By Andrew Klavan
Did that really just happened? Has he gone insane? Was it all a dream? Did he have a brain tumor? Desperate for answers, Austin sets out to find them and discovers that the mystery can only be unlocked by a strange piece of fiction that holds the truth about the magical kingdom. But he isn’t the only person searching for the missing manuscript, and his rivals will stop at nothing to get it first. To complicate matters more, Austin soon discovers that he has no control over when he passes between worlds, and finds himself out of trust for even the simple things, like walking through doorways.
Stuck between dual realities –charged for a murder he doesn’t recall in one and running from a maniacal billionaire who’s determined to kill him in another– Austin’s monotonous life has become an epic adventure of magic, murder, and political intrigue in both the New Republic of Galiana and the streets of Los Angeles California.
Klavan breathes fresh life into the fantasy and noir genres by combining the two in this killer thriller. Austin Lively is a failing Hollywood writer, being slowly crushed by his own failings and losing his faith in humanity (his faith in anything higher is already gone). When he's thrust into another world of magic and assumed to be a knightly hero, his vision of the world - and himself - is challenged to say the least. But can he stay alive long enough in either world to find the answers he so desperately needs?
Written with wry humor and a keen sense of boyish adventure, Another Kingdom combines the best of both fantasy and noir. Klavan's own joyous faith, cheerful philosophy, and optimism is infused through-out (word of caution - while he is a Christian, those expecting a squeaky clean read will be... challenged here) and the story moves with the swiftness of a blockbuster adventure. While those seeking a fantasy epic - long, replete with detail - might find this too swift to be satisfying, readers looking for a tale of mystery, derring-do, romance, and swashbuckling (think sarcastic Sabatini) will be more than satisfied.
Very highly recommended.
(Note: this is the first in a series, so expect a cliff-hanger!)