The Ever King by LJ Andrews is the first novel in the Ever Seas series, a Broken Kingdom spin-off series that takes place twenty years after the events of Dance of Kings and Thieves (the sixth book in the Broken Kingdom series). It follows Erik Bloodsinger, the Ever King, as he attempts to retake the mantle that Valen won from the previous Ever King, and Livia, Valen and Elise Ferus’ daughter. You do not need to read the Broken Kingdom series to understand what is happening in this book, but it does spoil a few things.
They stole his crown. So, he stole their daughter…
For years Erik, the scarred king of the Ever Kingdom, has thought of nothing but vengeance against the man who killed his father and trapped him beneath the waves, making him a prisoner in his own realm.
Until his enemy’s daughter unintentionally breaks the chains on the Ever, and Erik makes her the unwitting pawn in his vicious game of revenge.
She’s innocent. He’s vicious. But he will take back what he lost, no matter the price.
Unless she steals his heart first.
- Published: September 16, 2023
- Page Count: 412 pages
- Genre: Dark Fantasy
Thoughts on The Ever King
Now, I absolutely love the Broken Kingdom series and I was intrigued when I found out LJ Andrews was making a series focused on the children of the characters we met in the previous series. Livia was born after the events of Reign of Stars and Fire, while Erik was around the age of four or five in Dance of Kings and Thieves. As he was rescued by Malin and Elise during one of the battles for the Eastern kingdom when Valen was put back into bloodlust in order to rescue the sea prince and Stieg. Later, Erik was returned to his father only for his father to call him unworthy for being brutalized when Malin’s enemies had tortured him. This prompted Valen to kill the previous Ever King, thus giving him the mantel of the Ever Sea something that could not be won back for another ten turns.
Of course, Erik doesn’t tell Livia any of this and she’s completely unaware of that part of Erik’s history. She only knows that Erik returned for the mantel with his uncle only to lose the war against the Earth Fae resulting in him being imprisoned for a time. Livia was drawn to him during this time, and used to read him a story about a songbird and serpent. Enemies who, despite it all, end up together. Something that is reflected in their story. When Livia tries to give Erik the mantel back, he tells her to hold onto it instead. Only she trips leaving the prison, resulting in the mantel to break and her to get a rune mark on her elbow.
Another ten years pass before Livia starts to feel the draw to the Ever King, Erik, again. Only this time the Chasm that kept them apart opens allowing him to come through. However, with the years that passed since they last saw each other, they see each other as enemies. Only the two are still drawn towards each other despite how much they hate it in the moment. This reunion prompts Erik to steal Livia to the Ever Sea as ransom for the mantel he doesn’t know was accidentally destroyed by Livia. But he does notice the mark of the Kings on her elbow, the same mark that was on the mantel.
Over time, Livia starts to see beneath the black heart and starts to care for Erik. While Erik is constantly torn between desiring Livia and wanting to keep her at arms length due to his entire upbringing telling him that love is a weakness. However, they can’t stay away from each other. So, of course, they end up together. But it’s through a lot of struggle and learning to trust. As Erik keeps every piece that could be seen as a weakness secret: what happened with his mother, what he did during the battle against the earth fae, how he knows Stieg, who really tortured him all those years ago, and more.
The book does end on a cliffhanger and I can’t wait to see how The Ever Queen is going to play out.
As I know Valen is not going to be happy with Erik over kidnapping his daughter, nor are any of her friends. But I have a feeling once they know what’s happening, they will join forces to help in what’s going on.
Overall, I give The Ever King by LJ Andrews 4.25 stars out of 5. This book grabbed my attention and held it the entire time. I couldn’t put it down and I desperately want to know what happens next. I guess in the meantime I’ll read Song of Sorrows and Fate as I hadn’t realized that was out. I’m surprised the two books were released so close together but at least I have something to hold me over in the meantime as I wait for The Ever Queen to be released.
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