"In the frozen tundra of Khovir, a queen must put herself between the man she loves and the twin brother who covets all he has. When Amaroq steals her husband's crown, Kana sacrifices herself to the new king's rage to protect all that she cares for."
'King of the Castle' by Carmen Hunter is touted as a dark historical romance novel, described to have traumatic scenes between captor and captive that are described in full detail. Only.. it isn't. Not really.
The descriptions of the power exchange scenarios are actually really brief and lackluster. The author seems to lack the range of language or creativity to make any of the scenes colorful, from the physical exchanges between Kana and her new King.. which are very basic, to the condition of the old king in his cell, and even scenes where the loyal are extinguished.
She genuinely didn't manage to make me care about a single character. There's zero growth within them. They're not complex, though it's clear the author either believes they are or wants the reader to believe so. Everyone is wishy-washy.
Kana spends the entire story swinging between acting contrite and saying she's sorry, then raging out on the King in some ridiculous over the top way and inspiring his violence again, which of course he's 'manipulating her into,' just so she can be 'terrified' a moment later. The cycle continues over and over, but not even in a believable way.
This isn't a story with a series of violent scenes. It's a number of individual, uninteresting violent scenes with the barest minimum of occurrences between them to seem like a story, to create more chances for violent scenes. There's no craft here. No substance.
I still don't understand the purpose of the first chapter. It seems wholly out of sync with the rest of the novel. You'll see what I mean if you read this.. but something referenced there actually never occurs throughout the entire book. There's no flashback or flashforward. It simply never is. Like the author originally thought to go one direction, then went another, and completely forgot what chapter one said.
Characters seldom even behave in ways that make any sense. We're not given reasons to believe many of their actions. We're just to take it on word.. that they feel one way or the other. And what an absolutely worthless ending.
Honestly, don't waste your time on this book. Even the alleged 'steamy' scenes aren't worthwhile and I love a good dark exchange.