Immerse Yourself In This Historical Adventure Fiction Novel Into The Kingdom By Tom Atkinson

Screenshot 2023 09 19 at 7.33.02 PMAre you a lover of all things adventure, or appreciate a thoroughly developed historical fiction? If so, Tom Atkinson’s book “Into The Kingdom” is the perfect book for you. Delve into a world of mystery and treasure, loosely based on the true legend of Prester John, as army veteran Peter Robertson sets on a journey destined to change his life forever.

It’s not every day you come across a financial regular turned fiction writer, but that’s the case for author Tom Atkinson. After working six years as an international criminal/securities lawyer in Hong Kong, Atkinson moved back to his home country, Canada, and dedicated a year to writing a book. Every writer has a unique writing process, and for Atkinson, it involved transforming into somewhat of a recluse to fully immerse himself in his fictional world. And six months of living in his secluded cabin led to the creation of his book.

And the outcome? An enthralling treasure hunt story with a unique spin on heroism.

Inspired by the Age of Exploration, Into The Kingdom is the perfect combination of adventure and history, intertwining the tale of Prester John, the Afghanistan war of 1980, and modern-day Ethiopia.

“I’ve always enjoyed adventure stories, and I read a lot of history myself. And I’ve been interested in the age of exploration,” Atkinson shares. “It’s funny because I’m a lawyer, I’m a financial regulator and so everyone was expecting something really academic from me. And that’s the last thing I wanted to do. I wanted to write something I would really enjoy reading.”

With only one novel under his belt, Atkinson impresses with his richly creative tale of a soldier and his team set to uncover the mystery behind his grandfather’s disappearance. When an old friend of Peter’s grandfather gets in contact with him, what he once knew is completely turned upside down.

Peter’s grandfather was a lover of history but during an archaeological expedition in Ethiopia seeking to uncover the Legend of Prester John, he goes missing. Twenty years later, a mysterious map is found in his grandfather’s belongings, setting the course for the expedition to recommence.

“When I was quite young, I read a book about the Legend of Prester John, and it always amazed me how few people knew about it, because it was one of the biggest frauds of the Middle Ages, and it lasted for around 600 years,” Atkinson explains. “I read something that said the Portuguese had actually sent someone to Ethiopia to search for this king (Prester John). So I thought, that’s a good premise for a story.”

But what is the Legend of Prester John?

“In 1200 AD, Europe was under attack by the Muslims, and they were close to taking Jerusalem,” he discusses. “They were constantly losing and believed they were going to lose their Kingdom in Europe. But a letter arrived from a King stating he has a massive army looking to join forces to help them drive the Muslims away forever.”

If you’re wondering who this so-called king is, it’s Prester John.

All it took was a letter full of grandiose promises and claims to lead these desperate people to believe him. But it was during the Middle Ages when people were highly superstitious, not to mention a lot of the world was still unexplored.

“All Prester John said in his letter was ‘I’m in the three Indies’. And so they looked for him first in Upper Mongolia and then in India after the Portuguese found a water route but he wasn’t there either. And so almost by default, they heard of a Christian king in Africa (Ethiopia), so they sent an envoy. They did find a Christian king, who was sort of an agrarian king. He had no military. And my story picks off from when they sent that envoy,” Atkinson says.

But Into The Kingdom is more than a story of finding hidden treasure. At its core, Atkinson’s novel demonstrates that real heroism is rooted in humanity and the acceptance of oneself, which is portrayed by protagonist Peter Robertson and his team of soldiers.

“When I look at what my children see as heroes, there are all these guys with bristling ABS,” he emphasizes. “I wanted my children to see that heroes aren’t always these overly good-looking protagonists. Sometimes it’s just normal people trying to survive.”

Rather than a stereotypical depiction of a hero, Atkinson felt moved to focus the storyline on a group of soldiers who just fought in the Afghanistan war of the 1980s and are now in an army veteran rehabilitation hospital. Despite feelings of embarrassment and a lack of purpose due to the trauma of their injuries, the group learned to draw on each other for strength.

And when Peter learns of a newfound discovery amongst his grandfather’s belongings, he and his team travel to Ethiopia to find the long-lost treasure of Prester John, the mythical King from the Middle Ages.

Will Peter finally learn what happened to his grandfather after all these years, and find the long-lost treasure of Prester John?

If you’re a lover of mystery, treasure hunts, and history, this is the book for you.

Immerse yourself in Tom Atkinson’s fictional world of Into The Kingdom, loosely based on the true legend of Prester John, and purchase a copy of your own here.


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