Kings or Pawns by J.J. Sherwood – Review

Title – Kings or Pawns
Author – J.J. Sherwood
Genre – Fantasy
Length –   385 Pages
Publication – Oct 2015
My Rating – 5/5 Stars


The first book in JJ Sherwood’s Steps of Power epic fantasy series. The Kings, Book I: Kings or Pawns is a political intrigue that spirals into an action and adventure series as the final events unfold.

8,994 P.E.—The elven city of Elvorium has become corrupted to the core by politics. With his father dead and the Royal Schism at his back, Prince Hairem ascends the throne as king of the elven world on Sevrigel. Young and bold, Hairem is determined to undo the council’s power, but the brutal murders by an assassin loosed within the city threaten to undermine the king’s ambitions.

As corruption and death threaten to tear Elvorium apart from within, the warlord Saebellus threatens the city from without, laying siege to Sevrigel’s eastern capital. With the elven world crumbling around him, Hairem finds himself in a dangerous political balance between peace and all out war.


I must admit I’ve had this book on my TBR list for a while but I’m so glad I’ve finally had the time to read it. I’ve read a lot of fantasy books but not so many with the epic edge that make you believe a series had longevity.. this one does

The first part of the story was pure build-up. Full of descriptiveness to help you envisage the world the author has created along with the main characters within the book. The back story regarding the True Bloods pulled me in.. I hope to hear more of them in the next installment

The second part of the book is pure action with events playing out quickly, it’s one enjoyable ride that you honestly need to really sit down and take your time to enjoy.

Major plus points for this book were the characters and their development.  Jikun and Navon were brilliant, their relationship as General and Captain was strained at times but you can see underneath it all they need each other. Navon’s skill/power was one of the most interesting developments in the tale

Hairem the King attended to by Alvena the mute girl (who was my favourite) gave something extra to the tale, her inner thoughts made her the most interesting character as she was always so blunt and honest to herself. I love how Hairem would communicate with her

Itirel was another character I really liked.. I wanted more of him if I’m honest..his part was over too quickly for me.I just loved his wit

I could go on forever.. Honestly I don’t think I’ve read something with some many characters I’ve actually enjoyed

So you want to know a bit more about the plot. Well the world is dark..there’s war coming and it’s Hairem’s duty to make sure his kingdom doesn’t fall with the help of his General Jikun..flawed he may be but he’s good at his job.

Another threat to the King comes in the form of his own council as he soon learns he’s not really the most powerful person as you’d expect.. Corruption is common place.. who can he trust?

There’s a lot to this book. Lots of individual stories playing out at the same time nicely knitted together by the author to create a complex world but one that is very easy to read a get lost in. The beauty of this book is in the detail.

The epic twist thrown in also caught me off guard; I had an inkling but still had the hand over mouth response when things finally played out.

Overall an interesting plot with even better characters made this one hell of a read! I couldn’t fault this book and I’ve been left wanting.. I need to know what happens next.

A definite must for anyone who enjoys fantasy. Top notch.

To find out more head to Goodreads, or

You can also read more reviews and find out more about the series here – 

Why not enter the Kings or Pawns giveaway? you can do so here – 

4 thoughts on “Kings or Pawns by J.J. Sherwood – Review

  1. Pingback: Guest Blog – JJ Sherwood – Character Interview – Kings or Pawns Blog Tour | David's Book Blurg

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