Review: The Kingdoms, by Natasha Pulley
Not even my love of complex Russian novels quite prepared me for Natasha Pulley’s The Kingdoms. Besides the time-shifting, multi-location world of the story, there is a complicated cast of characters, as there are at least three different manifestations of the protagonist.
What he initially believes are epilepsy delusions, however, turn out to be actual memories of his various personae. Further, people do not always have roles one would assume due to their gender, and in this world, London is now Londre, England having been defeated by France.
The real gold here, though, is the exploration of the protagonist’s relationships, and what turns out to be of utmost importance to him. Like many complex novels, this one starts a bit slowly but becomes more complex and engrossing as it goes along. At first, the story is a bit difficult to follow, but, as with the aforementioned Russian novels, if you stick with it, it soon becomes comprehensible.
While I would not recommend it to everybody, if you like longer, complex works, this is a book you should consider reading.