3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
A Kingdom Forgotten, the first book in the Throne of Souls series by new author Charles McDonald, Jr., is easily the most uniquely written novel I've read in many moons. There is nothing conventional about this book. Part Wheel of Time, part Warhammer 40000, A Kingdom Forgotten presents itself as a multidimensional epic that juxtaposes ancient kingdom magic with modern world science, and potentially vice versa. On a number of occasions I found myself comparing its asynchronous narrative to the movie Pulp Fiction, where the protagonist isn't always apparent, the hero isn't necessarily the good guy, and the present doesn't make sense until you've seen the future. To be clear, A Kingdom Forgotten was a wild ride from start to finish, and I am extremely eager to begin the sequel, Black Mirrors of the Soul.
In A Kingdom Forgotten, mages (known as lameans) reign supreme, and they are constantly at war with each other, to no other end but power accumulation. One such lamean, Damon, has seen the future and knows its bleak outcome, not only on his world but on every world humanoids call home. The prophecies are explicit in their foretellings of The One who will usher in The End, but who is he? Where is he? Most importantly, when is he? Some lameans will search for The One who will fulfill all prophecies; others will hunt The One to prevent him (or her) from attaining ultimate power. A great number of lameans will weave webs of deceit to ensure they are beneficiaries of the great war to come. Damon, however, is hatching a plan to defy both Creator and Destroyer...
A Kingdom Forgotten is, again, extremely unconventional and unorthodox; however, this book is a totally worthwhile read for those looking for a unique fantasy novel. It is a scrumptious dessert of epic fantasy, layered with science fiction and drizzled with the paranormal, and served one small slice at a time, as if it were a delicacy to be savored and not devoured. The story skips time, jumps between multiple worlds, and gives away no secrets before they're due; I was over halfway finished with this book before I stopped sorting all the pieces and actually began putting it all together. That is not to say, though, that I was bored by any means. Every character, every time period, and every world is an intriguing entity in and of itself, and I was up past my bedtime for a few consecutive nights trying to unravel the mystery of this great novel.
My only complaint about the book is the poor grammar contained within; A Kingdom Forgotten surely needs an editor. The prose is rife with sentence fragments and missing verbs, tense changes, and a few misspellings. However, I did download the sample copy from Amazon to compare with the .epub edition I downloaded, and I believe that mistakes contained in my copy were fixed in the Amazon copy. I would like to believe that this is true; A Kingdom Forgotten is simply too clever to be marred by typographical errors and unpolished sentence structure.
I rate A Kingdom Forgotten 3 out of 4 Stars. I want to award it 4 Stars; this novel has, for all intents and purposes, earned 4 Stars. However, until I know that the grammatical bugs have been worked out, I cannot allow myself to do so. The Throne of Souls series has piqued my interest, though, and I will be purchasing Black Mirrors of the Soul very soon. Mr. McDonald definitely shows promise as a sci-fi/fantasy author. I believe anyone who is a fan of sprawling epic fantasy, and who doesn't mind investing the time into keeping up with several plot lines at once, will enjoy this book and series.
A Kingdom Forgotten
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon | on iTunes | on Smashwords
Like jacnthabox's review? Post a comment saying so!