You've heard the sea within the shell -- now experience it!
The prequel to Man Shark, this is the story of Ḷainjin’s outrigger search for his mother, who was lost at sea in a typhoon the moon after his birth. The pre-contact Pacific is an enormous expanse, how is he to find her amid all the possibilities? How does he even know if she survived? His search leads him to Pohnpei and the famous stone village of Nan Madol where he faces distractions but is befriended by survivors of her lost fleet. They lead him across the treacherous equator where the trade winds of the northern and southern hemispheres join in breathless calm. At great personal expense they show him where they saw her last. Be ready for an emotional journey as Ḷainjin travels back in space and time and meets his ancestor’s progeny and his destiny awash with blood, loyalty, and ignoble revenge.
Post by Kibetious » 18 Oct 2021
[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of “The Forbidden Man” by Gerald R Knight.]
The Forbidden Man is the second book in The Legends of Ḷainjin. Ḷainjin, nicknamed Ḷōpako, is on a self-appointed quest to find his mother Tarmālu. While loneliness would be a dangerous enemy to most, it is what drives him forward. He has nothing and no one to look back to at Rālik, his home. The legend of his mother, her capture, and untimely demise in the hands of cannibals in distant islands go on. Despite frequent discouragements on the way, Ḷainjin, with dogged determination, seeks to establish this truth for himself. The quest will lead him through shark-infested waters, notorious bloodthirsty mosquitoes, and other dangers both at sea and onshore. Eventually, he will discover much more than the closure he has sought for many seasons.
Like an experienced artist, the author intricately etched a captivating plot and brilliantly developed characters that remain ingrained in the reader’s mind long after reading the book. On top of it, the tale is so enthralling that you will not grow weary poring over it again. The supporting characters do not appear as an after-thought, occupy their roles well, and yet do not overshadow Ḷainjin and his mission. The lead character repeatedly captures the imagination and attention of the reader as he recalls the warnings of his grandfathers. In the process, he reveals his background and constant source of motivation in the arduous journey.
The author wove many themes into the fabric of this story, which combined with the various literary devices made for a memorable tale. The descriptions of the long, dangerous voyages at sea and life among islander friends during stoppages were vivid, as nothing was left to chance. The vivid descriptions made me visualize most scenes and feel like I was there, experiencing every moment. When the author introduced various cultural practices, weird rituals, and myths, they did not appear far-fetched. Undoubtedly, I loved the wisdom oozing from different characters.
I enjoyed reading The Forbidden Man. The historical fiction by Gerald R. Knight perfectly captures the world that once was, making the reader feel they have received a rare treat to time travel. The dangerous, yet inviting adventure is engrossing. I found the three-pronged quest: Ḷainjin’s search for his mother, test of the validity of the teaching of his ancestors, and finding himself unique, exhilarating, and unforgettable. As a result, I happily rate the book 4 out of 4 stars. I have not read its prequel, but my curiosity is already piqued to know what it entails.
There is nothing I disliked about the book. Every ardent fan of historical fiction will like poring over this masterpiece. I do not recommend the book to sensitive readers because it comprises sexual innuendos, vulgar words, and lurid, savage rituals.