Moryak Trilogy By Lee Mandel

The world is in a state of turmoil, the likes of which it has never before seen. Russia is imploding in upon itself, the disintegration caused by radical revolutionists whose sole purpose it to simply further their own ideas and agendas. Rapidly lost are the initial reasons why these revolutionaries became patriots to their cause, which was the goal to save Mother Russia from an autocrat society. Bloodlust and greed however quickly began to poison the purity of their plan of salvation, and what was left was a part that strived for self-exaltation and Soviet rule.

It appeared that this bloodlust and affinity for violence seeped across the world, and it was not only Russia who was affected by the slow takeover of the government by terrorists. In the early 1900’s, the entire world was on the brink of change. It was unclear at times whether or not that change would be for the good or the bad, as the scale often seemed to wax and wane between the two in equal measure, but as the events in Russia began to escalate, so tipped the scales in favor of a devastating war, the involved the entire world. International affairs were in their infancy, and as such were difficult to navigate to say the very least. Unimaginable decisions demanded to be made in order to save all involved, and the source of that salvation fell into the hands of a very complex and unexpected candidate: Stephen Morrison.

In his trilogy, Moryak, Lee Mandel follows the lifetime of the very unconventional life of Stephen Morrison, at least which is what he is called throughout most of the book for the reader. Throughout his life, Morrison had to adapt into the identity of many different people, all whom were not assumed identities, but just different representations of who he housed within himself to serve the task he was presented with at that particular season in time.

 Watching the same central character become so many different combinations of himself was quite an interesting concept to me. Nothing about him really changed in his core. He always remained the same person, his quirks and speech and fundamentals always remained, but because he always lived his life in such extreme circumstances and was shifted around into so many different roles, none of which lacked importance and dependence from others different portions of him were brought to the forefront, no matter how severe they were. Understanding this concept is tantamount to understanding the book. The trilogy blocks itself into the three persons of Morrison, the first being Morrison, the second Lev who turns into Morrison, and the third where the last transformation into Moryak takes place. It is obvious that you are not reading about three separate people, but you must understand that they are not simply three detached identities of the same person. Morrison lies beneath them all it simply depends on his calling as to which he can act out at any given moment. He is who he has to be. Which when you doubt his honor, only reminds you that at his core, Morrison is a man of valor.
Mandel does an excellent job of painting portraits of worlds gone by. His detail is immaculate and in depth that there is nothing left to try and figure out. The story is very fast paced and you must be able to keep up with the switch of continent and inner story line, but he does a good job of steering you in the right direction. Because of how quickly this book was paced and how wide of a location the book spread, sometimes it was difficult to realize where you were and who was speaking. There are many, many supporting characters in this book that all serve the main plot, but sometimes it was very confusing attempting to remember who was who. This especially happens when dealing with the Russian. Many of the names were so similar that it was very hard to know who was talking to who and to recall what each character’s arc was on their own as the confusion lent to blending them all together.

Because of the book’s length, I also feel that there were some very common redundancies that could have been left out. There was many times that I felt I was reading the same description of Morrison’s eyes and the anger that they held over and over again, simply from a different mouth. Perhaps if the descriptions had varied in inflection or had used other descriptive words I would not have felt this way, but as they felt verbatim, I felt I was just being told information I had already been provided on many occasions.

That being said I feel that Mandel did an excellent job capturing the seriousness and importance of the times in which Morrison lived. I gleaned a lot of information from this book. Even though it is a fictional novel, much of the historical content is accurate and that is something that I very much enjoyed and appreciated. I give this book 3 out of 5 morals. This is one of the best historical fiction books that I have ever read, and I hope that Mandel continues to write and bring more relevance and marketability to the history of not only our nation, but of the nations who have so greatly contributed to our history.

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