The Harp Of Kings

  • The Harp Of Kings is the first book in The Warrior Bards Series, by Juliet Marillier.

The latest novel from award-winning author Juliet, (Blackthorn and Grim Trilogy) is a powerful and dramatic journey of magic, love, power and sacrifice.

18-year-old Liobhan is determined to be accepted into the Swan Island Warriors, alongside her beloved brother Brocc. Once feared outlaws, these Warriors are now a revered and sought-after fighting and investigative  force. Liobhan and Brocc are both talented musicians and these skills make them perfect for an undercover mission. They will travel to the Kingdom of Breifne to attend the coronation of Prince Rodan – a spoiled, unpleasant bully. The goal of the mission is seemingly straightforward – recover the ancient Harp of Kings or else the upcoming ceremony, and the kingdom itself, will be in peril. The Harp is no ordinary instrument, created with fey magic and without it the King cannot be crowned.

But within the Kingdom, druids, courtiers, and stable hands, are not always who they appear to be. There are many secrets in this Royal Court and uncanny forces in the forest – both good and evil – that could sabotage the mission and cause lives to be lost.
Brother and sister must taking on entirely new personalities, playing their roles perfectly to avoid detection and enduring physical and emotional challenges. Liobhan, torn between obeying the rules and following her instincts, must ultimately make a decision, potentially jeopardizing the entire operation and her future.

For readers who have followed the journey of healer Blackthorn and the gentle Grim in  Dreamer’s Pool and Den of Wolves, you will recognise much of Blackthorn in her daughter Liobhan; the strength of will, the passion for justice and the compassion for those who need help. We catch a glimpse of the younger Blackthorn, before the tragic events which altered her path forever. In Brocc, we can see the gentleness of Grim in his raising. It is clear this is a close and loving family.

Juliet’s unique story-telling will have you guessing about many things, right until the last few chapters. She has an extraordinary ability to create characters with complex layers and offer crucial insights into their past. This is why her stories continue to resonate long after we finish reading. The Harp of Kings is no exception. The subtle references throughout the book to Blackthorn and the gentle Grim, will delight all who are familiar with their adventures.  However, this current novel stands alone, with strong new characters – such as the intriguing Mistress Juniper, the seemingly overconfident Dau and the ethereal fey Queen, Eirne.

If The Harp of Kings is your first foray into Juliet’s magical worlds, you will be enthralled. For her current dedicated readers, this is another wonderful example of the depth of Juliet’s writing. An exciting journey of adventure, magic and mystery.


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