It was a two-day read. It was a wonderful romp through history. It was a fictional take on the closing phase of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I as religious factions, not knowing where the future will lead with King James VI of Scotland, seeks to find out his true faith.
With smart writing and almost, at times, poetic phrasing, the plot of spies and an introspective Muslim physician takes the reader into a phenomenal book.
It should come as no surprise that the limited perspective of England at this time in relation to the Islamic world comes through with the word usage and behavior that makes the story seem even more realistic.
Like others in America in the fall of 2021, I face the realities of a pandemic, daily outrages from the political class, and challenges with the supply chain for items that need to be purchased. But the Arthur Phillips novel took me on a journey about an intelligent young man from the Ottoman Empire who becomes, through nefarious deeds of others, stranded in England. My world seemed quite serene, in comparison.
Faith and its meaning, the role it plays on the world stage and within the hearts of man make for a powerfully themed novel. And with an ending that makes the reader wonder…well, what is the ending?
I read many books each year, and though I call attention to the ones that really make me smile and think, there are also those that deserve to get placed on the top-shelf of my mind. The King At The Edge Of The World is absolutely one of those treasures!
I would like to say the book was recommended and strongly encouraged by others to read. But I found this gem late one night by simply scrolling through digital options on Libby. It does make me ponder how many other top-shelf delights never land before my hands.
And so it goes.