Official Review: A Kingdom Forgotten

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jacnthabox
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Official Review: A Kingdom Forgotten

Post by jacnthabox » 29 Jun 2017, 19:43

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "A Kingdom Forgotten" by Charles W. McDonald Jr..]
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3 out of 4 stars
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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
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Post by kandscreeley » 12 Jul 2017, 09:03

"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."

I love that! This is a great review, but I'm a little afraid of the book. It seems a little too complicated for me. I'm more of a simple-minded kind of person. :) I might try it anyway. We'll see. Thanks!
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Post by jacnthabox » 12 Jul 2017, 09:25

Thank you!!

What I admire most about this book is that the author told a massive story the way HE wanted to tell it, knowing that its grand scope would not appeal to some readers. I believe that, (again) much like Pulp Fiction, a more straightforward approach would have diminished the impact and overall quality of the novel.

As it stands, A Kingdom Forgotten is simply A REALLY good book.
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Post by raikyuu » 12 Jul 2017, 10:39

Cool, so many references to other creative works. A challenge to these kinds of novels is to set the plot without relying too much on dry exposition. Since you find the novel intriguing and engaging, I assume that the author succeeds in this challenge? Great review.
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Post by jacnthabox » 12 Jul 2017, 10:56

@raikyuu, McDonald definitely succeeds, and the reason is that he never truly tells you what's really going on until far into the novel. You get one scene after another from the past, the future, the present, this world, that world, all in rapid-fire succession. Then, like a light switch, you get another fast paced series of AHA! moments as the story begins binding itself together.

The challenge with this book is not to stave off boredom but to remember everything that's been previously read, as characters and events define themselves through action over exposition.

And thank you!
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Post by raikyuu » 12 Jul 2017, 11:03

jacnthabox wrote:@raikyuu, McDonald definitely succeeds, and the reason is that he never truly tells you what's really going on until far into the novel. You get one scene after another from the past, the future, the present, this world, that world, all in rapid-fire succession. Then, like a light switch, you get another fast paced series of AHA! moments as the story begins binding itself together.

The challenge with this book is not to stave off boredom but to remember everything that's been previously read, as characters and events define themselves through action over exposition.

And thank you!
Glad to know about it. Thank you for your insight.
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Post by SandraTheLibrarian » 12 Jul 2017, 12:42

Your review is very clear and written in an easy-to-understand style. Thanks for the heads up about the errors. As a teacher, I find errors like those you describe to be very distracting! While it sounds, from your review, like it may be an interesting story to read, it also sounds like a futuristic re-telling of the book of Revelations. So, I probably won't be adding it to my "to read" list now; maybe in the future when I retire. :)

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Post by Abfaniki » 12 Jul 2017, 14:01

I find the book frustrating. Too much break in scene, xter that come and go at author whimp. Thus one good thing about the book is that is a break from traditional form of written fiction.

-- 12 Jul 2017, 14:04 --

Nice review write up.

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Post by greenstripedgiraffe » 12 Jul 2017, 14:38

I read and reviewed this one earlier, and also the second book. I am hoping against hope that I get to review the third :D It is an amazing series, despite the confusion in the first book.
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Post by jacnthabox » 12 Jul 2017, 18:01

@greenstripedgiraffe I'd love to review another volume on this series as well. As soon as I'm done with my current book, I will be diving headlong back into the Throne of Souls series.
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Post by aljun001 » 12 Jul 2017, 21:50

i find this book is nice and awesome story because of the past and future and i hope i can read the another book of this . keep up the good work

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Post by Serina Vitrino » 15 Jul 2017, 03:01

I have to admit this sounds intriguing, everyone says the storytelling is unique!

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Post by Karolin » 15 Jul 2017, 18:05

Wow. I came here to get a feeling of this book but I got so.much.more. I believe everything you stated - and I'm in a self-made trap because your summary sounds like this book was just MEANT FOR ME. I mean, unconventional fantasy with a good dose of science and the cherry on top: supernatural elements?! And it gets better with hello-Mr-Tarantino-style.???!!! :music-headbanger:
God, I have to read it. Thanks for the magnificient review!
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Post by jacnthabox » 16 Jul 2017, 01:28

Thank you!!! I encourage you, and everyone, to check out the sample on Amazon. You can get a great idea of how the book is going to read. I believe, if you're intrigued by the review, that you will be completely sucked in and ready to finish the novel.
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Post by Abfaniki » 17 Jul 2017, 15:55

hey @jacnthabox. i could not believe how, you enjoy reading that book so much. it took me 25 day and strong will to finish the book. And the funny part is that i cant wait to get my hand on the nest series

lol

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