📚Review: King John (The Lost and Founds book 4), by Edmond Manning


Cover King John by Edmond ManningEnglish attorney Alistair Robertson can’t quite believe an astonishing tale of kingship and transformation he hears at Burning Man, the annual counter-culture art festival in the Black Rock desert. Who are the Found Kings? Is “being kinged” as magical as it sounds?

Determined to find the mysterious garage mechanic named Vin who helps men “remember who they were always meant to be,” Alistair catches his quarry amid the extravagant sculptures, fire worshipers, mutant cars, and lavish costumes. After searching for three years, he’ll finally get to ask the question burning inside him: “Will you king me?”

Wandering together through the desert, Vin Vanbly and Alistair explore Burning Man’s gifting culture and exotic traditions, where they meet the best and worst of their fellow burners. Alistair’s overconfidence in Vin’s manipulative power collides with Vin’s obsessive need to save a sixteen-year-old runaway from a nightmarish fate, and the two men spiral into uncontrollable, explosive directions.

In this fourth adventure of The Lost and Founds, beneath the sweltering summer sun and the six billion midnight stars, one truth emerges, searing itself on their hearts: in the desert, everything burns.


Dates read:
Edition read:
September 10, 2015
Pickwick Ink Publishing
Contemporary, M/M, GLBT+
245 e-book pages
1st person
Series, book 4
September 12-14,2015
Kindle Edition
See the book on GoodReads.

Rating:        ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ratings are 1 to 5 stars and based mostly on GoodReads standards.
Click for more information regarding ratings.


“Kings are not born: they are made by universal hallucination.” George Bernard Shaw

I’ve been trying to wrangle my thoughts for days after finishing this book. It’s not working. My brain is scattered in so many directions right now with this book and this series in general. Take away: this book (the series, really) has made an impact.

How do I find the adequate words to describe the magnificence and brilliance that is The Lost and Founds series?

I don’t know that I can, but here is where I’ll try.

These are not your typical romance books. Yes, there is love. Lots of love. Yes, there’s some sex. Yes, there are two people finding their way. There is a journey, of sorts. There is betterment, of sorts. This is packed with a wild array of emotions that will have the reader laughing out loud and sobbing in their cheerios. Well, this reader at least; but it wasn’t cheerios, it was wine. There is way more to this book and series than what is found in anything else in this genre that I’ve encountered. Far, far more.

I don’t know to what extent the ‘far more’ reaches yet. I started reading the books in this series in May of this year and was instantly wowed, amazed, and enthralled. I knew these books weren’t typical. I think they’re a study in existential transformations, finding your authentic self, and being guided to those self-actualizations by the mostly manipulative, highly creative and intelligent, but thoroughly unreliable narrator called Vin Vanbly (not his real name). Again…there’s more to it.

The settings are important. The cities and landscapes are important. They’re characters in their own right. The surroundings are gorgeously designed metaphors for a lost king’s journey – what he’s coming from, what he’s finding in himself to be.

Also, the clever author who is Edmond Manning has tucked in little nuggets—Easter Eggs, if you will—of information, hints, teasers, puzzle pieces, that, if you’re paying attention, should start falling into place to give the reader a broader understanding to the entire world and construct of The Lost and Founds and the Kings who belong there.

I don’t think I was paying my full attention in the first few books. I don’t think I picked up on all of the clues—some, yes…erm, maybe. I must put it on the top of my “To Do’ list to go back and read all the books again.

I highly recommend reading the entire Lost and Founds series. Make sure to read them in the order they were published. I think that’s an important point. Open your heart and mind and let Vin lead the way through the first four vastly unique journeys. Even if you miss the clues and symbolism these books are a well written and wildly entertaining emotional journey.

Additional Observations and Random Thoughts posted in my GoodReads review.

Beware, there are spoilers included 🙂

Full review posted on Goodreads. Partial review also posted on Amazon.

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