Review: The Kingston Cycle, by C.J. Polk

Witchmark (The Kingston Cycle, #1)Witchmark by C.L. Polk
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A refreshing take on fantasy, set in a world of an aristocratic ruling class which holds not only social and economic power, but secretly magic, while all others are outcasts, and should they show any signs of magical abilities, are consigned to asylums to apparently languish.

Polk creates some interesting characters caught in both family and political power struggles, while examining morality.

Altogether an entertaining read.

View all my reviews

Stormsong (The Kingston Cycle, #2)Stormsong by C.L. Polk
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Polk continues her interesting trilogy in this second novel, this time changing character focus, although certainly the world she’s created descends deeper into chaos, subterfuge, political machinations, and outright horrors against humanity. All of that sounds as though the novel would be a slog to read, which it is, but not because of those factors. Certainly Polk had already built a fascinating world. However, with the shift from the lead character Tristan, in Book 1, to his sister, Grace, in book 2, the entire flavour changes, unfortunately not for the better.

While Polk crafted a vulnerable, powerful and fascinating character in Tristan, in Grace the flavour changes from one of empathy to one of superficiality. Grace quite often seems more focused on fashion, societal standing, and avoiding controversy than in championing the real cause of empowering the witches who have for generations fed the power-mongers of Aeland, and who now, though freed from bondage, exist in penury and pain.

Altogether a disappointing continuation of what started out to be a fascinating story.

View all my reviews


Soulstar (The Kingston Cycle, #3)Soulstar by C.L. Polk
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Unfortunately what started out to be a brilliant beginning to Polk’s Kingston Cycle trilogy came to a stuttering and struggling conclusion in this last novel.

The problems which arose in the second novel of superficiality, lack of focus, and a general sense of insincerity ballooned here, to the point it became a labourious chore just to slog through. Utterly disappointing.

View all my reviews