Reviewer Namta Gupta:
Namta is a senior journalist based in New Delhi, India and has been
covering news in all its form for past 5 years. An MA in English and
Human Rights she is an avid reader and loves every piece of fiction
and non-fiction that she can lay her hands on.
Author: Mike Hartner
This story has in it to keep a reader hooked. Not just because the writer, Mike Hartner, has put on a grand spectacle in words but because he has put in his story every conceivable human emotion. But the best part of the book is the love story between the two lead characters. Their pangs for each other tug at the reader’s heart but the personal tragedies that they face keep coming to haunt their love and also the reader. Till the end it seemed that their miseries won’t subside but when the things turn around, it makes a reader feel one with Walter and Maria in their elation. This emotional bonding with readers indeed is the best thing that a writer wishes to achieve in his craft and Mike Hartner has done it.
This book may, however, disturb a reader when the episodes involving violence with children come up. But the writer has clubbed it with the remorse of the lead character thus humanizing a very brutal act which makes it easier for a reader to go through the passages. But it may indeed surprise a present day reader that the England, that we know now, earlier held no scruples in employing children in hard labor. This, however, is part of our history and we must be prepared to look at it with objectivity and not hush them and the writer has done just that. Coming back to the story; it has excellent presentation and the snippets involving Maria and Walter help reader connect with the events in their lives. Of course, some of them may look incredulous too, like the marriage ceremony that took place between the hero and heroine of this book, travelling with King of Spain and yet not know his identity and so many and so forth. But the biggest surprise that this book has in store for the reader is the rise of a mere commoner and his marriage in the royal family and even further, the friendship that Kings of three countries, that historically had been at war, had with each other. So much so, that they actually help each other and also show regard for one man, our hero!
But if the reader is able
to tide over these issues then this book indeed is an enjoyable read
or must we say, that this book has in it to help a reader believe
that good things indeed come to those that have aspirations and will.
This book would certainly be a big budget Hollywood movie, one day,
if any producer has an imagination as rife as the writer of this
book. Worth a read!
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