Secure in his position as the mighty Prince-warlock’s son, eighteen-year-old Basil is content with his solitary life of study and magic. He has a comfortable set of rooms in his father’s tower, he has his books and scrolls, and he is perfectly happy. Until the Warlockry Council summons him, and their demands sets his whole, safe existence tottering. Scared and unsure, he decides to run, and takes the first ship out of town. On board he meets Yarwan, the handsome midshipman, who awakens feelings he never knew existed.
Maud of the M'Brannoe, at nineteen already a mighty Kell warrioress, is about to graduate as a Lioness, a special duty officer answering to her Queen and no one else. The Prince-warlock asks her to fetch a certain boy from a pirate town, who could be double for his son. On their way back, someone sabotages their airship and the two find themselves marooned in an ill-reputed forest. Together, the young lioness and Jurgis the lookalike run for the coast and a ship home, while finding solace in each other’s arms.
Then the four young people meet, and Basil learns of a spell that might help him. Only the spell’s creator, the infamous Arrangh Warlock, disappeared nearly a century ago. When the four young people decide to go looking for him, they start on a path leading to an old war and unsolved mysteries that will change the world. Or kill them.
A spirited fantasy story of high adventure, sparkling humor and romantic love in an alternate earth setting of tropical islands, pirates, steamships and wyrms, where both magic and early modern technology flourish.
(From the 5* Review at: http://apocalypsebooked.com/bookreview-lioness-of-kell/)
Lioness of Kell is a long read in the tradition of high fantasy and it is worth every page of it.
If you are looking for a fantasy book with diversity in it then you should definitely check this out. You get POC main female character, a disabled character, and a queer relationship.
(From the 5* Review at: http://www.iheartreading.net/book-tour/book-review-lioness-of-kell-by-paul-e-horsman/)
I have to applaud Lioness of Kell for having one of the most diverse casts I’ve ever come across in a fantasy book. Here we see a female person of color in the role of the protagonist, and instead of jumping to stereotypes, Maud is realistic, genuine, a regular person, with flaws and troubles.
(From the 4* Review at: https://booksandashes.wordpress.com/)
From the world building to the storytelling and its pace, Lioness of Kell is a great book that is different from so many of the other books in the fantasy genre.
Recommend?: Yes definitely! I would be crazy not to recommend a book that features a WoC as the main protagonist, a character with a lame foot, and a non-heterosexual relationship!