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Hi! I'm K.C. May. Thanks for visiting my author page.
I grew up in the mid-western USA and in Hawaii, and earned a B.A. in Russian from Florida State University. After a year in Taiwan teaching English and studying Mandarin Chinese, I lived in the Arizona desert where I founded a Rottweiler rescue organization and worked as a computer programmer and technical writer. My interests include karate, backpacking, motorcycle riding, dog training, and computer gaming. In 2010, I retreated to cooler, greener Georgia. I earn my living as a full-time writer.
My first novel, The Kinshield Legacy, was initially published in hard-cover in 2005. Now it's available as an eBook and in paperback. It was named one of the four best reads of 2010 by review blogger Grace Krispy at DailyCheapReads.com.
If you enjoy that book, you will probably like the rest of the series -- The Kinshield Saga. I also write science fiction, and I've started a new series called The Mindstream Chronicles.
I hope you enjoy my stories!
on Dec. 31, 2015 :
I just finished reading The Kinshield Legacy. I wish the four books came in one download rather than singly. I'll wait a bit in hopes…..
I also wish I had the author's way with dialogue. love how seamlessly the story flows. Yeah - color me envious!
I am writing (tho a bit stuck right now at a spot) the sequel to my published fantasy novel. Problem is that I'm not sure just how to get my characters into a 'fix' smoothly.
Now I must comment on Weber's comment about the tavern scenes. After my many (30+) years in the military and DOD, many overseas, I found that many/most of the countries had bars that had 'free' women, and occasional boys, often offering themselves. Just another fact of life. I have even encountered, infrequently yes, but encountered the same in some of the lower bars / taverns in the US!
Write on K.C. May, you're doing great!
ps I tried to subscribe to your newsletter but not sure it worked......
(reviewed 5 years after purchase)
on Nov. 16, 2013 :
One of those books that make me want to read everything from the author.
Let me start by saying I picked this book up mostly because it was free and because I needed a book title with a K for the A-Z reading challenge I'm playing along with this year. That being said, I was surprised to be drawn in immediately.
The hero is Gavin Kinshield, a bounty hunter or lawman for hire, who finds himself drawn to solving the Kings Runes. This is not something he desires. Instead, the runes and their solutions haunt him constantly, annoying him until he has no cure but solving another one. All this you get in the first chapter or so. After that, Gavin's character gets even more interesting. At first glance he's nothing one would consider kingly material, but the author slowly reveals there is more to him in a way that draws you in.
Another interesting character is the main female lead, a warrior called Daia, who has an interesting ability, a noble past, and a conflicted present. She finds herself alternately disgusted and impressed by him, an interesting thing in itself, and the banter between Daia and Gavin is both natural and amusing. She is also a member of an elite group of women called the Viragon Sisterhood, which battles otherwordly creatures called beyonders and hire out as protectors. This brings in another aspect I enjoyed, the portrayal of women as strong and capable.
But their prowess and strength are not enough to protect them from the evil sorcerer who seeks the rune solver for his own nefarious purpose, and they are caught up in the ever more intricate web that threatens not only Gavin, but also the entire country, for Brodas Ravenkind as king would be worse than no king at all. As the evil villain, Brodas is both despicable and powerful, scary and charismatic. Certain chapters are told from his perspective, which reveals just how awful he truly is. I loved it!
Another thing I loved about this book was the history that is revealed as the story progresses. Gavin's personal history and the Kinshield legacy, for which the book is named, are fascinating and are built slowly to allow the reader a chance to guess at what more there may be. But it is not only Gavin with a noteworthy past, Daia, Brodas, a young warrior woman Brawna, and the Farthans, Artlet and Risen Stronghammer, have their own stories to tell, all of which lead to a satisfyingly rich cast of characters with believable motivations.
As for the quality of the book itself, Kinshield Legacy is smoothly told and well-edited. It's a well polished product that I feel confident recommending to others.
Overall, I loved this book and feel it is worth reading again. I highly recommend it to folks who love adventure, fantasy, and a complex (but not overwhelming) plot. The story is just the right size, the writing is solid, and the experience is worth repeating.
I want to read the next books in the series, though the print copies run a little high for my taste. Still, as stories I'll likely re-read, the investment in paper may be worth it. Plus, I want my husband to read them, and he's not fond of e-readers. I'll probably read them all in ebook before getting the print copies.
(review of free book)
Daniel J. Weber
on June 17, 2013 :
[Full Review at http://digerbop.ca/2013/06/the-kinshield-legacy/]
First of all… what is not good about this book? Wait… I will talk about that when I get to the bad… so… not first of all… This book is a brilliant masterpiece that any and every fan of a good epic fantasy tale would be dying to read if they knew about it. Now that you know about it, you should really go and read it. K.C. May crafts a brilliant world in the classic swords & sorcery style but stays away from the dwarfs and elves and all that. What stands out to me is the character development. May uses the third-person shifting POV style magnificently, allowing the reader to get into the head of every character. I have seen this done very poorly in the past, making the story feel disjointed and wrong, but May pulls it off well. Just as much time in spent inside of and outside of a character’s head, letting the reader in on his or her inner secrets, desires, thoughts, and feelings, developing well rounded characters with proper motivation. At no point does a character feel like it’s just thrown in to progress the story. Every character is well thought out and well crafted. I thought at first that knowing so much about every character (good guys and the bad) would take away from the on-the-edge-of-your-seat-suspense, but it does not. Sometimes suspense is actually built as the POV changes at a crucial moment in the story, leaving the reader hanging on a limb, itching to read more.
Not only are the character well crafted and set in a believably intriguing setting, but as the plot unfolds we learn that there is more to it than just a tavern grunt who doesn’t want to be king. It has been a while since I have read a book where the plot grabbed me, and I applaud The Kinshield Legacy for this. The reader truly doesn’t know all the ins and outs of the story until the very end, and even then we are left with enough questions to provide for a sequel. Though there are many things for this would-be-king and his band of followers to accomplish, by the end of the book the plot is wrapped up well. A secret plot thread is woven throughout the whole book until a tiny piece of it is revealed at the end giving the reader a dry-mouth-must-read-more feeling.
In places the book has a darker tone (which you can’t really help when dealing with evil sorcerers and demons and the like) which I really enjoyed. However, The Kinshield Legacy stays light throughout, so this point should not turn off the more squeemish readers.
At the beginning when the POV was jumping around quite a bit, I was a little bit confused and wasn’t sure how all of the story arcs tied together. Fairly quickly, however, we see the characters coming together into one succinct plot that drives the story. Not much “action-wise” happens at the very beginning of the book while characters and setting are being developed. The introduction would have potentially been aided by more draw-you-in moments.
This was “bad” for me, but other might not mind it. I was really thrown by the author’s use of words in dialogue. If someone had a slur, or a speech impediment, it came through in between the “quotes.” Someone might say, “You have bread?” instead of “Do you have any bread?” I realize that in real life (how boring! This is a fantasy novel. Let’s not talk about real life, okay?) that people actually talk like this, but I felt like it got in the way of the readability (similar to how it would get in the way of you understanding someone who is speaking like this, I suppose). One of the biggest ones that threw me was the use of “awright” instead of “alright” throughout. Based on its use this may be a “thing” that I am unaware of, but it came across to me as a typo until I had read it enough times to realise that it was done on purpose.
Another thing that I didn’t like, but might not be a problem for some, was the tavern scenes. Gavin Kinshield makes a number of rude comments, as do many of his friends, and this works to develop character. The problem I had was the women who came up to him constantly wanting to bed him. It seemed to me like every time he went for a drink someone wanted to get into his pants! Though this may be a teen-age boys paradise it isn’t very representative of reality and I felt it came across rather sexist, playing into the idea that all men are pigs and all women are whores. This was even more surprising to me coming from a female author and I was almost intrigued by the use of sexism in book realizing that it wasn’t just some guy living out his fantasy to have every woman jump him in the bar. I was pleased, however, there are a few “strong” woman in the book who did not fit this moulded stereo-type, but still even they put up with more that I thought was acceptable.
(review of free book)
on March 23, 2011 :
I very much enjoyed the Kinshield Legacy. The characters are well developed and easy to follow. As with The Venom of Vipers, I found KC May's style extremely smooth. It's kind of like eating ice cream; you never get your fill. The ending was kind of abrupt, opening the door for a sequel, which I'll be sure to pick up as soon as it's available.
(reviewed 20 days after purchase)
on March 11, 2011 :
Only complaint I have is that the book didnt go on forever!! Loved it, and will be reading more from this author!
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
M L Sawyer
on March 06, 2011 :
I really like this story and would love to read more about Gavin and the challenges that lie ahead.
K C May weaves a wonderful tail with complex characters that drew me into the story, not being able to put it down until I got to the end.
Will definatly be looking for more from this writer. One for the watch lists!
(reviewed 17 days after purchase)
on Jan. 18, 2011 :
The Kinshield Legacy follow the story of Gavin a warrant knight (kind of like a bounty hunter) who is destined to be king. I found Gavin to be a very well developed character with a strong supporting cast. There are characters that are extremely likable (the blacksmith) and I personally despised the villain and spent the whole book waiting for terrible things to happen to him. The book moves along at a great speed and will keep you trying to finish just one more chapter.
The story is completed at the end, but it leaved things wide open for a sequel (first half of 2011 according to her website) which I will get for sure. If you have a kindle download the sample, if you enjoy fantasy you will most likely be hooked and end up buying the whole book. This book was a great find and I hope that K.C. May continues to write so I can continue to enjoy her wonderful stories.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
on Nov. 30, 2010 :
I agree with GraceKrispy about the new language, but as Grace says, one quickly becomes used to this.
I enjoyed the book. Fantasy is a marginal genre for me, but I will be looking out for the sequel. Good, believable characters, definitely not black and white, but several shades of grey, at least for the goodies, but the ultimate baddie was absolutely bad.
(reviewed 30 days after purchase)
on Oct. 31, 2010 :
From page one, you know who will be king, and the grande finale is skipped altogether. Usually this would make for a dull story that ends in complete failure, however The Kinshield Legacy easily deserves five stars.
This story thrives on its characters; they act and misunderstand things in a way that makes them human and entirely believable, including the bad guy. This is one of the few stories where I'm willing to believe that things actually really happened this way.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
on Sep. 19, 2010 :
Wow. I was hooked in the first chapter and had trouble putting the book down to sleep last night. Each of the first few chapters introduces new people, people whose lives and stories become inextricably tied together as the story continues. One of the things that sometimes turns me off about the fantasy genre is the whole new language one must learn to understand what is going on. There are new names for objects, actions, types of people... it's like taking a confusing crash course in a foreign language. That's a lot of work when all I want to do is enjoy. Although K.C. May introduces new creatures and unfamiliar items with unusual names, the book is very readable, and there was no confusion. I didn't have to work to enjoy; this fantastical world is seamlessly woven into terms to which we can all relate.
The writing style is such that it was very easy to become engaged in the story. When I read some stories, I find myself constantly thinking of how I would have written certain lines or paragraphs differently. That tells me that the writing is not to my standards, and it distracts me from the story the author is trying to tell. When reading this story, however, I found myself enthralled and fully immersed in the adventure. The pacing of the chapters and introduction of new characters was ideal for maintaining interest and moving the story along without drawing anything out unnecessarily. Sometimes bad things happen to great characters, and I mourned the unavoidable losses along the way, even as I celebrated the small victories. I cringed, I delighted, I was completely and utterly engaged.
The ending is very satisfying in and of itself, but it does open the door for a sequel. I, for one, am eager to read more from this talented author.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
on Aug. 24, 2010 :
I'm not an experienced fantasy reader, with only a couple of books behind me, but for me this was the best fantasy I've read so far.
I feel with the characters and want to know more as the book progresses. The story is captivating from page 1 all the way to the last page.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
on Aug. 09, 2010 :
This book is great and I highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys fantasy novels.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
on Aug. 05, 2010 :
I throughly enjoyed this book! It is a good fantasy adventure with a variety of interesting characters.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)