Happy summer y’all!
If you’re like me, you’re getting your summer reading list ready for beach days, lake days, hammock days, park days! There is nothing better than reading a good book in the summer sun.
With that being said, I have been obsessed (OBSESSED!) with the Kingfountain Series by Jeff Wheeler the last few weeks, reading book after book and losing hours of precious sleep in the process. Probably should have saved this series for a long beach weekend but it was too good to stop reading and save for later.
Wheeler is one of the founders of the e-zine Deep Magic and a few chapters of The Poisoner’s Enemy were featured in the last edition I read. It was soo good, I had to find the book immediately. Unknowingly, I read The Poisoner’s Enemy first despite it being the last book Wheeler wrote in the series, however it did make the rest of the series make more sense, particularly since it is intended to be a prequel to the series. Even though Wheeler’s website recommends reading this book last, I recommend reading it first as it sets the stage for understanding the complexities of the main character, Owen Kiskaddon.
The entire series is incredibly compelling and moves quickly with strong under tones from the legends of King Arthur and Joan of Arc, as well as inspiration from the War of the Roses. Wheeler does a fantastic job tackling the issues of faith, religion, tradition and duty, with “The Fountain” playing a major role in each character’s moral and emotional development.
World building isn’t Wheeler’s strong suit. Majestic waterfalls aside, I had a hard time envisioning the countries and locations of the Kingfountain series. His character development, on the other hand, is absolutely fantastic. It was nearly impossible to not fall in love with Ankarette, Owen, The Maid, Captain Staeli and Trynne. The “villains” are as equally well developed as the heroes. Severn, for example, is a tyrant you’d ful expect to hate, except Wheeler expertly fleshes him out to be a man with weaknesses and ambitions, decisions and regret, longing and loneliness that allow the reader to sympathize with Severn and understand Owen’s loyalty to a very complicated man.
Like The Mists of Avalon, The Kingfountain Series features women in a strong primary role with many of the female characters taking the lead for several of the books. Unlike The Hunger Games where Katniss’ femininity was essentially nonexistent or The Outlander Series, where Claire’s femininity was a major hinderance, the women in The Kingfountain series are as strong, capable, and independent as they are loving, gentle and vulnerable.
Overall, The Kingfountain Series ranks as one of my top series favorites and I’d highly recommend for summer reading. The story is fantastic, the character development is amazing, and the subtle threads of familiarity that weave the reader in with the Arthurian legends, Joan of Arc and British history were very well done.
Until next time, happy reading!