The True Believer: The Kinmark Saga Book III
I’ve had the honor of following The Last Kinmark Saga since Book I. I’ve enjoyed the first two books so I was definitely looking forward to this book when Brannan presented it to me. I must say, it was a wonderful installment to the saga.
There’s a lot of drama in this book and other characters besides the two brothers that we love so much. But much of The Kinmark Saga remains the same. We have good old fashioned battles, betrayal, and plenty of twists and turns. If you’ve been following the series, then you won’t be disappointed with Book III because it sticks so closely to the that gritty ‘kingdom’ style that Brannan has mastered.
I bring up the ‘kingdom’ style because I’m a pretty big fan of fantasy but a lot of fantasy authors are actually medieval authors with a twist of magic or supernatural. That’s perfectly fine but I have to be honest, I’m not too fond of that but The Last Kinmark Saga is a pretty decent exception.
One of the things I liked most about this book in particular was the message at the core. The True Believer was all about principles. What will Ahkdo and Kiv choose? Will their circumstances play a part in their decisions? Will they hold true to their foundation? A lot of philosophy went into this book and I really appreciated the underlying messages between the lines. I suspected there would be a bit more emotion applied to this just from reading the title. The True Believer is a book about tests and limits. It demands that readers place themselves in the shoes of the characters and dare to say you would make a different decision from them. As a Believer I often wonder what I’m willing to put up with as I stand for my beliefs and principles but it was interesting to actually watch these fictional characters go through their struggles and see if they found their way down the right path in the end. I’m not saying this was a book all about Jesus but with a name like The True Believer I think I’m justified in making a comparison.
Religion, philosophy, and morals aside, Book III holds up against its two predecessors in terms of world building and characterization. The opening of the book was definitely my favorite part, I felt like it picked up where Book II left off. Some authors may not be willing to take the chance of beginning a book in the middle of a conversation between two characters but I found it enjoyable and it made the characters seem more ‘alive’. Other than great detail, I think Brannan’s writing in this particular book was strongest in terms of the characters. Their thoughts and emotions were conveyed really well and each person remained in character, from the ones who stuck around from Book I to the side characters we met in passing.
I also have to compliment Brannan’s organization. In a book about war between families and kingdoms, it would be easy for anyone to get confused but I followed each event, twist and turn without a problem. The dialogue was well written and helped explain a lot of the plot while character inner-thoughts helped carry the story from page to page—paired with detailed writing of course. I think Brannan did a great job in this book and I would highly recommend it to readers of all ages and interests. If you like adventure, fantasy, and a book with strong character bonds then this is definitely something you will find great enjoyment.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*