The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley
I am not a morning person. So when I woke up at 6:30 today to finish this book I knew I was totally captivated.
Out on the 27th May, this is a genre defying whirlwind of a tale by @natasha_pulley an award winning author. Blending sci-fi, war, love and family this is the story of Joe who finds himself unable to remember anything at a train station. 18th century London is now Londres, the French invasion of the Empire is complete and Joe is a slave. He has flashes of a different life in another world, markedly similar to the present. A postcard sent ninety one years ago sends him to a remote Scottish lighthouse where he travels back in time 100 years.
I had to keep on checking the dates of each chapter to ascertain where in the alternate time lines I was up to however what was honestly intoxicating were the intricate, complex and flawed characters. A lot of detail is expended on the different elements of war that were heartbreaking but the pace was fast enough that I didn’t lose interest. There is a nuanced queer romance that develops so beautifully, which is testament to the writing as there is a lot going on beyond it but it doesn’t get lost. I loved that wider philosophical questions permeate the plot but didn’t weigh the read down.
It’s original, inventive, thought provoking and transportive. If it can get me reading when I am usually incoherent that says it all. Thank you to @bloomsburypublishing for our advanced reader proof.