The Legend Is Born

[Following is an official review of “A Legend Is Born” by Gerald R Knight.]

by Bertha Jackson

A Legend Is Born: The Legends of Lainjin is the third book in this series by Gerald R. Knight. After Tarmālu leaves her infant son, Lainjin, with Helkena, a typhoon hits Wōtto and leaves the islanders without food, shelter, or water. Brothers, Japeba and Jipeba, arrive at the island to provide water and fresh tuna. Japeba is Lainjin’s grandfather, and assuming that his daughter died during the typhoon, Jipeba asks Helkena to help raise Lainjin at their Namdik home.

Helkena is excited to go with them because there will be many men on Namdik that she is not related to. One of the first men she sees is Ḷōjurok, and she is immediately attracted to him and imagines him as her chosen one. She is greatly disappointed to learn that Liargin has already chosen him. Will Helkena find a man who will want to leave Namdik and move to Wōtto? Read this fantastic book about the culture in the Marshall Islands to find out.

Gerald R. Knight did a fantastic job describing the pole houses, coral reefs, lagoons, islands, and oceans. I could easily visualize the wave swells rising over their canoes. Each of the characters in the book was easily identified, even though they had names that I was unfamiliar with. Each chapter’s heading let me know what that chapter pertained to.

I enjoyed learning about the islands’ cultures. One example is how seashells play a dominant role in bathing. I learned eating fish helps to keep your body warm. Gerald R. Knight translated unfamiliar words the first time they were used, as well as in the footnotes at the end of each chapter and in the Glossary at the end of the book. Each footnote had a link to its reference that was easy to move back and forth from in the text. I appreciate that the chants were in italics which differentiated them from the rest of the text.

The sexual customs in the Marshall Islands could have left a little more to the imagination, but this is a personal preference and not a flaw in the book. With the easy access to translations of unfamiliar words, there was nothing I disliked about this book.

I am delighted to give this professionally edited book 4 out of 4 stars. With its smooth-flowing and fast-paced plot, there was no reason for me to give this book a lower score. I was intrigued from beginning to end and enjoyed reading this book.

Mature readers who enjoy romance or historical-fiction books based on the culture found on the Marshall Islands are the audience I recommend this book to. You do not need to read the first two books in the series to enjoy this one. If graphic sexual content offends you, you may want to avoid this book.

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  1. Imagine how writer can violate the culture and custom of an islands country by writing a book that to many of us, is fictional, for example, this story about a legendary navigator sailor is a true story, but when the write add a modern name to a an ancient story makes to book become a fiction book.

  2. It is referred to as historical fiction. To a take a kernel of historical fact and build a believable fictional story behind it.

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