The Thief’s Daughter – A Rare Middle Book

Book Review : The Thief’s Daughter
The Kingfountain Series
By Jeff Wheeler

Spoiler Alert!



Owen Kiskaddon first came to the court of the formidable King Severn as a prisoner, winning favor with the stormy monarch by masquerading as a boy truly blessed by the Fountain. Nine years hence, the once-fearful Owen has grown into a confident young man, mentored in battle and politics by Duke Horwath and deeply in love with his childhood friend, the duke’s granddaughter. But the blissful future Owen and Elysabeth Mortimer anticipate seems doomed by the king’s machinations.

A pretender to Severn’s throne has vowed to seize the crown of Kingfountain. But Severn means to combat the threat by using Elysabeth as bait to snare the imposter—and forcing Owen, as a pawn in the dangerous charade, to choose between duty and devotion. With poisoners and spies circling ominously, and war looming on the horizon, Owen must make painful sacrifices to beat back the advancing shadows of death and disaster. Will Owen’s conflicted heart follow the king’s path or risk everything for his love?
(Courtesy of

Adult Point of View

I’m loving Wheeler’s Kingfountain series and can hardly wait for the next volume.

The characters are rich and complex.

Owen Kiskaddon as an adult has remained loyal to King Severn, is deeply in love with Evie and is mired in politics. He proves himself to be a great tactician in war which he needs in his personal life as well.

Elysabeth Victoria Mortimer is still daring, passionate and devoted to both her king and Owen. Politics continue to get in the way of what she wants and she has to choose where her loyalties will lie.

King Severn insists upon loyalty, even as his own loyalty was required. When loyalty fails the king seems to tip into a well of madness, though some would argue it wasn’t a far drop for him anyhow. The kingdom has prospered under King Severn, but his countrymen may not be loyal under his rule no matter the gold in their pockets.

The new poisoner, Etayne, is multi-layered. She distrusts those around her and simultaneously craves acknowledgement for her skills. Her loyalty is easily bought through true friendship. (The oddity was that Etayne should be very memorable since she is the title character, but I had to look up her name to write this review – so perhaps, she needed to be more significant.)

Too often middle books suffer with a dragging plot. I am happy to report that The Thief’s Daughter clips along at a steady pace, with new political intrigue and stands as a novel rather than a set-up for the dramatic conclusion. Mind you, there is going to be drama in the third book that the reader can see bubbling up from the terrible situations. I found it very convincing that Owen is embroiled in politics as a young man that he couldn’t have understood as a child. Skipping much of Owen and Evie’s childhood was a good plan to keep the reader focused on the salient points of the progression of the story.

The only thing I would change would be a larger map so I could more easily see the relationships of the various kingdoms.

Anyone who enjoys historical fiction or fantasy will enjoy this book. The writing is very character driven within the events which makes for a scintillating plot. Kudos to Wheeler!

5 out of 5 stars

5 star

  • the Mother

If you liked this one you might want to read A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr, A Stranger To Command by Sherwood Smith and The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner.


About Tales Untangled

I am a mother of four children and have a passion for reading. I love sharing my treasury of books with my kids. I also do experiments in cooking which includes such things as Indian Tandoori Chicken slow-cooked in a tagine. I write stories and illustrate in ink.
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