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Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. A brutal war of succession has plunged the court of Kingfountain into a power struggle between a charitable king who took the crown unlawfully and his ambitious rival, Devon Argentine. The balance of power between the two men hinges on the fate of a young boy ensnared in this courtly intrigue. A boy befittingly nicknamed Ransom. When Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. A brutal war of succession has plunged the court of Kingfountain into a power struggle between a charitable king who took the crown unlawfully and his ambitious rival, Devon Argentine. The balance of power between the two men hinges on the fate of a young boy ensnared in this courtly intrigue. A boy befittingly nicknamed Ransom. When the Argentine family finally rules, Ransom must make his own way in the world. Opportunities open and shut before him as he journeys along the path to knighthood, blind to a shadowy conspiracy of jealousy and revenge. Securing his place will not be easy, nor will winning the affection of Lady Claire de Murrow, a fiery young heiress from an unpredictably mad kingdom. Ransom interrupts an abduction plot targeting the Queen of Ceredigion and earns a position in service to her son, the firstborn of the new Argentine dynasty. But conflict and treachery threaten the family, and Ransom must also come to understand and hone his burgeoning powers—abilities that involve more than his mastery with a blade and that make him as much a target as his lord.


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Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. A brutal war of succession has plunged the court of Kingfountain into a power struggle between a charitable king who took the crown unlawfully and his ambitious rival, Devon Argentine. The balance of power between the two men hinges on the fate of a young boy ensnared in this courtly intrigue. A boy befittingly nicknamed Ransom. When Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. A brutal war of succession has plunged the court of Kingfountain into a power struggle between a charitable king who took the crown unlawfully and his ambitious rival, Devon Argentine. The balance of power between the two men hinges on the fate of a young boy ensnared in this courtly intrigue. A boy befittingly nicknamed Ransom. When the Argentine family finally rules, Ransom must make his own way in the world. Opportunities open and shut before him as he journeys along the path to knighthood, blind to a shadowy conspiracy of jealousy and revenge. Securing his place will not be easy, nor will winning the affection of Lady Claire de Murrow, a fiery young heiress from an unpredictably mad kingdom. Ransom interrupts an abduction plot targeting the Queen of Ceredigion and earns a position in service to her son, the firstborn of the new Argentine dynasty. But conflict and treachery threaten the family, and Ransom must also come to understand and hone his burgeoning powers—abilities that involve more than his mastery with a blade and that make him as much a target as his lord.

30 review for Knight's Ransom

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    *Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a digital copy of this book Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  2. 5 out of 5

    Athena (OneReadingNurse)

    Thank you so much to 47North via NetGalley for my digital arc of Knight's Ransom!! Wheeler has finally done it!  It seems like he took every little bit of constructive criticism from the first Kingfountain trilogies, chewed it over while he wrote something different, then came back and wrote an absolutely amazing first novel in this new series! I just freaking love the world of Kingfountain and it's lore and magic, and was so psyched to read this as an ARC (before obviously preordering it) heheh.  Thank you so much to 47North via NetGalley for my digital arc of Knight's Ransom!! Wheeler has finally done it!  It seems like he took every little bit of constructive criticism from the first Kingfountain trilogies, chewed it over while he wrote something different, then came back and wrote an absolutely amazing first novel in this new series! I just freaking love the world of Kingfountain and it's lore and magic, and was so psyched to read this as an ARC (before obviously preordering it) heheh.  I have read them all, including the books following Ankorette, but don't think it's necessary to read them in order to start here, although you'll miss some Easter Eggs. This is such a hard review to write because I just want to gush, I mean I had over a page of notes and highlights 😂 Ransom and Claire remind me so much of Owen and Evie, except they're more age appropriate and Claire is an absolute firecracker.  They are better childhood characters as well, because Wheeler finally admits that he can't write age appropriate kids so they grow up pretty quickly, with the book occuring mainly in Ransom's 20s. So Polidoro Urbini is back, telling the history of the first Argentine kings.  He finds Claire de Murrow's journal and it becomes the framework of the story, then fleshed out by current events. When Devon Argentine takes the throne of Ceredigion, the child hostages of the prior ruler get to go home.  For Ransom, that means trying to become a Knight in his uncle's household.  Training and warhorses and tournaments, poor choices and hard life lessons including naivety and betrayal mark Ransom's path to Knighthood. Could he possibly be Fountain Blessed?  I found it shocking that he hadn't heard enough legends to put two and two together, but his fighting prowess in unbelievable and it makes him a target. Without spending hours gushing about individual battles, defeats, more hard lessons, and Ransom's resilience ... He eventually ends up in the service of Argentine's heir, which is a mixed blessing and curse. There is an absolutely absorbing plot to overthrow Devon the Elder, and more poor life choices which eventually leads Ransom to, I assume, in book 2 take the pilgrimage to find out if he is indeed blessed by the lady of the fountain. There is a fountain blessed assassin out and about as well, and it's crazy because we have no idea who she is or who she is working for.  The line of poisoners is a pretty heavy storyline in the Kingfountain books so she'll have a bigger part in the coming books. Pulling from Merlin and Arthur and the Lady of the Lake, Kingfountain takes some of it's magic and lore from those ancient tales.   Of course there is one magic Wizr board in the story, plus all the legends and lore of Kingfountain (and now Legault, thanks to Claire), that make Wheeler's world feel so real and immersive. The characters make it feel real too, take the Argentines: yes they are the royal family but they love and bicker and break like anyone else.  Ransoms Uncle and all the wiser, older lords and commanders, I can't even list all the great characters.  It feels even realer too that Ransom has such a high standard of Knight's honor, so the courtship with Claire becomes a side story that he doesn't think is achievable. But it's so sweet how he tiptoes.  Who knows if Wheeler will ever put them together or not, he is 50/50 with OTP pairings and Kingfountain never seems to work that way. Layers upon layers of betrayals and intrigue and lore make Kingfountain what it is.  I have to mention the Queen's exile to her tower too, since it becomes such an important landmark in the later books and I loved seeing some of the origins. Yes please sign me up for more riding alongside Ransom, now one of the richest men in the country after multiple knight's tournament wins.   I can't wait to jump into his pilgrimage next and then see where the world takes us ❤ Let me say one more time too - WHEELER WRITES CLEAN FANTASY!! Language and sexual situations (both rare in his books) are kept G-rated, with some sad deaths and some knightly battles but I would happily hand any one of his books to a reader of any age group Out 1/26 from 47North, thank you again for my early read!

  3. 5 out of 5

    TJ

    The fabulousness of Kingfountain is back!!!! All those like myself who absolutely adored the first series in this creative and addicting universe will be doubly excited that Mr. Wheeler not only brought the world back, but treats everyone to a brand new cast of characters, each just as riveting, diverse and intriguing as any he has written before. Ransom’s character is one readers will absolutely love. He is everything one looks for in a hero and more. Of course, nothing is as it seems - ever - The fabulousness of Kingfountain is back!!!! All those like myself who absolutely adored the first series in this creative and addicting universe will be doubly excited that Mr. Wheeler not only brought the world back, but treats everyone to a brand new cast of characters, each just as riveting, diverse and intriguing as any he has written before. Ransom’s character is one readers will absolutely love. He is everything one looks for in a hero and more. Of course, nothing is as it seems - ever - and the twists and turns keeps the reader eagerly turning the pages only to sigh and wish it wouldn’t end when that final page is closed. Man, it's hard waiting for the next installment! *While the ending isn’t exactly a cliffhanger, there isn’t any closure either. It just pauses until the next book in the series publishes. So, be forewarned.*

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    4 stars You can read all of my reviews at Nerd Girl Loves Books. This is a really good first book in a new, exciting fantasy series. We're back in Kingfountain, and I'm so excited! This story revolves around a young man nicknamed Ransom. As a young second son, he is given to the King by his father as hostage to ensure his father behaves and does not side with rival Devon Argentine, who is intent on taking the crown for himself. When the old King dies and Devon is crowned King, Ransom is told he is 4 stars You can read all of my reviews at Nerd Girl Loves Books. This is a really good first book in a new, exciting fantasy series. We're back in Kingfountain, and I'm so excited! This story revolves around a young man nicknamed Ransom. As a young second son, he is given to the King by his father as hostage to ensure his father behaves and does not side with rival Devon Argentine, who is intent on taking the crown for himself. When the old King dies and Devon is crowned King, Ransom is told he is free to leave. Ransom goes home, but gets no warm welcome by his father. Forced to make his way in the world on his own, Ransom finds a place in his uncle's house training to become a knight. He dreams of a life loyally serving an honorable lord, preferably with his boyhood crush Lady Claire by his side. Ransom finally becomes a knight, but suffers setbacks along the way. When he grabs the notice of the Queen of Ceredigion, she asks him to join the service of her eldest son, the heir to the King. Ransom must learn to navigate the treachery and conflict surrounding the noble family, while also trying to learn about the mysterious powers he may have that aid his fighting abilities. I really enjoyed this book. Ransom is a great new lead character. He had to grow up quick and figure out who he is. He is a strong and capable knight, but still has the naivete of the young boy he is. He is clearly fountain-blessed, but since that is considered just an old-time legend and not real, there is no one he can talk with about it or train him. He is a skilled and feared fighter. Therefore, people like him to be on their side, but also fear to be around him. He is used by the nobility for their own purposes, and hasn't had a lot of choice in his own fate. This is obviously frustrating for him. The budding romance between him and Lady Claire is sweet, but they are kept apart so much that it's a bit frustrating. I would like to see them able to have a little bit of happiness together in the next book. Lady Claire is a fierce, strong-willed young woman that definitely knows her own mind. She is very capable and I hope she gets a bigger part to play in the next book. She's not the shy, retiring type and the fact that she was sidelined so much in the first book is frustrating. It seemed like she would have been a bit more daring. This is a strong first book and I can't wait to read the next one in the series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and 47North. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tammie

    Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. A brutal war of succession has plunged the court of Kingfountain into a power struggle between a charitable king who took the crown unlawfully and his ambitious rival, Devon Argentine. The balance of power between the two men hinges on the fate of a young boy ensnared in this courtly intrigue. A boy befittingly nicknamed Ransom. When the Argentine family finally rules, Ransom must make his own way in the world. Opportunities open and shut before him as he Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. A brutal war of succession has plunged the court of Kingfountain into a power struggle between a charitable king who took the crown unlawfully and his ambitious rival, Devon Argentine. The balance of power between the two men hinges on the fate of a young boy ensnared in this courtly intrigue. A boy befittingly nicknamed Ransom. When the Argentine family finally rules, Ransom must make his own way in the world. Opportunities open and shut before him as he journeys along the path to knighthood, blind to a shadowy conspiracy of jealousy and revenge. Securing his place will not be easy, nor will winning the affection of Lady Claire de Murrow, a fiery young heiress from an unpredictably mad kingdom. Ransom interrupts an abduction plot targeting the Queen of Ceredigion and earns a position in service to her son, the firstborn of the new Argentine dynasty. But conflict and treachery threaten the family, and Ransom must also come to understand and hone his burgeoning powers—abilities that involve more than his mastery with a blade and that make him as much a target as his lord. 3.5 stars. I was super excited to get to read another book set in the world of Kingfountain. This book is a good addition to the world, and I enjoyed it quite a bit, though not as much as the books in the Kingfountain series, and here's why: This book repeats the same type of plot pattern as Kingfountain, only it felt more rushed story-wise. Just like in The Queen's Poisoner, this book starts out with a young boy who is being held hostage by the current king. Several things happen that parallel the Kingfountain books, but I don't want to add any spoilers to my review so I won't mention what they are, but the downside of this book is that we don't get to spend any significant time in one place before the story moves on to another. This results in a lack of development for certain characters that I feel we should have spent more time with in the beginning in order to build a foundation for why these characters feel they way they do about each other. This is definitely a problem with the romantic aspect of the story, and causes the romance to feel a bit forced. Needless to say, I did not feel the same connection between Ransom and his love interest that I felt between Owen and Evie in The Queen's Poisoner. All that being said, I do like other aspects of the book. Ranson is likable, and easy to root for. While I would have liked more time spent on building up the story, the characters are multilayered personality-wise in that they are never black and white and are personally conflicted about the dilemmas they face, and have both good and bad traits. There is still a bit too much telling and not enough showing in this book, just like his others, and I feel like this one was worse in that aspect, but and I am still looking forward to reading the rest of the series as it's published so I can find out what happens next. Thanks to NetGalley and 47North for providing me with an ARC of this book. Review also posted at Writings of a Reader

  6. 4 out of 5

    WS_BOOKCLUB

    Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. This will be available on January 26th. Reminiscent of Tad Williams’ The Dragonbone Chair, this book is obviously the work of a master. Every sentence, every word, is placed with care and precision. The story woven is a fantastic one, and I couldn’t put the book down. This book follows Ransom- once a king’s hostage, now a knight hopeful- as he navigates the dangers involved in becoming a knight and Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. This will be available on January 26th. Reminiscent of Tad Williams’ The Dragonbone Chair, this book is obviously the work of a master. Every sentence, every word, is placed with care and precision. The story woven is a fantastic one, and I couldn’t put the book down. This book follows Ransom- once a king’s hostage, now a knight hopeful- as he navigates the dangers involved in becoming a knight and in growing up. He finds himself in a very precarious position, in-between warring kingdoms. Threats, both from without the court and within, abound on all sides. One false step and Ransom could lose his sense of honor-or his life. I loved absolutely everything about this book. The characters were fully developed, complex individuals, each with their own motivations and personalities. The book was told from Ransom’s point of view, interspersed with diary entries from Claire, the recipient of his affection. I loved Ransom, of course. He was often caught between his own sense of morality and the code of honor he swore to follow. It was fascinating and heartbreaking to see him realize that a knightly code of honor does not apply in every situation. His internal battles were just as interesting as his physical battles. And what battles! They were so vividly painted, it was like being right in the middle of them. They all felt incredibly real. The adrenaline and bloodlust versus fear and even sadness at taking a life- it was all conveyed brilliantly. I often had my heart in my throat (a rather uncomfortable sensation, I might add), reading the fight scenes. The secret deals and cutthroat politics were engrossing to say the least. Every time I thought I had a character pegged, they would do something completely unexpected. One particular person had me totally fooled. When they made their move, I was absolutely stunned. Even the smallest move can turn a chess game, I guess. I was fully immersed in the world from page one. It was vast and so well described, I could picture everything perfectly. Honestly, from plot, to characters, to world development, there is nothing that wasn’t done wonderfully. This is an author I’ll be reading more from, I can tell you that. If you like high fantasy, if you enjoy writers such as Tolkien, Tad Williams, and Sean Russell, if you like stories with a hint of Arthurian themes, you’ll love this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Karen ⚜Mess⚜

    I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review. This is a tale of knights and ladies. A story of the growing pains of a young boy, born the second son of a Lord of a lower house, with no worth except being a ransom to a king. It is also a story of a young lady, who found herself in care of the king, but could never forget her childhood friend. The young boy grew up to be Knight Ransom, and the young girl Lady Claire. Even though the death of a king separa I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review. This is a tale of knights and ladies. A story of the growing pains of a young boy, born the second son of a Lord of a lower house, with no worth except being a ransom to a king. It is also a story of a young lady, who found herself in care of the king, but could never forget her childhood friend. The young boy grew up to be Knight Ransom, and the young girl Lady Claire. Even though the death of a king separated them, fate would always bring them together. The tone of the story is a romantic medieval with a young adult overlay. Meaning, it's not brutal, and a very endearing tale. This is my first Jeff Wheeler novel and I was very impressed with his writing. The flow was easy and addicting. I enjoyed it so much that I had to run out a buy more of his Kingfountain tales.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Celeste

    I am over the moon knowing Jeff Wheeler is starting another series based off King Fountain . I cannot wait! King Fountain series is what got me hooked on all of Jeff Wheelers books and introduced me to how amazing this author is. Haven't read a non 5 star book yet, looking forward to this series ^_^ I am over the moon knowing Jeff Wheeler is starting another series based off King Fountain . I cannot wait! King Fountain series is what got me hooked on all of Jeff Wheelers books and introduced me to how amazing this author is. Haven't read a non 5 star book yet, looking forward to this series ^_^

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Knight's Ransom is the first book in The First Argentines series by Jeff Wheeler. The Fist Argentines series is an epic fantasy series that is set in the same world as Jeff Wheeler's Fountainhead series, but you do not need to read the Kingfountain series in order to be able to enjoy and understand this book. I loved Knight's Ransom. It has a classic fantasy feel with a big sweep world, fascinating plot and great well developed characters. It has made me even more excited to read the Kingfountai Knight's Ransom is the first book in The First Argentines series by Jeff Wheeler. The Fist Argentines series is an epic fantasy series that is set in the same world as Jeff Wheeler's Fountainhead series, but you do not need to read the Kingfountain series in order to be able to enjoy and understand this book. I loved Knight's Ransom. It has a classic fantasy feel with a big sweep world, fascinating plot and great well developed characters. It has made me even more excited to read the Kingfountain series, which has been on my TBR wishlist for forever! I can't wait to continue on with The First Argentine's series, and read more by Jeff Wheeler. He is a fantastic classic fantasy writer. In Knight's Ransom, we meet our main character Ransom who is trying to become a knight. I loved Ransom. He is a fantastic main character because I felt like I really got to know him, and I I could feel everything he was going through. Jeff Wheeler is a master storyteller. I can tell that this story is really planned and thought out because everything felt purposeful, which is one of my favorite things to find in an epic fantasy! I am dying to get my hands on the next book in the series because I have so many questions! So many! We join Ransom as he discovers a plan to overthrow the Queen. He ends up as one of her bodyguards, and finds himself in the middle of some crazy world politics. I love a vast fantasy world and I think that is where Jeff Wheeler excels the most. HIs world feels epic and it is filled with twists, turns and surprises that are sure to genuinely shock you. (I know they did for me!) I don't want to spoil too much of the plot, so just know that this book is fantastically crafted and it held my attention from page one to the end!  I also really enjoyed the romance between Ransom and Lady Claire. It was super sweet, and I was happy to see a romance subplot present in the story. I hope it continues in the future books! Bottom line: If you are a fan of epic fantasies with fantastic characters, wonderful world building, complex politics and secrets galore, then The First Argentines series is one that you do not want to miss. I loved this book and can't wait for the sequel!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lois Young

    Someone should tell the author that he's great with twists!!! This is the 1st book in a new series set in the world of Kingfountain set approximately 400 years before the events in "The Queen's Poisoner." This series focuses on how the Argentines gained and almost lost the Hollow Crown. This is based on European history, so except some similarities to "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. The knight is Marshall, a.k.a. Ransom, Barton, the 2nd son of Lord Barton, who is a hostage of King Gervase during Someone should tell the author that he's great with twists!!! This is the 1st book in a new series set in the world of Kingfountain set approximately 400 years before the events in "The Queen's Poisoner." This series focuses on how the Argentines gained and almost lost the Hollow Crown. This is based on European history, so except some similarities to "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. The knight is Marshall, a.k.a. Ransom, Barton, the 2nd son of Lord Barton, who is a hostage of King Gervase during the civil war. It is during this time of imprisonment where he meets Claire de Murrow, a princess from another region in the split kingdom. Together they experience the causes and the consequences of war, strife and tradition as they grow into the adults they need to become. The story follows Ransom as he leaves his hostage status and returns to his family only to be told he must become a knight in order to make his way in the world. Ransom's training and prowess captures the attention of the new Royal family (the Argentines), enemies, and Claire. It is when Ransom becomes a member of the Heir Apparent's Royal Guard that he learns about the political intrigue occurring within Kingfountain and beyond. Not to mention, he might be blessed by the Fountain's magic. Will this magic help Ransom to protect the Royal family from conspirators and murderers? The tournaments and the melees are the best parts of this book. That being said, you won't be ready for the HUGE twist at the end of this book! How long until we can read Book 2?! Jeff Wheeler has done it again!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Yakira Goldsberry

    9/10 (Originally posted on The Nerd Daily) I could probably end up talking all day about this book. There were so, so many feels involved in the reading process! This book made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me somewhat confused, and it made me want to throw it across the room and hug it at the same time. Knight’s Ransom isn’t really written like other books. While the main character is Marshall Barton, also known as Ransom, the storytelling style was very much like that of classics in that it w 9/10 (Originally posted on The Nerd Daily) I could probably end up talking all day about this book. There were so, so many feels involved in the reading process! This book made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me somewhat confused, and it made me want to throw it across the room and hug it at the same time. Knight’s Ransom isn’t really written like other books. While the main character is Marshall Barton, also known as Ransom, the storytelling style was very much like that of classics in that it was a bit omniscient and more withdrawn from the character’s inner thoughts and feelings. It kept me from immediately connecting with the characters and I found that somewhat disappointing, as I love being deep inside a character’s head. However, this also gave the book a very Medieval feel, which was perfect, as it centers around knights, castles, scandals, tournaments, and, of course, a little bit romance. It took me a little bit to get used to it, but after a while I was hooked. Ransom is quite the interesting character. While he might not be considered dynamic to some, as he had a very high moral code, his serious nature and dedication to the knight’s code balance him out. He reminded me almost of Lancelot from the BBC show, Merlin. Ransom goes from a somewhat petulant child to a very mature adult. His character arc felt very organic and was much appreciated. I mean, there were many things he did that were a bit foolish and had me shaking my head but still, he grew on me. I came to care very much for him. He goes through many a foul situation, which led me to be very indignant. There were a lot of characters that stuck out to me in that way. Claire de Murrow, Sir William, Lord Kinghorn. All of them were such fascinating and dynamic characters whom I enjoyed. Claire, though, will always be my favourite, besides Ransom of course, because of her spunky nature and somewhat shamelessly dramatic personality. And she made me laugh. There were also characters I very much loathed, like the petulant Sir James. James came across as a very jealous and whiny boy who never learned to grow up. And for some reason just really didn’t like Ransom. If there was one character that made me angry, it was him. There was also Noemie and the assassin, though for the sake of not spoiling the plot, I won’t say anymore, even though there are many choice words I would use to describe James. He got on my nerves that much. Wheeler’s very large cast of characters sometimes made it hard to differentiate who was who, but eventually I got the hang of it, even though there were two characters with the same name. Thankfully, Wheeler was very clever in his descriptions and character development to keep the two from being mistaken for the other. The plot of Knight’s Ransom was the most surprising one I’ve read in a long time. It twisted and turned and sometimes even circled back in a way that left me guessing just what would happen next. There were many subtle plot points dropped into the narrative that resolved in an explosion of secrets and intrigue. And then ending! I can’t say what exactly happened, but it left me frustrated, happy, sad, angry and needing more all at the same time. Jeff Wheeler did an amazing job at ending this book with a punch. I’m giving Knight’s Ransom a solid 9/10 for being a book full of surprise, heartbreak, intrigue and knightliness, and for being a great start to what feels like a solid series!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Fundin

    Knight’s Ransom by Jeff Wheeler is my introduction to his writing and I am so happy to have met him and his characters. I loved the book and look forward to reading more of his work. I think I waited to long after reading Knight’s Ransom to write the review, because I don’t feel it reflects how I truly felt. Ransom had been taken hostage by King Gervase. Now, the king is dead and he’s going home. He had met Claire while he was a hostage and she is the one who gave him his name, Ransom. The king h Knight’s Ransom by Jeff Wheeler is my introduction to his writing and I am so happy to have met him and his characters. I loved the book and look forward to reading more of his work. I think I waited to long after reading Knight’s Ransom to write the review, because I don’t feel it reflects how I truly felt. Ransom had been taken hostage by King Gervase. Now, the king is dead and he’s going home. He had met Claire while he was a hostage and she is the one who gave him his name, Ransom. The king had raised them both as if they were his own. Claire is very outspoken and I think Ransom will have his hands full with her. Will they become a couple. I don’t know yet, but I am going to find out. The point of views bounce back and forth between Ransom and Claire. Ransom wants to become a knight and leader, but the path will be fraught with danger and intrigue. There is something special about Ransom and when he is at his lowest, something good comes his way. So much betrayal, political machinations, kings fighting, always fighting. Seems to me they need to find something else to do. Maybe they have too much spare time and desire to dominate. Ransom makes difficult choices, but his loyalty can never be questioned. He is caught in the courtly machinations going on, young royals being easily manipulated, then betrayed, sons going to war to depose their father as king, brothers fighting each other. There are many characters and not all will survive, but this is Ransom’s story and it will be told over several books. I do like when an author is not afraid to kill off his characters, though some will be missed, others I will be glad are gone. Medieval history is stretched and twisted in this brutal world, brilliantly spelled out through Jeff’s words. I am hooked and can hardly wait for the next book. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of Knight’s Ransom by Jeff Wheeler. See more at fundinmental

  13. 4 out of 5

    Marc Arnold

    This is a great read! I will admit that I am a huge fan of everything that Jeff writes, but that is for good reason. The stories are engaging and appropriate for all ages. This book continues in that vein. I have enjoyed getting the background of the Kingfountain series. If you did not know, most all of Jeff's worlds are interrelated. I will not give away any of the spoilers from any series, just understand they all intersect at some point. So technically, this book provides background, not only This is a great read! I will admit that I am a huge fan of everything that Jeff writes, but that is for good reason. The stories are engaging and appropriate for all ages. This book continues in that vein. I have enjoyed getting the background of the Kingfountain series. If you did not know, most all of Jeff's worlds are interrelated. I will not give away any of the spoilers from any series, just understand they all intersect at some point. So technically, this book provides background, not only for Kingfountain, but indirectly the others. This story is easy to read, not only because of Jeff's storytelling style, but also because it drew me in. I enjoy the strong female characters in Jeff's other books. but I was excited to see that the protagonist of this story was a young man. I have recommended Jeff's books to teachers, and their only complaint was that the boys did not get into some of them. I think this one will get and hold their attention. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. This series will continue Jeff's hold on my free time, as I always turn off the television and put other books on hold when another Wheeler Wonder is available to read! :) Do yourself a favor and ready this book!

  14. 5 out of 5

    CR

    This was one epic fantasy! The story does a wonderful job at introducing us to this world and characters. I have to say that he did it much better than a lot of authors out there. I was not confused and I understood everything in the first go. The romance was great and I think that the added ideas of King Arthur was perfect. Those those who love fantasy this one will be a hit for any reader.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chloe Allysen

    I enjoyed reading this, I like how Wheeler creates people. It’s not my favorite, I may or may not continue with the series

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    After spending much of his life as a hostage of King Gervase, Marshall suddenly finds himself adrift when Gervase dies and Devon Argentine takes the crown, but he’s determined to become a knight and serve a worthy lord. I’ve seen Jeff Wheeler’s books floating around Amazon for years, but never read one until last year with The Killing Fog. That one wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, but, when I was contacted about reviewing Knight’s Ransom, I thought it was the perfect time for me to pick up another W After spending much of his life as a hostage of King Gervase, Marshall suddenly finds himself adrift when Gervase dies and Devon Argentine takes the crown, but he’s determined to become a knight and serve a worthy lord. I’ve seen Jeff Wheeler’s books floating around Amazon for years, but never read one until last year with The Killing Fog. That one wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, but, when I was contacted about reviewing Knight’s Ransom, I thought it was the perfect time for me to pick up another Wheeler book. After all, I did enjoy the storytelling in The Killing Fog. Knight’s Ransom is very different and takes inspiration from Arthurian legend, so I was very happy to read it, and get a taste of Wheeler’s Kingfountain world. The Plot: The Unwavering Loyalty of a Knight King Gervase rules Kingfountain, but his reign is tenuous at best as his nephew, the rightful king, fights him at every turn. In Gervase’s care are two children, Claire and Marshall (called Ransom), held as hostages to keep their families loyal. But when Ransom’s father apparently turns his back on his son, something changes in Gervase. Not long after, his death leaves the crown in Devon Argentine’s hands, Claire back in her family’s care, and Ransom left on his own. Ransom’s father is unwelcoming, so his mother sends him to a cousin where he can train to become a knight. He makes friends and enemies, but shows great, almost mystical, skill. Knighted on the eve of the start of a battle between Kingfountain and Brugia, Ransom unexpectedly discovers incredible abilities that end up leaving him without a lord to serve. But it’s just the start to Ransom’s journey. With growing, mysterious abilities that have people whispering he might be Fountain-blessed, unrest is brewing in the Argentine family, and between Kingfountain and Occitania. When Ransom is unexpectedly pulled into the ruling family’s service, and back into the same orbit as Claire, he finds himself caught between his morals and duties as a knight in service to the king’s heir. While I wasn’t thrilled that the entire novel is definitely more tell than show, the story still managed to pull me in. Inspired by Arthurian legend, my mind was taken back to ye olde days and had me believing in honorable knights. I loved the heavy unrest in the Argentine family as the king is constantly battling back the countries that want to invade and take over and his sons are competing against each other. Family dysfunction at it’s best! I loved how twisted the family was, and that Ransom stood out as a beacon of honor and virtue through everything. He was the perfect counterpoint, and his struggles to remain honorable and still carry out his duty really pulled at my heart. There’s a great deal of adventures and battles, which kept the novel moving at a steady, quick pace that also paused to ensure key information wasn’t missed. It made it easier to focus on the details that were important, which made me glad I didn’t have to page back and forth to piece things together. Overall, it made for a quick, easy read while also providing breathtaking adventure and family squabbles that have far-reaching impacts while also being a ton of fun. The Characters: A Perfect Balance Knight’s Ransom is told from Ransom’s perspective. It’s undeniably his story and the telling of his adventures. But it also gives voice to Claire and the Argentine family, the people who figure most heavily in Ransom’s life. We meet Ransom when he is a boy. Held hostage along with the spirited Claire, she decides to call him Ransom because that’s essentially what he’s being held for. It turns out Ransom seems to be quite a well-adjusted, happy boy who strives to believe in the best in people. He carries this into adulthood and it makes him into an incredibly honorable knight, a nice counterpoint to the equally incredible skills he possesses in battle. I adored everything about him, even though it might have made him a bit of a boring character. But I loved how upright and dutiful he was, kind of like a pillar of virtue while surrounded by a plotting ruling family. He did seem too trusting and naive, though, but definitely the kind of knight I’d swoon for. A colorful cast surrounds Ransom. Claire is a spirited, spunky lady from an island country that had me thinking of Ireland or Scotland. I loved how sure she was of herself and just how outspoken she was. The Argentine family felt like the quintessential dysfunctional family with betrayals and in-fighting at every turn. Devon the Elder is stuck on ensuring his heir inherits a whole, peaceful kingdom. His oldest, Devon the Younger, is determined the take the crown on his own terms, while his three younger brothers sulk and try to undermine him and each other. Trust comes and goes, loyalty comes and goes, and none of them are above using each other for their own ends, or from clawing for any power available. Surrounded as he is by this cast, I’m quite glad Ransom is as honorable and, dare I say boring, as he is. The Setting: Arthurian-Inspired Europe Knight’s Ransom offers the typical European-inspired fantasy. Centered around a fantastical version of medieval Britain, it draws from Arthurian legend and pulls in what might be medieval France. It’s easy to draw parallels to certain European countries, which made it both comforting and familiar so the story is the focus. This series is set in Wheeler’s already established Kingfountain world, but during an earlier time period. Being unfamiliar with the Kingfountain novels, I was a little apprehensive about wandering into this book, but I didn’t feel I was missing anything. The world felt established, as it should, but I didn’t feel I needed prior exposure to Kingfountain to be able to enjoy it. Overall, the world building felt like it simply flowed. It was a lovely unfolding of the world as Ransom traveled around the world, either trying to find a way to support himself or in service to a lord. I liked that it drew from established real-world places, but took it’s own unique fantasy spin. Overall: A Fun Read With a Wonderful Lead Character Knight’s Ransom was a fun read. I didn’t like all the tell, but everything else was a ton of fun. The characters perfectly balanced each other, there’s a hint of mystery that’s scratched just enough, and the story promises more adventures throughout the rest of the series. My favorite part, though, was that the battles were not overly gory or descriptive. They weren’t fun, but I appreciated that there was more of a focus on Ransom’s abilities and how they guided him to make certain moves and take certain strategies. Or maybe my favorite part was that I just fell in love with Ransom. As boring as his honor could make him, I adored his strong honorable streak. A quick, easy read, Knight’s Ransom is perfect for those who enjoy Arthurian legends, or at least a taste of the medieval days of the British Isles. Thank you to Julia Romero at Wunderkind PR for a review copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Petra

    Thank you to 47North for providing me with ARC in exchange for an honest review. It is my first book written by Jeff Wheeler and the first of his new series based on the previous Kingfountain that i read....and i was pleasantly surprised at how much i enjoyed his work. The writing style gives you details and atmosphere without making you feel overwhelmed or be in your face. Although there are unfortunate things happening to the characters and there are setbacks for them it doesn't make you feel lik Thank you to 47North for providing me with ARC in exchange for an honest review. It is my first book written by Jeff Wheeler and the first of his new series based on the previous Kingfountain that i read....and i was pleasantly surprised at how much i enjoyed his work. The writing style gives you details and atmosphere without making you feel overwhelmed or be in your face. Although there are unfortunate things happening to the characters and there are setbacks for them it doesn't make you feel like you read something dark and all that ads up to their development just perfectly. The characters are easy to follow and sets a good foundation for the rest of the books in a new series and i will definitely start with the Kingfountain books so i can get a background since it is the same world.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    4.5 / 5 Stars Knight's Ransom is the first book in a planned four book series featuring Ransom as he searches for his path in the world as well as answers questions he has about powers he has developed over the years. I have been reading and following this author for years, ever since I happened upon a book called The Wretched of Muirwood, and have been hooked ever since. It's not too often I re-read books, but I think I may actually go back and re-read, and review, that trilogy. This book is a b 4.5 / 5 Stars Knight's Ransom is the first book in a planned four book series featuring Ransom as he searches for his path in the world as well as answers questions he has about powers he has developed over the years. I have been reading and following this author for years, ever since I happened upon a book called The Wretched of Muirwood, and have been hooked ever since. It's not too often I re-read books, but I think I may actually go back and re-read, and review, that trilogy. This book is a bit different from the previous books, but I really enjoyed that aspect as it shows the depth of this author's writing ability as well as his development. This one seems to take inspiration from the Arthurian Legends which made me happy; Is there anyone as a kid who wasn't inspired by King Arthur and his knights? The story is told entirely from Ransom's perspective, with Claire's perspective told through chronicles, a format this author has used in former books. Ransom grows up to be a happy and well-adjusted boy despite the fact that he was separated from his family at a young age by the king and held ransom to keep his family in line, which is how he earned his nickname. After being rejected by his father in brutal circumstances, Ransom understood that he would have to make his own way in the world, so he was sent to a relative's castle to learn how to be a knight, something in which he excelled. He tended to look for the best in people and trusted far too easily, which set him up for betrayal, something we will see a lot of in the book. One of the things I really liked about Ransom however, was his sense of honour. Even though he struggled with making the right choices throughout the book, he ever wavered once the choice was made and his loyalty was absolute. He really seemed like this glowing light while everyone one around him was plotting and being deceptive. And yes, we know how the story ends in the legends of Arthur, don't we? Which is why I am afraid to find out what happens to Ransom in future books. I really enjoyed the other characters in the books although I don't think they were quite as developed as Ransom. I especially felt like the 'romance' between Claire and Ransom felt off simply because there was not enough time to really explore their feelings as they didn't spend a lot of time together for reasons you will understand when you read the book. Yes, they spent a lot of time together as children, but people change a lot as adults and for the most part, when Ransom was at Kingfountain, Claire was not really around. I am really glad that the author is not afraid to kill off characters if necessary though, as some of the fighting was brutal. The plot itself was twisty and fun. There were betrayals aplenty, some coming out of nowhere that I didn't even suspect; I love it when an author can catch you by surprise and turn an experience on your head. The entire Argentine family is plotting against each other and are quite the dysfunctional family, but that is what makes them so interesting. Devon and his younger brothers all plot against their father, Devon the Elder, all while plotting against each other, fighting for the Hollow Crown, determined to take it on their own terms. There is also a secondary mystery twisting through all of this plotting and betrayal involving Ransom, but at this point the reader is left hanging and guessing as to what it is. The author has only given a teasing glimpse into the possibilities in this book. Knight's Ransom is set in the Kingfountain world and I am so glad to be back in that world. I enjoyed Ransom as a main character and loved the medieval setting of this world, with the knights, the battles, the betrayals, and the loyalties constantly changing. I did think the character development of some of the secondary characters was a bit weak so I am hoping for a bit more on that end in future books. There is a mystery intertwined throughout the story involving Ransom that has not yet been resolved which includes a quest (just seeing that word gives me a huge thrill!!), and I can't wait to find out more about Ransom and his abilities. Although you do not have to be familiar with the Kingfountain world to enjoy this book, I do recommend you read his other books at some point, especially The Kingfountain Series, as it will give you interesting background information about the world. I'm off to dive into book 2, Warrior's Ransom, to be released May 18.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Karen (BaronessBookTrove)

    I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy from the Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Knight's Ransom by Jeff Wheeler is the start of a great series in this world that the author has done such a great job of creating. Will Ransom find someone to give his loyalty to? Marshall "Ransom" Barton Marshall, better known as Ransom, is the main character of this new prequel series to Kingfountain. We follow Ransom during different parts of his life, fr I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy from the Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Knight's Ransom by Jeff Wheeler is the start of a great series in this world that the author has done such a great job of creating. Will Ransom find someone to give his loyalty to? Marshall "Ransom" Barton Marshall, better known as Ransom, is the main character of this new prequel series to Kingfountain. We follow Ransom during different parts of his life, from when he was eight years old until he was twenty-three years old. It's not a continuous account either as we jump from different years, but I liked it, especially with hearing a bit from Claire, a potential love interest of Ransom. All Ransom has ever wanted was to find a place where he belonged. People who could be friends and especially to serve a lord as his knight. Sadly that isn't in the cards for Ransom. I felt bad for him throughout the entire book. The Story The story starts with a historian trying to figure out these early years of the kingdom's life and can't find much about the time of where there are two kings with the same name. Then we pop into Ransom's story, and he is trying to find a place in this cruel time, basically. All Ransom has ever wanted was to find someone to serve as a knight and not only that but to find a place to belong. Ransom has had a tough time on that in all forms of a way for it to work. He is all about loyalty, and finding that is hard, especially with war trying to come in. Five Stars Knight's Ransom by Jeff Wheeler is a roller coaster of emotions. First, your laughing, then your crying, and then you're mad at Mr. Wheeler and closing the book to walk away for an hour. Just to come back and do it all over again. Sometimes in a different order. Mr. Wheeler is a fantastical author who gives all these emotions to his readers within his books. This is my first book from this guy, and I'm definitely coming back to read more from him. I might also, at some point, go back to read his Kingfountain series. I am giving this book five stars and recommending it to anyone that reads historical fantasy or just fantasy in general since I really think that you will like it! Coming in May 2021 Coming in September 2021 Thank you for dropping by! I hope you enjoyed this review of Knight's Ransom by Jeff Wheeler. Until the next time, Happy Reading! This review was originally posted on Baroness' Book Trove

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sue Olp

    Having read fantasy author Jeff Wheeler’s two previous Kingfountain series, I was excited to hear that he had decided to delve deeper into the roots of the ruling Argentine family. Again, we see the kingdom through the eyes of one of its knights, but Marshall “Ransom” Barton in “Knight’s Ransom – The First Argentine Series” takes a different path than Owen Kiskaddon of the original Kingfountain trilogy. And full disclosure, I was given a free copy of the book to read in advance. But the only prom Having read fantasy author Jeff Wheeler’s two previous Kingfountain series, I was excited to hear that he had decided to delve deeper into the roots of the ruling Argentine family. Again, we see the kingdom through the eyes of one of its knights, but Marshall “Ransom” Barton in “Knight’s Ransom – The First Argentine Series” takes a different path than Owen Kiskaddon of the original Kingfountain trilogy. And full disclosure, I was given a free copy of the book to read in advance. But the only promise I made was to review the book, with no strings attached about what my review would say. Some of what we see in the first of this four-part series, which Booklist notes “adds elements of Arthurian legend,” is familiar. As with Owen Kiskaddon at the beginning of “The Queen’s Poisoner,” Ransom, just a boy, is held hostage by a king who has usurped the throne of Ceredigion, to secure his father’s loyalty. Over time, we also see Ransom’s budding understanding of his Fountain-blessed abilities, which in some ways mirror Owen Kiskaddon’s. But whereas Owen had poisoner Ankarette Tryneowy to guide him, Ransom struggles to understand what it all means. We follow Ransom’s quest to become a knight, learn more details about that world than we did with Owen. Ransom’s struggles with a bully, Sir James, in some ways mirror Owen’s with Dundsworth, King Severn’s nephew. Ransom also ages more quickly in the first book than Owen did in “The Queen’s Poisoner.” And while Owen spent much of the first book in the company of his good friend, feisty Elysabeth Victoria Mortimer, Ransom only gets fleeting moments with fellow hostage and love interest feisty Claire du Murrow. Wheeler employs Claire’s humorous point of view through epigrams at the start of every chapter to summarize action and move the plot along. Like the original Kingfountain series, “Knight’s Ransom” also has a poisoner. But it’s not until the end of the book that we learn a bit more about her. In a note at the end of “Knight’s Ransom,” Wheeler acknowledges that readers of his previous series will likely see “archetypes and shadows of previous Kingfountain characters in this story.” But then he adds this: “If you think you know what’s going to happen, think again. I never tell the same story twice.” That note is an encouragement to readers looking for a new tale. Though I have to admit there is something nice about finding some familiar elements in this new saga of the Argentine family. Flawed characters find redemption. Some characters can’t be redeemed. Known locations are populated by new faces. And we get to go back to a time when little was known about what it meant to be Fountain-blessed. Wheeler is also great about dropping in easter eggs, which he frequently does to reward returning readers. This one brought a smile: “King Andrew was given a sword and a scabbard. Yet the Wizr Myrddin told him the scabbard was more powerful than the sword.” By the end of the book, I am left eager to plunge into Book 2, which won’t be published until May 18, with the third book set to be released in September. I look forward to seeing where Wheeler and Ransom take me next.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Greg Garguilo

    Honestly, this review pains me to write. I've struggled with it, delayed it, written it, deleted it, rewritten it, deleted it again, and... I'm still not perfectly happy with it. Sadly, I feel the same with Knight's Ransom, the First Argentine. and disclosure, I received an Advance Copy in exchange for an honest review. My fault. Yes, almost entirely my fault. I consumed this book, and loved it, only an undeniable need for sleep preventing me from reading the whole thing in a single sitting. Of cou Honestly, this review pains me to write. I've struggled with it, delayed it, written it, deleted it, rewritten it, deleted it again, and... I'm still not perfectly happy with it. Sadly, I feel the same with Knight's Ransom, the First Argentine. and disclosure, I received an Advance Copy in exchange for an honest review. My fault. Yes, almost entirely my fault. I consumed this book, and loved it, only an undeniable need for sleep preventing me from reading the whole thing in a single sitting. Of course, I tend to love Jeff's books, so my initial reaction isn't surprising. Ransom's character comes alive on the pages in believable ways. We feel for him, empathize with his plight, as he finds himself time and again in situations, facing outcomes, that he doesn't "deserve" for his actions. Here is a being, flawed and full of self doubt, whose good character and laudable behaviors have him holding the proverbial bag when those he serves prove to be lesser men. Indeed, the story carries overtones of Job, yet absent the comforting explanation of some test or tests known to the reader. Structurally, King's Ransom is hung on a familiar framework, but with some inspired choices. By placing the novel, chronologically, prior to earlier works, Jeff avoids the pitfalls of some of his earlier crossover works. Dedicated and experienced readers can rediscover the magic of the world all over again, without passages of explanations for readers new to the world. It also obviates the need for particular reading order, whether chronologically in world, or chronologically by order of writing. This is another choice I strongly applaud. That brings me to Claire, and the reason for a four star rating, after the praise above. In the first book of the series, Claire is one of many background characters, but a clearly important one to future works. Knowing Jeff's style and themes, I expect certain things of her character, her story arc to raise to the fore in future works. In short, I bring baggage to the story, baggage this work failed to satisfy. Scenes where Claire was present were fine - not exceptional - but fine. Too brief to show the kind of development I was seeking, but enough to lay groundwork for future novels. Jeff Wheeler also, quite effectively, makes use of epigraphs in prior works. Some of which contain profound quotes which remain with me long after the last page is turned, the novel done. Here, however, many epigraphs are given over to letters or diary entries attributed to Claire. I absolutely hated these. They captured almost nothing of the character for me, and did little to advance the story line. Mostly, they consisted of brief reporting of events happening to her, and her response at times, but little enough of her struggles to comprise those responses. I believe the book would have been better had they been entirely stricken from the work. For that reason, a book I loved is rated just four star. I'm eagerly looking forward to Claire getting the pages she deserves in a future work.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Van (Short & Sweet Reviews)

    Disclosure: I received a review copy from Wunderkind PR in exchange for a honest review. Wheeler returns to the world of Kingfountain with Knight’s Ransom, a prequel series. Knight’s Ransom follows the adventures of Marshall Barton, nicknamed Ransom; from a boy once held hostage to a distinguished knight of the realm. After the death of King Gervase, Ransom is left destitute with no money, no real family or home that he knows of and no lord to serve. He then vows and does everything in his power Disclosure: I received a review copy from Wunderkind PR in exchange for a honest review. Wheeler returns to the world of Kingfountain with Knight’s Ransom, a prequel series. Knight’s Ransom follows the adventures of Marshall Barton, nicknamed Ransom; from a boy once held hostage to a distinguished knight of the realm. After the death of King Gervase, Ransom is left destitute with no money, no real family or home that he knows of and no lord to serve. He then vows and does everything in his power to prove himself a worthy knight befitted to serve a respectable lord. I’ve read The Queen’s Poisoner a few years back and remembered loving it. But as with life, I never gotten around to finishing the series. So it was nice to revisit the world with Knight’s Ransom. Although its not a requirement to read The Queen’s Poisoner to enjoy this new series. It comes as no surprised that I enjoyed Knight’s Ransom. Wheeler is a masterful storyteller, the book was action-packed from beginning to end. I was intrigued by Ransom’s fountain-blessed abilities and the political maneuvering within the Argentine family as well as their rival, King Lewis. All the characters were so well developed. I absolutely loved Ransom. He’s so wholesome. He never let his surrounding or the actions of other sway or dictate his person. I really admired him. He’s also fiercely loyal and an amazing swordsman. The action sequences was vivid and perfectly detailed as if I were watching from the the sidelines on the battlefield or in the stands in Pree. I rarely connect with secondary/tertiary characters but Wheeler’s characters’ had me invested in literally everyone. I was shocked and devastated early on when Lord Rakeshaw and Sir William met an early demise in an ambush. While The First Argentines novel seemed heavily male dominated, there were a handful of powerful and capable women sprinkled here and there. One of the main heroine is Ransom’s childhood friend Lady Claire de Murrow. Although Claire isn’t at the forefront as much as some of the other characters, readers are privy to Claire’s most intimate thoughts with her journal entries following each chapter. I thought it was a great addition to tie in the overall story. She pretty funny too. I think Knight’s Ransom is a great start to a promising series. This First Argentines book exceed all my expectations and had me captivated from the first page. Wheeler had twist coming one after another. I loved the unpredictability of it all! Just when I thought it was safe…BOOM! Wheeler throws another shocking turn of event that sends the reader a.k.a me reeling. I’m talking about that ending! I can’t wait to see what Wheeler has in store for the subsequent books! How fitting that the novel began with a death of a king and ended with a death of a king, and that both events catapulted Ransom on his new journey. If you love a good ol’ old fashion fantasy adventure with amazing world building and character development, then pick up Knight’s Ransom A.S.A.P.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    This is the first book in a new series based on the very familiar world of Kingfountain. I really do not think that it is necessary to have read any of the previous books in this saga, but I DO think it would be extremely helpful and give you some much needed background and understanding - especially on the magic system. Speaking of the magic system. This new series takes place WAY before the other books that we have followed. The odd thing is that at this time, there is not really much informati This is the first book in a new series based on the very familiar world of Kingfountain. I really do not think that it is necessary to have read any of the previous books in this saga, but I DO think it would be extremely helpful and give you some much needed background and understanding - especially on the magic system. Speaking of the magic system. This new series takes place WAY before the other books that we have followed. The odd thing is that at this time, there is not really much information in Kingfountain about the "fountain blessed" or the magic of the Fountain. It is a bit odd to go from the later books when we finally learn the truth about the magic system and the reasoning behind everything to going back to the beginning when the royals are ignorant of what the Fountain can do and the blessings it can bestow.. This is based on a historical scholar finding a sort of "personal diary" of sorts of the heiress to Legault and Glosstyr. It starts when Claire is a child "ward" being held in the Kingfountain Palace. In other words, the King is basically keeping her ransom to keep her father (who was one of his nobles) in line and to ensure his fealty. She meets another boy being held also and they become friends (sound familiar?) The book is written with an excerpt from her journal at the beginning of each chapter. I think that it is done very well and it makes for a really nice flow. Claire's insight is often funny, always insightful and sometimes older than her years. We also meet Ransom - who this entire trilogy is based on. He is the second son of a Lord who is sent to Kingfountain as a ward. There is a civil war going on in the kingdom and the King threatens Ransom's (his name is really Marshall Barton) father. His father has changed his allegiance and the King threatens to hang his son on the gallows built right in front of their manor if he does not grant them entry. The father (who is a first class asshole) says, "Go ahead" and the story takes off from there. This story grabbed my heart from the very beginning. Ransom is one of those characters that you just can't help but fall in love with. He has a heart of pure gold. He is honest, pure, and full of honor, yet so many things happen to him in his young life. Man oh man....my eyes were already watering not even halfway through the book because I FELT for him. I HURT for him. That folks, is some excellent writing. So, you can find summaries anywhere, but what you need to know about this book is that it is interesting and fast paced. It is action packed and full of intrigue. I listened to most of this on Audible and Kate Rudd did a great job as always. I am so excited because I just received the ARC for book 2. I'm not even taking a break 'cause there is another book to read :)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Thanks to 47North and NetGalley for letting me have the opportunity to read and review this intriguing and enjoyable story. If you don't know already, I'm a big fan of Jeff Wheeler and all his stories. He's an amazing author and I love that he writes such great, engaging, and amazing stories that are clean without any language, violence, sex, or the like in them. This is an exciting and thrilling first book in a new series by Jeff Wheeler that brings us back to the world of Kingfountain, in the p Thanks to 47North and NetGalley for letting me have the opportunity to read and review this intriguing and enjoyable story. If you don't know already, I'm a big fan of Jeff Wheeler and all his stories. He's an amazing author and I love that he writes such great, engaging, and amazing stories that are clean without any language, violence, sex, or the like in them. This is an exciting and thrilling first book in a new series by Jeff Wheeler that brings us back to the world of Kingfountain, in the past from the Kingfountain series so now this gives us a glimpse into a story and the history of Kingfountain with this series focusing more on the time back when the Argentine family rules/comes to power and how this knight Ransom plays his part in everything. This story really is about Ransom and Claire, their love story, adventures, knights, sword fights, wars/battles, how Ransom has to find his way in the world and make a name for himself and find his place and where he fits in with everything. We discover Ransom has talents that make him a desirable knight/servant to have in a person's employ or as a person's bodyguard. He has to learn to use his talents to protect and serve and do his best to do what is right. During the story, Ransom discovers a plan to take the Queen and then ends up in her service as a bodyguard to her son who is the firstborn of the new Argentine dynasty. There's, of course, personal and more conflict that presents itself though and Ransom has to learn how to hone his talents and skills to better serve and help others as well as himself as he figures out what to do. It's another intense rollercoaster ride of emotion like most of the stories I read by this author that always seem to apply to life in general and me on a personal level, which makes the betrayal, turmoil, and other adventures with finding oneself and figuring things out and such as well as events throughout the story that much more meaningful to me as the reader and gets me right in the feels that much more. I did think when I first went to read this book that since I've read so much of his books and all the Kingfountain series that I kind of knew or had some sort of inkling what was going to happen, what story pattern this would follow, but, let me tell you, I had no idea what was going to happen until I read it and while there are a few similarities in some aspects, most of this story is completely new and I have no idea what's going to happen next. The end of this book left me hanging with no clue and I cannot wait to read the next book in this series. If you haven't heard or checked out this book yet, then get on it - go pre-order, put it on your list, and get ready for a thrilling beginning to another awesome series by a master storyteller.

  25. 5 out of 5

    gwendalyn _books_

    
This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.
This is a non spoiler review, because you as reader need to read this book. Also, I feel sometimes I have in the past gave away to much of the plot line. This has diminished the pleasure for would be readers.

Did you know Jeff Wheeler’s Kingfountain Series is being adapted for Tv?
I am screaming!! Are you Screaming?
Hello Bookish Friends 
This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.
This is a non spoiler review, because you as reader need to read this book. Also, I feel sometimes I have in the past gave away to much of the plot line. This has diminished the pleasure for would be readers.

Did you know Jeff Wheeler’s Kingfountain Series is being adapted for Tv?
I am screaming!! Are you Screaming?
Hello Bookish Friends Everywhere, Let’s return to the Kingfountain.
Knight’s Ransom by Jeff Wheeler is a masterful tale of knights and intrique. A compelling coming of age story that will delight readers everywhere.
Marshall Barton, “Ransom”, the second son of a lord is sent to King Gervase of Kingfountain. He becomes Royal hostage at a young age, to bring Marshall’s Father to heel. During the years as a hostage, at King Gervase’s court he befriends and develops a relationships with another child Claire de Murrow.
In a series of events that have a climatic change in Ransom’s situation. He becomes in broiled in courtly drama and intrigue. Taking his destiny into his own hands and trains as a Knight. His determination, and internal moral code makes him a strong and compelling character. Jeff Wheeler expanding magic system is notable. The setting and world building are brought to life with unique details making highly compulsive. Character development and the complexity of the relationship between Ransom and Claire are wonderful depicted.
The writing flows effortlessly and was mesmerizing. Wheeler has a real way with words that pulls you in. I have to say that Wheeler is dynamic storyteller, plain and simple. This book checks all my points on what makes for a exquisite fantasy fiction.
Hands down Wheeler’s ability to create an enduring hero, is applauded. There are a few suspenseful twists to keep you guessing, and the ending is set up in a way for the next installment.
Once again Jeff Wheeler delivers a bold new fantasy with knightly adventure, that is engaging, and makes for one stunning book. This is one book I highly recommend if enjoy exceptional fantasy fiction.
A remarkable page turner book that should be on your TBR


  26. 4 out of 5

    Talloraha Torrador

    To be honest, I don't know why this has such a high review. I actually picked it up in the first place because it was so highly reviewed. I haven't read any of Jeff Wheeler's other books and from the reviews it sounds like they are tied together. But for a first book in a series, I shouldn't have to feel like I know the other books to read this one. The story is very choppy. We start with the main character being 8 in the first chapter, then 12 in the next chapter, then 19 in the next. Each cha To be honest, I don't know why this has such a high review. I actually picked it up in the first place because it was so highly reviewed. I haven't read any of Jeff Wheeler's other books and from the reviews it sounds like they are tied together. But for a first book in a series, I shouldn't have to feel like I know the other books to read this one. The story is very choppy. We start with the main character being 8 in the first chapter, then 12 in the next chapter, then 19 in the next. Each chapter starts with a journal entry of Claire, the Merida-like love interest. But that's really ALL we get from her. I don't know why we are supposed to care or root for the relationship when we don't even really know who she is. I would have loved a whole book on seeing them grow up together in the castle. In fact, they could have done a whole books worth for the first and second chapter. But instead we get a few sentences on her from the main character each chapter where he kind of mentions thinking about her and then we never really see her again (granted, I made it to chapter 4). I don't know why we are supposed to care about the main character either. We are jumping around so much, there is no time to sit and learn about him. He grows up so much in the span on a chapter but we only see the aftermath. I feel like Jeff throws in other names like we are supposed to know who they are but most of the time they are never mentioned again or don't get much of an introduction accept for, 'oh and here's the first and last name of one of the random bullies beating up Ransom.' There are tons of knight's names who don't get much of an introduction either, just faceless knights living in this story. He might as well not give anyone names for how little I care about them. Overall, I wanted to like this book. Truly. But it just wasn't given the time that I felt like it needed or deserved. None of the characters had any depth to them and I felt little connection to them. I gave it 2 stars instead of 1 because I did feel like it could have been a good story, with a somewhat interesting premise. The dialog wasn't bad. And that's about it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Zoe L.

    This is my second book by Wheeler and I was so excited to dive back into his writing. Especially with an epic fantasy like this book. And ooo boy was it beyond amazing. And now I know that I need to go back and read all of the other books from this world. Which, I’m not mad about because I’ll take fantasy gladly any day. But where do I begin. I think with the characters. I adored the characters in this book and how they grew and developed throughout it. And there is a lot of time spent developing This is my second book by Wheeler and I was so excited to dive back into his writing. Especially with an epic fantasy like this book. And ooo boy was it beyond amazing. And now I know that I need to go back and read all of the other books from this world. Which, I’m not mad about because I’ll take fantasy gladly any day. But where do I begin. I think with the characters. I adored the characters in this book and how they grew and developed throughout it. And there is a lot of time spent developing the characters, which I really love when a fantasy book does that. I feel like sometimes fantasies get so focused on the plot that the characters fall to the wayside, or vice versa really, and this one felt like a nice sorta in-between with a little more focus on the characters but still a solid plot. And you know a solid plot is a must after reading a synopsis like this. Which I guess leads me to the pacing of this book. A lot happens in this one within a short span of time and I couldn’t get enough of it! So this is one that you should definitely check out. Nudge nudge, wink wink. But seriously, there’s a lot to offer in this book and it really delivers exceptionally well throughout. And I truly look forward to seeing what Wheeler comes up with next as well as exploring some of his older works that are already waiting for me to binge. You can view my full review & giveaway on my blog! I also post about a lot of different types of books! Reader | Bookstagrammer | Blogger | Reviewer @ya.its.lit - https://www.instagram.com/ya.its.lit/ Blog - https://yaitslitblog.wordpress.com/

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ms Cats World

    My kids and I are avid readers and Jeff Wheeler is one of our favorite authors! When ARC of the first book in his Argentines Series, Knight’s Ransom, I had to hold my twin teens back just so I could read it first after reading the synopsis out loud to them. Knight’s Ransom is a Sword & Sorcery Fantasy genre mixed with Historical Fantasy and sprinkled with Steampunk. This is a prequel series set in the Kingfountain world which follows the founding of the Argentine dynasty. So, while those that ha My kids and I are avid readers and Jeff Wheeler is one of our favorite authors! When ARC of the first book in his Argentines Series, Knight’s Ransom, I had to hold my twin teens back just so I could read it first after reading the synopsis out loud to them. Knight’s Ransom is a Sword & Sorcery Fantasy genre mixed with Historical Fantasy and sprinkled with Steampunk. This is a prequel series set in the Kingfountain world which follows the founding of the Argentine dynasty. So, while those that have read that series will feel like it’s revisiting, be assured that you are meeting all new characters. For those that are new to the world, be ready for an exceptional world to be built in the confines of your mind between his pages. Character development is above par from the narrator, Lady Claire, to Ransom, whom I was cheering for from beginning to end on his quest to become a knight and to win the affection of Lady Claire de Murrow. The storyline weaves you through twist and turns of treachery and deceit with tales of jealousy and revenge. The combat scenarios were well written with an Arthurian twist to them. Looking forward to following our loyal knight, Sir Ransom Baron, through his next quest in Warrior’s Ransom. Now, I shall allow my twins to begin their fight over who shall be reading this next… maybe I’ll throw a wrench into the mix and give my youngest tween the option to go first (wickedly laughs).

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kristi Kunselman

    This book is an amazing beginning to the start of another series set in Kingfountain. What I love about Jeff Wheeler's books is how they have "Easter eggs" in them that connect you to his other series. He intertwines our written history and legends into a new, but familiar story. I always find myself trying to figure out who/what the story is based on and dive into some real life research after each new book. This story follows "Ransom" Barton throughout his journey to become a knight, along with This book is an amazing beginning to the start of another series set in Kingfountain. What I love about Jeff Wheeler's books is how they have "Easter eggs" in them that connect you to his other series. He intertwines our written history and legends into a new, but familiar story. I always find myself trying to figure out who/what the story is based on and dive into some real life research after each new book. This story follows "Ransom" Barton throughout his journey to become a knight, along with the challenges he faces and mistakes he makes along the way. All of the setbacks help to further develop his character while adding suspense to the story. You can't have a tale about a knight without kings, queens, betrayal, and a lady, Claire, who captures his heart. This story is the first of four in the series and it will leave you eagerly awaiting the next installment. Will he take the pilgrimage to seek the answers about his abilities? Who is the lady in the cloak and what has she to do with the queen? Who will end up with the hollow crown? Will he and Claire ever be together, or does life hold a different path for them? As I said, the stories seem familiar, but I'm always kept guessing. I think I'm going to reread his first Kingfountain series while I'm waiting so I can make the connections that were going through my head as I was reading this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    Jeff Wheeler is my favorite author so I'm biased. I love his writing and story telling. This book was no different. I know some may not like the familiar storyline in his books but I absolutely love it. It's not as though each story is identical, but you find yourself familiar with the main character's plight if you've read his other works. I have actually been thinking for the past few months that I should go back and read the Kingfountain series again because I've missed it, so you can imagine Jeff Wheeler is my favorite author so I'm biased. I love his writing and story telling. This book was no different. I know some may not like the familiar storyline in his books but I absolutely love it. It's not as though each story is identical, but you find yourself familiar with the main character's plight if you've read his other works. I have actually been thinking for the past few months that I should go back and read the Kingfountain series again because I've missed it, so you can imagine my joy at receiving a copy of this book. It will take you back to everything you loved about Kingfountain and serve as an early history. Wheeler's world building is second to none. You don't need to read the other books to become fully immersed in this world. It felt like I was there along with the Ransom and I felt the frustrations and set backs he experienced. There is a cliff hanger so I'll be anxiously awaiting the second in this series. Very excited to see the whole picture in the next book! You can't go wrong with any of Jeff's books, and I found this one to be an absolutely fantastic start to a new series!!!

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