Book Review: Manifest Destiny
Reviewed by Alexandria Ducksworth
Readers who miss the epic kingdom battles and backstabbing normally found in Game of Thrones will be delighted with Manifest Destiny.
Manifest Destiny is not one of those feel-good fantasies with the easy likable protagonist on their way to save a broken-down kingdom. Oh no. It’s much more than that—and a tad bit twisted.
Author Jaiden Baynes has written one heck of a tale with Manifest Destiny.
Norne von Arcosia’s life hasn’t been the best. And it doesn’t get any better when the Immortal princess is sent off (in her sister’s stead) to the freezing Tartarus region for a royal arranged marriage. Norne would rather spend hours in a dusty library or build new weapons than worry about marriage.
In a strange stroke of luck, Norne bumps into a giant man named Chaos who has an unspoken connection to the Tartarus Kingdom. Chaos is no way a prince. However, thanks to his royal mother, he is technically a potential heir to the throne. Chaos joins Norne to meet the queen and king of Tartarus, only for it to end…very badly. This is not what Norne has expected. At the same time, it’s everything she always wanted.
Baynes’s detailed storytelling makes this hefty book all worth reading.The main characters (Norne and Chaos) are quite dark characters. They’re not the squeaky-clean good protagonists you see regularly in this genre. Both have their own cruel nature, but Baines has a magical way of getting readers on their side once they learn their histories.
Power is a major theme in this world. Every kingdom—Arcosia, Tartarus, Prussia, Mesos, and Italia—wants absolute power over the lands and the universe. Baynes reveals through his characters what people would do to get their hands on a little bit of power—whether it’s betraying their loved ones or wiping out their own people. Readers can’t help but flip pages quickly as the powerful kingdoms and Immortal warriors battle for absolute rule. It’s all strangely entertaining and addicting.
This is a surprising, smart fantasy. There are even a few humorous parts in the story that you might feel ashamed for snickering about, but end up doing it anyway. In the end, Baynes shows what power can do to people. It heavily reflects our history. Great kingdoms often fall because they’ve grown too powerful. Leaders who thought they were untouchable often find themselves betrayed by those close to them.
Manifest Destiny is one-of-a-kind fantasy with political drama that you won’t want to miss out on. Chaos and Norne may be the most conflicting characters, but you won’t be able to stop yourself from finding out what chaotic actions they’ll commit next in their quest to rule the universe.
Publisher: BayMar Publishing
Genre: Fantasy / Action & Adventure
Print Length: 500 pages
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