Dana and Marc review King Perry (The Lost and Founds Book 1) by Edmond Manning (Published by Dreamspinner Press, February 6, 2012, 350 pages)
Dana – I purchased King Perry months ago and it became one of those books that I wanted to read, but kept putting off. I got it during a sale on “bittersweet” books. I thought that might mean it was an unhappy ending and feared reading it. This week is New to Me authors week at RGR. I had a couple of options, but a good friend and co-reviewer insisted King Perry couldn’t wait any longer, so I chose this book to review. Bittersweet is a good word to describe it but it’s far from unhappy. I am definitely glad I decided to heed his advice.
Marc – I started reading this book on December 31st, 2015 and finished it on January 1st, 2016. It might end up being my favorite book read in 2015 AND 2016. I had heard about the book a lot and had many friends urging me to read it for a long time, but it is hard to imagine what kind of book it will turn out to be. Some books have to be read and experienced. However, my friends know my taste well and eventually I started reading it. then devoured books 2, 3, 4 and the free chapters of book 6, because this is one of the rare stories that have touched me in a permanent way and changed the way I look at the world. It made me re-discover the beauty that can be found in human nature and the magic that surrounds us. I will for ever be grateful to the author for this gift. I’m also the co-reviewer, who urged Dana to read this book and I am very glad she enjoyed it 😀
Blurb: In a trendy San Francisco art gallery, out-of-towner Vin Vanbly witnesses an act of compassion that compels him to make investment banker Perry Mangin a mysterious offer: in exchange for a weekend of complete submission, Vin will restore Perry’s “kingship” and transform him into the man he was always meant to be.
Despite intense reservations, Perry agrees, setting in motion a chain of events that will test the limits of his body, seduce his senses, and fray his every nerve, (perhaps occasionally breaking the law) while Vin guides him toward his destiny as ”the one true king.”
Even as Perry rediscovers old grief and new joys within himself, Vin and his shadowy motivations remain enigmas: who is this offbeat stranger guiding them from danger to hilarity to danger? To emerge triumphant, Perry must overcome the greatest challenge alone: embracing his devastating past. But can he succeed by Sunday’s sunrise deadline? How can he possibly evolve from an ordinary man into King Perry?
A Bittersweet Dreams title: It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.
Dana – King Perry left me with a lot of mixed feelings. But none of them are bad. The story is written in a very artistical way. Vin Vanbly is our narrator for the story and he has such peculiarities, such as letter fixations, word fixations, and he tells stories of kings that existed. Some of them have been lost and live in the world with no remembrance of their greatness and some are found and are just waiting for the return of their fellow kings. As he tells his stories or discusses his love for the letter x and the word vigor, I felt complacent. I have never thought of words or letters in the same way he does and I wonder why. I felt a sense of wonderment and magic in the story, and yet nothing happens that could be considered paranormal or fantastical. It created a sense of anticipation for me throughout the story, I kept waiting for something that couldn’t be explained. I felt slightly disappointed when it didn’t happen, but then realized that maybe magic happens every day in the mundane, but you have to open your eyes and look for it.
Though Vin narrates this story, and is a major player, Perry is who this story is about. Perry has lost someone important to him, and he feels like he has been closed off since then. He admits to Vin his inability to cry. I can relate to him a bit, Not to the same extreme, but it is very difficult for me to cry. When friends tell me how they sobbed through a book, I wonder if there is something wrong with me that I didn’t. Vin ends up inviting Perry on a king weekend, which is a very unclear idea for Perry, but curiosity has him following Vin. Their adventures consist of Alcatraz, a duck parade, the Golden Gate Bridge, and a mountaintop. Each place is so vividly detailed, I felt like I was there. I definitely wished I was in reality. The crazy things the two men do makes me want Vin to visit me and show me this wonderful world through his eyes, and his stories. He continues talking to Perry about the lost kings, and again I was filled with the need to know who Perry was in the scheme of things and especially who Vin is.
Alas, this story is about a king weekend, and it is not a HEA ending. I hesitate to call this book a romance, though there is definite love between Perry and Vin. There is enough love to go around to those they have lost, and to those they have found. It is definitely a story filled with warmth. Perry has to come to several realizations before he earns his kingship. It might not be true love for the two men, but you know that the future is sure to be fuller for Perry, and Vin will continue to help others realize who they are. I am so glad I decided to try this new to me author, and I am excited to travel with Vin again in the next books of the series, and to see how he touches other lives. King Perry is an amazing, artful story, and I definitely recommend it.
9.5/10 Pots of Gold (95% Recommended) – Compares to 4.75/5 Stars
Marc – ‘King Perry’ is a very unique story with many twists and turns that never quite go as you might think. I read the blurb and several reviews, but I really had no idea what to expect and I don’t think I can prepare you for this story in my review, either. In a way, readers will go on a similar journey as Perry. Like him, you need to give over control to someone else and just open your mind and let Edmond Manning take you on a special journey.
And I really do mean special, because for me it was. Only very few books can affect readers in a permanent way. We usually step into another world while we read a book and then continue on with our lives. This book, though, made me look at the real world surrounding me in a different way. Every small kindness that I get to witness is something I now treasure. With all the wars and acts of terror and violence, it is easy to lose faith in humanity. There are so many lost people out there. However, we need to open our eyes to the beauty of humanity as well. It might not be as attention grabbing as all the tragedies that sell newspapers, but there are so many wonderful moments where people show their true selves. Where you can see their king or queenship, waiting to be discovered. I have also started to re-discover the beauty and magic of the world around us. The mountains, seas, canyons, forests, but also the beautiful cities with mesmerizing architecture. In this book San Francisco is like its own character. Readers get to explore the city and look at some of the sights in different ways. It creates an incredible atmosphere. We live surrounded by miracles and I think when I was a child it was easy for me to see that. As adult I lost some of that wonder and let the terrible tragedies we hear about everyday overshadow all the wonders that surrounded me.
For me this book really was a life altering experience in the way that I now look at the world with different eyes. I remember feeling my tears run down my face, unexpectedly, when Vin had helped Perry come to some important insights into his own life and the relationships he had and be a changed man for it. All the twists and turns in the road that did not immediately made sense for me in this story, lead Perry to this moment of self-realization, self discovery and change. A little of that colored off on me and it was fascinating how the author managed to get such a strong response from me. I knew instantly the book would be among my top 5 favorite books and I not only continued reading the other books in this series after this one, but I hope that I can convince other readers to give it a try as well. It is really hard to describe the book itself, especially without giving anything important away (though I think Dana did a great job in her review), but I hope I was able to translate the way this book made me feel into words, so you can make a decision, if this book is for you.
Just a few notes at the end:
-The weekend of complete submission in the blurb has nothing to do with BDSM. Yes, there is sex, but the submission in this book is about trust for a stranger. Perry doesn’t know Vin, but needs to agree to follow his lead, even though he seems to lead them into unneccesarily risky situations that don’t make sense to Perry. Vin is a master manipulator and readers and Perry will just need to submit and go along for the ride, to see what Vin has planned.
-There is no evidence of real magic in the book, which as Dana has mentioned highlights the every-day magic that surrounds us. However, the mythology of the Lost and Founds grows more complex with every book and there is definitely a greater sense of magic to come.
-This book has been tagged as bittersweet, because while Vin loves Perry with all his heart, they don’t end up together in the end, even though the book has one of the most beautiful happy endings I ever got to read. In the first 4 books, Vin helps different guys to reach their potential and find back into their kingship in very different ways. In the upcoming book 5, though, he will get his own HEA.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
Edmond Manning has always been fascinated by fiction: how ordinary words could be sculpted into heartfelt emotions, how heartfelt emotions could leave an imprint inside you stronger than the real world. Mr. Manning never felt worthy to seek publication until recently, when he accidentally stumbled into his own writer’s voice that fit perfectly, like his favorite skull-print, fuzzy jammies. He finally realized that he didn’t have to write like Charles Dickens or Armistead Maupin, two author heroes, and that perhaps his own fiction was juuuuuuust right, because it was his true voice, so he looked around the scrappy word kingdom that he created for himself and shouted, “I’M HOME!” He is now a writer.
In addition to fiction, Edmond enjoys writing non-fiction on his blog,www.edmondmanning.com. When not writing, he can be found either picking raspberries in the back yard or eating panang curry in an overstuffed chair upstairs, reading comic books.