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Friday, November 20, 2020


Durban actor, scriptwriter and director Hamish Kyd has released a new novel titled The Palace. This has been edited by Father Ewan Swartz from New Dawn Park whose review follows:

This brilliant piece of work highlights the author’s story telling ability and skill in holding the reader’s attention. – (Review by Rev E P Swartz)

The Palace takes one into the lives of four hoboes and their street-children who risk their lives and refuge to save a family from the tyranny of an abusive husband and father. Set in KwaZulu-Natal, the author effortlessly moves the action between the rural and urban cultures from Estcourt to Durban respectively. This forms the backdrop for an exciting adventure of courage, hope and love.

Four hoboes; Prof, Maria, Roti and Benny; who have had a conversion experience, transform an abandoned basement into a safe haven for children, who are lost to the streets of Durban. The apt name, The Palace, becomes their refuge and affords them the opportunity to make something of their lives through education and life training. It is to this place that two of the main characters Simon and Lilly are brought by one of the children of The Palace, Tickie, after they escape the grasp of their tyrannical father, Desmond Reeves, who has enslaved their mother to drugs.

The syndicate of drug manufacturers and peddlers led by Reeves, seek to manufacture a new drug to be sold in Durban. Their plans are put under threat when the hoboes and street-children get involved. The adventure escalates and the cost of human lives is inevitable.

The author uses emotive language and suspense in a masterful way to capture the climatic points and leaves the reader waiting for the story to unfold. Thankfully, this is not laboured as the action is swift and just when one thinks that the story is ended, a new and exciting twist emerges.

Within all the action and drama are some valuable lessons about life. The author’s main intention to show that freedom is everything is expressed in the lives of several characters as they move from places of slavery and captivity to true freedom. He is also able to show how true freedom can evade one if the person chooses to remain a slave to their base desires and instincts rather than explore a new path of life.

This brilliant piece of work highlights the author’s story telling ability and skill in holding the reader’s attention. The characters seem to jump off the page and one will find oneself engrossed by the story lines to the point of not wanting to put the book down. It is a triumphant story of how true conversion can lead a person to ever greater depths of self-knowledge and ultimately, true freedom. - Rev E P Swartz