Author: Edmond Manning
Publisher: Pickwick Ink Publishing
Rating: 5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Type: Novel From Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: After discovering a blog revealing a mighty tribe where “every man was the one true king and every woman was the one true queen…” thirty-five-year-old, unemployed Daniel realizes he’s tired of being a Lost King. He wants more. But more what?
His quest to uncover the secret will drag him beyond his comfortable seclusion, into the cornfields of DeKalb and thunderous, chaotic New York City. After a hotel hookup with a sensual Englishman, the murderous rage Daniel fought to repress is finally unleashed.
In the final story arc in The Lost and Founds series, Daniel faces the ultimate choice: what would you risk to become a Found King? His fate depends on a seedy escort named Fitch, benevolence from the mysterious king named DC, and love from the elusive Vin Vanbly, who may—or may not be—dead.
This is the end.
But is it the end for Daniel?
Review: King Daniel is the sixth and final book in the Lost and Founds series. Like the other books in the series, it can be read as a stand-alone, but in doing so the reader would miss a lot nuances and small moments that reference events in earlier books that mean so much more with a full knowledge of them.
One day Daniel Connors stumbled onto a blog. It weaved a tale of kings and queens, both Lost and Found, of how in a world full of kings and queens, each woman was the One True Queen and every man was the One True King. It spoke of King Weekends and life changing adventures and of events from a decade ago that proclaimed to prove that King Weekends really happened. And in the last post it demanded the reader (it demanded Daniel) to REMEMBER THE KING. Daniel was sceptical at the best of times, and these tales and declarations made him dismiss them nothing more than meat fairy stories. But. But, still he kept coming back to them. Kept being drawn in. Because what if there was truth in them. What if his life could be more than what it was; lonely and difficult, even with almost assured financial security for life. What if his memories of his childhood didn’t have to torment him, making him re-live his trauma with every nightmare. What if he were just Lost. If he were a Lost King, that would mean he could be Found and maybe his life would become not just bearable, but happy and fulfilling.
This is the story of Daniel’s quest to discover the truth, and in doing so, finding himself.
Daniel’s quest starts with first his interest caught by the recounting of a King Weekend that happened to a man named Perry. Then his curiosity sparked by the amazing story of a corn farmer in DeKalb, and his King Weekend. That curiosity sends him to New York to seek out the Butterfly King. Each step of his quest forces him to confront his childhood and to question how it has impacted his life, to examine his truths and if they are the reality, or only his reality.
It’s a hard and sometimes scary journey, and at points, just too much for Daniel. He is still a Lost King, and when he breaks (“A kinging ain’t pretty, Daniel. It’s wrestling demons into the mud and losing. Kings rise after men fall”), it is deeply shocking. I thought I knew this man, as damaged as he was. He was deeply flawed, but he was also remarkably insightful and self aware. That overwhelming, murderous rage terrified me. It felt even more terrifying, because as much as I knew Daniel had anger in him, he was more unconsciously kind than he was mean. It was hard to watch him breaking apart; his conflict, painful to witness. Yet there were such wonderful moments, too. The friendship between a Daniel and Horatio, a Mexican landscape gardener working on a project at Daniel’s complex, was just lovely. The ways they found to communicate and share brief friendship was heartbreakingly beautiful in its portrayal.
This is the only book in the series told entirely from the POV from someone other than Vin Vanbly. Which was fitting. We know Vin, we know his story and the man he is. As much as the previous books have been about the men being kinged, they are have also been telling Vin’s story. Now is the time of the Great Remembering. Now it is Daniel’s time and, therefore, his story to tell. The author has, once again, left me with as many questions to ponder as answers given. There were several times while reading where I paused to just sit with a thought for a while.
There was so much I loved about this book, as there was throughout each book in the Lost and Founds series, from the beautiful writing – each word chosen with care and love, to the amazing, multi-layered, so very human characters and the profound themes of how we choose the light and shadow in each of us to play out. I loved the subtle revisiting of each of the kings’ own kingings as part their introductions into Daniels quest. The name Daniel found at the end was completely unexpected, yet entirely perfect. Much like Daniel’s journey, and the entire series for that matter.