Hirschi, Hans M. “Willem of the Tafel”, Beaten Track, 2015.
Survival, Second Chances, Hope and Love
Willem is struggling to survive in a world that has been destroyed by ignorance and greed. We are centuries after the apocalypse and not many survived the Great War that took place and those that did have taken refuge very deep inside a mountain. One of those is Willem who has now been exiled. He is alone and struggling as he begins an epic journey during which he discovers something that could yet change the world one again.
I think it is my obligation to say here that this is not the kind of book I would usually read and if I had not agreed to review it, it would remain unopened. I really dislike science fiction and fantasy fiction. Now with that said, let’s look at the book.
We see here what can happen to the world if there is some major catastrophic event so the book is based on a real possibility. However, it is the characters that kept me reading. By nature, we cannot call Willem a leader but he does become a symbol since he manages to find sages to be around him. This new world that exists is one in which skin color, sexuality, etc. are of no importance and hopefully this is a sign of what we can expect in the future (although that is doubtful).
Until he was exiled, Willem was a ghost living in a society that believed the rest of the Earth is uninhabitable. When he is exiled, he discovers a New World awaits and it is a world of hope and love. Before his exile, he lived in a technologically advanced sci-fi underworld in a mountain that was called the Tafel and in that world, racism is everywhere and Willem is the butt of a lot of it. He was blamed for a murder he did not commit and was sentenced to exile.
Willem thrived did fine for himself as he explored a new world where technology is forbidden. He met people who knew what love is and who had relationships and families. He was privy to new foods and he found love with Hery, someone who was in need of love. If one he experienced was a sign of what can possibly come, then there is hope that there is a better world for all of us.
Willem and Hery meet by chance and they immediately discovered that they shared strong feelings for each other, only to be torn apart by fate. Whether they get back together is for you to discover on your own.