The Look of a King by Tom Dumbrell: Book Review - The Fantasy Review

The Look of a King by Tom Dumbrell: Book Review

The Look of a King Book Review – Spoiler Free

(I was gifted a copy of this book by the author for an honest review)

The Look of a King, book 1 in the Pillars of Peace trilogy by Tom Dumbrell, was a fast-paced, adventure-filled read with so much going on considering the short page count. I really enjoyed this debut novel and hope to continue the trilogy soon.

The Look of a King book review

The Characters

I’m going to start with the characters first – mainly Cyrus. His point of view is the main one throughout the book, and what an adventure he goes on. He goes from a village storyteller to a situation in which he is completely out of his depth, but like any hero of a story, he rises to the challenge.

One of my only complaints with this book is the fact that we didn’t get much of other points of view throughout the story. I enjoyed Garret’s point of view, but then we never got it again, and he was a great character!

The Plot

If you’re looking for a fast-paced read, pick up The Look of a King! Being a short book, there are very few slow moments, or scenes where not much is happening, so you’re basically forced to keep reading.

I think I would have liked it more if this book was a little longer, allowing the characters (Cyrus, specifically) to absorb what’s happened and reflect on it a bit more. Also, the reduced page count meant that we didn’t get a huge amount of relationship-building, and what we did see wasn’t as deep as I wanted it to be.

Having said that, Cyrus and his two advisors had enjoyable banter that felt very brotherly.

Writing Style

Tension when it was needed was fantastic. Tom Dumbrell has a fantastic way of writing atmosphere too – the scenes felt light when they needed to, and dark and ominous during the tenser scenes. 

Additionally, you could really feel the setting. By that I mean when we were in the castle, on a ship, in the woods – wherever – I felt like I could see and feel the surroundings. The descriptions were functional, not beautiful, but they did such a fantastic job.

Final Thoughts

The Look of a King is a great book and perfect for anyone looking for a quick read between large fantasy books like The Wheel of Time. I would recommend this to anyone who likes politics in their fantasy, such as fans of Joe Abercrombie and Trudi Canavan.

(Amazon links are affiliate links)

Owner and Editor of The Fantasy Review. Loves all fantasy and science fiction books, graphic novels, TV and Films. Having completed a BA and MA in English Literature and Creative writing, they would like to go on to do a PhD. Favourite authors are Trudi Canavan, Steven Erikson, George R. R. Martin and Brandon Sanderson.

Back to top