Kirsten Reviews: The Falcone Throne by Karen Miller
The Falcon Throne by Karen Miller
The Tarnished Crown Quintet #1
In the distant past, the Kingdom of Harcia was torn apart by royal brothers who could not accept a lesser inheritance. Now, the consequences of their actions are coming to light.
Balfre, son of Aimery, Duke of Harcia, is his father's heir. But he has dreams of a crown, not a coronet. He dreams himself the king of a Harcia re-united, but his brother Grefin, their father's favorite, stands in his way.
Harald, debauched Duke of neighboring Clemen, is feared and despised by his nobles. He thinks he can trust his bastard-born cousin Ederic ... but Ederic fears for the duchy and will do what he must to save it.
And caught between dangers is Harald's infant son, Liam. Stolen by his nurse, vanished into the lawless Marches, he is the spark that will grow to set the world on fire.
The Falcon Throne by Karen Miller begins a new series by the author, and this first installment in the Tarnished Crown Quintet, so there is quite a lot of setup to get through in terms of characterization and worldbuilding. The premise is that a kingdom is being torn apart by a conflict between two duchies, those of Clemen and Harcia. This is due to a rift caused by some long-ago dispute between royal brothers. War is looming large yet again, and the common people are caught in the middle of this power struggle.
Duke Harald, ruler of Clemen is disliked and feared by both the citizens and his nobles. It follows that there would eventually be a rebellion, and it is led by his cousin Ederic, born a bastard, and with the support of Humbert, the foster lord of Ederic. This rebellion ends Harald’s rule, and in the fighting, his infant son and heir, Liam is thought to have been killed, but in fact his nursemaid was able to steal him away and intends on raising the boy with the intention of returning him to his throne when he is older.
In Harcia, the two sons of Duke Aimery are the stereotypically hotheaded heuir, Balfre and the younger, calmer Grefin. The heir has some grandiose dreams of ruling the entire kingdom, which would involve conquest and bloodshed, while his father is aware that having such a person become king is a supremely bad idea. Unfortunately Balfre doesn’t intend on anyone thwarting his plans, not even own family.
The story certainly has the epic scale necessary for dealing with such scheming, fighting, and family drama, but although it has a lot of material, it doesn’t seem to do anything new with it. These are concepts that have been explored countless other times, and most notably, will be familiar to anyone who watches Game of Thrones and enjoys families who are trying to conquer kingdoms and stab one another in the back at the same time. Even so, the characters don’t really stand out from others in this genre of book, and while there is a lot going on, at times it feels like the story has to pause to overload readers with information, and the result is a decent story that needs a bit of breathing room.