The King’s Questioner

Feiwel & Friends. Jan. 2020. 304p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250195449.
Gr 7 Up–In the kingdom of Mureau, it isn’t unusual to be a sorcier, or one who can use magick—though none have Kalen’s gift of accessing someone’s deepest, darkest secrets simply by touching them. Having learned of his ability at a young age, the King makes Kalen his royal questioner. His days are filled with interrogating prisoners to determine their innocence, or lack thereof. When the prince, Cirrus, suddenly falls into a coma, the King commands Kalen to use his talent. Kalen learns that Cirrus has an exiled sister and that, according to prophecy, if she doesn’t find her way home, it could mean the destruction of the entire kingdom. Kalen sets off with Cirrus and his childhood friend Luna to bring the princess home. Readers see the majority of the plot through Kalen’s eyes, and other than a brief glimpse into the mystery of his disappearing family and a hint that his power is threatening his health, there isn’t much else in the way of character development. Luna, the feisty thief and the most potentially intriguing of the cast, ultimately falls flat. Plot details are introduced but not fleshed out, or are conveniently solved to keep the story moving, which may frustrate some readers. A rushed ending wraps up an otherwise interesting premise too quickly.
VERDICT A tale that’s more suited for those who prefer their fantasy light on world-building and explanation. An additional purchase.

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