Thriller without crown 1

Urtė Navalinskaitė, 2013-06-21

In brief: The author of the article states that she expected a lot from the book of Gina Viliūnė “A Crown Without a King” (Karūna be karaliaus). It was presented as a historical thriller that reminds of foreign best-sellers and that untangles a Lithuanian story.

The context of Lithuanian entertaining thrillers is rather narrow: several light romantic thrillers of Elena de Strozzi (“File-cabinet of Sins” and others), a horror-fantasy story of Giedrius Vilpišauskas “The Wind from the Sea”. Emigrant writers also tried their forces in this genre, e.g., Algis Rukšėnas published his “Devil‘s Eye” in the USA.

Justinas Žilinskas with his “KGB Children” would be the closest to G. Viliūnė most probably. Both authors use fantasy elements and some mysticism in their stories. Kristina Sabaliauskaitė with her “Silva Rerum” would be even closer – it is a historical thriller about Baroque Vilnius. G.Viliūnė promised to reveal the secret of disappearance of Vytautas Magnus’ crown impressively by moving the action of the thrilling story to the present-day and old Vilnius.

Still, the volume of the book is disappointing. More pages would be welcome having in mind that the novel was written for seven years. The plot is clear, vivid, without unnecessary deviations. However, it seems that the book “A Crown Without a King” is an unfinished manuscript, the first variant of the story. The characters are pattern-like and predictable. The action develops quickly, and the reader will be able to enjoy a manhunt in Vilnius streets. Still, the comparison of the novel with “Da Vinci Code” of Dan Brown mentioned in the annotation of the novel is slightly unweighed.

Perhaps the drawbacks of the book are compensated by the rich language? The language of interesting and catching moments about the past is really beautiful. Nonetheless, when the action moves to the present-day Vilnius or Kaunas, the language grows poorer.

Thus, the book of G.Viliūnė “A Crown Without a King” does not shine so brightly – in some places jewels fell out from the crown in some cases it was short of them. Perhaps the author hurried up with the publication of the book, which is only good as an entertaining and light thriller with a clear and happy ending.

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