I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
Three individuals not known to one another seamlessly work their own goals to better the kingdom that has become corrupted and cruel in the century since their King’s murder in author Ryan Schuette’s “A Seat for the Rabble”, the first book in A King Without a Crown series.
Centuries ago, the peasants of Loran killed their king. The more powerful classes-lords, priests, and merchants-exacted revenge by stripping the lowborn of their seats in the Worthy Assembly, where subjects make laws with the crown. Consumed by unchecked greed and corruption, Loran now teeters on a knife’s edge . . . and there is no end to the terror and injustice visited on Commoners.
As the priestking’s loyalists ruthlessly seize peasant children and plot their coup, Jason Warchild sees a war coming-a war he means to prevent. Aided by his cunning sister and traitor uncle, the bastard prince enters a deadly tournament to claim his crown, unite the land against his family’s enemies-and return peasants to power for the first time in hundreds of years.
Amid tournament politics and threats of violent revolution, two children embark on quests that will shake the kingdom to its core. One, a boy hostage, accompanies a sorcerer to confront an ancient evil sowing the seeds of strife. The other, a peasant girl, stakes her soul on a gambit to raise her father from the dead.
Lord, knight, hostage, peasant: the fires will engulf them all in the fight for a voice in their own rule.
While so many fans of the genre love to get lost in the magic and otherworldly qualities that make the fantasy genre so profound, one thing that both fantasy and sci-fi have a knack for is touching upon today’s political climate. In our own world, the division between political parties and social interactions is at an all-time high, and the author was able to touch upon this greatly. The exploration of class systems, as well as the underlying tension and heart-pounding drama that the story brings forth, made this a remarkable story.
The heart of this novel came in the character development and world-building that the narrative took on. The characters were so well developed, and despite their various backgrounds and different walks of life, they were grounded enough to make the fantasy elements pop more on the page. The fantasy world from which these characters come, including a world of wizards, knights, and politicians, and the grueling world of the arena that a lot of this story takes part in, allowed the mysterious and deep-seated nature of the hands at work in the shadows to reflect the politics of our own world beautifully while still honoring the rich fantasy dynamics at work.
Captivating, engaging, and thought-provoking, author Ryan Schuette’s “A Seat for the Rabble” is a must-read novel and a great entry in the new “A King Without a Crown” fantasy series. The twists and turns that the narrative takes on, and the shocking developments that bring this story to a close will have fans eager for the sequel to this incredible first book. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!
About the Author
Ryan Schuette is the author of A Seat for the Rabble and The Art of the Big Lie: Political Cartoons About the Fight for America’s Soul. He’s also authored a romance novel under his pseudonym.
Before returning to fantasy fiction and art, Ryan wore a few hats. He’s both illustrated and reported for National Public Radio and various trade publications, including DS News and MReport. He’s also freelanced for Al Jazeera America. He lived and worked in Uganda as a 2008-2009 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and holds a master’s degree from American University in Washington, D.C.
Somewhere along the way, he also started a nonprofit and fair-trade lingerie company that operated in West and Central Africa, respectively. Many of his friends still wear safari-print boxers.
Ryan lives in Texas, where he looks after his cat, Rusty.