story itself has been decent and the world interesting. I’m curious as to what will happen in the second half of this series

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