Killer of Kings is an enjoyable addition to Matthew Harffy's Bernicia Chronicles. From the time I read The Serpent Sword I have been hooked, and it has been quite the adventure watching Beobrand go from young, arrogant warrior to husband & father....and admittedly, he remains an arrogant warrior if he is now one with scars, aches, and regrets.
In this installment, Beobrand comes up against foes that he is powerless to claim victory over. What I love about this series is that, in the midst of violence and gore, we get some satisfying character development. Beobrand is almost broken by the fact that he cannot simply charge in and expect to win every time. He has to swallow his pride, leave people behind, and learn how to choose his battles. Not that he always learns from his mistakes, and part of the fun of this series is waiting to see how his infamous luck will hold out for him.
While Beobrand is off on his latest adventure, Reaghan is attempting to hold down the fort at home. This is understandably difficult considering Reaghan's uncertain status. Her rise from thrall to leading lady is jealously disdained by Rowena, a woman who considers herself far above this interloper. I have to admit that Reaghan is a disappointing substitute for Sunniva, who seemed to help Beobrand mature and evolve. Reaghan still comes across as little more than a bed-warmer. I found myself cheering for Rowena's evil schemes, and I'm pretty sure that was not the author's intent.
A trip to Beobrand's home village fills in many gaps and ties up some loose strings with surprising efficiency, so that, by the time Beobrand arrives home, one wonders where the next book will head. I know that I am eager to discover what trouble our impetuous hero will get into next.