Review: The Kraken King Part III by Meljean Brook

Posted May 3, 2014 by Jen in Rating A, Reviews, Romance, Steampunk Fiction Tags: , , , , ,

The Kraken King Serialized Novel Reviews

Welcome to my nine-part review special of The Kraken King by Meljean Brook. The book is being released as an eight-part serialized novel. Each Saturday (or Friday) after the release of a part of the novel, I will share my review. In addition, on June 9, 2014, after the entire book is released, I will share a special review and host a giveaway for the awesome Kraken King Poster shown above!

Today I share Part III. Because each part was written as a specific piece within a larger framework, each piece is rated based on the quality of the work with respect to where and when it falls within the larger story, as well as my enjoyment of the story within the context of a larger tale. The rating is not based as if this part is solely a stand alone book.

Note: Although these are separate and distinct adventures, the individual parts are NOT stand alone stories. The series is intended to be read in whole from Part I to Part VIII, and leaving out earlier parts is akin to skipping chapters in a book. NOTE: This review will contain spoilers from the earlier parts of the book!

The Kraken King Part III:
The Kraken King and the Fox’s Den
Author: Meljean Brook

Jen Twimom
Rating: A

What I’m Talking About:

For frame of reference, this part starts with Chapter 9 of The Kraken King.

Part III opens with our band of travelers finding temporary refuge in a mining area  while Cooper’s leg is fixed and he heals from his boilerworm attack. However, the group quickly heads off to the Smuggler’s Den, where the majority of this part occurs. Having misunderstood what he saw in Zenobia’s letters, Ariq attempts to build walls around his heart and keep clear of Zenobia, just when she is finally ready to give herself to him. The focus of Part III is both the growing relationship between Ariq and Zenobia, but also securing safe passage to the Red City for Zenobia and Helene.

I have to say that Part III, The Kraken King and the Fox’s Den, is by far my favorite section to date. The overall story continued to move forward, yet it was the nuances of the finer details which captured my heart and imagination. First, the visual imagery is fantastic as always. From how Zenobia describes the tension she observes between Cooper and Mara, to what Ariq thinks and feels about the twin sisters who govern the Fox’s Den.

I also enjoyed getting to know Ariq in more detail – to learn of his desires to save the oppressed. How he is fair but firm. How he wants to keep Zenobia out of his heart, but it’s too late. His loyalty to both his town and to those he cares about is such an admirable and swoon-worthy trait. I think my favorite moment was when he approached Mara and Cooper to talk about how best to protect Zenobia. His honesty is so touching and appealing.

And Zenobia is such the fantastic heroine. Her wit is simply sublime. But I adore that she loves her life – she is sheltered and it doesn’t bother her. She enjoys the distance she keeps between herself and her friends. The only one she will allow to “barge in” is her brother. I admire that she will fight to keep her freedom and lifestyle and doesn’t feel the need to conform to society’s expectations.

The sexual tension between Ariq and Zenobia is outstanding. It is amplified by our capablity to see into both characters’ minds and hearts. Ms. Brook does a fantastic job bringing the pair close and then pulling them apart. What I appreciate is that the issues and problems driving a wedge between the couple, while they are mostly misunderstandings, hold some basic truth behind the concerns. And the consequences of any wrong action could be the lives of the people closest to both. The conflict and hidden truths are well-established, so the back and forth nature does not feel contrived.

At this point, I freakin’ LOVE The Kraken King! Part III not only furthered the adventure, but Zenobia and Ariq’s relationship. We also get a deeper understanding of both characters. Just wonderful. And most of all… leaves me desperate to read more. I’m definitely hooked now and there is no going back.

My Rating:  A, Loved it


About the Book:

After a harrowing escape, Zenobia, Ariq, and their company take refuge in a gold rush town—but their temporary port is just a respite before traveling to the dangerous smugglers’ dens. Ariq is determined to uncover the men responsible for the threat to Krakentown, even if it means confronting the notorious den lords.

But when he discovers evidence in Zenobia’s letters connecting her to the Horde rebellion, he realizes that the threat is far greater than he had suspected. His loyalties torn, Ariq must distance himself from the fascinating woman he desperately wants to hold closer.

Stunned and hurt by Ariq’s inexplicable coldness, Zenobia prepares to leave the dens and continue her journey to the Red City. But in the smugglers’ dens, danger lurks around every corner, and all of her protection is gone…

Release Date: April 29, 2014
Intermix (Penguin)
Iron Seas #4.3
Steampunk Romance, Serialized Novel
Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley

Purchase Info:
The Kraken King Part III (Iron Seas #4.3)

Reviews in the Series:
“The Blushing Bounder” by Meljean Brook (Wild & Steamy) (Iron Seas #0.4)
“Here There Be Monsters” by Meljean Brook (Burning Up) (Iron Seas #0.5)
The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #1)
“Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City” by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #1.5)
Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #2)
“Tethered” by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #2.5)
Riveted by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #3)
“Wrecked” by Meljean Brook (Fire & Frost) (Iron Seas #3.4)
“Salvage” by Meljean Brook (Enthralled) (Iron Seas #3.5)
The Kraken King Part I by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #4.1)
The Kraken King Part II by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #4.2)