America’s Kingdom issues one and two are the latest in a personal favourite style of stories for me – I love stories of alternative history. This particular tale looks at an alternative America – one where they never won the war of independence and, instead of a democracy, they now live in a kingdom ruled by royalty.
The story of the United Kingdom of America begins in the present day with a strange chase on horseback and capture of a terrorist suspect called Benedictine Arnold.This gives us an introduction to the horsemen who are the king’s official henchmen, called knights, who make sure that the rule of the monarch is imposed – by force if necessary. From this, we learn the history: that from George Washington onwards, there has been a long succession of royals ruling the kingdom from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, which is now called the White Palace. Guns are now outlawed and the knights are experts in archery and swordsmanship.
We join the current prince, Geoffrey, who is waiting to take the crown and begin his rule, He will, however, only become king if his arranged marriage goes ahead. Unfortunately for the young prince, the kingdom he is set to reign over is in chaos due to a rebellion being led by a mystery character known as Peerless Fortane.
This kind of alternative history story is becoming very popular in science fiction and comic books – even featuring in a major TV series – Amazon’s ‘High Castle’. This series continues in High Castles’ fine tradition, with very fast-paced, strong and well-defined art work. The story itself is gritty and in places it has a violent side that gives a vivid impression of what America might be like in the 21st century with a brutal, medieval king at the helm instead of the democratic union it has. Brian Hawkins and the team behind America’s Kingdom are really on to a winner with this new series and I can’t wait to read more of this fantastic story.