First, I was attracted to the book for its cover, not just the design but the name itself: Orphan, King, Merlin, Immortals, that's sounds cool, the mysterious guy and the "medieval feeling" attached to it.
The narration pace flows well, you can get some details from here and there, and know where you are, and whom the characters are. It's easy to identify the main characters but also you can feel identified with one of them, their personalities are nicely crafted. The "team" formula while simple remain powerful trough the story.
As a christian book, a message of faith and confidence on God unfolds from begining to the end. It's not an "in your face" message, which is good, and takes more strenght from the plot itself, so nothing seems forced.
In the other hand, the feeling I had with the book was like when you push fastforward to a movie. Yes, you get the glimpse of the story, but some details get lost. In some parts I just couldn't relate to a place description because there wasn't enough detail. There was more potential with details on places, characters, and action. Talking about this topic, being a historical-action-medieval story I expected an epic climax full of action, fighting and maybe some, just some little blood, but instead there's a weak solution to solve a strong conflict.
At the end, the book finishes very well. Left me wanting to read the next book, which is expected to be released early in 2013, and also wishing the story to be more developed and exciting.
Disclosure: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for an honest review.
Sigmund Brouwer's book, The Orphan King, shows what it means to be a leader. The main character, Thomas, has to take charge of the people that follow him after he escapes and sets out on a journey to find the truth, which can only be uncovered at the castle called Magnus.
Thomas, having grown up as a servant in a monastery, is not afraid of hard work. When the cruelty towards him grows to the point of abuse and hatred, he feels the need to flee. But he can't just leave, for the monks who have raised him ever since his mother died, have eyes everywhere. So tells the men (if they could even be called that), that he was leaving, and they were to give him provisions enough to last for a week.
After escape, Thomas used the many secrets his mother had taught him and that he had learned from THE BOOKS to save his soon-to-be companions from the gallows. Little did he know that one would betray him, another would look up to him, and the last would teach him more than he had ever imagined, yet still will not tell him everything.
This book is a great mystery with a little bit of romance on the side. People who like action and riddles will love this book. One thing I do recommend though, is to not read it until you have the second book , Fortress of Mist, in your hands, ready to be opened as soon as you finish The Orphan King. The end leaves you hanging, wondering what will happen now that Thomas has completed his mission to find Magnus and capture it, yet he still does not know all of the secrets that have shaped his life and the lives of his friends and enemies alike.
This is Book One of Mr. Brouwer's Merlin's Immortals Series. I found this book to be just ok. I really wanted to love it. I like fantasy, I like books about Merlin but there was something lacking in this book. I like the concept of the orphan king setting off to capture the mysterious Magnum. I like the various characters in the book but I wanted more from them. I felt like there was a previous book I was supposed to read before I read this one. That being said, I would definitely read the next book in this series, mostly because I want to know more about the characters portrayed in the book. I give this book 3 stars because of the lack of plot development but I liked the concepts and characters in the book.
I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my review.
Thomas has been raised in secrecy, hidden from the world outside the walls of Harland Moor Abbey. His true identity has been hidden to protect him from those who had killed his family when their kingdom was taken.
But the time has come for Thomas to fulfill his destiny and to take Magnus - the place where darkness lives and fear abounds! Thomas is joined on his quest by William a mysterious knight, Tiny John a condemned child thief, and Isabelle young woman who pretends to be who she isn't. Unknown to Thomas two opposing forces are determined to use him and to sway him to their cause.
Much that Thomas should know about his past was lost when the woman who acted as his nurse died before she could impart most of her knowledge. One piece of information that Sarah gave him was that she had hoped to see "him grow into a man and to become one of the Immortals and to help them destroy the circle of evil." But who or what these Immortals were died with Sarah.
Along the way Thomas learns important lessons in trust and in whom to place it which proved invaluable once he and his army of three were trapped within the walls of Magnus. All too soon Thomas and William find themselves locked away in the dungeon with another prisoner who has been locked away for ten years.
How is Thomas to fulfill his destiny when he is beneath the very island castle he is determined to free? Can he bring hope to the helpless and the downtrodden who are trapped within the castle as much as he is? Does the phrase "Delivered on the wings of an angel, he shall free us from oppression" hold the answers he seeks?
The Orphan King is a page turner that holds your attention. Set in Northern England in AD 1312, the truth of Christianity struggles against the darkness of the pagan religions that have a hold upon the land.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. The opinions I expressed are my own.
In book one of his new Merlin's Immortals Series, Brouwer introduces us to an ancient world where trust is not easy to come by. Secrets lie around every bend and friends can become enemies in the blink of an eye, if you can figure out they are your enemy. Thomas was raised in an abbey for most of his life, raised in secret by a woman who pretended to be his nursemaid, raised as a slave to the monks who mistreated him and taught him to despise the God they claimed to serve. Most importantly, he was raised with a secret he must guard with his life and a destiny bigger than he can ever imagine. His quest to conquer Magnus, the ancient castle, turns out to be only the beginning.
Positives: Kids will enjoy the medieval setting and the high level of intrigue. The well-developed characters are clever, sinister and thought provoking.
Talking Points: Raised in an abbey and surrounded by religious practices and people for many years Thomas was calloused toward God. He questioned his goodness, his love and even his existence. Talk to your kids about their thoughts and feelings toward religion. Let your kids be open and honest and carefully listen to their answers. Use this conversation to continually point your child to the gospel. I Corinthians 1:18 tells us that the cross is foolishness to unbelievers, they cannot understand it. Pray for the Spirit of God to work in your child's heart and continue to teach them of the great Creator God who sent his Son to rescue us from our greatest danger - our own sinful hearts. Romans 8 is a wonderful passage that I kept thinking of while reading this story.
Age Level: 10 years of age and up
I received a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for this review.