‘Crown of Souls’ by Ronie Kendig: A review and an interview

Crown of Souls

Ronie Kendig has done it again! If you were here last year for my review of ‘Conspiracy of Silence’ then you know that I loved the beginning of this series. Ronie keeps the excitement and suspense going in this new release and you will not want it to end!

“Six months after stopping a deadly plague, Cole “Tox” Russell and his team are enjoying a little rest. That peace is short-lived when a sniper shot hits Tox. The enemy is discovered to be one of their own, a rogue Special Forces team operator.

Alec King is perhaps the only person as skilled as Tox, and he’s out for justice. Furious with orders that got his men killed, he intends to make those responsible pay. And he insists Tox join him, believing they are the same breed of soldier. 

Afraid his old friend is right, Tox battles a growing darkness within himself as he and his team engage in another deadly encounter with antiquity. It appears Alec is cheating–he’s using a mysterious artifact, a crown that history has linked to some of the worst slaughters in humanity. Racing to stop Alec before his vengeance is unleashed, Tox must fight the monster without becoming one.”

Tox

I loved the first book and didn’t know how Ronie would top it, but she did an amazing job with ‘Crown of Souls’! (I highly recommend that you all read ‘Conspiracy of Silence’ first!) Not only was the team in top form in ‘Crown of Souls’ but there was also a hint of romance in this one. I love a good action adventure book with a hint of romance and Ronie does that balance so perfectly. For those of you who don’t like romance books, you don’t need to worry because it doesn’t detract from the action and suspense at all! Tox, Haven and the team are in a race. A race against a mad man bent on revenge. Add into the mix a mysterious artifact that is adding madness to the mix and you have an action-packed race across the world. Ronie is so good at crafting suspense that I often found myself holding my breath, reading desperately to find out what happened next. I was craving resolution and safety for the team, but I was also so sad when the book ended. Being an author myself, I know how much work goes into a novel but I wanted this one to be twice as long. I can’t wait for the next book in the series ‘Thirst of Steel’!

Cole ‘Tox’ Russell is an amazing hero. What I love about Ronie’s heroes is that they are so real. They have flaws, faults, fears and yet are willing to fight for what’s right. I think sometimes heroes are ‘too perfect’ that I can’t find them believable. Ronie’s heroes come fully-equipped with scars, imperfections and hair pulling moments. Just like real life. I was blessed to be able to ask Ronie a few questions on how she crafts such amazing heroes!

1) Ronie, you have an amazing knack at writing a great hero! What makes the perfect hero to you?
Wow! Thank you for that huge compliment. I think a great hero is a broken hero. He’s relatable because he’s not perfect and he knows it–but he also can’t let himself cross the line, though huge chunks of him probably want to for one reason or another. He’s flawed, makes mistakes, but at the end of the day, he gets it right. ​
2) Do you find it easy to write an amazing hero, after having written so many? Or do you still have to struggle to write them?
​I think the word “struggle” is inherent with any good hero, so yes–I struggle. How do I make this man’s struggle unique from the previous heroes I’ve written, yet make him a classic Ronie Kendig hero? But with the fact I have 17 published novels and six novellas enables me to know how to craft the hero persona.
3) Do you have any advice to offer to writers that would love to write a fantastic hero like Tox?
The heroes I write “come to me” as they are–I just have to get in the trenches with them and understand them, not unlike we do with the people we meet in life every day. So, I think my advice would be three fold: 1.dig deep–keep asking WHY?–and keep pushing yourself, 2.) DO NOT protect your hero (because that’s where you’ll fail your story), 3.) if you’ve gotten down and dirty in the trenches with your hero, trust those instincts about that hero. Sometimes, they don’t always tell you the truth.  ​For example, Griffin Riddell gave me three different backstories, and then one day he said, “Baby, I don’t care what you write; just stay out of my business.” Which told me so much about him, but had I stopped with those first few lies, I never would’ve found the crux of his true identity. Crazy, huh? 
4) What do you like most about Tox? What makes him most unique from your other heroes?
​I adore Tox’s loyalty and trust in his team. He doesn’t have to tell them to do every little thing because they operate as one. They know what needs to be done, and he leaves that up to them. He believes in them. He’d die for them.​
Thanks so much to Ronie for being willing to answer these for me. I appreciated hearing her say to not ‘protect your hero’. I believe that will help me in my own writing and will hopefully help in yours if you are a writer.
Pick yourself up a copy of ‘Crown of Souls‘ today! Also, get your hands on ‘Conspiracy of Silence‘ (Tox Files 1&2 here!) while you prepare for ‘Thirst of Steel’! You will not be disappointed. Ronie is a master story-teller and she doesn’t fail in writing a gripping, action-filled, tense and beautiful story in ‘Crown of Souls’!
Crown of Souls Launch
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