The Kingdom Beyond the Waves (2008) is the second book in Stephen Hunt's Jackelian series, which is set in a steampunk world with magic with countries loosely based on England and France and Arabia. As with the other books in the series The Kingdom Beyond the Waves is a non-stop roller coaster of ideas, like several adventures from other authors rolled into one. Characters from the farthest shores of the sea of imagination stalk its pages, twists and turns and revelations keep the poor reader bemused.
(For me when you've read one book in the Jackelian series
you've read them all, but each book is well written.
As another aside I think the author has written himself into the
series as Commodore Black so as this character dies at the
end of "Deep of the Dark" then the series has died too.)
To say The Kingdom Beyond the Waves has a plot is
an understatement. It has several. The book is related
from multiple character's viewpoints to entrance the reader
even more. In brief it's about archaeologist
Amelia Harsh's quest for ancient Camlantis, a place of
long-lost wonders, and why when we find our dream it's
not always what we expect. Even in the name Camlantis
you can see how Hunt is inventively reforging millions of
influences and ideas and names from history and fiction.
Everyone should read one book by Stephen Hunt as he is the
best exponent of this kind of writing I've yet come across.
I like The Kingdom Beyond the Waves the most out of his
books. The parts of Hunt's books are brilliant - but the whole
is less than the sum of the parts.