The Four Legendary Kingdoms by Matthew Reilly

I thoroughly enjoyed this!

The Four Legendary Kingdoms by Matthew Reilly

’In these hallowed arenas, tunnels and mazes, heroes have been born and legends have been made.’

I picked up ‘The Four Legendary Kingdoms’, half aware that it was the latest book in a series that I’ve not yet read.  I’d heard good things about this book and as I’ve enjoyed the couple of books by Matthew Reilly that I have read, I thought I’d give it a try.

Not knowing Jack West Jr’s backstory is a bit of a handicap, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this novel.  I’m going to work backwards in the series, and read the third book (‘The Five Greatest Warriors’ next.

But back to ‘The Four Legendary Kingdoms’.   Jack West Jr is kidnapped.  He wakes up in an unknown location, is immediately confronted by a masked attacker.  He fights.  We (and Jack) quickly find out that he has been chosen, along with a dozen other elite soldiers, to compete in a series of deadly challenges.   It’s all part of an ancient ritual, and some of those other soldiers seem to have a lot more information than Jack does.

The fate of the planet is at stake, and there can only be one Champion.

But Jack is nothing if not resourceful, and with his family at stake he’s determined to survive.

Fortunately for me, I was able to read this book over a couple of days.  Once I picked it up, I found it very hard to put down: what would happen next?  How would Jack prevail?  This is some of the most high-octane action-packed fiction I’ve read for years.  Sure, it’s totally over the top but it is perfect escapism if you can handle the mayhem and violence.  I really enjoyed the very neat diagrams which showed the setting for the challenges the warriors had to meet, and I loved the stunts Jack was able to engineer in order to survive.

And Jack is not the only hero here.  He has friends helping him, including a character from another of Matthew Reilly’s books.  The ending?  You’ll need to read it yourself to find out.

‘It is better to lose everything the right way than win the wrong way.’

I can see why Matthew Reilly has so many fans: count me amongst them.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith