4 out of 4 stars
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The Vanished by Pejay Bradley is set in Korea during the twentieth century. During this time, the Japanese had taken over Korea and oppressed its people. The Koreans were enslaved and stripped of their identity and dignity. Faced with the decision to adapt to the new reality or take up arms and fight, the Koreans chose the latter.
The novel begins by introducing us to Lady Sougyon, a daughter of Prince Ansoon. Lady Sougyon was married to Hob, who became an estranged husband soon after their wedding day. Out of her marriage with Hob, Embon was born. Embon was a smart student who always achieved excellent grades. Because of his outstanding performance at school, he was promoted several times and moved to the next level. His high marks saw him secure a spot at a prestigious Japanese university where he met two friends who ignited his patriotism spirit. Although Embon lived a comfortable life and went to the best schools, he was not oblivious to the injustices suffered by his people at the hands of the Japanese.
Embon, together with his fellow countrymen found himself in China as part of an underground movement that was working to overthrow the Japanese government. In their endeavor to regain independence from Japan, blood was spilled, and lives were lost. Were lives lost in vain, or did Korea finally gain its independence? I will leave this detail for the reader to find out.
The characters were well developed and contributed meaningfully towards the storyline, no matter how small their roles were. The Korean's fighting spirit and their loyalty to their country, culture, and customs shined through the pages. They were willing to sacrifice themselves and fought with all their might to free themselves from the clutches of a devious slave master who had stripped them of their culture and dignity.
The language used in the book was pleasant, as I did not come across any profane words. The book does not contain sexual content, making it suitable for young and old readers. I recommend it to readers who enjoy historical fiction and those who would like to learn more about the history of Koreans.
The book contains elements of violence, but it is not gruesome or overly detailed. The book cover is aesthetically pleasing, and I found the color coordination to be exquisite. The events were arranged chronologically, making the book a smooth read as it flowed seamlessly from one chapter to the next. I also liked the author's skillful display of the lives of Koreans under Japanese rule.
There was nothing I disliked about the book. I only came across a handful of errors throughout the book, giving me the impression that the book was professionally edited. The storyline was not only educational, but it was also captivating and skillfully crafted. The book exposed me to Korean cuisines, traditions, and customs. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and am delighted to award it a rating of 4 out of 4 stars.
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