Five hundred pages of mafia. Five hundred pages spanning the rise and fall of the Falcone family. Going to be honest, I pictured Carmine Falcone from Batman the entire time.
So the story opens with Don Falcone asking Stanley Dunn for a favor. A huge one. He needs his grandson released from prison. While it opens slow, it piques interest. Why is it important? From there, it’s slow progress to our answers.
The author created a very intricate story. Character’s are always connected in some way. Together, they push the story along. There’s so many to keep track of, though. It reads very much like Tolkien’s “Aragorn, son of Arathorn, son of Arador…” Very long-winded. And the author pays very close attention to their details.
While attentive to detail, there was a little too much. I felt barraged by information constantly. A little background here, some character flaws there, oh! Can’t forget that one barn back in 1969 ’round the bend where Timmy fell down a well… Changing the paragraph breaks would have helped process the information easier. Paragraphs would span an entire page and it was all uninterrupted dialogue. Or sometimes it was the characters’ complete background. Sentences were long, drawn out affairs. Some of it felt overboard and irrelevant to the plot. Cutting some of those out would help with pacing.
Most of the description was all related to the actions of the characters. Language was very blunt and straightforward. The tone of the novel is a disconnected narrator. Like a film voice-over. Especially when the author uses exposition to pass the time. And the time jumps were a little weird. Whether five years passed or ten, all the characters felt unchanged. So, while there was character development, the characters didn’t reflect it that well.
There was some sex. On the explicit side, but not well-written. The budding romances peppered throughout gave way to some very annoying stereotypes. King, the Don’s grandson, was appealing to every woman. They all wanted him. All the girls were perfect in every way. I didn’t like timing of the “love” word. As it is with a lot of romances, character’s tend to meet and know they’re in love. Without letting you forget it. Sure, it’s idealistic, but makes for boring relationship dynamics.
To Be A King is pretty standard when it comes to everything mafia, intricate story and all. Nothing very remarkable stands out. It’s a little too long, and needs edits in several ways. The idea’s there, it just needs refining.
Buy it here!