This book speaks volumes (excuse the pun!) for the fine qualities of its author. It’s a highly imaginative story with philosophical wisdom stitched into it with supreme skill. The reader can’t help but surmise that Nicholas Rossis is not just a fervent supporter of the ideals of truth and justice, not just a highly spiritual human being, but also that he’s widely read. I loved the way that Pearseus speaks about the human condition so eloquently, despite the fact that this world is set on another planet. Gems of wisdom are to be picked up throughout the story. My absolute favorite was: “Evil’s strength is an illusion, for evil is strong only as long as you feed it.”
I had read the first part of Pearseus (“The Schism”) before reading “The Rise of The Prince” which means that I was fully familiarized with all the characters first to arrive on Pearseus. This came in handy each time there were references to them in this book and it helped to have a deeper understanding of past history in this fantastical world. Yet, it isn’t an absolute prerequisite. The reader could also read these books out of order.
There was an element in this book that rendered me utterly baffled and that was the map of Pearseus as it’s illustrated in the book. Even a cursory glance will make it obvious that what you’re looking at is the Eastern Med with Greece at its center! The islands look different but surely, there’s the Peloponnese slightly shifted and slanted. Even the names are often similar to actual names in the real world. For example, Cypress Island for Cyprus and Jonia for Ionia in Asia Minor. I didn’t know what to make of that but a quick search on the Internet revealed that the author has actually admitted openly that his story is an allegory and that of course, there are references to Greece and its history. I won’t say any more as not to give any spoilers. I just wanted to include in my review a mention to the map because it got me so mystified. I hope the clarifications serve any other reader out there who may have noticed the similarities.
At the end of this book I felt overwhelmed; not just by the wisdom imparted, but also by the solid writing, the believability of the characters and the never-ending twists and turns as all the parallel stories unfolded. The strange thing is that this type of book is not my cup of tea at all. I don’t feel safe or happy in fantastical worlds as a reader. I love fantasy, but set in contemporary worlds. I don’t normally pick up books likely to have fighting scenes, battles and gore as I can be quite squeamish. Having said that, I loved the book simply because the writing was so incredible and the use of language, superb. It is truly remarkable to think that English, is not even this author’s native language!
Truly, the only grievance I have with this book is that it ended on an unbearable cliffhanger! But on a happy note, I hear that the next book, “Mad Water”, is coming soon and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
My rating: A book of wisdom and mastery of language!
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