Review: Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau

Kingdom of Exiles
(The Beast Charmer #1)
by Maxym M. Martineau
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication date: June 25, 2019
Genre: Fantasy

Exiled beast charmer Leena Edenfrell is in deep trouble. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts on the black market—an offense punishable by death—and now there’s a price on her head. With the realm’s most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes him an offer he can’t refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.

If only it were that simple. Unbeknownst to Leena, the undying ones are bound by magic to complete their contracts, and Noc cannot risk his brotherhood of assassins…not even to save the woman he can no longer live without.


Exiled from her homeland for a crime she didn’t commit Leena finds herself traveling the lands, selling beasts for money to survive. However, someone has a bounty on her head and pretty soon she finds herself the focus of a group of assassins sent out to kill her. Doing what she does best, she strikes a bargain with them. She’ll give them a beast in order for her life. On a quest to find the beast that will make the assassins happy as well as finding another beast to exonerate her name, Leena starts out on a journey that will change her life forever.

I really liked the idea of a beast charmer. She doesn’t charm your typical beast though. All the creatures that she’s able to tame are magical and come with some special ability. While charmers usually only tame beasts for companionship and occasionally as protection, it’s an awful thing to sell a beast to someone. It’s kind of like selling your child. So, with that understanding, Leena is doing something that’s not only frowned upon by her people, but is also something that weighs a lot on her. One thing that I liked about this story was that the author didn’t gloss over the beasts, their abilities, or the charming process. We are witness to a bunch of interactions with the beasts, which was something I really liked.

There is a romance in this story but if I’m being completely honest, I didn’t feel like it fit. Noc is the head of the assassin’s guild and takes it upon himself to kill Leena when she has secured their beasts. He’s also cursed and cannot feel for someone without accidentally killing them with the plague. I just didn’t feel like there was any chemistry leading up to their romance. He was broody and standoffish and Leena actually spent more quality time with his men.

Speaking of, the two main draws for me were the beasts and Noc’s men. They had a ton of personality that was just bursting through the pages. I honestly thought for a good portion of the story that one of them was going to be the love interest. We meet Kost at the beginning when Leena bests him in a fight and his pride doesn’t let him forget about it during the majority of the story. Oz is this shy guy who is so welcoming towards Leena and is willing to let his guard down around her. Calem in the womanizer who is always chasing tail but at the same time will throw down for his brother’s in a heartbeat. If it weren’t for these three, I probably would have been a little bored at times.

Kingdom of Exiles was a fun read filled with beasts, magic, and adventure. While I did feel like the romance was forced, the beasts and side characters made up for it. This is only the first part in Leena’s story. I’m not 100% sure if I will be reading the next book when it comes out or not. While I liked the premise of this story, there were times where I was a little bored and had to push myself to read it.



5 Thoughts on “Review: Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau

  1. ooo i like beasts…of all kinds. 🙂 this does sound like it is worth the read, regardless of the bad romance. lol
    sherry @ fundinmental

  2. The beats sound really interesting. I haven’t read this but it’s definitely on my radar now.

  3. Shame when a romance feels forced, but glad you were still able to get past that.

  4. I love a story with plenty of adventure and magic….this sounds delightful despite the romance lacking.

  5. I liked this one more than you did, but I do agree with some of the points you made. I wasn’t 100% on board with the romance, and disliked how certain events unfolded. I think I’ll read the next book, because I liked that they were essentially a spin on Pokémon, but for adults. 😉

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? ☃

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