Have you ever felt that you were destined for greatness, for a purpose not yet revealed? Have you ever been or wanted to be a part of something, maybe a movement or a cause that could change the course of history? Well if that's not an option, the next best thing is to read about it.
The Martyr's Fire - Book Three of the Merlin's Immortals series by Sigmund Brouwer is one of those books. This mystery is set in Medieval England with the main character, Thomas; a strong supporting cast that include Immortals and Druids and the influence of the church. As with any suspenseful novel there is trouble in the land, a coup of sorts, unrequited love and the backdrop of a once Camelotian-like "island castle called Magnus and by extension the Kingdom around it." There is one major revelation...but you have got to pay attention, or you might miss it. (Spoiler alert...it has to do with Merlin, the same Merlin associated with King Arthur).
Book Three opens with Magnus coming under siege by the dreaded Druids (false sorcerers who use darkness and secrecy as the way to power). Thomas vows to reclaim and reconquer Magnus, but doesn't know he is being watched, assisted and protected by the Immortals (those "raised from birth to fight the evil spawned by generations of a secret society of Druids"). The storyline follows Thomas through many adventures that eventually lead him to the truth about his birth and who he is ultimately destined to become. Although it's Book Three, Martyr's Fire can easily be a stand-alone book.
Thomas is driven to achieve one thing and he has vowed to die trying. As the truth unravels he is reunited with an old friend, his mentor. Will he/they succeed?
When Priests of the Holy Grail show up in Magnus, Thomas flees the castle and sets out on a journey to the Holy Land in search of answers. He runs into Katherine along the way and is convinced that she is a Druid. Katherine, however, is convinced that Thomas is the Druid. And so they reluctantly partner up, even though they cannot trust the other.
This in book three in the series, and while I enjoyed the continuing story, this book was filled with traveling and waiting for the next big thing to happen. So that felt a bit anti-climactic in the end. But I still enjoyed the characters and the unfolding mystery. These books are very well written and so short that I can read them in a day. Perhaps they'll publish them all in one volume at some point. Looking forward to the final installment.
I must say that I had the hardest time getting into this book. The chapters aren't very long, but I was not drawn in at all like I thought I would be. Here's the description from the back of the book:
Will this dangerous quest lead the outcast Orphan King toward an ancient secret - or to certain destruction?
Posing as a beggar, Thomas escapes Magnus afer fifteen men, who are calling themselves the Priests of the Holy Grail, arrive and take control of the castle through wondrous acts and apparent miracles. With the help of his longtime friend Gervaise, Thomas sets out on a journey that leads him to the ancient Holy Land. Unaware that Katherine and Hawkwood are watching over him, Thomas is tested in his beliefs and comes face to face with the ancient power that the Merlins and Druids have long been searching for.
About 50 pages into the book it started to get really good. I finally couldn't put the book down. Unfortunately it wasn't easy to get into, so I personally wouldn't recommend this book or it's other ones. I was frustrated that this wasn't the last book - there are more. You don't necessarily need to read the previous books in this series to know what is going on.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.
Sig Brouwer writes a fine book. This book should be read in sequence in order to get the most from it. Having read Magnus years ago, I found this equally entertaining. It is wholesome, full of adventure, and fun to read.
Will this dangerous quest lead the outcast Orphan King toward an ancient secretâ€”or to certain destruction?
Posing as a beggar, Thomas escapes Magnus after fifteen men, who are calling themselves the Priests of the Holy Grail, arrive and take control of the castle through wondrous acts and apparent miracles. With the help of his longtime friend Gervaise, Thomas sets out on a journey that leads him to the ancient Holy Land. Unaware that Katherine and Hawkwood are watching over him, Thomas is tested in his beliefs and comes face to face with the ancient power that the Merlins and Druids have long been searching for.
Enter the world of Merlin's Immortals, where ancient secrets and evil conspiracies take you on a breathless adventure of discovery, intrigue, and hidden knowledge.
The adventure begins with Thomas posing as a beggar, as he tries to escape the castle. Men have arrived in the castle claiming to do great wonders and miracles. While the town is enamored by the priests of the Holy Grail, Thomas is seeking to save his people from the evil that seeks to destroy them all. Thomas is unknowingly being followed, and though his intentions are honorable, they all live in times that are uncertain and unpredictable; everyone must be careful and trust no one but themselves.
Brouwer definitely left us hanging with his previous two novels. I know that doesn't seem like a favorable thing to say, but I really looked forward to how the story was going to end. The cast of characters is certainly one of my favorites in a very long time; Thomas, with a destiny that is forever spinning out of control; Katherine, who watches over him yet never reveals much about herself; and Hawkwood, a keeper of secrets, stealthy of foot and one who possesses the ability to become someone else.
With great secondary characters, what could have been misinterpreted as a weak filler novel actually turned out to be one of my favorites in this series. Because I already knew some of the background story, all that awaited was the remainder of the other puzzle pieces. And simply because of that, I highly anticipated this novel, and was not disappointed. Brouwer's writing style is unique; he draws you in and makes you a fan for life.
This book was provided by the publisher through CSFF for free in exchange for an honest review.