King John (The Lost and Founds #4)

in the middle of somewhere
Title: King John (The Lost and Founds #4)
Author: Edmond Manning
Publisher: Pickwick Ink Publishing
Release Date: September 10, 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary, MM Romance, Fantasy
Page Count: 343
Reviewed by: LenaRibka
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

English 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.

King John is the 4th installment in the The Lost and Found series. But if you think that after reading the previous three books you’re smart enough to know much about a King Weekend or at least how it works, be prepared for a big surprise. Because King John doesn’t follow any rules and any schema.

And it is probably the most intriguing thing about King John.

Was it a right decision? I don’t know.

It has its pros and cons, and it will have its admirers and naysayers.

Edmond Manning is an exceptionally talented storyteller, and I know no other writer who can write fairy tales for adult, young at heart, dreamers in the same fascinating way as Edmond Manning. Monsters, magicians, or weird stuff alone are not enough to create MAGIC. To write and find magic in our everyday life, in ordinary things, and make readers to believe in it, that is MAGIC.
And this author can it. Oh, yes he can.

King John has a very interesting location. I have to thank the author for introducing me to Burning Man. I have never heard about this event before. And I have to confess, that I was irritated reading the first pages. Was Vin hallucinating, dreaming, what the hell was he talking about?! Luckily we have the Internet – I googled, and for pretty long hours after completely immersed in the world of Burning Man. This place was perfectly chosen by the author for a King Weekend. What could be more suitable for Vin than a really weird environment, full of droll characters, bizarre scenes and odd images?

My issues with the fourth book were not the writing and not the surroundings – I hope, I clarified this point.

My issues with this book was the King Weekend itself.

Nothing happened almost for the first half of the book, and even if the second part was much better, I had still difficulties to focus on the story. The concept of the series is based on a King’s personality. You have to be fond of a man, whom Vin kings,to enjoy the book. We all have our favourite and less favourite Kings, but what if you feel…indifference to the chosen person?

My biggest problem was Alistair aka John. He was not my King. And it is why I had problems with Vin kinging John. No, not because I’m too old fashioned about my Vin’s Kings, and not because I stick to old rules or schemas considering a King Weekend, but simply because I prefer Vin himself to chose whom he kings as the next. Why? I felt MORE emotional connection between Vin and his elected man, when his kings were not just occasional people from the street, he learned a lot about them BEFORE he met them, he gathered all kind of Information he could get about them, he prepared himself thoroughly for this special King Weekend. It was the way WHERE and HOW this invisible intern connection was made. In this book there are a lot of improvisations, and a very few moments of Vin and John alone, by themselves. They were always surrounded by people, bad and good, strange and bizarre. It is why it was difficult for me to buy this love between them. When did they fall for each other and why? Vin repeated again and again how he loved John. But NO, I didn’t feel it. There were just words for me.

No, I never disliked John, he was okay, but his story didn’t touch me. He is tired to be a normal/usual person? Really? An attractive lawyer who is whining because he is an ordinary man? Asks too many questions and not actually ready to be kinged? HE didn’t really deserve to be kinged, IMO. And even his big sad secret wasn’t be able to convince me. BUT WHY, after too less physical and emotional connection they had, Vin opened himself so much to him? It will be a great mystery for me.

As much as I enjoy the writing, I have to admit, that King John didn’t meet my hopes and expectations.

Except the ending.

The ending was SPEC-TA-CU-LA-RE.

It terrified me.

And gave me a new hope, that the next installment COULD be my favorite one.

The Lost and Founds Series

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ARC of King John provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


A passionate reader from Germany. I learned to read at the age of 4 and never stopped since then, though my books from that time were very different from what they are now. English is my third language, and I'm sorry for all grammar mistakes I made in my reviews. But I assure you, that my reading English is much better than my writing English. I'm a seeker for the books that differ from mainstream, that provoke the reader or have very often very opposite ratings.