Review: The Henchmen of Zenda by K.J. Charles

The Henchmen of ZendaThe Henchmen of Zenda by K.J. Charles

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*

Jasper Detchard is a disgraced British officer, now selling his blade to the highest bidder. Currently that’s Michael Elphberg, half-brother to the King of Ruritania. Michael wants the throne for himself, and Jasper is one of the scoundrels he hires to help him take it. But when Michael makes his move, things don’t go entirely to plan—and the penalty for treason is death.

Rupert of Hentzau is Michael’s newest addition to his sinister band of henchmen. Charming, lethal, and intolerably handsome, Rupert is out for his own ends—which seem to include getting Jasper into bed. But Jasper needs to work out what Rupert’s really up to amid a maelstrom of plots, swordfights, scheming, impersonation, desire, betrayal, and murder.

Nobody can be trusted. Everyone has a secret. And love is the worst mistake you can make.

A retelling of the swashbuckling classic The Prisoner of Zenda from a very different point of view.


Retellings are always a delight for me and when I first read about this one I couldn’t wait to get it.

The Henchmen of Zenda is a marvelous story full of snarky swordsmen, sarcasm and tension. The sexual tension is right there from the start between Jasper and Rupert, and their dueling with the foils is a scene you are thinking about long after you’ve set down the book.

The book has a lot of events, in fact it’s not easy to summarize it without spoiling anthing – with reveal too much – but in the true tradition of the author’s writing, KJ Charles knows how to create the necessary atmosphere in every scene. The characters are set in the historic time and setting – in a fictional country which is set in Europe – , they are acting totally like you would expect them to but then there is no dull moment, nothing you would consider as boring or dusty. In fact because of the snarky comments and the enormous sarcasm, the underlinging humor the characters have their own charme.

I can’t tell how much I loved the way how several climaxes of any kind were displayed. I truly enjoyed these scenes, the balance between emotional, almost sweet scenes and the dramatic ones.

For this retelling, with charming characters I give 5 out of 5 stars. If you love historical romances you’ll love this. :3

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