1 out of 4 stars
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The book, A Kingdom Forgotten , by Charles W. McDonald Jr., is an interesting tale of mages called lamean, magical realms, and end time prophecies. The story follows Damon, one of the lamean through his development of a spell to challenge the powers that be. No one directly challenges Damon through this story, though many do question his intentions. It is also about a rising lamean, Radin who's growth in power is enhanced by Damon through a few obscure training sessions.
Things seemed rushed with Radin, both in his relationship with Elise, too fast, and his growth in arcane skills. Radin grows from a young man who bristles under the responsibilities his father expects of him, to become a masterful lamean by the story’s, close. Damon shows unexpected growth by the end, but in the vein of not providing spoilers, I will stop there.
I believe this story had the potential to be a great story. I loved the intertwining of the traditional Christian religious beliefs about the end times, with a magical realm where lamean are powerful enough to challenge the ultimate powers within the universe.
However, several issues manifested in A Kingdom Forgotten to keep it from achieving its potential. One, McDonald has a frustrating tendency to strive for mystery in beginning most chapters by starting in the mind of a character without telling us who it is, leaving the reader scratching their head for the first several paragraphs. Two, he has a habit of jumping from one character viewpoint to another in the middle of a scene without any warning, without even a break, and in one case in the middle of the same paragraph. This caused considerable confusion trying to determine who was saying or thinking what. Third, the author likes to throw in the annoying phrase, “like unto,” that I found flow stopping every time I encountered it. I quit counting these “like unto” phrases at nine instances. Four, McDonald uses the technique of jumping from world to world, from time frame to time frame and from character to character, to present his story. In the end, there is so much bouncing about that I found it impossible to follow an understandable timeline. Editing is only fair. As a result of the above, I rate this story 1 out of 4 stars.
I did find a couple of positives: First, even though the timeline as presented made little sense to me, the story does have a certain continuity so that one can follow it start to finish. Second, McDonald has considerable skill in characterization. The male characters are believable, well thought out, and well developed. Though I would say, McDonald’s description’s and the actions of most female characters bend strongly toward sexist. Specifically, every female character is good looking and presented as if that is a most important measure of their value. However, the only use their looks truly provides seems to be to engender lust in the male characters. Granted, a few of the female characters are potent lameans and helpful in the battles.
A Kingdom Forgotten
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