Saturday, November 23

Book Review: The Lion Seeker

Title: The Lion Seeker

Author: Kenneth Bonert

Pages: 561

Summary: Brawny, brilliant debut novel about the epic struggles of an immigrant son in a darkening world.

Johannesburg, South Africa. The Great Depression. In this harsh new country, young Isaac Helger burns with fiery determination— to break out of the inner city, to buy his scarred mother the home she longs for, to find a way to realize her dream of reuniting a family torn apart. But there are terrible, unspoken secrets of the past that will haunt him as he makes his way through a society brutalized by racism, as he loses his heart to an unattainable girl from the city’s wealthiest heights and his every exit route from poverty dead-ends. When the threat of the Second World War insinuates itself with brutal force into Isaac’s reality, he will face the most important choice of his life . . . and will have to learn to live with the consequences.

My Rating: 9.25/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: While it took a while for me to get into the book, eventually it became a book next to impossible to put down and it will likely end up being one of my favourite reads of the year.

The characters weren't exactly likeable ones, although certain parts of the book, when they were going through particular traumas and events, struck some emotional reactions for me. There were a few shocking moments, gut wrenching - I was surprised how the well the author managed to pull the reader into the story and emotionally involved with the characters, even if they were ones you couldn't say you liked. They were deeply flawed, broken characters, all of who were well written. But, they weren't ones you could say you liked. That's also what made the story as good as it was, was a cast of very realistic characters.

The writing and overall plot were also amazing. Often I was pulled in and couldn't put the book down, it was unexpected because initially I wasn't very into the book, but eventually it became a book that I read straight through and didn't want to put down. The story was very interesting and the author explored a lot of topics and issues throughout. There's a lot of issues explored in the book, but it didn't overpower it, instead it complimented the story nicely.

In the end, this was a fantastic read - it's a book well worth reading.

Would I recommend it to read: I definitely would. It reminds me of a few other books I've recently read, and it's a book that sticks with you after you've finished it. It was also a book I wasn't sure about reading in the first place but ended up being very enjoyable, and I think other readers would feel the same way.

What to read next: A Fine Balance

Challenges: 2013 Category Challenge, 7th Annual Canadian Book Challenge


  1. You haven't given out many 9s lately, so i will take that to mean that this book really is worth reading. Thanks.

  2. This one was fantastic. And yes, it is well worth reading. There's a few on my list this year that were worth reading, but this one is near the top