1918. A young American soldier recently wounded in the Great War, Alex White comes to Gatford to escape his troubled past. The pastoral English village seems the perfect spot to heal his wounded body and soul. True, the neighboring woods are said to be haunted by capricious, even malevolent, spirits, but surely those are just old wives’ tales.
Other Kingdoms was definitely not what I was expecting when I picked this book up, but it was still an interesting read. The story is written from the point of view of 82 year old Alexander remembering the all of the craziness that happened when he was 18. There were several times where the narration did get on my nerves quiet a bit. Each time there was alliteration in the story, the narrator would stop in the middle of his sentence and point it out.
“Why with the ridiculous white sage, spell suggestions? (I’ll ignore the triple [!] combo.)”
“Joe regarded me in studied silence (good combo; sorry), then said, quietly , “Sounds like faeries to me.”
If the narrator wasn’t interrupting his thought to point out alliteration, he was slipping in a random thought or start to ramble about something completely off topic.
“‘Okay!’ I started. (Not a notable beginning, but I really wasn’t thinking straight.) “G*d damn it!” (Better.)”
“I pulled down my pants. ‘Look at my [can’t say it, rhymes with ‘sock’]! This is what you did to me!…'”
Besides the continuous interruptions and tangents in the story, there was the really weird relationship with Magda. She had previously had an incestuous relationship with her dead son and was trying to find a surrogate relationship in its place. The parts involving Magda could be pretty vulgar at times.
Overall this was a very interesting read. It puts a spin on the witch and faerie story that is pretty unique, at least based off of my reading experience.