The Kings of Eternity by Eric Brown [Book Review]

A Wonderful love story and an Alien

I had great expectations for Eric Browns magnus opus The Kings of Eternity. The style of the book brought me back towards the classic adventure stories of Verne & Wells that usually starts at a club for gentlemen. This one doesn’t but the mysterious summon novelist Daniel Langham and his friends receive from Editor Jasper Carnegie and the strange followings in Hopton Wood are pure golden age including the recurring alien gateway and the strange creatures they discover there.

There are two timelines the first starts in 1935 and the other one starts in 1999 on Crete and centers on the reclusive and very private novelist Jonathan Langham whose life turns upside down when he unexpectedly meets artist Caroline Platt and falls in love. The setting is an idyllic village populated by people who respects privacy but also with a mysterious menacing foreigner.

Daniel’s love affair with an actress is at roads end and that contrasts well with the budding love in the other timeline. The two timelines converge as the story develops and layer after layer is revealed.

It is remarkable how ordinary everyday all the story seems but that has always been a strength of Eric Brown. He is a master of the everyday backdrop to great events. I liked it in the Bengali Station series and I like it here.

I love the characters they feel so at home in their time period and yet well-integrated in the overall drama. And the love stories are also very captivating and the ending is wonderful (I cried). The bromance is not as prominent but as the title it forms a band of brothers of a sort.

I had a hard time putting the book down. It keeps you guessing and the revelations hits fast in the end.

I am so happy Eric Brown has done it again. The Kings of Eternity is big science fiction at an everyday backdrop, great characters and a wonderful love story. This is a strong contender for book of the year; it is clearly the best book I have read so far.

Book information

The Kings of Eternity by Eric Brown – Solaris (2011) – Bought from Amazon UK | US

1999, on the threshold of a new millennium, the novelist Daniel Langham lives a reclusive life on an idyllic Greek island, hiding away from humanity and the events of the past. All that changes, however, when he meets artist Caroline Platt and finds himself falling in love. But what is his secret, and what are the horrors that haunt him?

1935. Writer Jonathon Langham and Edward Vaughan are summoned from London by their editor friend Jasper Carnegie to help investigate strange goings on in Hopton Wood. What they discover there – no less than a strange creature from another world – will change their lives for ever. What they become, and their link to the novelist of the future, is the subject of Eric Brown’s most ambitious novel to date. Almost ten years in the writing, The Kings of Eternity is a novel of vast scope and depth, full of the staple tropes of the genre and yet imbued with humanity and characters you’ll come to love.