Manipulator’s War (Ruarnon Trilogy Book 1) by Elise Carlson – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes
Manipulator’s War by Elise Carlson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ruarnon has spent their life learning lessons in combat and how to run the kingdom they will one take over. As the non-binary heir to Tarlah they have had to work harder to impress their father who happens to be the King of Tarlah. When Ruarnon’s parents are abducted in the middle of the night they are thrust into the role quicker than anticipated and find themselves forced to make difficult decisions as they take over ruling the kingdom. In their new role Ruarnon finds that they are uncertain who to trust within the Royal Council and is also faced with the news that the neighboring kingdom wants to expand into Tarlah. Ruarnon is thrown headfirst into their role as heir to the throne and jumps straight into battling an ongoing war.
Meanwhile, Linh is on an excursion to Australia with her class when her and her classmates find themselves in a foreign land they do not recognize. As they try to find their way back Linh learns of a place that has a race that may have the knowledge to help her get back home. In her journey she stumbles onto a small island where monsters are attacking anyone and everyone. The monsters see everything as a target and annihilate anything that moves. Will she be able to escape to safety and find this race that will help her find her way home?
This book was action packed from the first pages as Ruarnon was thrust into their role as ruler of Tarlah. The storylines were entertaining, and I had to continue to read to see how the two were going to join together. I loved that the protagonist was non-binary and written from their perspective. The character of Ruarnon was written well and the author did a great job of including the struggles they faced as being non-binary without that defining them. It was an aspect of who they were, not what they were. A great read full of action, war, rivalry, betrayal, and even some monsters.
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