I received a copy of this book from the publicist in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
I had already read and reviewed the first book in this series, The Tiger Catcher. One of my biggest complaints about the book was that it had insta love. However, all the mysticism and time travelling made it an intriguing read, making me jump on the opportunity to participate in the blog tour for its sequel too.
The second novel in Paullina Simons’s stunning End of Forever saga continues the heartbreaking story of Julian and Josephine, and a love that spans lifetimes.
Is there a fate beyond the fates?
Julian has failed Josephine once. Despite grave danger and impossible odds, he is determined to do the unimaginable and try again to save the woman he loves.
What follows is a love story like no other as the doomed lovers embark on an incredible adventure across time and space. Racing through history and against the merciless clock, they face countless dangers and deadly enemies.
Living amid beauty and ecstasy, bloodshed and betrayal, each time they court and cheat death brings Julian and Josephine closer to an unthinkable sacrifice and a confrontation with the harshest master of all…destiny.
If you’d like to read this series and haven’t read the first book yet, stop reading this review right away! There WILL be spoilers from book 1.
Still here? Okay, here goes.
In The Tiger Catcher, Julian and Josephine meet, fall in love, and decide to get married. All within a couple of months of meeting each other. Their whirlwind love story however comes to a grinding halt with Josephine’s untimely death. Or so you’d think. What follows is a saga of an explosive relationship between two souls that bends the rules of time as we know it.
In A Beggar’s Kingdom, Julian is still recovering from the first time he crawled through the rip in time in the Greenwich Royal Observatory into Lady Mary’s arms in ancient London. He wasn’t able to save her then. But he’s a resilient man and he will not settle until he finds a way to keep Josephine alive, even if it’s not in the present. What follows is the tale of one man going up against all odds, sometimes, against history itself, to keep his beloved alive.
A Beggar’s Kingdom is an enthralling yet heartbreaking read that I just wasn’t able to put down. My inability to do so surprised me quite a bit–my hatred for insta love just doesn’t allow me to believe that a guy would put his mind and body through so much to go back in time just so he can find the soul of a girl he was with for 49 days. And yet, I did enjoy reading this book.
As with the previous book, most of my love comes from the writing. Simons is excellent at lyrical prose and writing heartbreak. The writing in A Beggar’s Kingdom is even better–and funnier too–than in the first book, making it an immediate sell for me.
This book is a treat for history nerds like yours truly. Julian travels to important moments in history and sometimes meets important people too. You get to read about The Great Fire of London, hear about the cholera crisis, meet astronomer George Airy and Antarctic explorer Edward Evans, and even see Florence Nightingale mentioned in passing (she’s one of Josephine’s past soul’s friends!).
I kept reading this book by deliberately choosing to forget it was insta love. However, I would occasionally remember this while reading the book and it would kind of put me off. To see Julian travelling back in time twice a year to doggedly follow and make a woman, supposedly his beloved from the future, fall in love with him did not sit well with me.
This is why my favourite Josephine iteration was Mirabelle. She’s smart, Julian doesn’t try his usual advances with her, and she falls in love with him slowly. With the other women, it was always Julian creeping on them (your Romantic is my Creep, don’t @ me) until they slowly realised how amazing (!) this dudebro from the future was and fell in love with him.
Two pages after these musings, however, some cool history fact would pop up and I’d completely forget that I found this problematic.
In all, A Beggar’s Kingdom is a brilliant read about time-defying love, powerful romances, and mysticism. I would recommend it to anyone who love well-written stories about time travel, resilient lovers, and history, and doesn’t entirely hate insta love.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
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