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 a 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 . . .
Seamlessly blending medieval and modern elements,The Kingdom on the Edge of Reality serves up a heady brew of action, humor, romance and satire in a kingdom set apart in time and space where reality is the dealer’s choice.
|Publisher:||Two Harbors Press|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||550 KB|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What can I say about The Kingdom on the Edge of Reality? I really, really, really enjoyed this book. Jack is quite a stubborn mule – to be nice – and really starts off the book as someone who needs a good kick in the rear, but once he gives in – the fun starts. I would love nothing more than to live in King Albert’s world. I have always wished for more simpler times (I really am an old soul). I loved that King Albert just made his very own kingdom, hidden from the rest of the world, and runs the kingdom as if in medieval times. Everything – weaponry, work, laws (or lack thereof), language, clothing – is all from the medieval time. I felt like The Kingdom on the Edge of Reality had a slight romantic touch with action and drama as well. The author really sucks you into the story and you feel like not only are you a part of the kingdom yourself, but you get caught up in the drama that is going on and wish you were there to assist or do things differently. I highly recommend this read. I was informed that it is a book recommended for ages 10 and up. There is an ‘affair’ and a few sexual incidents, but I don’t recall it being graphic or R rated. I would probably put this read around a PG – bordering on PG 13 – rating. If it is something that your 10 year old is mature enough to handle, then by all means, they will surely enjoy the read! It was great fun and I am sure that all readers would truly enjoy it as well!
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.
I have conflicting feelings about this book. On one hand, there is trite occurrences that have nothing to do with anything... and I am all about WHY, so that drove me nuts. Let me share what I mean: "I used to own a transvestite bar" pg 6 "'Do you mind if I take mine off?' And she did, without bothering to get off the horse. First the blouse went flying... and there she was quite irresistibly buck naked in her tennis sneakers." p31 To my thinking, these two situations - his former business and a woman begging for an affair - translated to no respect for the main character, Jack. I wasn't endeared to his reaction to the failed business plus "transvestite" didn't translate into anything - not exceptional acceptance of all people and certainly not interest in men. No... he repeatedly fell for swooning women as if he had no morals or self-control at all. And this scene with a women chucking clothes makes me think of a sexual dream that I'd rather not experience from a man's point of view. (ugh!) So from the very beginning, Jack plunged to the bottom of my lil' respect ladder and had to work his way back up sweatin' all the way!! On the other hand, the overwhelming feeling reading this book is AWE & DISCOVERY. When Jack finds himself in the medieval world, his point of view is so fresh and open. He is so willing to give everything a try, that I felt immediately connected with him, awed by the overwhelming stars and hugely expressive silence. The author really captures what it would FEEL LIKE for a contemporary person to step into a medieval world with every hope of enjoying it. "'I have a good feeling about Albert's kingdom. Do you know what I mean? It's a feeling. There are no clocks here, no electricity or doctors. There's nothing here that we used to have, and yet nothing seems to be missing, nothing at all. And the big thing that was missing in the modern world, the inside thing, the thing that makes you feel connected to people and the sun and the moon and all the little stars in the sky - that's starting to come back to me. And it's a feeling, just this tremendous, amazing feeling.'" pg 120 I love the moments where this feeling overwhelms Jack. When he's surrounded by so much life, he feels insignificant and instead of being frightened, he embraces that feeling. I enjoyed Jack's humorous responses, too. He has moments where he feels dressed up in a costume or realizes the person he's talking to is uncomfortable in their situation. He is so thoughtful to keep such realizations to himself while creatively assisting any way he can. It's funny when he has to re-adjust himself to being ok with wearing armor and galloping around the countryside. I'm sure that's exactly how I would feel in such a situation!! "If you don't think I felt totally crazy, you have to remember that I was dressed from head to foot as a medieval warrior, and with what I had on my horse thrown in, I was carrying about two hundred pounds of armor and weapons and standing in the middle of some impossible kingdom on the farthest edge of reality. I wasn't in any state to make a rational decision about anything, but in my gut I knew that going back... wasn't an option... the life I had left behind didn't seem attractive or even real anymore." pg135 Do I like Jack by the end? Meh. He's so real I can't say that I like him or that I don't. I like many of his decisions and he drove me crazy plenty of times. Did I like Albert, the designer behind this medieval kingdom? I enjoyed Jack's perspective on him, but I didn't get to know him myself. Did I like Queen Jenna? Nope. Leo was cool - he has intelligence AND morals. Amazing. I liked Marya, the local "doctor", as much as I learned of her. And Guy Hawke? I loved hating him. He is thoroughly evil and a multiplier of evil. Plus his name sounds like Guy Fawkes to me, so I felt like he deserved to be burned at the stake. I absolutely loved "sweet Mora" - she was the epitome of everything beautiful in the kingdom, a type of the innocence, the perfection, the intelligence the kingdom represented. When Jack wasn't sure he wanted to settle down with her, he was debating the entire situation. When she cried over past ravishing, her pain was the pain the kingdom was feeling at the hands of that bully. Cover Commentary: I really don't like this cover. The mottled colors are sort of like stonework and the rapier is plain to me. HOWEVER... I read this book at a car parts swap meet and the cover started it's own conversation: "What's that about? How interesting! Sounds like I'd like it!!" All day men eye-balled the cover wondering what cool book this chick was reading. I had to laugh... it's an effective cover!! And the website really is beautiful. My Rating: 3.5 - Worth the Time. The beginning started off at a 1 or 2 (for me) with no explanations to improve, so the world-building and the awe & discovery were truly amazing.