I am pleased to welcome you to my latest obsession: The High Mountain Court by A.K.Mulford, who is an indie author I discovered through TikTok/ through my fellow podcast host. This book and the next in the series, which I will review soon because they deserve to have a post each, was the cause of many late nights for me. This book is the first is the series: The Five Kingdoms of Okrith.
The story opens with Remy in hiding with her makeshift family who’ve taken care of her since she was a child and kept her safe. Remy is one of the last of the red witches, who are banned and hunted to intinction across all the kingdoms after the fall of the High Mountain Court. When high born fae enter the inn she’s been working in, alongside her family, Remy knows that this particular safe house is now in jeopardy. Prince Hale cannot resist the opportunity to get a powerful red witch on his side in his mission to rescue the lost relics and save the Eastern Court from falling prey to the Northern Court, as the High Mountain Court had when Remy was a child. Begrudgingly, she agrees to help him, allured by this deep connection she feels with him in spite of herself. In this journey she discovers the chance to right the wrongs of her past, find the scattered remains of her family and help save her people from further terror at the hands of the Northern Court.
So, what are my thoughts?
Ummmmm, not since I picked up Six or Crows back in 2019 have I been so instantly sucked into the world of a story. There is not one character that isn’t well fleshed out, they are real breathing beings with depth. The world building was so subtle, unlike most books that are high fantasy, I didn’t find myself spending the first few chapters at a loss for what a lot of things meant; you are taught about it without it being overt, it’s simple incorporated into the way Remy sees things in her narration. This is also, by far, one of the best books I’ve read for diversity and LGBTQIA+ representation this year, especially in fantasy.
You can tell in every word that this book was written by someone with a deep love of the genre, it incorporates so many tropes we know and love but without the toxic twist you commonly find. The love story in this book? Let me tell you, it had me muttering aloud every time something interrupted them, or stopped them from getting closer. This book is written so well for what’s being popularly referred to as the ‘female gaze’: representing what an actual real women would find attractive, in the most non-toxic way possible. It’s the kind of display of relationships that I think would have been a lot healthier for me to read about in my teens. As a side note, it does also have some great ‘spicy’ scenes, so it’s definitely not for a younger teen reader but it’s one of those books where the entire plot doesn’t revolve around the spice scenes, they are just a natural part of the plot.
In short, if you love this genre, I guarantee you will love these books.
A.K. Mulford is one of those indie authors who became big on tiktok but she genuinely deserves every inch of praise. I have signed up for the newsletter so I can get the exclusive novellas, I will be pre-ordering the next book come payday and because she’s an indie published author, I know she’s going to be getting a lot more of my money than an author usually gets, which I like a lot.