Friday, September 24, 2010

A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught

     I am at a loss for words – I seriously don’t know how to review this book – which words to use to do it justice. Kingdom of Dreams is my first read by this author and it will not be my last. 

     I was instantly captivated by the characters who are deeply complex, wonderful people trying to make their way through a rough, and oft times unfair world – and do it while keeping their honor and integrity intact.  The storyline with its twists and turns fascinated me from the first page and held my attention to the last. I was rendered speechless by the Merrick family/clan dynamic and while yes, I know it is just a story, this aspect was written so well that there was no doubt in my mind all of those underhanded, deceitful things could really have taken place.

     Royce is an amazing man. He’s deadly on the battlefield, a warrior willing and able to do whatever he has to do to win the war, accepting nothing less than victory, no excuses for failure, but off the battlefield he is compassionate, fair and honorable. He admits his faults and is willing to do what he must to be a better man. In my eyes, he is the perfect hero.

     Jenny annoyed the hell out of me from the beginning with her lack of loyalty to Royce, and her terribly misplaced trust in her clan and family. I couldn’t imagine that there was any way she could change my poor opinion of her, but there at the end she did just that in such a way that allowed me to look past all her faults, all of her poor choices – and I wept as I came to forgive her.

     What an emotional rollercoaster ride we take with Jenny and Royce who, though they don’t know it at the time, are perfectly matched. What one lacks in strength, the other makes up for. What one can’t grasp, the other understands with crystal clarity. While Royce and Jenny believe their lives full and complete, they discover that apart they can exist, but only together do they truly live.

     In all honesty, there are no words to describe how much I love Kingdom of Dreams. It’s been several days since I finished it and I’m still recalling events and conversations, still laughing out loud and still struggling to hold back the tears.

     My only regret is not learning more about Arik, that quiet, giant of a man. I am certain that his untold story is one of sadness, loss and the need of his own Happily Ever After. (Are you listening Ms. McNaught? It’s not too late…)

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