This review contains spoilers. These will be marked if you wish to avoid them.
“Jack West woke with a lurch, startled and gasping for air. He was alone and in darkness. He didn’t know where he was, how he got here or how long he’d been here. The air was cool and moist, like in a deep cave. The floor was dusty. The wall against his back was solid stone. He was wearing jeans and a long-sleeved t-shit, but no shoes. His head was sore. He touched it … only to pull his hand away in shock. His hair had been shaved off– With a piercing shriek, the rusty iron door of his cell swung open and light flooded in. a horrifying silhouette filled the doorway. The outline of a bull-headed man. A minotaur. Or at least a man wearing a bull-shaped helmet. He was well muscled, with knotty biceps and a stocky chest. While his upper body–save for his bull mask–was bare, on his lower half he wore modern black army-issue cargo pants and black combat boots. I must be dreaming, Jack thought. He didn’t have time for a second thought because right then, with a roar, the minotaur charged at him. A serrated hunting knife appeared in the masked man’s right hand and it came slashing down at Jack.”
That is how Matthew Reilly starts The Four Legendary Kingdoms. Strait into the action, with someone already trying to kill the main hero on the very first page. Talk about not starting slow, and that pace is kept up throughout the entire story. The thing is all his books are like this, thrills a minute and that is what makes Matthew Reilly’s books so great. Unlike most authors, his books don’t waste time in the beginning. Which is what has made his books so popular, and another great thing about this book is even if you haven’t read the three before it you can still follow the plot. You may be a bit confused though with the mention of characters and events from the previous books, but not enough to turn you off the book. In fact, it will do the opposite and make you want to read the other books just to get a better understanding of the characters histories.
The Four Legendary Kingdoms is the fourth in the Jack West series. The others in order, are Seven Ancient Wonders, The Six Sacred Stones, and The Five Greatest Warriors. These three are closely linked and are best enjoyed if they are read in order. The Four Legendary Kingdoms is also linked to the others, but you can enjoy the story without reading the other ones. (I would highly recommend you read first three, first though.) Just like all of Matthew Reilly’s other books, The Four Legendary Kingdoms is filled with great action, loveable characters, mystery, twists, and turns you don’t see coming, and amazing illustrations of maps and diagrams of important items. The cover illustrations, are per usual spectacular. To every fan’s great surprise and delight, The Four Legendary Kingdoms saw the very thing we have been waiting (and asking) for, for a long time now. We the fans were not disappointed.
When Matthew Reilly released the teaser chapter for The Four Legendary Kingdoms, social media was ablaze with the excitement and speculation of what this was telling us. We all knew he had finally given us the thing we all wanted and hoped for but were wondering if we would ever see it.
(*this next part contains a spoiler, please feel free to skip this part if you wish to be surprised.)
“In a third cell, a United States Marine also waited tensely until, with a scream of rusty hinges, the door to his cell opened and a third minotaur thundered in. like the British SAS man this Marine was prepared. That’s to say he was dressed in desert fatigues and a helmet and he was armed with a telescoping nightstick. He wasn’t entirely prepared though: while expecting an attack, he hadn’t expected a crazed half-man dressed as a minotaur to come bursting in brandishing a knife. Unlike Jack’s ugly and awkward struggle, this fight was short, although not as ruthlessly quick as the SAS man’s encounter. The Marine examined the body of his fallen attacker, touching the bull helmet, noting its modernness, and also assessing the odd semi-human creature beneath it. Then he put on a pair of wraparound anti-flash glasses and walked out of the cell into the light.”
If you have read any of the Scarecrow series you will know who Matthew Reilly is talking about as soon as you read that last sentence. I was so excited when I read it, I was almost in denial that he had finally done it. Matthew Reilly had Jack West meet Shane Schofield, better known as Scarecrow. There aren’t enough words to describe what my-self and many other fans were feeling when we discovered this. It was like being a kid on Christmas morning seeing the tree full of presents, or getting the birthday present you really wanted but didn’t think you were going to get. It was just so amazing and unexpected. And not only did we see Scarecrow in this adventure but we also see the great Genia Newman or better known as Mother, short for Mother Fucker. The way she perceives Jack and Scarecrow’s encounters with each other is hilarious, she even used the word Bromanse in there at one time. Now the question is will we see the two heroes team up again in the next books and if so when?
The big question now is what has Matthew Reilly got in store for his next books? Will we see Scarecrow again? Will Lily have an important roll to play as the Ancient Oracle of Siwa in the next three books? And what was released from those silver coffins? What will the next book be called, The Three (Secret, Hidden, Mysteries) Cities? And when will we see it? All we know for sure is that it is going to be one hell of an adventure or three.
Have you read The Four Legendary Kingdoms? Let me know what you thought by leaving a comment. Thanks for reading and I hope you are looking forward to more from Matthew Reilly just as much as I am.
You can find The Four Legendary Kingdoms in all good book shops and online at https://www.amazon.com
And that is another one to add to the collection, and I already have someone else telling me I have Too Many Books