NAL Trade|February 5, 2013|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-451-23917-4
In his international bestseller, Beneath a Marble Sky, John Shors wrote about the ancient passion, beauty, and brilliance that inspired the building of the Taj Mahal. Now with Temple of a Thousand Faces, he brings the legendary temple of Angkor Wat, an unrivaled marvel of ornately carved towers and stone statues. There, in a story set nearly a thousand years ago, an empire is lost, a royal love is tested, and heroism is reborn.
When his land is taken by force, Prince Jayavar, of the Khmer people narrowly escapes death at the hands of the conquering Cham king, Indravarman. Exiled from their homeland, he and his mystical wife, Ajadevi, set up a secret camp in the jungle with the intention of amassing an army bold enough to reclaim their kingdom and free their people. Meanwhile, Indravarman, rules with an iron fist, pitting even his most trusted men against each other and quashing any hint of rebellion.
Moving from a poor fisherman’s family whose sons find the courage to take up arms against their oppressors, to a beautiful bride who becomes a prize of war, to an ambitious warrior whose allegiance is torn – Temple of a Thousand Faces is an unforgettable saga of love, betrayal, and survival at any cost.
John Shors newest novel is an absolute work of genius! The novel, a historical fiction, set in the 1100’s is one of his best works yet. I’ve read all of John’s previous books and each was truly a stunning success on its own, however, Temple of a Thousand Faces really shines through as the magnum opus.
The novel is about the temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia where, John himself traveled to research this book, and is set in the year 1177. The Khmer people and the Cham people go to war to seek ownership of this grand, majestic, and massive temple. I especially loved the “echo chamber”.
The Khmer people were led by, Prince Jayavar with his beautiful wife, Ajadevi by his side. They are a people of unbiding and unconditional love and caring and want their citizens to live in peace and prosperity. Indravarman is head of the Cham people and is an evil, wicked, self-serving man who rules with an iron fist and has an altogether different agenda. The Cham’s soliders are all dedicated to Indravarman and his evil ways except one named, Asal who falls in love with a Khmer woman named, Voisanne. Will this love be enough to make him turn tide?
I loved a wonderful family we meet along the way whose patriarch is nothing but a simple fisherman. His lovely wife, Soriya and their two boys, Prak, who is almost blind, and Vibol are Khmers. The family is so dedicated to their Prince and the people that they too are brave enough to take up arms and aid in the war. Their part in the story will make you feel good and your heart will most certainly go out to them.
Temple of a Thousand Faces is filled with a rich history, beautiful imagery, full of suspense, drama, intrigue, love, hatred, a brutal war, and finally a stunning conclusion.
One of my favourite all-time books has been Pillars of the Earth written by Ken Follett but John Shors has just bumped Pillars to second place on my list. John is truly a master storyteller.
I’ve just ordered five more copies to give to friends as an act of kindness and to ensure that they don’t leave this earth without reading THE BEST novel they’ll ever read in their lives. Thank you, John, for providing me with the best 507 pages!!