The King’s 100 by Karin Biggs is a summer read filled with magic and excitement! Due to be released on July 21st, I think it’s time to draw some attention to it.
READ. THIS. DAMN. BOOK.
For the longest time, I thought I was no longer fitted to read YA. I haven’t been a teen for almost a decade now, and chasing my 30s feels a lot more like being an adult than to be young. YA had simply lost its appeal.
And then THIS. DAMN. BOOK. came along. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me the chance to read and review an eARC of the book. And to Karin Biggs for lighting the spark again.
The King’s 100 has a magical atmosphere that constantly makes you feel warm and giddy. It is a light and quick read that has nothing on that overly dramatic slosh SF/F YA tries to push to the forefront of the genre in the last several years. I was growing tired of drama for the sake of the main characters looking awesome, which barely had any plot.
I was so, so ready for a book to fill me with warmth and a sense of wonder. And The King’s 100 was that book!
The King’s 100: The Plot
The story takes us on a journey through the newly established kingdoms in the far off future. Princess Piper, our main character, is the princess of Capalon – a very science-oriented kingdom. There they value knowledge, abilities, and progress most. Emotions are considered a liability, love is non-existent, people get matched to those with the most suitable IQ in their age category.
The only real love and true emotions Piper’s ever felt have been when her mother was alive. Having been heartbroken from her loss, the Princess takes every opportunity to believe she might still be alive since a body was not found. That’s why when she gets a note saying her mother is alive and being held at the court of their rival kingdom of Mondaria, Piper escapes following a clue everyone thinks is misleading.
To get to court, Piper infiltrates The King’s 100 – an elite troupe of entertainers, trained in magic tricks, music, and singing. There she gets the chance to revel in her talent, that’s been viewed as a weakness in Capalon – she sings, and does so to her heart’s content.
Now that she’s undercover in the most lively and exotic kingdom that’s a diametric opposite to her own, Piper has to find her mother. She has to navigate the intricacies of being human, with all their emotions and flaws, and avoid being caught in the process. But everything is so much more difficult and confusing when you throw love into the mix!
The King’s 100: The Characters
Not wildly diverse and a bit underdeveloped, the characters in the book are still engaging, and they grow on you. Quickly. Everything about The King’s 100 grows on you quickly.
I won’t go into too many details about all of the characters. The book has a whole army of those, which is to be expected. But I want to mention that I really liked Piper’s development. It felt real – her change from the inherent barely human, emotionless, and logical behavior to someone wholesome! Everything she had to change to blend in and to learn, very well executed.
But apart from Piper and Ari (main love interest, see below), I really like the two main supporting characters. If you read the book, I bet you’ll love them too. They have their own voices and enrich the points of view in the story really well.
The King’s 100: The Love Story
Center-stage are, of course, Piper (a.k.a Paris Marigold) and a local Mondarian boy – Ari. I love books that make you feel the way the author intended you to feel toward their characters without forcing it on you. Ari is so well-handled, I fell in love with him.
And what a romance it is! This is a book for those who die for a slow-burn. Piper has to learn what it is to deal with love and doesn’t dare entertain the idea Ari might reciprocate the feeling. The story is extremely innocent and beautiful. It also has its Romeo and Juliet vibes (kingdoms at odds, remember) and a pinch of drama.
The World of the Book
Everything happens against the backdrop of stark contrasts and vivid descriptions. Karin Biggs’ style is not overly flowery (which I find annoying) while having a very specific melody to it. It made The King’s 100 both a very light read and a very immersive world you wish to give your full attention to.
All of the characters had their own voices. It took some time for some of the girls to develop it and not all sound at the same high-school pitch. But as a whole, the world makes you wanna make a deep dive and become a part of it. We saw most of its aspects, and the way the troupe was presented and developed felt really fleshed-out.
I love such imaginative stories that put you in the shoes of performers, where masks are donned both metaphorically and literally. It feels magical and is refreshing compared to all the well-known tropes.
Should You Read The King’s 100?
Yes! If you’re a YA fan, if you feel like you’re not anymore (like myself). Or if slow-burn romance is your poison. If stories set in court is your thing! Or all of the above! This book is magical. It is also extremely refreshing, but I think I already mentioned that a couple of times.
The King’s 100 by Karin Biggs hits the shelves on July 21st. Get ready to go on an adventure in a hostile land and discover love for the first time!