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“When one kingdom drowns, a new one must rise in its place. So begins the saga of that kingdom, and the man who would rule it all.”

A Drowned Kingdom

by P.L. Stuart

A drowned kingdom

A Drowned Kingdom

by p.l. stuart

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What is it about?

Once Second Prince of the mightiest kingdom in the known world, Othrun now leads the last survivors of his exiled people into an uncertain future far across the Shimmering Sea from their ancestral home, now lost beneath the waves.

With his Single God binding his knights to chivalric oaths, intent on wiping out idolatry and pagan worship, they will have to carve out a new kingdom on this mysterious continent

a continent that has for centuries been ravaged by warlords competing for supremacy and mages channeling the mystic powers of the elements―and unite the continent under godly rule.

With a troubled past, a cursed sword, and a mysterious spirit guiding him, Othrun means to be that ruler, and conquer all.

But with kingdoms fated on the edge of spears, alliances and pagan magic, betrayal, doubt, and dangers await him at every turn. Othrun will be forced to confront the truths of all he believes in on his journey to become a king, and a legend.

When one kingdom drowns, a new one must rise in its place. So begins the saga of that kingdom, and the man who would rule it all.

steve’s Review

I went into A Drowned Kingdom knowing nothing about it, just having it in my grouping for SPFBO7. I’m not used to being particularly hard on books in my reviews, especially indie books, but the nature of SPFBO means I will have to be brutally honest so we can narrow down the field to just the chosen few.

I did like the world building with this book. The idea of an advanced empire centered on Atlantis, which has a military and economic empire spread across the island, as well as in large parts of another continent, is very appealing as a reader.

The fact the Atlanteans are more technologically advanced is also intriguing, as well as having the military power to enforce their will making them seem quite daunting. Their monarchy is stable, and looks to be in no danger of being overthrown as well, so that lends an air of stability to this powerful nation.

I did have issues with a few things, though, mostly in regards to characters and some over-reliance on fantasy tropes. The first issue has to deal with the Atlanteans being religious fanatics, tolerating no dissent from their worship of the One God, and that bigotry coloring their view of any other people they deal with. It tended to make the characters of the princes unlikable.

The overused trope of the two prince’s rivalry, with the older prince being petty and vindictive is just a bit overused, and this book is no exception.

The other trope I just didn’t want to see again was the heathen foreign princess seducing the Crown Prince, causing dissension for the princes and the Kingdom in general, because obviously the prince bought it hook line and sinker, never thinking about anything but his lust. Again, a tired trope that just seems played out.

Things change drastically once the cataclysm occurs, but there’s just a bit too much hand wavium and plot armor used to move the story along later to advance the cause of the Atlantean remnants. This doesn’t kill the story by any means, but it just keeps it from being in that top echelon of books that will advance to the final round.

I will give A Drowned Kingdom a recommend to read, but I will not be advancing it on to the next round.

Rating: 7/10

*Beth Note: P.L. Stuart will be joining BEFORE WE GO as a reviewer, but not as an SPFBO team member. Those are two separate teams. This came to pass after the review was given to me to post and neither reviewer nor author has had any contact. His joining us is a very new thing and we are extremely glad to have him on board.  There is no conflict of interest


#SPFBO Review and Cut – The Deathless One by Niranjan K.

#SPFBO Review and Cut – The Hand of Fire by Roland O’Leary

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Steve Caldwell

steve caldwell

I have literally been a fan of fantasy/magic my whole life, with some of the earliest memories I have being my mother stories of brujas and spirits in the town in Puerto Rico where she was born.

What really flipped the fantasy switch on full, though, was discovering a battered copy of the Sword of Shannara that cost me 25 cents at the local used book store when I was 11.

Its been a long journey since that day almost 40 years ago, and thousands of books later, here we are.

Living with my wife, our two non-adult kids, four cats and a vicious attack beast Chihuahua about an hour south of Seattle, I’m glad to be able to share my love of fantasy and science fiction, especially Indie and small press, with anyone who’s interested.

Where to Find Him



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