The second milestone by Lucy Saxon in the “Take Back the Skies” series binds the readers in the realm of scientific fiction so tightly that for once we get transported completely to the imaginary world created by the extremely talented story teller. We tend to become a part of the wonderful novel. It immerses the reader into a dystopian cross old-London world through the heroic adventures of Aleks. The reader directly reaches in the midst of an adventurous surrounding, triggering with wonderful fantasies. Very cleverly with adventure and sci-fi galore, Lucy has added a pinch of romance to the plot.
The Almost King is a story about Aleks Vasin, who chooses the road less travelled and urges to become a noble soldier. He starts off with signing up to conscription, but soon realizes his idea is somehow not correct. He only has faint ideas about the fenced soldier camp. He faces the brutality of the camp, the torments of the higher officials. His hopes get shattered to debris. He decides to flee. Acquiring his stolen possessions and a horse, reaches a small town, there he meets an inventor and falls in love, there he begins a journey, that opens a new faucet of fantasies and adventures.
There are many unique elements in Lucy’s novel which makes it stand apart from the regular fantasy novels. It has an action packed cliff-hanger plot with a lot of twists, which makes it worth reading. The style of writing is simple and beautifully arranged, she has successfully avoided the trap of being too verbose or too laconic, which springs and retains the interest of the readers till the end. A remarkable thing about the novel is how the characters and surroundings are developed and unfolded. The depth and beauty of the protagonist’s character was naturally shaped in the course of the plot. There are a lot more interesting characters and incidents but to reveal them completely would be an injustice to Lucy’s grace and flawless expressions. There were some of the loopholes in the plot as the relationship between Aleks and Saria blossomed pretty quickly, then the death of Zohra.
The ending was very smartly plotted and hence left vacant spaces for a future plot. For fantasy and sci-fi enthusiasts, this novel is definitely a page turner and can take the level of imagination to different heights, this has many jaw dropping action sequences to offer on a platter of uniqueness and literary brilliance.
Reviewed by Partho Mishra
A wisdom sharer interested in creative thoughts and innovations, especially in areas of rich literature, applied physics and computers and technology. Also a freelancer in all these related areas.
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