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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Orlando in the Cities by Sebastian Michael is a literary novel inspired by Virginia Woolf's Orlando. The gods of the Greek pantheon fiercely debate as to who among them is the patron of the perfect city on Earth. To solve their dilemma, they chose Orlando, a humble shepherd, who must travel to the greatest cities across two millennia to come up with an answer. After studying under Euclid in Alexandria, Orlando visits Florence during the Renaissance Movement, where he becomes enamored with the city's art and culture. In London, under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth, Orlando falls for a Russian princess named Sasha and converses with the likes of Shakespeare and Jonson. After mysteriously becoming a woman in Paris, Orlando marches alongside other women to Versailles and ends up romancing Maximilien de Robespierre.
With a delicious blend of prose, verse, and poetic syntax, author Sebastian Michael takes you on a wild rollercoaster spread across two millennia through monumental events that changed the course of history. Orlando in the Cities is a journey to explore the human condition through the lens of different cultures and civilizations over time. The author uses different styles and voices to give each chapter a distinct tone and feel that add an extra layer of authenticity to the narrative. With each chapter, Orlando undergoes drastic changes both physically and as a person in general. The gradual evolution of his personality was very captivating to read. I was also pleasantly surprised by the humor sprinkled throughout the pages. Highly recommended.