The Bridge Home by Matthew Williams (Book Review)
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A New Writer Emerges
Matthew Williams may not be putting “writer” as his day job, but that could be changing in the very near future. This Los Angeles native has authored his first novel, The Bridge Home.
Williams’ new book follows the life of Akiiki, a prince who lives comfortably within a safeguarded, high-walled palace. Although an ongoing drought has brought growing tensions outside of the city, Akiiki and his royal family live a life of luxury.
Then that changes in an instant. The palace is raided and cloaked men kill various palace inhabitants. Akiiki wakes up after the attack to find himself kidnapped. He has been taken from his home and brought into the unforgiving desert with men who hate him and his family. Akiiki must do what they say or he will be killed. Each day outside of the castle is another day he must fight for his freedom. Can he survive long enough to find a way back home?
Don’t Judge This Book By Its Covers
Williams has written a tale filled with passion and discovery. And all I could ask for was more. The writing is beautiful and flowing, with lively descriptions that place you into the moments of the story. He would describe the smell of the ocean or the touch of grass so that Akiiki’s senses became your own. I loved how the details he included came a little at a time, allowing your imagination to step in seamlessly.
I couldn’t stop thinking of how this book reminded me of how I felt while reading Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, but with some added suspense. Williams’ book feels more grounded in urgency while delivering those same drops of wisdom and peacemaking.
I loved how each character was unique and fleshed out so you could easily see where their motivations came from. I liked how every person was written with integrity and no one was a throw away character. They all thought they were right- no one was evil just because the story called for it.
Akiiki’s love for his father and his family never wavered, even in the face of men accusing the royal family of abandoning their citizens. His honor was inspiring. You root for Akiiki the whole time and you are rewarded for that loyalty as a reader. Would I have liked more with Lael? Of course. As well as maybe more backstory on Obasi.
As much as I enjoyed the middle section, I wish it had been twice as long. The pacing was slow for me and I wanted more action in-between each “healing”. I would have been just fine with this journey lasting much longer. I feel like we got the whole thing over with way too quickly.
Overall, this is a love story of a soon to be king and his kingdom. The trials that Akiiki encounters beautifully prepare him to be the man he becomes. A stark contrast from the young man we first meet who isn't sure of what kind of king he can be. And Williams’ writing is gorgeous. I loved the placement of every word and phrase, and I highlighted many passages because he makes you feel every sentence in this book.
As a Fantasy lover, I recommend that you take this journey with Matthew Williams. And be on the lookout for whatever writing project he has next. You can purchase a copy of The Bridge Home by clicking the link below.
Have you read The Bridge Home or any other fantasy novel recently? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.