One Kingdom Under Heaven
Black Rose Writing (2021)
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Reader Views (07/2021)
For those out there like myself, who consistently yearn for the “next great hero” to appear on the bookshelves of libraries, Alastair Luft is one author who provides that tenfold. And when it comes to this latest novel, “One Kingdom Under Heaven,” he not only offers up a cool spy/military hero with a determined mission, but also throws in a top-notch political and military thriller plot at the same time.
The story takes place in the year 2029. Unfortunately, nothing has really changed. The U.S. is still battling enemies across the ocean, and this time the focus is on China. China, who has never really liked us all that much anyway, launches a vicious attack on America that kills many. Unlucky for them, the family of Retired Navy SEAL Malcolm Kwong are among the lives lost, giving Malcolm a will and determination to take out some pretty high-ranking officials in the Chinese government who gave the green light to this horrific attack.
The writer begins the book with Malcolm being interrogated about his actions, allowing the reader to go back in time, learn the backstories of the characters, and see exactly what Malcolm set out to do, and whether or not he achieved his goal. On the verge of war, Malcolm begins by bringing together people with skills, talents, and perhaps even their own anger at the political universe, in order to make an exemplary squad that will be hard to beat. This is also a team that will have no problem taking someone out, including the President of China, Zaho Guozing.
Setting out, he leads his crew through the Desert of Death (China’s Taklamakan Desert), in search of one thing – a rebel by the name of Ismail Khoja, who just happened to be the Uighur who attempted to assassinate the Chinese President just five years before. Being that they have the same thoughts in mind, Malcolm and Ismail end up bearing arms against a shared enemy; of course, they also must deal with the fact that their actions could very well start yet another World War.
The intensity and depth of these characters is amazing. This is the first time I have read a novel that uses such a unique structure when presenting the information. There are not many chapters offered, yet they do fluctuate between different months, with three chapters focusing on the interrogation itself, and presenting various points of view. The author has put together a mesmerizing tale that is both thrilling and extremely interesting at the same time, allowing readers a chance to feel truly raw emotions that come from losing those we love, to taking pride in being a hero for those who cannot fight for themselves. “One Kingdom Under Heaven” by Alastair Luft is most definitely a “must-read” book!