King Mai (The Lost and Founds, #2)

King Mai
Title: King Mai (The Lost and Founds, #2)
Author: Edmond Manning
Publisher: Pickwick Ink Publishing
Release Date: July 15, 2013
Genre(s): Gay fiction, Contemporary MM Romance
Page Count: 350
Reviewed by: LenaRibka
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Adopted from Thailand and never one to fit in with the local bubbas, life has been rough around the edges for Mai Kearns, even before he came out of the closet. Now, almost ten years past the torture of high school, Mai still can’t catch a break: he and his parents stand to lose their beloved farm.

How will a “King Weekend” help change Mai’s fate? What has narrator Vin Vanbly been up to for the four weeks he’s been sneaking around Mai’s hometown? At the urging of a ransom note from ‘The Lost Kings,’ Mai embarks on an impossible treasure hunt chasing mystic poetry, Fibonacci Hopscotch, ancient prophecy, the letter ‘x,’ and a confounding, penguin-marching army.

The stakes are high: if Mai fails, the Lost Kings will permanently claim him as their own. Finding the treasure may unlock the secret to saving his family farm. But can this angry farmer risk opening his broken heart before the weekend is over? Mai Kearns has 40 hours to get very, very curious in this second installment of The Lost and Founds.

Things happen in a cornfield. Life begins again. Farmers know this. But you have to love the corn for the magic to work. All your love, no holding back.

Edmond Manning is an amazing storyteller. To witness a playful ease, with that he flirts, juggles with words, phrases and expressions is H-Y-P-N-O-T-I-C. He blew me away with King Perry. It was an unforgettable read, nothing compare with, different from everything I’ve read before. I enjoyed every single line in it. I LOVED King Perry. King Mai was Okay.

Until the ending.

As I see, I’m in a tiny minority here, but let me explain WHY I didn’t experience the same exhilaration with King Mai as I felt during reading King Perry. Believe me – I wanted it. But I didn’t.

Until the ending.

Maybe one of the main reasons WHY I like it less is the special concept of the story – in King Mai I knew already the rules and I knew how the game should be played. The surprising effect, the WOW-WTF-WHAT’S GOING ON effect, that was the most important part of the game in the first book was lost. Even if I still have a lot of questions about Vin Vanbly, I knew already more about him when I started King Mai. The whole King story appeared in a totally new light.
A magical shine around the story has faded.
The magic of the beautiful words and writing remained.
But it is not always ONLY about the writing, isn’t it?

Edmond Manning plans 6 installments. Some more King Weekends before Vin meets his love? 4 x 3 days more before a REAL spark between him and one of the Lost Kings will ignite? But is it about King Perry, King Mai or what ever King will come about? Is it not always ONLY about the Lost King Vin?

Back to King Mai.
I couldn’t really feel with him. He is not my favourite Lost and Found King. I loved Perry’s background story much much more than of Mai. What Vin achieved with his King Weekend with Perry was from the emotional intensity for me not to compare with his King Weekend with Mai.

$945, 000 against tears. Tears won. For me.
I don’t mean the ending, but up to the moment before they parted and before
Vin offered Mai three choices, three stories about his life before he was twenty-one year old.

The location of the story.
Vin in DeKalb.
Mai in a cornfield.
Alice in Wonderland.
The endless FARM landscapes with an old FARMland and financial worries about the FARM and the night’s running in cornfields surrounding the FARM. Well, let me say I prefer giving second chances to homeless starfish to treasure hunt.
San Francisco via DeKalb. San Francisco won.

And then came the ending. The most beautiful, the most mesmerizing part of the book. HEARTBREAKING. EMOTIONAL. I resisted but he got me. With the ending. It deserves alone many many many shining stars!!
Edmond Manning can write an outstanding ending. Yes, it is true, not a lot of authors can do it on this strong emotional chord. HE CAN!! You read the last chapter, the last paragraph, the last sentence, the last line, the last word and….you think…no, you can’t think at all. YOU.ARE.SPEECHLESS. AGAIN. WOW…FUCK, IT WAS STUNNING!!!!!

But it is not always only about the ending, isn’t it?

Please forgive me, but I LOVED KING PERRY MORE…

P.S I’d recommend NOT to read this book directly after King Perry. Wait for a while, let your feelings calm down.
Maybe you can understand it and enjoy it much better. For sure a book to love more by the second read.

The Lost and Founds Series

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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.