Title: Octavian Nothing, Vol. 2: The Kingdom on the Waves
Author: M.T. Anderson
Published: October 2008 by Candlewick Press
Genre: Historical Fiction
Fearing a death sentence, Octavian and his tutor, Dr. Trefusis, escape through rising tides and pouring rain to find shelter in a British-occupied Boston. Sundered from all he knows--the College of Lucidity, the rebel cause--Octavian hopes to find safe harbor. Instead, he is soon to learn of Lord Dunmore's proclamation offering freedom to slaves who join the counterrevolutionary forces.
This is the second installment in M.T. Anderson's historical fiction "series" (only two books) Octavian Nothing. I've already reviewed the first book, which was stellar. Normally, when reviewing a series, I just review one book and leave it at that. Anything more would be just a reiteration of what was already said.
Not so in this case. Both the first and second Octavian Nothing books are absolutely stunning. M.T. Anderson is one of the most talented authors in the world today, and in my opinion, of all time. His vocabulary is superb, he never pulls cheap tricks or cuts corners; his characters are brought to life like none other I've seen before. Every sentence that Octavian writes is pure poetry--the absolute greatness of this novel vastly surpasses most young adult, and for that matter, adult fiction I've ever read.
I could gush endlessly about how amazing this piece of work is, how incredible an addition to American literature it is. I'd love for this rather obscure novel to get the recognition it deserves. It's more than mere entertainment, and should never be viewed as such. It is, without a doubt, a fascinating, thought-provoking, absolutely stunning masterpiece.