“The Ruin of Kings” book has attracted rave book reviews on platforms like Goodreads and Kirkus Reviews. Authored by Jenn Lyons, the book follows the story of Kihrin D’Mon (a youthful thief) and his conversation with Talon (a mimic). It takes the reader on a journey filled with magicians, dragons, shape-shifters, zombies, witches, and demons. 

Tor Books published the book on Feb. 5, 2019. Since then, it’s attracted the attention of Annapurna Television, a filmmaking company and video game producer. Annapurna has optioned the five-book series, creating the possibility that the book will become an epic fantasy TV series.

Will “The Ruin of Kings” Become a TV Series?

Annapurna Television has optioned “The Ruin of Kings” with the potential development of a TV fantasy series in recognition of the author’s talent. This proposal bears testimony to Jenn Lyons’ creative abilities considering that the epic fantasy is her first book. “The Ruin of Kings” is part of a five-book series known as “A Chorus of Dragons.”

When filmmakers option a book for development into a movie or TV series, the author grants special rights to the production company, allowing it to develop a film based on the story depicted in the publication. However, the agreement doesn’t guarantee the development of a movie or TV series. The deal allows a filmmaker to explore the viability of turning the book into a cinematic production, making it the first step toward the television or big screen.

In the case of “The Ruin of Kings,” Annapurna may take between one and two years to explore the project’s viability before making a final decision. In the meantime, Jenn Lyons receives payment for each of the years Annapurna requires to explore the development of a new TV series.

The process represents a complex puzzle that involves creating a screenplay, hiring actors, sourcing funding, and shooting a pilot. All the pieces of the puzzle need to fit seamlessly before full production commences. In some cases, production companies fail to secure buy-ins from TV networks after shooting a pilot. 

About Annapurna Pictures

Founded in 2011, Annapurna Pictures is a production company focusing on film distribution, video game publishing, and TV show production. It’s produced popular drama, comedy, and thriller films, such as “Zero Dark Thirty,” “The Grandmaster,” “Everybody Wants Some,” and “American Hustle.” 

The company’s TV production arm began operating in 2016 after merging with Naegle Ink, another film production company founded by former HBO executive Sue Naegle, who subsequently became the head of the new division. A year later, Annapurna Television commenced production work on “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” which was the Coen brothers’ first TV project.

Annapurna also began distributing films in January 2017 and signed strategic distribution deals with prominent players in the industry, such as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). In April of the same year, Annapurna signed an output licensing agreement with the popular subscription streaming service Hulu.

Some joint ventures and co-distribution agreements involved Amazon Studios, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, and Paramount Pictures. These collaborations bolstered Annapurna’s corporate profile and status in the filmmaking industry.

At one point, the production company placed a bid to produce the James Bond series. However, MGM eventually won the global TV rights, while Universal Pictures became the official distributor.

Over the years, many Annapurna film productions have received awards and nominations. In 2013, “The Grandmaster” and “American Hustle” earned multiple Academy Award nominations recognizing Annapurna’s film production expertise.

What Is “The Ruin of Kings” Book About?

“The Ruin of Kings” combines a fascinating mix of adventure, enchanting magic, and betrayal. The book’s high fantasy plot centers around Kihrin, a young musician and thief, whose life changed following an encounter with a demon. As the story progresses, he gets claimed by a royal family as their long-lost son. However, his life with the family proves disappointing.

Members of the royal family are abusive and manipulative as they lie and kill to get their way. Nevertheless, Kihrin endures the tribulations and occasionally brawls his way out of trouble. The youngster transitions from the life of a juvenile thief to a member of the royal family and a slave in a riveting tale of mixed fortunes. He encounters countless challenges, dragons, heartbreak, gods, and demons.

At some point, Kihrin gets marked by a demon after witnessing a dark magic ritual at a noble’s mansion while trying to steal some jewels. Later, the young man becomes embroiled in a dangerous plot to assassinate the Quur emperor and steal valuables from the imperial vaults. This turn of events changes Kihrin’s life mission from saving the empire to destroying it.

The “Chorus of Dragons” series comes with many thrilling twists and plots that film producers can adapt for TV. However, adapting Jenn Lyons’ debut novel isn’t just about selecting a captivating series title. An adaptation process is undoubtedly an art form that requires a detailed approach. Producers typically select books with a specific structure, genre, and style that make it easier to adapt. “The Ruin of Kings” comes with an intricate set of characteristics, such as episodic plots, elaborate worldbuilding, and an ensemble cast. These critical aspects play a vital role in turning individual chapters or plots into interesting TV episodes.

A key expectation of the TV series is that more characters will come to the fore since TV doesn’t favor too much focus on a single protagonist. So, you can expect to see more active characters and a moderate focus on the main protagonist, Khirin. This approach allows viewers to connect and relate to multiple characters, creating a hook.

About “The Ruin of Kings” Characters

Here are a few of the main characters in “The Ruin of Kings” that you can likely expect to see  in the TV series: 

  • Kihrin D’Mon: As the main protagonist, Kihrin travels extensively across the Tyga continent, where he experiences many trials and tribulations. The young thief and musician discovers that he’s a long-lost child of the royal house after observing a dark ritual performed by a prince at a mansion. His physical features resemble the Quuros tribe, whose emperor he later kills. Kihrin is the main character in the second book of the “Chorus of Dragons” series, called “The Name of All Things.” Throughout the story, Kihrin exhibits an aggressive and dark broody streak inherited from his D’Mon lineage.

  • Talon: Narrates Kihrin’s adventures in the Tyga continent. The mimic character comes to life following the gruesome murder of Lyrilyn, who later switches souls to become Talon. Kihrin joins Talon in narrating his incarceration. Both characters begin narrating the story from different points in the show’s historical timelines.

  • Janel Theranon: This female Jorat citizen appears in several plot parts in “The Ruin of Kings” before joining Kihrin as one of two main characters in “The Name of All Things.” Her first encounter with Kihrin sees the duo joining hands to fight demons hunting Kihrin. Theranon assists the youthful thief and musician to evade attacks by the pack of demons. Later, Kihrin recognizes Theranon and heals her after the demons knock her out.

  • Teraeth: This Black Brotherhood member is the child of a voramer mother and a manol vané father. Teraeth also derives superior strength from his father’s side. In “The Ruin of Kings,” he joins two other Black Brotherhood members in trying to purchase Kihrin at a slave auction in Kishna-Farriga. Despite winning the bid, the trio faces a setback when another bidder, Relos Var, taunts them, forcing Teraeth to reveal his identity.

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Heather Reinblatt

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV