Review: Witch King by Martha Wells

Posted August 10, 2023 by Sophia Rose in Rating A, Reviews, Sci-Fi or Fantasy Fiction Tags: , , ,

book cover of Witch King by Martha WellsWitch King
Martha Wells
Sophia Rose
Rating: A-

What I’m Talking About:

Waking up and discovering someone made a strong effort to make sure your dead and stay that way is not a propitious day in a demon’s life.  

I was all anticipation when I got my hands on this fantasy because I love Martha Well’s The Murderbot Diaries sci-fi series so I was willing to try her work in any genre.  I already enjoy fantasy, but I don’t read it as often so it took me a bit to get settled into Witch King.

I liked how the reader starts off as clueless as the main character, Kai, about what is going on. But, then slowly the reader starts to get a picture as there are flashbacks to the past, explanations and meetings in the present as Kai the demon and his witch friend, Ziede, along with a few waifs they pick up along the way set out on a grand journey adventure to discover the truth behind the recent events and try to stay uncaptured and alive from the formidable groups ranged against them.

The setting is an earth-like place with an under-earth and lots of magical peoples and different races.  Learning about this world is what keeps the reader digesting a lot of detail along the way.  In fact, as much as I love audio editions, I’m glad I started this one in print first because I would have been thoroughly confused when it comes to the intricate details the reader needs to pick up to understand the nuances behind the broader plot.  As it is, I’m pretty sure I missed some detail that would enhance my understanding so I’m already planning a re-read.

The characters beginning with Kai at the center of it all were fabulous.  Kai was instantly likeable and I was engaged with him in all his colorful history from the beginning.  I don’t usually enjoy split time plot threads equally, but I did in this case.  I was happy to devour more details about Kai’s life. Martha Wells made me connect deeply with Kai and the others and really care about them and their circumstances.

There was a fabulous blend of worldbuilding, character development, and action which included some great twisting political intrigue.  The descriptions of this world they live in and through the lens of the past as ways of life, races, and governments toppled and rebuilt over the centuries was full and rich.  

The story wraps up in a good and satisfying place, but left room for more because the broad stage of things in both the past and the present time threads still have more play in them.  Definitely recommend to other fantasy lovers.

My Rating: A- Enjoyed A Lot
Sophia Rose

About the Book:

“I didn’t know you were a… demon.”
“You idiot. I’m the demon.”
Kai’s having a long day in Martha Wells’ WITCH KING….

After being murdered, his consciousness dormant and unaware of the passing of time while confined in an elaborate water trap, Kai wakes to find a lesser mage attempting to harness Kai’s magic to his own advantage. That was never going to go well.

But why was Kai imprisoned in the first place? What has changed in the world since his assassination? And why does the Rising World Coalition appear to be growing in influence?

Kai will need to pull his allies close and draw on all his pain magic if he is to answer even the least of these questions.

He’s not going to like the answers.

Release Date: May 30, 2023
hardcover (424 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: NetGalley

Purchase Info:
Amazon (affiliate link)