The Splinter King is the second book in The God-King Chronicles series by Mike Brooks. If you've not read the first, it's not really a problem as the beginning of the book has a quick catch up and it's really easy to grasp how things are in this universe.
Following the events of the first book Darel, dragon knight and the new leader of Black Keep, begins his journey to Idramar, capital of the Naridan kingdom to plead with the God-King (Nari) for his people’s life; there are spreading of rumours of Nari’s pending death and rebirth upset the equilibrium and power that Princess Tila has fought to maintain in the Sun Palace. There's also Jeya, and her efforts to keep the survivor of an assassination attempt hidden, in a city that would very much like to see both of them dead.
Sounds like a lot going on, right? That's only the start of the characters who get a POV in this book. There's about ten different POV's throughout, eight of which are main characters and not all are interconnected - or if they were, I'm missing it. Some were enjoyable, others I could have done without. The ones that were enjoyable though I could have read a book just about them. Princess Tila for example was wonderfully written. Darel as well had some really good moments and the cross over into Princess Tila when a confrontation came to a head worked brilliantly to tie them together.
With fantasy stories, I always appreciate when references are made that are relatable. This world is so different to ours, but when someone says "you're going to stick out like a shark in a shrimp net", you can understand and relate to it, which is important. I've read some books where a similar statement is made but with made-up animals and it loses its meaning.
For all the good parts though, there were equal parts that just didn't do it for me. Some POV's I could have brushed over completely as they weren't grabbing my attention anywhere near as much as others. If they'd been a payoff and they'd joined up with the rest then I wouldn't have minded so much, but as it is, I could remove some and not feel like I've missed out on anything. Maybe there'd be an impact on the final book in the trilogy, but we're not there yet so as it is, a good portion of the book just felt like an entirely different story. And with so many POV's going on, rhythm is lost and attention comes and goes. You can get to a critical moment and then you're reading about 4 or 5 chapters of other people in an entirely different situation before you're back at the critical moment which makes parts lose their impact and everything feels all over the place.
One thing people should be prepared for though is how characters refer to themselves. Some might like it, but it really wasn't for me and it happens often. '"You are not going to try to shoot all of them, this warrior hopes." "This woman is not," Amonhuhe said.' All the time. What's wrong with saying "I will not"? It's something that started to really get to me the more the book went on, but it's only a little thing really.
Will I read the final book? Yeah, I think so. I'm invested in certain characters enough to want to know where it's going. I just wish that there were fewer POV's so more time was dedicated to others. The book could be cut down to three POV's and would be amazing. As it is though, it's probably not a series that I'd say I love, but it does have its moments that were enjoyable. It's just a shame that there's too many POV's to keep the enjoyment throughout.