The River Kings' Road (Ithelas Series #1)

The River Kings' Road (Ithelas Series #1)

by Liane Merciel
4.2 19

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The River Kings' Road (Ithelas Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
HydraKing More than 1 year ago
Well written book, with an enriched world and realistic characters. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure why one reviewer thought this book was written for very young audiences.  It's very much written for adults, and I found it to be quite enjoyable.  I'm looking forward to the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story is good but there are many typos and the story seems written for a very young audience. The write up I read made it sound geared towards adults. I enjoyed it, but think it was more suited to my 10 year old.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
STORE NOOKUSER More than 1 year ago
The author knows how to put an elegant touch through her descriptive talents. Good characters and enjoyable storyline
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was written very well. It's the first in a series and does a good job setting up the story. It also doesn't leave you hanging completely at the end of the book like some. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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sandiek More than 1 year ago
The River King's Road is Liane Merciel's debut novel, and it is a welcome addition to the fantasy world. He has created a world that quickly draws the reader in and takes over their life. For generations, two lands, separated by a river, have been at war. The soldiers of Oakharn and Langmyr periodically have crossed the river and performed atrocities, the hate between the countries their only fuel. Now the stakes have been raised. The heir of Oakharn and his entire family and the entire village where he was staying have been destroyed. Bloodmist has been used to decimate the entire village, and that means a Thorn and her magic are involved. One soldier and one village woman escape. The knight, Brys Tarnell, had declined to go to the chapel with the rest. The girl, Odosse, was in the forest with her toddler. Brys and Odosse discover the king's son with his nursemaid, who dies while they watch. They are left to try to save the heir's life and to get him back to his land. Along the way they encounter more of the evil of the Thorn and her traveling companions. She has the ability to reanimate men and animals to serve her pleasure, and few can survive an encounter with her. Two that attempt to put an end to her are wandering SunBlessed knights. Kelland is a Blessed, and can cure those who need it, but is also a warrior. His companion is Bitharn, a female archer. They prepare for battle against the Thorn and her magic that can doom an entire land. This is a fascinating start to a new epic fantasy. The characters are well fleshed out, and each is an intriguing mixture of good and evil, not cardboard figures with only one trait. Readers who close the book will be filled with anticipation for the next volume in the story. This book is recommended for fantasy readers and will not disappoint.
TAGFL More than 1 year ago
The River Kings' Road was a good quick read which primarily follows parallel stories of three groups, whose paths seemed destined to cross. The problem was the paths that needed to cross in order to get a focal point to the story never came about. I think this took something away from the story, thus I'm only giving it 4 stars right now.
Jvstin More than 1 year ago
An impious mercenary witnesses, and avoids an attack in a bordertown between two fractious medieval fantasy kingdoms, Langmyr, the site of the attack, and their implacable enemy, Oakharn. Also surviving the attack are a young woman, and the heir to the Oakharn lord killed in the massacre. This sets the stage for a complex web of alliances, struggles and strivings, as forces not only on both sides move to investigate and take advantage of the attack, but powers from beyond Oakharn and Langmyr as well. Godtouched champions of good and light maneuver against each other, and those caught in the middle simply try to survive, and wait to see if this massacre will lead to yet another conflict on already blood-soaked ground. Such is the fodder for River Kings' Road, a fantasy novel debut by Liane Merciel. The broad lines of the world and conflict she creates is nothing new for experienced fantasy readers. Medieval fantasy, magic based on devotion to one of a pantheon of deities, the basic trappings of a typical fantasy world. Digging a little deeper, the novel features a variety of multidimensional characters on a decidedly complex chessboard of groups seeking to quell or enflame, the fires of war and conflict between the two kingdoms. Merciel does a good job at the shades of gray between the the two characters who really are black and white. She also has clearly read and grokked the Anderson essay "On Thud and Blunder". She gets underpinnings right that many authors completely and utterly forget. Horses in her universe, for example, are *not* treated as motorcycles. The medieval feel of the world is pervasive and palpable. Faith has a role in this world that feels authentic and nuanced rather than "Crystal Dragon Jesus" . My only major complaint is that it is not extremely original. I've read much fantasy like this before, of varying qualities, degrees and shadings. Its familiar territory. Kingdoms with ambitious vassals, sorceresses, paladins, and so forth. Oh, and the novel really could have used a map and a glossary or concordance. While these two features in a fantasy novel are practically cliche by this point, when you have a novel geography and world, it is often useful for really getting a handle on who is where, where they are going, and how people are related to each other. It's a decent debut, even if not groundshattering. Merciel has ideas here that I would like to have explored further, and I hope her novel does well enough that readers such as myself will have the opportunity to discover them.
gl More than 1 year ago
Liane Merciel's The River Kings' Road takes us to a kingdom similar to Medieval Europe in social structure, technological and economic development. The neighboring kingdoms of Oakharn and Langmyr have a longstanding history of enmity and war. When the story opens, the fragile peace between Oakharn and Langmyr is broken with the maasacre of a village and the assasination of an Oakharne lord and his family. By a stroke of luck, one mercenary that serves the dead lord survives. This mercenary, Brys Tarnell, notices a unique pattern in the attack and identifies the presence of unusual "bloodmagic". Brys stumbles across his lord's heir and undertakes to protect the child. Brys' aversion to black magic and his loyalty to his lord lead him down a dangerous path. Brys faces unbelievable odds and comes to rely upon the generous help of the peasant woman, Odosse, who cares for the orphaned babe along with her son. Brys and Odosse are unlikely heroes, but their courage and integrity throughout the struggle is worthy of the noblest heroes. The River Kings' Road is an engaging fantasy adventure full of twists and turns, tests of loyalty and courage. ISBN-10: 1439159114 - Hardcover Publisher: Pocket (March 9, 2010), 400 pages. Review copy provided by the publisher.
bridget3420 More than 1 year ago
Battles have been fought between Oakharn and Langmyr from the start of time. When a truce is called for, Sir Galefried of Bull's March in Oakharn takes his wife and child to a town called Willowfield in the name of friendship. What his family couldn't have known was that this was their last day of life. The baby survives which enrages the evil Luferic who wants the child dead. Now! Luferic's brother is determined to return the baby to safety before it's too late. Loved it! I've always been a fan of fantasy fiction and I give this book two thumbs up for plot, characters and suspense.
SeeMichelleRead More than 1 year ago
For generations the provinces of Oakharn and Langmyr have been at war. Separated by the river and years of death and mistrust, a tenuous peace has finally been established between the two regions - but all that changes when a small Oakharn town, Willowfield, and its inhabitants are decimated during the visit from a feudal lord, Sir Galefrid of Langmyr, visiting on a mission of peace. Only a knight in service to Sir Galefrid, Brys Tarnell, and Galefrid's infant son, and heir, Winston survive the tragedy of Willowfield. Understanding the need to take the baby to safety, Brys convinces a young, unmarried mother named Odosse to care for the baby on their perilous journey. But there are many who would see the child and its protectors dead - men who would go so far as to engage the help of the Thorns, a group of sadistic and foreign sorcerers more deadly than entire armies. Those familiar with the epic fantasy genre will immediately fall into step with Liane Merciel's solid worldbuilding. All the time-honored types are present: the inns, mercenaries, archery contests, evil mages, knights, ladies and bandits aplenty. What sets it apart however is how this common backdrop is sprinkled throughout with a most impressive collection of decidedly human characters. Oh, don't mistake me: the bad guys are really quite nasty and there are a few truly 'good' guys, but even those characters are not sickeningly so. But what I found most interesting is what I like to call her 'gray' characters': men like Brys Tarnell, a moral-less sellsword by all accounts who again and again shows courage and cunning beyond an ordinary knighthood with a past full of intriguing secrets. And then there's the man who would be king, Leferic, Sir Galefrid's younger, bookish brother: upon first glance he is truly despicable but with closer inspection, you find his motives to be pure even if his methods questionable. And that's just scratching the surface: there are religious knights who cling desperately to their vows even when faced with heart-breaking challenges and simple townsfolk who fairly come to life in their variances. There was much to enjoy about The River Kings' Road - even if it was paced rather slowly, I understand the need for adequate plot development in something this large scale and I will eagerly anticipate Merciel's next novel of Ithelas. I'm all for reminding myself why I started reading fantasy books in the first place.
WendyAK More than 1 year ago
THE RIVER KINGS' ROAD by Llane Merciel is a fantasy/suspense set in Medieval times of 1217. It is well written. It has a battle of treachery and magic. It has intrigue, bitterness between kingdoms, divided loyalties, magic, a battle between good and evil.The main characters are strong and enduring. The secondary characters carry the story along. I would liked to have gotten some sense of what happened to "The Black Knight". Was he actually taken by the evil witch and will he survive or turn evil himself. Maybe in another book. If you enjoy fantasy, witches, knights, and good vs evil you will enjoy this one. 4. Review is posted at
twinsbur More than 1 year ago
This is a great epic novel full of magic and chivalry. There is a war between Oakharn and Langmyr, and many have died doing battle. Sir Galefrid of Bull's March in Oakharn travel to the town of Willowfield in Langmyr with his wife and his son. They attend church and were attacked. The only survivor of the family was the infant son Wistan. The local people are attacked and the Mercenary Knight Brys Tarnell agrees to take care of the infant. Wistan is the brother to Lefric who wants to rule the kingdom. Leferic finds out that the infant is alive and hires a cruel, evil witch who has no feelings for mankind to kill the infant. She spreads evil throughout the land and is able to kill people instantly with the bloodmist. Brys enlists the help of a young woman Ododsse to take care of the infant. She has a child of her own, and she gets attached to Wistan. The child was injured in the massacre and she fears for his life. The evil witch has another agenda to take care of. She finds out that the Knight Sir Kelland who is a Knight of the Sun and his faithful companion Bitharn are in the area. He has always been an enemy to her and she wants to get rid of him. Does the child and Kelland live? Does the war end? I guess you will have to read the book to find out. The book is a fantastic medieval adventure. I was rooting for the infant throughout the whole story. The characters were believable and the transitions between scenes were smooth. There were a lot of characters introduced in the book, and I was able feel their emotions. There was magic, conflict, jealousy and love throughout the whole story. I cannot wait to read the sequel Heaven's Needle. I was given a free copy for my honest review and I was not compensated in anyway for my review.
Trebble More than 1 year ago
This book really sounded promising. Magic, adventure, and a mystery to be solved. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy this book as I thought I would. The author jumps from several points of view. This might have been fine if you knew the characters and the places well. Unfortunately, this served to draw me out of the story until I could place who what and where. I think if she followed two major players in this book, it would have flowed much better. My submissions for this would be Odosse, the peasant woman and Sir Kelland, the burnt knight of the major religion in the area. Those two (and the characters that surround them) were the most interesting and I would have liked to known more about their adventures. Kelland and his companion Bitharn were extremely interesting but although they played a central role in this story they were hardly seen. This was very disappointing. I think if the author rewrote this book with those characters as the focal point, I'd quickly snatch up this book to see what happened.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Once Oakharn and Langmyr were provinces of the same empire, but when the empire collapsed, both became kingdoms on opposite sides of the Seivern River. War has been a constant between the two countries with many dying on both sides. Sir Galefrid of Bull's March in Oakharn travels with his wife and infant son to Willowfield in Langmyr hoping to broker a peace. While they attend church, they and the locals are attacked; the only survivors of the atrocity are the infant Winston, son of Galefrid and brother to Leferic. The mercenary knight Brys Tarnell takes care of Winston until he can get him to safety. The massacre is just the beginning as a red mist appears in the village killing everyone. Brys knows it is a Thorn's doing. A Thorn is a maimed witch, acruel sadistic killer; void of human feelings. What he is ignorant of is that Galefred's acrimonious brother Leferic, coveting power, made a deal with evil. Leferic is now the lord, but learns Winston lives; he makes another deal with the devil to eliminate the heir. Brys and peasant woman Odosse seek a safe place for the baby as Leferic's hired Thorn gives chase. Every step is dangerous as Leferic needs Winston dead. This is a delightful epic fantasy that will remind readers of the movie Willow in a Terry Brooks' early Shannon saga. The good guys and gals are likable and admirable as they sacrifice their safety to keep the infant safe. A key element is that the audience will understand Leferic whose sibling rivalry and jealousy has turned him into a sociopath with ambition and willingness to cut any Faustian deal to achieve his goal of power. Although more infant issues would have been a terrific addition, fans will root for the mercenary, the peasant and the baby as they try to stay alive. Harriet Klausner