Recently, I was contacted by a reader talking about the back matter that I had included in THE KING’S SWORD, as well as one thing in particular they noticed that I had not – a list of discussion questions for book clubs. I’ve heard from several readers how much they enjoyed having the Author’s Notes and the Glossary for the Non-English terms etc., but this recommendation was a first for me. I went on the hunt. I dove into the back of some of my favorite historical fiction novels. I read through several lists available online to work on compiling my own list. I looked back through messages from friends and readers, considering their feedback and suggestions. The following suggestions are based on all of those searches and what I hope will be helpful and interesting. They could be considered as an individual, or within a group, and they are separated into sections for ease of use.
As always, I love to hear from readers, so don’t hesitate to reach out. If you’ve selected THE KING’S SWORD for a Book Club, please let me know – I’d be happy to check in if I can 🙂
Matthias. Avelina. Jorn. Reymund. Alif.Rose. Beatrix. Niro. Lilith. Liesl. Main and secondary, man or beast – there is no shortage of personalities in The King’s Sword.
Which characters did you like best? Which did you like least?
What did you appreciate about them? What did you consider their strengths?
Which character did you relate to, or empathize with, the most? Why?
Who was your favorite secondary character? What made them memorable?
Which secondary characters would you like to hear more from?
Which character or moment prompted the strongest emotional reaction for you? Why?
What motivates the actions of each of the characters in the book? How did you find the characters changed by the end of the book?
Did the characters seem believable to you? Did they remind you of anyone you know?
If the book were made into a movie, who would play each of the lead characters? The secondary?
What were the most important relationships in the book? What did you think of the interactions between the characters? The brothers?
How does the way the characters see themselves differ from the way others see them?
Were there times you disagreed with a character’s actions? What would you have done differently?
Which character would you most like to meet in real life? If you could picture yourself friends with one character, who would it be and why?
What do you hope to see in the future for the main characters? The secondary? What challenges await them?
POINT OF VIEW
Matthias. Avelina. Up close and personal, the novel alternates between the two main characters perspectives.
Did you enjoy hearing both Matthias and Avelina’s points of view in the story?
How does this affect the story and your appreciation of the book? Do you think the author did a good job with it?
If you could choose another point of view to hear, which character would you pick and why?
How do you think the story would change hearing it from their perspective?
Unexpected. Inconvenient. Forbidden. . .And yet. Born of chance, founded in friendship and mutual respect, their feelings for one another grew as their journey progressed.
Were you rooting for Matthias and Avelina to get together? Why or why not?
What did you think of the romance’s pacing and the “heat” level of the book?
Was the couple’s connection believable?
Was there a specific moment that you believe they fell for one another?
How do you think Matthias and Avelina complement one another as a couple? What do you see as their strengths? Things they will have to overcome?
What do you think happens to the leads after the ending? Can you see any potential conflicts between them?
Would you fall for any of the characters in the story? If so, whom and why?
Did this book take ahold of your heart? How so?
From harrowing battlefield to windswept valley. Soaring Alps to crumbling ruins. Calculating courts to thunderous tournament grounds. A sweeping landscape, inspired by and nestled within 15th century Germany, plays host to the Metzlingen Saga.
How did the setting impact the story? Would you want to read more books set in that world?
Did the descriptions in the book feel real to you? Did the writing play to your senses (sight, taste, smell, etc.)?
The novel is separated into sections based on location: Leuceria (Avelina’s homeland), the Geisterweg (the mountain Ghost Path), Metzlingen (the ruins), Ewigsburg (the capital city), and finally The Arena (King’s Park). Which of these settings did you connect with the most? Which did you find the most vivid?
Did you feel drawn to the setting? Why or why not?
Which location in the book would you most like to visit and why?
How did you feel about the use of other languages and localized dialect? Did they help immerse you into the setting and time period?
Plagued by self-doubt, rocked by betrayals, haunted by faltering faith and tested loyalties, their epic journey will change them both forever, leading them to a future they’d never imagined.
What scene would you point out as the pivotal moment for the story? For each of the main characters? How did it make you feel?
What scene resonated with you most on a personal level?
What surprised you most about the book? Why? Were there significant plot twists and turns? If so, what were they?
Were there any plot twists that you loved? Didn’t care for?
Did the author do a good job of organizing the plot and moving it along?
What (if any) questions do you still have about the plot?
What are the most revealing scenes?
Are any of the events in the book relevant to your own life?
What are the major conflicts in the story?
Have any of your personal views changed because of this book? If so, how?
Were you surprised by the ending? How did you enjoy the ending? If you could change the ending, what would you have happen?
FAVORITES (Quotes, Scene & Chapter)
That one line. That one page. That one chapter that made you react. Made you feel. Made you want to read it again.
What was your favorite chapter and why?
What songs did you think of while reading this book? (For extra fun: make a playlist!)
Are there any quotes, passages, or scenes you found particularly compelling? That you underlined or shared? Which and why?
How does this passage relate to the story as a whole?
What did it reveal about the characters or aspects of the story?
THEMES & SYMBOLISM
Destiny. Discovery. Death & Rebirth. So many things to consider and decipher.
What were the main points you think the author was trying to make?
What were the main themes of the book? How were those themes brought to life?
What kinds of symbolism did you note within the novel? How did the author make use of various animals, color, types of stones, etc?
Were there parts of the book you thought were incredibly unique or thought-provoking?
1479. The 15th century. The end of the Medieval era. The beginning of the Renaissance. A world flush with traditions, growth, beliefs, personalities, discovery, and change.
What appeals to you the most with historical fiction? How is this novel similar to other historical books that you have read?
Were you familiar with the 15th century before you read this book? If so, did you learn anything new? If not, did you come away with a greater understanding of what this particular time and place in history was actually like?
What would be the advantages or disadvantages of living during the 15th century? What kinds of hardships would they endure? Could you imagine living during this time? Why or why not?
How did your modern-day experiences influence the reading of a historical fiction tale? Can we imagine what life was really like for the characters within the context of the time period? In the royal courts, the cities, and the countryside?
Did the storyline change your opinion of an event, place, or historical period? How?
How well does the author convey the era? What sorts of details did you think were well used? Did you feel the author remained true to the events, social structures, and political events of the time period?
How are the adventures in this book similar or different from those that take place today?
What has changed since the time period of the story? What facts or technology do we know now that they didn’t know or have back then?
Why do you think the author chose to write about this particular time in history?
BOOK SELECTION & AUTHOR
Thank you so much for reading! Some more things to consider.
What made you want to read this book? Did it live up to your expectations? Why or why not?
What did you like or dislike about the book that hasn’t been discussed already? Were you glad you read this book? What do you think will be your lasting impression of the book?
Would you recommend it to a friend?
Would you want to read more from this author?
Did reading the book impact your mood? If yes, how so?
How did your opinion of the book change as you read it?
If you could ask the author anything, what burning questions would you want to ask?
If your book club is interested in connecting with me, use the features on the CONTACT section of the website to connect with me. I’d love to hear from you and would be happy to check in if I can 🙂
All pictures are my own, taken throughout Germany and in Austria.