Review & Discussion: The Kraken King Part 3 by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #4.3)


The Kraken King Part 3 by Meljean Brook // VBC Review & DiscussionThe Kraken King Part 3: The Kraken King and the Foxs Den (Iron Seas #4)
Meljean Brook
Published: April 29, 2014 (Avon)
Purchase: Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Note from Chelsea/VBC: The Kraken King is being published as a serial with a new part offered each week. We’re such super fans of Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas series that we decided to review this as a read along. So each week you’ll get Amy’s take on the latest part and we’ll discuss it in the comments. Catch up with Part 1 and Part 2.

Part 3 of our adventure finds the travelers finally reaching the smuggler’s den after their altercation with the boilerworm. Stopping at the den not only gives Ariq a chance to find out where the marauders bought their flyers, but it gives Cooper, Zenobia’s guard, a chance to get new legs grafted after he lost his other ones to the worm.

At this point, Ariq has discovered Zenobia’s letters to her brother and finds the connection between her and Archimedes Fox. Although he still doesn’t have the entire story correct, he’s promised himself to help her out of her situation. Still Ariq’s wary of her, so he’s distancing himself in order to be able to do his job. This cold-shoulder hurts Zenobia more than she would like to admit, even though she’s supposed to leave his company forever in a few days time anyway.

I’ll admit, while I find the misdirection/miscommunication on their parts to be humorous at times (with how off they are in their thinking of each other), I’m ready for the truth to be out in the open. I’m ready to see the reactions the true revelations of Zenobia’s secrets will cause, if any. At this point there’s been so much back and forth in Ariq’s head about who Zenobia is, I really don’t know what he’ll do when she tells him her whole story.

The Kraken King and the Foxs Den was less action-packed than its predecessors. Instead, there’s more focus placed on the characters. We learn a lot about Ariq’s past. We learn how he was given his name ‘The Kraken King’ and we get to see how much power he truly has, and how he’s not corrupted by it, but how he uses it to do good by the people who trust him with their lives and give help when needed.

We all know Zenobia’s past of abuse by her father, as well as the kidnappings by people looking to ransom her for her brother’s money. Even though she’s very careful with herself, trouble will still find her. Zenobia isn’t one to play the victim. I loved that Meljean Brook wrote a very strong-willed character who is prepared to defend herself, and sets the blame on those who would do her harm rather than any weaknesses on her part.

Cooper and Mara also stood out for me in this installment. Starting after the boilerworm attack, we’ve been getting to see more personal moments between the two guards, as well as the affection each of them has for Zenobia. They’ve gone beyond just being her bodyguards, they’ve become cherished friends as well. I would love to read a separate short just about Mara and Cooper.


  1. How long do you give an author to follow a story thread before you feel it’s time to move it along?
  2. Do you think reading a story in parts like this brings out any repetition more so than a full-length novel would?
  3. What do you think Zenobia’s altercation at the end says about her character, specifically her past and how she has dealt with it?

There are still more adventures to be had as our group gets ever closer to the Red City. Let me know what you think of Part 3 in the comments!

Sexual content: References to sex, kissing!

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