4 out of 4 stars
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What are you going to do if someone orders you to learn a foreign language, live by their culture, change your name like theirs, and love their country as if it is your own? Will you follow their orders? Or are you going to do what the characters did in this book? If you are curious and want to know more, finish reading my review and you might want to read this book by Pejay Bradley entitled The Vanished.
The story started after Lady Sougyon, daughter of Prince Aansoon from Korea, gave birth to her first child. She hoped to have given birth at nighttime to avoid everyone knowing. Instead, the birth occurred in midsummer at high noon. It was important for Korean mothers to have a son at that time. She did not want everyone to know that she is giving birth because she had no husband. She saw herself as short, stout, and plain. She is always envious of the tall, willowy, and slender ladies in the noble circle. Luckily, her prayers were answered, and she received a handsome and healthy child. She would do anything for her son to make him happy.
Prince Aansoon, also as happy as Lady Sougyon for having a grandchild, searched for the baby's father. After having successfully found the right man, Lady Sougyon found herself getting married at a young age. The baby, whose name is Embon, grew up to be a handsome, smart, and patriotic man. Like all the Koreans at that time, he witnessed how the Japanese invaded their country. Because of this, Embon and his friends committed themselves to bring back what is originally for Korea.
The story focuses on how the Koreans fought for their rights, and how ambitious the Japanese were for wanting to conquer the world. The scenes were easier to imagine if you had at least watched one Korean movie or drama with the same theme. While reading the first two parts of the book, I was not sure where the story will go but I find it interesting since it was a new experience for me. I was not disappointed though, because I enjoyed reading the book up to the last page. It was full of surprises and heartfelt scenes which will make you want to read more of it. Also, I am glad to learn a bit of Korean history along with some Korean terms.
My favorite characters in this book would be Embon and his three friends. They showed what a responsible human being who loved his country would do if everything was taken from them. I liked how the author told the story. The transition was smooth and clear, it feels like you are watching the story from your head. However, there were some brutal scenes described in the story that might not suit the young readers.
Overall, I had a good time reading this historical fiction book. I would recommend it to readers who are curious about the history of other countries since this might give them a glimpse of it. After carefully reading this book, I am glad to say that there were no grammatical errors present. With that, I am rating this book 4 out of 4 stars. I enjoyed reading it and hoping for a continuation of the story after the author left it with a tragic ending.
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