Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Kingdom on the Edge of Reality by Gahan Hanmer -Blog Tour

Today I am happy to be a part of Tribute Books Blog Tour of
 The Kingdom on the Edge of Reality by author Gahan Hanmer.

The Kingdom on the Edge of Reality
by Gahan Hanmer
Publisher:Two Harbors
Publication Date: April 2, 2012

Buy: Barnes and Noble / Amazon

Sometimes it's funny how fast things can change, and sometimes it's not...
Welcome to Albert Keane's beautifully designed medieval kingdom nestled in a completely isolated river valley in the Canadian wilderness. Peaceful, happy, and prosperous, it takes nothing from the modern world, not so much as a single clock.
There is a castle, of course, and a monastery. There is even a pitch dark, rat-infested dungeon - because you simply have to have one if you are trying to rule a feudal kingdom!
Farmers work the land, artisans ply their trades, monks keep school and visit the sick, and nobody (well, almost nobody) misses the modern world at all.
So why has Jack Darcey - actor, wanderer, ex-competitive fencer - been tricked and seduced into paying a visit? And why hasn't anyone told him that the only way to leave is a perilous trek across hundreds of miles of trackless wilderness without a compass or a map?
Because a tide of fear and violence is rising from the twisted ambitions of one of King Albert's nobles, and Albert's fortune teller believes that Jack could turn the tide - if he lives long enough(synopsis from Goodreads)

The Kingdom on the Edge of Reality by Gahan Hanmer offers a modern day medieval tale with a message of survival and hope. Hanmer takes us on an imaginative journey filled with romance, violence, and deception. I found the tale to be enchanting as it delivered a message about technology and its impact on human relationships.

Protagonist Jack Darcey is the hero in this novel. When we meet Jack, he is at a crossroads in his life. He is down on his luck and unsure which road to travel next.  His old friend from prep school, Albert, sends an employee to deliver Jack to his home. Albert spins a tale about the kingdom he has created in the woods of Canada. He urges Jack to join him. Jack finds the kingdom is isolated from the outside world as a helicopter delivers him. Here he finds a kingdom complete with a grand castle. There is no electricity, a dungeon and a monastery. He finds farmers and skilled workers to perform all sorts of tasks. The monks teach school and run a hospital of sorts.  Just as Sir Jack, now a knight begins to enjoy this medieval life, conflict brews and a battle breaks out. A prediction is made that Sir Jack can save the kingdom and the tale that unfolds is fascinating and at times dark. 

I didn't love Jack, but he ultimately tries to do right. Jack really takes to this medieval life and as a knight he truly looks out for all the people of the kingdom. His journey of self-discovery while painful was enlightening. At times I wanted to shake him and his actions annoyed me. Duke Hawke someone from Jack’s past wants to rule the kingdom. I cannot help but wonder if Albert didn't deliberately set up this chess game. I would have liked to have seen some of the characters more fleshed out, and some of the conversations seemed awkward. The tale was filled with good and evil characters. Sadly even in this utopia; greed, jealousy and politics still exists.  

Hanmer world-building was delightful and the tale he spun interesting. He weaves a tale, all while posing the questions, "Are we losing our humanity as we become more connected?” His depiction of time spent in a dungeon felt genuine and was eerie. I find this time period romantic, but would miss modern inventions. While I felt parts of this tale were flawed, I enjoyed the overall story.

Kingdom on the Edge of Reality was an easy read, and I breezed through it in a single afternoon. I recommend it to fans of historical fiction and fantasy.  Kingdom on the Edge of Reality is available both in paper and eBook format.
I gave this novel 3 coffee cups out of 5. 

Gahan Hanmer

  About the author: Gahan Hanmer enjoyed a colorful career in the theater as actor, director, designer and technician, and also wandered extensively searching for love, happiness and truth. He unintentionally became a grown-up raising two beloved daughters and now lives in the high chaparral desert of California.

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At April 26, 2012 at 12:26 AM , Blogger Danny said...

Totally new to me! Never seen this book before. But the premise sounds promising and together with your beautiful thoughts on this tale I think it's a book one should keep an eye on!

At April 26, 2012 at 8:47 AM , Blogger Giselle said...

I've never heard of this one before. I like books in male povs though but too bad his character wasn't great. I do like the sounds of the premise and the fact it has great world building is promising!

At April 26, 2012 at 9:10 AM , Blogger Gina said...

Hmm, curious read. I was all prepared to say, no this isn't for me and attention was held for another beat or two. May check it out in the future (or at least pass it on as I know a friend that would enjoy it I think)....the blend of past and present with the message delivered certainly sounds original to me. Thanks for sharing!

At April 26, 2012 at 12:41 PM , Blogger Jennifer | Mrs Q Book Addict said...

This one is new to me as well. I haven't read much adult fantasy novels.

At April 26, 2012 at 3:18 PM , Blogger Tribute Books said...

Kimba, thanks for the review. I really like how you mentioned the technology connection via the contrast of a medieval setting. Hope all is well with you and yours. Love your new blog header, by the way.

Danny, Giselle, GMR (Gina) and Mrs. Q - thanks for the comments. I hope you have a chance to check it out.

At April 26, 2012 at 7:23 PM , Blogger Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Oh, I like my medieval feel books. ;) And this sounds like it has a nice twist to it. And a nice meaning inside as well. Thank you!

At April 27, 2012 at 10:27 AM , Blogger Laura BurgandyIce said...

Great review!!! I totally agree. I enjoyed the world and wanted to throttle Jack.

Thx for hoppin' by to say "hi"!!

-Burgandy Ice

At April 27, 2012 at 1:58 PM , Blogger LoveOfBooks said...

Ah, greed and jealousy - two of my favorite things. Kidding. The cover of this makes me want to play with a sword!

Great review, Kim :)

At April 29, 2012 at 3:40 AM , Blogger Jennifer @ Bad Bird Reads said...

I really tried liking this book, but I just couldn't. It lost me and it was hard to finish. I did not like how the main character fell in love like 3 times (okay maybe I am exggerating):)

At May 3, 2012 at 10:33 PM , Blogger Bea said...

Great review Kimba and you made some good points. Jack wasn't easy to connect with at times, and I also questioned Albert's decision to bring in Hawker, given their past.


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