Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Kingdom on the Waves (78/81)

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation: Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves by M.T. Anderson
Category: Award Winners and Honors

If you have not read Volume I: The Pox Party, please note that this review has **spoilers** for that title.

This second volume in the Octavian Nothing series begins right when the first left off, with Octavian and Dr. Trefusis running away from the College of Lucidity. Their flight through the rain and mud-flats leaves Dr. Trefusis with a terrible fever, and Octavian must find a place for them to stay and a way to pay for lodgings - not an easy task for a runaway slave in Boston, a city under siege during the Revolution.

This is merely the beginning of a long (560 p.) continuance of the story begun in The Pox Party. As the first, it is well-constructed from the voice of the characters to the rough-cut pages and old-fashioned title page and type. The story is an intelligent, complex look at the ideals of liberty and the hypocrisy of those who would cry "liberty" for themselves while condemning others to slavery. Though not for the fainthearted because of length, vocabulary, and descriptions of war, for those willing to persevere the story provides much food for thought. 4.5 stars.

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