The mind, the heart, and the conscience – three navigators of every breathing moment in our lives. One might find themselves lucky if ever, all three point to the same direction. While the conscience is a moral compass and the mind, a logical one, what of the beating heart? It has been a predominant notion that the language of the soul is the chime of the universe. Acting as a translator, this soul language morphs into one of the hearts. Can there ever be a right and wrong to this? Or are they merely two faces of the same coin. Lee Hunt triggers a turbulent journey on this thin rope binding the perception of love to the flanks of morality, loyalty and devotion.

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Embarking on the odyssey after banishment, Sir Ezra, the protagonist embodies everything a knight in shining armour ought to be. From the steel armour taut to his physique to the mighty sword he wields, the author depicts a man of steel with his character as well as ideals. But like every armour guard, he has his chink as well – his undying, irrevocable love for his Queen. The author plays along the timelines to excite the readers as to what banished him from his love, and how a man with solidity is swayed by the winds of amour. One might be led to think, what is stronger in a sword, the hilt, or the blade as is the case of Sir Ezra and his de facto decisions to serve for his love.

Love, has the power to either drive, or drain someone there always comes a point where the journey of giving is at crossroads – a choice between gifting your lover, your heart or your honour. A questionable choice, one that can be understood by no other except the two beings in question. The author spins the readers into this dilemma on the perception of the protagonist’s actions throughout the book. While he believes that kindness and love is never a mistake, there are several instances where the reader gets sceptical on the same for it is the fear of betrayal that betrays you first. While the elusive Queen shows questionable reciprocity to Sir Ezra’s feelings, it gets more and more difficult for the reader to name the emotion in question between – love, obsession, infatuation and lust – only to discover that the answer might as well be a blend of two or more. While sexual misleading and conflicting duels of interest spark throughout the book, the depiction of cowardice through distance and flailing lack of confrontation tends to frustrate readers periodically, only to be soothed by the implacable expressions of love.

A notable aspect to this writing is the association of characters, their personalities to the fashion borne by them. While some have literal translations like the armour of steel for Sir Ezra, the lion’s mane hair for the Queen and the description of Pontes, some transcend to the metaphorical verse like the suave dressing of the character Rachel to show femininity and the contrasting leather and armour honed by Sir Marigold representing the clash in herself. The mysteries and revelations further on in the book only solidify these portrayals for example – the forms depicting the Queen in the dreamworld of Eydos, based on Socrates’ Theory of Essences include an iceberg, a puma, a vampire, and a cyclone. Whereas the Elysian Bell, Sir Ezra resonates perfectly to them with concept like, a battle form called ‘Carried by the Cyclone’. an unrelenting swim around the magnanimously perpetual iceberg and the acceptance with open arms and a bare neck to the ravenous puma or the vivacious vampire. Despite this, the book continues a push-and-pull journey between the two which leaves the readers mystified on whether the pursuit is worth the risk at all. Hearing this, the author incorporates such scepticism through characters like Sir Marigold and Lady Stonehouse who speak the language of the mind showing that reflections are never clear on turbulent waters.

Portraying Murphy’s Law saying ‘anything that can go wrong, will go wrong’, the plot strongly shows that one’s life is merely a snippet from another’s whereas the questioning line of love and lust is similar to asking what came first – the hen or the egg. While these instances with throes of passion wavers one’s belief in his conviction of feelings for the Queen, the careful intervention of loneliness being the tongue of the storm shines through during the same. The irony cannot be missed that the Queen has more shields of guard than any Knight and the choice of duty over derision of love hinders one from completely unveiling her character. The anticipation of a reunion, the consequences of the same and the unyielding question of who or if there even is a villain in the book keeps the readers on their toes, or rather, their fingertips to simple scroll/flip the pages faster.

‘Dead gods!’ sounding quite morbid, is a common expression of exclamation in the book that strings together a dark mirth to the reality so much so that the mind misreads it to be ‘dear gods!’ simply by habit. Sarcasm has the humour dialect of the book especially with characters like Sir Ezra and Lady Stonehouse which lend snickers and snorts during the read balancing out the chaos that ensues. Another interesting take is the prefix used for warriors, regardless of their gender, as ‘Sir’ negating any disparity.

The ride of eleven years in the book wears one down with questions but one remains till the end – was it worth the effort? This one is open-ended for each reader to decide and justify. Mixing pride, honour, desire and love creates a confounding combination the lathers up the swords drawn out. Onomatopoeias serve to unleash the might of words into the readers’ minds as the plot relies on ensuing sensory appeal to draw in its readers into the Queendom. The three navigators mentioned above are in for a ride as the book questions basic essences like – do thorns protect the roses or can the petals protect the thorns. These thorns, figuratively, embody the guard we all have up today as a society where trust and kindness have been scorned into hiding. Who needs saving and who saves whom is an expedition that Lee Hunt calls the readers upon in this enchanting work of literature.

Unravel the enigmatic journey of love, devotion, and morality with “Bed of Rose and Thorns”. The book offers an emotional rollercoaster that will keep you engrossed till the end. With its seamless storytelling and deep philosophical questions, this book is a must-read for all lovers of contemporary fiction.

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Also Check: Exploring Humanity Through Fiction: An Interview with Author Lee Hunt

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Nikitha is an undergraduate architecture student at PES University. With an exuberant passion for words, she is an avid reader, writer and critic. She loves the field of design, travel and has an eye for details, hoping to contribute her bit to the same in the future. She loves to support, listen and help for others.