In colonial times, Billy Bartram has received the invitation he has waited for years to hear – an invitation to join his father on one of his expeditions into the immense American wilderness, utilizing his excellent sketching skills to find and log their botany discoveries.
However, Billy quickly learns this is not just a botany excursion, but that his father is a member of the American Philosophical Society backed by none other than Benjamin Franklin. Billy will be joining his father on a voyage to locate the lost kingdom of the Welsh prince Madoc alongside a secret organization of academics and scientists.
As their purpose is to seek aid in the coming war with the French, their journey is fraught with danger as they set off via flying aeroship.
And there may be a traitor in their midst…
I very much enjoyed Matthew J. Kirby’s previous works The Clockwork Three and Icefall, so I was looking forward to this.
The Lost Kingdom does not have as much of a steampunk vibe as I expected, but it was never boring. It just felt rather, I’m sad to say, ho-hum for me… It began to pick up momentum as the expedition began, but the plot itself fell sort of flat.
There are great themes of bravery and overcoming prejudice in The Lost Kingdom, but in my personal opinion that needed sense of adventure and excitement just wasn’t there.
As a main character, Billy was likable and he comes into his own opinions and beliefs as he takes this expedition, which was admirable.
In the Author’s Note at the end of The Lost Kingdom, I was interested in how Billy and his father were based on real-life people. The historical aspects of the book are pretty cool, and are given a slight fantasy fiction.
Unfortunately, I was just okay with The Lost Kingdom. It was in no way a bad or poorly written book, it just did not do much for me either way…
Maybe you’ll disagree!