The King’s Men – Nora Sakavic

Release date: 2 December 2014
Goodreads link
Book Depository link (no BD link for this – the only place you can get it is from Amazon)
Rating
5 stars

Book 1: The Foxhole Court
Book 2: The Raven King

The King’s Men (All For the Game, #3) blurb:

Neil Josten is out of time. He knew when he came to PSU he wouldn’t survive the year, but with his death right around the corner he’s got more reasons than ever to live.

Befriending the Foxes was inadvisable. Kissing one is unthinkable. Neil should know better than to get involved with anyone this close to the end, but Andrew’s never been the easiest person to walk away from. If they both say it doesn’t mean anything, maybe Neil won’t regret losing it, but the one person Neil can’t lie to is himself.

He’s got promises to keep and a team to get to championships if he can just outrun Riko a little longer, but Riko’s not the only monster in Neil’s life. The truth might get them all killed – or be Neil’s one shot at getting out of this alive.

I apologise in advance as this book review is just going to be me sobbing onto my keyboard about how much I love these broken boy characters and I just want to wrap them all up in cotton wool and give them hugs and hot chocolate (except Neil who has some weird aversion to sweets) and make sure the rest of their lives are the best they can be.

In this we pick up immediately after the end of The Raven King, and the story covers the entire spring semester. There is a lot of physical violence in this book. Torture, murder, beatings. I know I’ve said in the reviews of the others that I wouldn’t even know where to start in terms of trigger warnings, well, this one steps it all up again. I can’t even talk about half the things that happen because they break my heart so much (well, also because spoilers). But there is also so much forgiveness and chosen family and character growth that it tempers the horrible. It’s kind of hard to explain. (Sorry this review is going nowhere fast!!)

I want to start with Andrew Minyard because he’s secretly my favourite, but at the same time, he is so broken that it just breaks my heart into a million fragments. He is so strong for others, but in a totally messed up way. I want to talk about how much I understand why he is the way he is, but spoilers… So, instead I will just say he has a long road to recovery, but I think he might get at least some of the way there with this group of ragtag muffins.

Kevin Day is a raspberry marshmallow. He is insanely perfectionist about everything, and totally focused on Exy that he sometimes misses the bigger things. And by that I mean the life things, the relationship things, the real world things. One thing can’t be your everything (although he definitely tries).

And then there’s Neil. The things that happen in this book to Neil – I’m not even sure I can start without bawling. So I’m not going to. But he is the glue for them, even when he does stupid things “for their sake”.

I know I haven’t spoken much about the rest of them, but Dan, Matt, Renee, Aaron, Nicky, Allison and Coach will always have a special place in my heart. And that part of my heart is definitely covered by a fox paw print. (Also now I need to find all of the merch forever.)

This series is ultimately about chosen family. It’s about what you are willing to do for others. What you would be willing to put yourself through to save those you love. If you would be willing to stand your ground or sacrifice your life for something better. This may not be the story they deserve, but it’s the story that they got. And besides, without all this adversity, they wouldn’t be foxes.

Until next time, happy reading 😊📚

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