The Chronicles Of King Rolen's Kin is a four book saga following three of four of King Rolen's children; Byren, the second born son, Fin, the third born son given to the monastery when he displayed 'Affinity', and Pirola (Piro for short), the lastborn child trying to avoid the responsibilities of the court and hide her own Affinity magic.
The story starts when Byren meets a witch who prophesizes he will become king. Byren vehemently denies this, as his twin brother Lence is still alive, but this drives a wedge between him and Lence. This wedge is worsened by the sudden appearance of Lord Cobalt, son of the late king's bastard son. He is welcomed and accepted into the court after telling a tale of how his wife and entourage were brutally murdered by barbarians. Byren is suspicious of the story, but is further ostracized from court due to Cobalt's machinations and Lence's jealousy, as well as by a scandal surrounding his friend Orrade.
Fyn is a monk of Halcyon, the summer god, in training to serve said god. This life is interrupted when he has a vision of the head monk's death and attempts on his own life begin to take place.
Piro is a Rebellious Princess with a strained relationship with her mother and secret Affinity power. On the night she's promised to the warlord Palatyne, she has a vision of him murdering her father and bringing Merofynian forces into the castle. Naturally, she refuses to marry him and greatly offends his tribe as a result.
The Chronicles of King Rolen's Kin contain examples of:
- Action Girl: Florrin, and in later books Piro.
- Anti-Magic: Certain Affinity stones and Affinity seeps absorb Affinity and make it unusable.
- Badass Gay: Orrade, and offscreen the Servants of Palos. They almost overthrew the king!
- Ban on Magic: Affinity magic, except when used by priests, is strictly banned in Rolencia. The rest of the world has no qualms in hiring Power-Workers to serve them.
- Bed Trick: Used against Byren in book 4.
- Bittersweet Ending: For Byren, at least. He wins back his kingdom, but cannot marry the mother of his child, has to marry a woman much older than him, and is estranged with his younger brother because Fin marries Isolt. Piro has also gone missing and refuses to be in contact with him so he cannot marry her off for alliances.
- Cassandra Truth: No one will believe Piro's visions. They of course come true as a result.
- The Corruption: How Affinity is viewed in Rolencia. While this is to a degree true, particularly with naturally-occurring Affinity, it isn't nearly as dangerous as they would believe with proper training. People with Affinity are more sensitive to it, however.
- Costume Porn: Any of Isolt's dresses, and anyone from the Ostron Islands.
- Culture Clash: Several. Rolencia is a newer and poorer kingdom, and as a result the royal family is more Down to Earth than their Merofynian counterparts. Ostron Isle is a peaceful culture which promotes mercantilism and potential social mobility, but openly runs the entirety of the slave trade. Slavery and magic are both banned in Rolencia, while they are rampant in Merofynia and the Ostron Isles. A prominent example takes place when one of Isolt's cousins is raped. In Merofynian culture, she is expected to join Cyena's abbey and withdraw from society. Fyn sees no reason why her behaviour is dishonorable, especially since she beheaded her rapist and paraded around with his head.
- Defiled Forever: Merofynian culture considers women who are raped to be this, and this happens to several of their noblewomen in the aftermath of Palatine's death. Fyn, who is from Rolencia, finds this ridiculous.
- Dressed to Plunder: The crew of the Wyvern's Whelp dress very nicely.
- Functional Magic: Affinity is both an Inherent Gift and an earth magic that seeps out of the ground and appears in great concentrations naturally.
- Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Orrade prevents Florrin from getting one when she becomes pregnant.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Lence towards Byren.
- Heroic Bastard: Cobalt's father, who refused to side with the Servants of Palos to overthrow the King. His son is decidedly less so
- Honor Before Reason: Byren is honour-bound to marry someone even though she is not the princess he chose and it would be well within his rights to send her back to her father and demand the right one as per their arrangement.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Fyn is generally ignorant about what is going on with his family due to them not wanting him to worry about them. It leads him to be confused as to why attempts on his life are being made and nearly gets him killed in a trap Cobalt sets him.
- Mistaken for Gay: Byren, much to his chagrin. He pretends to be gay to save Orrade from severe punishment, but Orrade's sister mistakes him for gay and rejects him as a result.
- No Name Given: The Utlander's name is never mentioned.
- Our Mages Are Different: Power-Workers.
- Pirate: The crew of the Wyvern's Whelp and Fyn.
- Rebellious Princess: Piro.
- Warrior Monk: Fyn.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Isolt, at first. She gradually becomes a Lady of War.