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The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons #1) (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

The Ruin of Kings is a fascinating narrative; it's a text that exists within the world that Lyons has created, with relevant footnotes and annotations to add to the reader's understanding. When we begin our story, Kihrin, our protagonist, is in prison. His jailer, a mimic who can read minds and change her appearance at will, demands her prisoner tell her a story. And so it begins, with Kihrin explaining just how he wound up in this situation. He and his jailer take turns retelling the events that led us to this moment, with each chapter alternating viewpoints. Even though the two stories take place at different points in time, they both weave together brilliantly. It's a tale of gods, kings, and demons. And that's only the beginning. As an avid reader of epic fantasy stories, it just doesn't get much better than this! 


— From Gary's Picks!

Enter a world of corrupt empires, fading gods, and an evil so great that it could consume the universe. Kihrin is a musician by day & a key, a street thief good at picking locks & picking pockets, by night. His only aspirations are to save enough money to move far away from the capital city of Quur with his father and his sweetheart, buy a tavern, & live life in obscurity & comfort. But when he accidentally witnesses the summoning of a demon by powerful wizards from the royal households, he is thrown into a web of deceit, political machinations, and cosmic conflict - and at the center of it all is a web of prophecies that all lead back to him. What do you do when your destiny is not to save the world, but to destroy it? Pick up this book & be transported into an epic fantasy that will have you grasping for answers as you journey alongside Kihrin and make deals with dragons, learn magic, and maybe, if you're lucky, save the world.

— From Kylie's Staff Picks


A Kirkus Best of Science Fiction and Fantasy pick for 2019!
A Library Journal Best Book of 2019!
An NPR Favorite Book of 2019!

"Everything epic fantasy should be: rich, cruel, gorgeous, brilliant, enthralling and deeply, deeply satisfying. I loved it."—Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians

When destiny calls, there's no fighting back.

Kihrin grew up in the slums of Quur, a thief and a minstrel's son raised on tales of long-lost princes and magnificent quests. When he is claimed against his will as the missing son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds himself at the mercy of his new family's ruthless power plays and political ambitions.

Practically a prisoner, Kihrin discovers that being a long-lost prince is nothing like what the storybooks promised. The storybooks have lied about a lot of other things, too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, and how the hero always wins.

Then again, maybe he isn't the hero after all. For Kihrin is not destined to save the world.

He's destined to destroy it.

Jenn Lyons begins the Chorus of Dragons series with The Ruin of Kings, an epic fantasy novel about a man who discovers his fate is tied to the future of an empire.

"It's impossible not to be impressed with the ambition of it all . . . a larger-than-life adventure story about thieves, wizards, assassins and kings to dwell in for a good long while."—The New York Times

A Chorus of Dragons
1: The Ruin of Kings
2: The Name of All Things
3: The Memory of Souls

About the Author

Jenn Lyons lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, three cats and a nearly infinite number of opinions on anything from Sumerian mythology to the correct way to make a martini. Lyons traces her geek roots back to playing first edition Dungeons & Dragons in grade school and reading her way from A to Z in the school's library. Formerly an art director and video game producer, she now spends her days writing fantasy. In 2020, she was nominated for the Astounding Award for Best New Writer. Her five-book Chorus of Dragons fantasy series begins with The Ruin of Kings.

Praise For…

"It's impossible not to be impressed with the ambition of it all, the sheer, effervescent joy Lyons takes in the scope of her project . . . a larger-than-life adventure story about thieves, wizards, assassins and kings to dwell in for a good long while."—The New York Times

"Ms. Lyons is all set to take her readers on a long journey indeed, unfolding and unfolding like brilliant origami. So far, though, not a hairy chest in sight, nor a languishing maiden. Fantasy has moved on, and is all the better for it."—The Wall Street Journal

"An impressive and highly accomplished debut . . . The Ruin of Kings makes both an ideal introduction to epic fantasy and a rewarding read for fans of the genre."—The Los Angeles Times

"With the scope and sense of fatality of Patrick Rothfuss, and well-choreographed action sense of Brandon Sanderson, Lyons leaps into the big leagues of epic fantasy and sticks the landing."—Booklist, starred review

"[A] jaw-dropping, action-packed story of betrayal, greed, and grand-scale conspiracy . . . Lyons ties it all together seamlessly to create literary magic. Epic fantasy fans looking for a virtually un-put-down-able read should look no further."—Kirkus, starred review

"Tightly plotted . . . its lore and memorable characters will leave epic fantasy fans eager for the second volume."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"This stunning debut takes epic fantasy to a high level, portraying a world filled with magic, demons, gods, and dragons, in which politics and power plays are the laws of the land."—Library Journal, starred review

"Rich, cruel, gorgeous, brilliant, enthralling and deeply, deeply satisfying. I loved it."—Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians

“It was one hell of a ride. I gobbled it up and was hungry for more.”—Glen Cook, author of The Black Company

The Ruin of Kings is a fascinating story about a compellingly conflicted young hero in an intriguingly complex world.”—L. E. Modesitt, Jr., author of the Recluse series

"A thriller plot of revenge and loyalty with a get-under-your-skin and keep-you-reading-all-night mystery at its heart. I loved it."—John Gwynne, author of Malice

"The Ruin of Kings revs up with the glitz of a high-speed, multi-level video game, with extreme magic and a teen hero with angst."—Janny Wurts, author of The Curse of the Mistwraith

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250175502
ISBN-10: 125017550X
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: September 10th, 2019
Pages: 576
Language: English
Series: A Chorus of Dragons