Review: Gate to Kandrith, Nicole Luiken

Review: Gate to Kandrith, Nicole Luiken

The Oaken Bookcase > Blog > Reviews > Review: Gate to Kandrith, Nicole Luiken

Gate to Kandrith, Nicole LuikenTitle: Gate to Kandrith (Goodreads)

Author:   Nicole Luiken (@NicoleLuiken)


Series: Kandrith 1 of 2(?)

Genre: Adult High Fantasy/Romance

Published: Carina Press, March 26, 2012

My copy: Ebook ARC from NetGalley

Pre-order an E-copy: • • Barnes & Noble • Diesel eBooks

Sarathena Remillus, daughter of the newly elected Primus of the Republic of Temboria, has been given a mission: discover the secret of slave magic. Anxious to escape the corruption and treachery of the capital, Sara welcomes the chance to finally prove herself far away in Kandrith, the tiny nation of former slaves.

Accompanying her on the journey is Lance, a Kandrithan to whom Sara owes her life. Lance despises the nobility, and is determined to resist his desire for Sara, despite her attempts to entice him into divulging the secret of his magic. (Goodreads)


Gate to Kandrith drew me in from the very first chapter and didn’t let go. The story moves along at a cracking pace, introducing elements of romance right away and weaving them around an interesting society and world.

The countries of the Republic and Kandrith are very different. The Republic is ruled by a Primus who has seized power, attended by a court of nobles with slaves to serve them. Kandrith was founded by escaped slaves, headed by one chosen by the Goddess of Mercy and protected by magic. Kandrith is rather utopian –  even though they do have a fairly fool-proof justice system in the “Listeners” who cannot hear lies, surely even in a nation of escaped slaves there would be someone ambitious enough to seize power? In any case, it sounds like an idyllic place.

The magic system used by the slaves is based on sacrifice – you must give up something in order to receive power. I like systems like this where balance is preserved more than those where magic is freely available to be used. It seems more realistic to me – as realistic as magic can be, anyway.

When this book is described as “adult fantasy”, it’s not wrong – right from the first chapter we’re introduced to jazoria, a drug that increases desire against the victim’s will. There’s quite a few raunchy and violent scenes throughout the book, and I can’t help feeling that these scenes may prevent the book from reaching as wide an audience as it might otherwise have. Not that I didn’t enjoy the romance – Sara and Lance are rather swoon-worthy!

The characters were, perhaps, a little shallow. That didn’t stop them from being likable though. It was great to see Sara’s journey as she discovered that there were ways to live other than how she had been raised in the Republic. Lance was just a total sweetheart! Absolutely no complaints there, I loved him.

Gate to Kandrith was a brilliant read and was very difficult to put down.  It will be tough to wait for the next book to come out to find out what happens next!

Read this book to your little ‘uns? Absolutely not! Contains some grisly deaths, graphic adult scenes, rape and torture.

9 thoughts on “Review: Gate to Kandrith, Nicole Luiken

  1. Megan says:

    I’m glad you loved this book as much as I did! I just wish more bloggers would read it (your review is the only one I’ve seen besides my own). I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. Nicole told me she is working on it, but I’m so impatient!

    I agree about the adult content. I worry that it will turn people off a great story.
    Megan recently posted..Teaser Tuesday: Tomorrow Land EditionMy Profile

    • Angelya says:

      Thanks for stopping by! You’re right, I haven’t seen many reviews around, which is a shame. I’m so looking forward to the release of the next book, must find out what happens!

  2. […] to Kandrith (#1) (Angelya’s review) and Soul of Kandrith (#2), Nicole […]

  3. […] the Kandrith series and contains spoilers for the first book. You may wish to read my review of Gate to Kandrith […]

  4. Oh I was all psyched about this after reading how much you enjoyed it but even in Canada it’s not available except as an e-book! I’m so bummed. I really really prefer physical books, I just connect to the stories so much better. I wonder if Carina is going to release a paperback?
    Shannon (Giraffe Days) recently posted..Review: The Secret Life of a SubmissiveMy Profile

    • Angelya says:

      I couldn’t find it in paperback in Australia either 🙁 I’ll check with nicole and get back to you 🙂

    • Angelya says:

      No plans for paper format, unfortunately. It is available in audiobook format though! Not sure if that helps xD

      • Oh bummer. Sadly I never have the opportunity to listen to audiobooks. I think you need long, lonely car drives or something for them! At home there’re just too many interruptions, too much noise and so on to have a chance to be able to focus on them.

        I’ve listened to one audiobook all the way through so far – one I had to stop because it was all scratched up, and the other turned out to be a sequel and I couldn’t follow what was going on (and was also having trouble picturing anything – the author was narrating and his voice was very distracting!), so of 3 audiobooks I’ve only finished 1! Pretty pathetic isn’t it?! I wouldn’t mind listening to more but there are just too many variables that ruin the experience for me.
        Shannon (Giraffe Days) recently posted..It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?My Profile

        • Angelya says:

          To be honest, I’m not a fan of audio books either… I find the pacing a lot slower than I can read and yes, the voice actors often make me giggle with their attempts at character voices. I tried a few, but I think I’ll stick with the text versions xD

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