4 out of 4 stars
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The Vanished: A Novel is a historical fiction book by Pejay Bradley. As a member of the royal family, Prince Aansoon was keen to find a suitable spouse for his beloved daughter. He found Hob. Hob was an orphan and a descendant of the once powerful Andong Kim clan. The product of this arranged marriage was Kim Embon. The mother had high hopes for this new born son of the royal family. At a considerably young age, Embon would go on to join Hokkaido Imperial University in Sapporo. Sapporo was some substantial distance from his kingdom in Seoul. Here, he would meet his lifelong friends from his country. These friends would change his ambitions and views for the long run. How would they change his life and their own? You need to grab this captivating masterpiece for more!
I liked the character development in this book. The characters were few but strong. My favorite was Lady Sougyon. She was a patient mother and never betrayed her estranged husband. A close second was Mr. Koo Daesik. He was a loyal friend as well as a determined independence activist. The plot flowed well. All the four parts were well paced. It was difficult to put down the book. Components of the story link together perfectly. The author touched on various themes and virtues. I think my favorite theme was patriotism. Other themes that were dominant included arranged marriages, true friendships and guerilla warfare. I liked the fact that Pejay included virtues such as selflessness and loyalty in this book. There's a lot to learn from this book. I learnt a lot about Korean history. An example is the annexation treaty of 1910.
One thing I disliked about the book was Hob's character. I dare say that his character was necessary. He represents the ignorant and bitter individuals in the society. However, his character wasn't well developed. Otherwise, there isn't much I disliked about the book.
The book was professionally edited, in my opinion. I found only three errors. These few errors and Hob's character didn't warrant the loss of a single star. Everything else about this book was stellar. Therefore, I rate this piece of work 4 out of 4 stars.
I recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction. There's a lot of interesting stuff about Asian history and culture in it. It will also appeal to readers who enjoy books containing romance and strong friendships. The writing style and English are both simple. Hence, it's suitable even for young audiences. Most of the characters subscribe to buddhism, but it may not be distracting to readers from other religions and non-religious ones. There is also some violence, thus making it unsuitable for sensitive audience. Generally, this one is an awesome read.
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