Portal Of A Thousand Worlds by Dave Duncan is a book that I can recommend to everybody. Do you love stories set in the Middle Ages? Are you interested in China? They’ve got you covered! But what about secrets, conspiracies, old myths and a dragon? If you are looking for all these things, then look no further. For this book has it all…
“Ten centuries have passed since the last time the Portal of a Thousand Worlds opened, bringing chaos, upheaval, and radical change to the then-ruling dynasty, and now the mystical gateway is rumored to be on the verge of opening once more. ” (source: Amazon.com)
OK, were to start… This paperback edition, which will be released on Valentine’s Day 2017 has almost 450 pages. So this book is rather long in comparison to most books I have read in a while. But even though a few of you might say this is a lot, I can tell you I wouldn’t have shortened the story by one single page.
The world in which the story takes place, is an alternate nineteenth century China. Since I study Japanese Studies and not Chinese Studies, I cannot tell you how much of the details, traditions and culture is authentic and which is part of the author’s imagination. But is doesn’t matter because the world in itself was understandable and logical.
There are quite a few main characters introduced to the reader and usually, I don’t get all the names even after finishing a book. This time around, the characters were not just a means to an end but all of them had their depth, charisma and reasoning. So it was very easy to keep track of all the (important) people involved.
The writing style and overall pace was a little slow because a lot of events happened and everything was happening simultaneously. Slow – paced or not, the story was never boring and the plot never moved forward agonizingly slow. As I said, the book covers a lot of happenings, conspiracies, while introducing us to rituals, traditions, myths and other beliefs of the people of the time to create an authentic world every reader can understand and imagine.
Myths and secrets, magic, assassins, seduction, a dragon, rebellions and a little romance.: this book has it all. The thing is, as I am writing this I realize that it looks as though I am telling you about a Hollywood film in which the Producers desperately tried to squeeze in everything they could to get more people into the cinemas. Not this story though! Everything in this story was so well thought through. Every aspect of a character was useful in some way, entertaining and fit into the over all plot perfectly. This is my first Dave Duncan book but I will definitely read more of his books!
Even though the events that led to the ending felt kind of rushed, it was an appropriate way because it kind of taught a lesson. But what the lesson is, you will have to find out yourself 😉 The ending was one of the most satisfying endings I have ever read. I still want a sequel of some sort because I don’t want this to end so soon. Nevertheless, I have to say that I don’t know if a sequel could compete with the first book. I enjoyed this book a lot and I can recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy, or who needs a present for a book lover.
I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.