Release Date: July 25, 2013
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Author Links: Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
A fresh, meaty, sink-your-teeth-in-and-hold-on-tight new adult fantasy series kicks off with King Hall…
King Hall — where the Mysticals go to learn their craft, get their degrees, and transition into adulthood. And where four new Rulers will rise and meet their destinies.
Lily Ruckler is adept at one thing: survival. Born a Mystical hybrid, her mere existence is forbidden, but her nightmare is only about to start. Fluke, happenstance, and a deep personal loss finds Lily deeply entrenched with those who would destroy her simply for existing — The Mystical Kings. Being named future Queen of the Shifters shoves Lily into the spotlight, making her one of the most visible Mysticals in the world. But with risk comes a certain solace — her burgeoning friendships with the other three Prodigies: a wicked Vampire, a wild-child Mage, and a playboy Elemental. Backed by their faith and trust, Lily begins to relax into her new life.
Then chaos erupts as the fragile peace between Commoners and Mysticals is broken, and suddenly Lily realises the greatest threat was never from within, and her fear takes on a new name: the revolution.
Honestly, when I was first asked to review this book I kind of gave a mental shudder. The cover gave me a 'paranormal romance' kind of vibe, and I've been burned out on those for a while now. However, the blurb classified it as a new adult fantasy, so I went ahead and downloaded it. But I also managed to put off reading it for as long as possible, because I couldn't stomach the thought of yet another paranormal boarding school story.
Ugh. Just what I wanted to read...some kind of Vampire Academy romance for the 'New Adult' genre. Blech.
I finally ran out of books that I wanted to read, and the only thing left was King Hall. Since I'm a good southerner, I said a little prayer, "Dear Baby Jesus, I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but if you could send a cool book my way next time, I'd really appreciate it. Oh, and please bless this book that I'm about to partake of, even though I know I'm going to hate it. Starving children, peace on earth, etc.. Amen.".
The story is already in progress when the books opens. In fact, after the first chapter, I rolled my eyes and looked it up on Goodreads.
WTF?! These characters are already know each other, and the plot is in full swing! Did I end up accidentally getting into the middle a series that I know nothing about...AGAIN?!
Uh, no. As it turns out, King Hall is the first book by this author. Hmmm. Ok, now I'm intrigued. 'Cause all of the 'getting to know you' stuff has already happened. Different and possibly cool.
Lily is enrolled in King Hall, which is basically a college for mystical beings. Her mate Dominic is slated to be the next king of the Shifters. He's hot, sweet, and he knows about Lily's secret. She's a hybrid (shifter and vampire), which would earn her a death sentence if anyone else knew about it. Dominic is truly the Love of her Life. Once you find your mate, the bond is unbreakable and lifelong. Each mated couple has their own gift, and their gifts are telepathy and empathy. They should only have one, but her hybrid status gave them two. Unfortunately, no one can know about the empathy...'cause of that pesky Death Sentence thing. Of course, the mean-girl Shifters hate Lily. She's seen as an oddity due to her short stature and strange (for them) hair. She's also a fox-sized wolf when she shifts....pretty embarrassing.
So I'm not too far into it at this point, and other than the way I've been dropped into this story, I'm still not overly excited. Sounds like a million other plots that I've already read. Yawn.....
And the all of a sudden the entire story took off in a different direction.
I. Couldn't. Put. It. Down.
And the thing is, if I tell you all of the things that changed my mind about King Hall? Ugh! Total spoilers! What I can say is that the world-building was phenomenal, the plot was well-paced, and there was absolutely no sign of the smooth Velveeta cheese that I thought would be coating the pages. It was awesome! There's not as much action or political intrigue going on as the blurb might imply, but the characters more than make up for it. I really can't say enough about the uniquely engrossing friendship that the author created between Lily, Jack, Pearl, and Ezra.
Speaking of Ezra, I think it's noteworthy to mention that I have a major crush on that vampire. Why is that noteworthy, you ask? Well, I pretty much throw up in my mouth when I read about vampires anymore. Let's face it, a few years ago the market was over-saturated with sexy vampires. Almost every book had at least one of the poor misunderstood bastards lurking in the shadows. The running theme (correct me if I'm wrong, ladies) being that [ insert random vampire] could give a woman a mind-blowing orgasm just by drinking her blood. Which is pretty gross and probably a little unsanitary when you think about it. But I'll admit that I gobbled up my fair share of those books...and then some. Having said that, I'm sure I'm not the only one who now gags every time they see some new PNR with a pasty looking bad-boy on the cover.
So you can imagine how surprised I was to find myself getting all tingly over Ezra. Yep. He transcended my hatred of all things Nosferatu. And that's really saying something.
I've gotta warn you, the ending has quite a cliffhanger. I'm not always a fan of those, but it totally worked for me this time. I loved it! Well, sort of...