The Sworn : The Fallen Kings Cycle: Book One, Paperback Book

The Sworn : The Fallen Kings Cycle: Book One Paperback

Part of the Fallen Kings Cycle series

3.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


As plague and famine scourge the Winter Kingdoms, a vast invasion force is mustering from beyond the Northern Sea. And at its heart, a dark spirit mage wields the blood magic of ancient, vanquished gods.

Summoner-King Martris Drayke must attempt to meet this great threat, gathering an army from a country ravaged by civil war. And neighbouring lands reel toward anarchy while plague decimates their leaders.

Drayke must seek new allies from among the living - and the dead - as an untested generation of rulers face their first battle.Then someone disturbs the legendary Dread as they rest in a millennia-long slumber beneath sacred barrows.

Their warrior guardians, the Sworn, know the Dread could be pivotal as a force for great good or evil.

But if it's the latter, could even the Summoner-King's sorcery prevail?


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fantasy
  • ISBN: 9781841499130

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

The previous entries in the series have been hit and miss in delivering tension even though the characters and plots had been fleshed out enough to create credible fantasy. There are some unique ideas that carry this series and those elements are explored further, with some interesting plots concerning the relationship between the living and the dead. The Sworn, due to the sheer scale of the plot, requires a diverse cast and this makes the first half quite dense, for the last four books have added many characters and they are spread across the Winter Kingdoms. Once the characters have been established Martin creates a strong feeling of foreboding, this entry is very much the calm before the storm; a prologue for the next chapter. Thanks to some unpredictable plot twists and careful manoeuvring of the protagonists The Sworn guarantees you'll be eagerly awaiting the next book, The Dread.

Review by

Just a notch under four stars. I don't know what it is about the characters but while I'm fond of them I'm not really invested in them. Somehow the multiple points of view seem to break my investment in the characters and make them less rounded for me, bringing down the score just a little.Sworn takes place six months after Dark Lady's Chosen, Martris Drayke hoped his life could go back to something resembling normal, as normal, at least, that a king could have. However another threat to the kingdoms is rising and the plague unleashed during the war is decimating the population. Tris and his friends have to fight again for a future for themselves and their children. There are plots and subplots and evil under the ground that has to be kept from causing the end of the world.I enjoyed the read and look forward to the next story in this series. I do like many of the characters and I'm just not sure why I'm not connecting with more of them. The story is well crafted and the characters often follow very sensible courses and while often have to choose between a rock and a hard place they're also willing to make hard choices that think about futures rather than present.

Review by

The Sworn is the first book in a new series featuring the Winter Kingdoms and all our old friends from <i>Chronicles of the Necromancer</i> plus a few extras. It’s being advertised as the perfect place for new readers to start, and I agree that one could pick up the series here. However, I’m not entirely sure that this is the best place to start.<br/><br/>We’ve got problems new and old in this story: there’s something odd with the infant heir to Margolan, the Divisionists in Isencroft are continuing to cause problems, the Black Robes are still trying to raise the old gods – this time by disturbing the Dread, a mysterious noise is driving the hedge witches of the Winter Kingdoms mad, and the traitor Alvior is rumored to be on his way back home accompanied by an invasion fleet from across the Northern Sea. Maybe worst of all are the indications that there is a dark summoner walking the world, one who could be worse than Lemuel and the Obsidian King together.<br/><br/>The Sworn is a great addition to the world of the Winter Kingdoms. Fans will be thrilled to see Tris, Kiara (Can you guess that Kiara is my favorite?), Jonmarc and the others again, and it’s just as exciting to see new faces. I thought the story was engaging and Gail Z Martin certainly has a knack for creating interesting worlds and merging multiple mythologies together into a cohesive whole. What other book can you think of that has necromancers, ghosts, and mages along with vampires and werewolves, all set in a sword-and-sorcery type of world?<br/><br/>That said, I don’t know if <b>The Sworn</b> would be quite as engaging to the new reader as <b>The Summoner</b> (first book in The Chronicles of the Necromancer series) was for me. I’m frankly worried that a married Tris, a pregnant Kiara, and Jonmarc Vahanion as a father-to-be won’t capture the attention the way a palace coupe, a caravan of slave traders, and an army of the dead did for me. While a new reader can pick up here and not be confused, I feel they also would be missing out on the bulk of the story. If you’re considering this series, do yourself a favor and go back to The Summoner to start. I can’t imagine a single person who would prefer to just “skip to the end” this way. If it’s worth reading (and I believe it is), it’s worth reading the whole story. Don’t short-change yourself.

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