Opening with a group of archaically armored soldiers slaughtering a group of monks in a present day monastery, The Lost Throne brings us on an international adventure filled with lost treasures and plenty of intrigue.
The Lost Throne is a new thriller from novelist Chris Kuzneski and brings back his characters D.J. Jones and Jonathon Payne, who were featured in two of his past books. These men are experienced ex special-ops soldiers who are retired but still maintain their contacts and work on clandestine operations in more of a freelance mode.
Both are interesting characters with different specialties and personalities. They do seem a little too ideal as characters at times and it would be nice to see some flaws from them to add more of an everyman appeal. Regardless of this little preference of mine, they are well rounded characters and definitely suitable heroes in this tale.
Payne and Jones are not re-introduced right away; in fact, after the initial thrilling sequence of the monks being killed by seemingly medieval soldiers, we are dropped back in time to a man dying alone. This man gibbers in many languages as he dies and his words are transcribed by local police. This string of words holds the secret to the mystery the novel is centered around and adds a compelling factor that made me want to read more of the story.
The Lost Throne then proceeds to introduce us to various characters, an Interpol director, an attractive Ph.D. student, a mysterious monk and of course Payne and Jones. Over the course of the novel, varying stories run in parallel paths, and then, like all complex thrillers, they intersect in the final act. The Lost Throne is an international thriller bringing us to the United States, then Russia and finally Greece.
The story at its core is an action thriller mixed with a historical mystery. These two genres complement each other well, and Kuzneski handles the subject matter with ease. He has created a series of interesting if somewhat clichéd characters and placed them in intriguing situations and scenarios which compel you to flip the next page and see what is going to happen next.
I mention that the characters are a little clichéd, examples of this are the incredibly attractive but competent and smart Ph.D. student Allison as well as the fact that some of the dispersed characters actually knew each other. The espionage and action sequences, while well written and engaging, could have been fleshed out a little more to further bring us into the book as a spy/action thriller. We have a series of incredibly competent people in amazing situations and it would have been nice to read more about their expertise.
My quibbles about those minor points aside, The Lost Throne is a thoroughly enjoyable novel full of interesting characters, well represented locales and an overarching conflict that is resolved in a very satisfying way. I highly recommend this book to lovers of action, treasure hunting, and/or historical themed thrillers.