Monday, June 11, 2012


Today, I have the pleasure of hosting Author Jack Whitsel on his virtual book tour for his forthcoming novel SHADOWS OF KINGS.

Jack Whitsel is a native Californian, but has made Oregon his home since 1982. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Finance from Portland State University, but studies medieval history in his spare time. His favorite genres are fantasy and historical fiction with a medieval emphasis. Shadows of Kings, the first novel of the Dragon Rising Series is the love child born of these two passions.

“I love the elements of fantasy when mixed with the gritty aspects of a medieval society,” states the author.


Steel and sorcery clash as the Harhn incursion sweeps through the Hugue. Mankind faces its greatest peril without the Order Knights of legend to defend them. Crusading deep in the frontier, the Order is unaware of the savage beasts threatening their homeland as the Hugue realms muster their armies for war.

Between a cunning Harhn sorcerer, and an alliance forged with the decadent Darkfey, the horde threatens to extinguish the domains of men. Only Lord Baudouin and Lady Lucia, a Dragon Maiden from the Order, stand in the enemy’s path. One must find the strength to unify the realms. The other must discover the strength within her, while coming to terms with the agendas of her Order. But only together will there be any hope to repel the onslaught, and preserve the future for a mysterious girl they do not know.

Chapter excerpt:

Purchase info:

Title: Shadows of Kings
Author: Jack Whitsel
Author web site:
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Genre: Fantasy
Print ISBN: 978-1-60619-223-8
Format: trade paperback
Distributors: Brodart, Follett, Ingram

eBook ISBN: 978-1-60619-222-1
Format: ebook in pdf, ePub, Kindle, Mobi, PRC, etc.

Distributors: Amazon Kindle; Apple iBookstore; Nook; eReader; Fictionwise; Kobo Books; OmniLit; Sony eBookstore, etc.

Release date: June 15, 2012
Price: $17.95 trade; $6.50 ebook
Size: 5.5 x 8.5
Pages: 270

(Don't you just love the cover?)

The Review:

Do you enjoy knights with flashing swords and fair maidens with a touch of sorcery? Are stories containing battle scenes aided by magic your favorite reads? If you answered yes to the above, you’ll want to read Jack Whitsel’s debut novel, SHADOWS OF KINGS, where he gives you both and much more, such as good guys and bad guys, along with a surprise now and then, as well.

Written from different point of view characters. SHADOWS OF KINGS takes the reader on a journey right along with the knights and lowborns as they fight for survival against the beasts waging war on the domains of Man. Let me warn you now, the battle scenes are bloody and very descriptive and not for the squeamish. The language too might make you blush. It did me, but then I‘m used to reading novels for children and young adults. There also are a lot of characters to keep up with, and I sometimes was confused. The author develops the major characters so well, however, that you care about them and want them to succeed in their quests. When one of them is wounded or dies in battle, you’ll mourn for them and wish they had survived. I really liked Lucia, who, even with her sorcery, was also vulnerable, letting me feel her pain and her emotions, making her more real to me. But as in all good stories, even science fiction and fantasy, good people and people we care about die. We morn them and then move on.

The addition of magic and spells makes the author’s story more than simply an adventure tale like so many others. They add mystery and fantasy along with suspense. SHADOWS OF KINGS is a nice debut novel. The good news is the book is the first in a series, so you can look forward to more from Author Jack Whitsel.


Happy Reading.


  1. I do love the cover! Very intriguing. Is this MG or YA, Beverly?

  2. Hi, Sheri. I would say this is Adult and Upper YA. Too violent for MG.

  3. Sounds like a great read. I love the tour banner too! Very creepy and eye catching.

  4. Hello Sheri!

    Thank you for the visiting and commenting on my blog tour stop at Beverly's site.

    The cover was done by Ural Akyuz - the same wonderful artist who designed the headshot for my tour banner and swag.

    And I agree with Beverly, this book would be primarily for adult and upper YA. Though generally a mainstream fantasy novel, the story does have adult content at certain times.

    Oceans of Love,


  5. Hello Kelly!

    Thank you for your comment. If you love strong elements of fantasy mixed with medieval grit - Shadows of Kings will not leave you wanting. And Thank you for the compliment on the cover art and banner. Ural Akyuz is a very talented artist.

    Oceans of Love,


  6. Thanks for stopping by, Jack. Congratulations on your story. Best of luck on your tour and with your future books.

  7. My Pleasure, Beverly!

    This is a wonderful stop on the blog tour and your site is fantastic.

  8. Sounds very adventurous. I love how he wrote about the grit of medieval society. Too many authors set their fantasy in a medieval world but gloss over the ugly reality of actually living during those times. I love that he has enough respect to do it right.
    ($17.95 for a paperback? O.o)

  9. Yeah, Lexa. Those times were not pleasant. Just surviving was a miracle.

  10. Hi Lexa!

    Thank you for visiting Beverly's site during my Blog tour. I'm pleased you like a medieval edge in your fantasy. Yes...17.95 is a bit pricey(publisher and retailer's discretion - not mine). But fear not. The Kindle version comes out this weekend and Amazon and B&N do adjust the paperback from time to time. For awhile, B&N was pricing the novel at $11. If you prefer paperback, keep a look out, it may reduce soon.



  11. Jack, I'm so excited for your book to finally come out. We've been waiting a long time for this treasure! Is it out on Kindle yet?

  12. Hi, Darby.
    Thanks for stopping by. How are your edits coming along?

  13. Thank you, Darby! I'm excited too! Kindle version will be released June 15th.

    Thanks for visiting! And Congrats on your Book award.

  14. Thanks, Jack, for your best wishes on my award. And, Bev, edits are done! Woohoo!

  15. My Book release day has come to an end. As a the weening minutes of the day fades, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to this blog tour thus far.

    Also...the Kindle version is now available for SHADOWS OF KINGS

    Take care,


  16. Thank you, Jack, for sharing your story with us. Best of luck in your writing career.

  17. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

  18. Thanks for stopping by, city. Have a nice evening.