Kingdom of Ruses – Kate Stradling

Kingdom of Ruses – Kate Stradling

Viola Moreland’s life is a well-orchestrated lie. For generations her family has fabricated the existence of the Eternal Prince, a mysterious and powerful protector who watches over the small kingdom of Lenore. This practiced deception cracks, however, when a nameless stranger stumbles across the truth and promptly assumes the Prince’s identity. Unable to produce the genuine figurehead, the Moreland family—and Viola in particular—must cater to the impostor’s whims or risk having the web of carefully constructed ruses crumble to pieces.

Of course, as with any good lie, nothing really is as it seems. Contrary to Viola’s desires, this false Prince with his cryptic agenda may well be the only thing that stands between the true magic of Lenore and certain destruction.

An entertaining, light fantasy romance, with the romance as a strong B plot rather than the main event.

Suffers a little from a common drawback of romance (the male lead is actually arrogant and annoying, which makes it harder to believe that the pragmatic, capable heroine falls for him), and the heroine has to be rescued, but apart from that it holds together well. The fate of the kingdom is at stake, an extraordinarily long con is potentially about to be exposed, and in general a challenging time is had by all. I liked and admired most of the characters (apart from the villains, of course), and the central characters, in particular, ended up having some depth to them.

This book review is by Mike Reeves-McMillan and originally appeared on Goodreads. Mike writes the Gryphon Clerks novels, a series featuring heroic civil servants and engineers doing their best in a difficult world; the Auckland Allies contemporary urban fantasy series, about underpowered magical practitioners stepping up to defend their city when nobody else will; and the Hand of the Trickster sword-and-sorcery series, in which a servant of the trickster god exalts the humble and humbles the exalted. His short stories have appeared in a number of professional and semiprofessional venues, including the Terry Pratchett tribute anthology In Memory.



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