Monday, September 17, 2012

The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer

STORYLINE: The future of the Immortals is in the hands of an orphan

My greatest fear was that they would find us and make of us a sacrifice beneath a full moon. Now you, Thomas, must help us destroy the circle of evil.

The last words of a dying woman would change the life of young Thomas. Raised behind monastery walls, he knows nothing of his mysterious past or imminent destiny. But now, in the heart of medieval England, a darkness threatens to strangle truth. An ancient order tightens their ghostly grip on power, creating fear and exiling those who would oppose them. Thomas is determined fulfill his calling and bring light into the mysterious world of the Druids and leaves the monastery on an important quest.

Thomas quickly finds himself in unfamiliar territory, as he must put his faith in unusual companions—a cryptic knight, a child thief, and the beautiful, silent woman whom may not be all she seems.  From the solitary life of an orphan, Thomas now finds himself tangled in the roots of both comradery and suspicion.

Can he trust those who would join his battle…or will his fears force him to go on alone?

MY THOUGHTS: I found this book being offered in the Waterbrook Multnomah reviewers choices and, after reading the description, gave a big grin. I recognized this story! I'd devoured it multiple times as a teenager--back then it was one huge, thick novel called, depending on what reprinting you got, Magnus or Wings of Dawn. I remember thinking that the cover for Magnus was horrible and the Wings of Dawn cover really cool, and I remembered loving the story (it helped that this version had a cool cover as well) so I ordered it.

I definitely killed a childhood favorite doing that.

The book was OK. It had fleshed out a little of the events I remembered reading. If I'd read it as a teenager and fledgling writer, I probably would have loved it again. But...

I felt disconnected to the characters. Thomas was not as cool as I remembered. The story resolution felt way too easy. I remember that this is not the end of the book--in fact, there's a lot more than will be covered in the rest of the series, I assume--but I still didn't care for it. At times the narrative felt a little jerky as well.

About the only thing I liked was how Thomas starts out with almost no faith. As I remember, his faith gradually builds, and I remember enjoying his journey. 

I wish I had some more positive things to say about this book. I really wanted to like it, but I really didn't. I might pick up the rest of the books in the series just for the sake of revisiting an old favorite, but I don't expect to like them any more than I liked this one.

My Rating: two and a half out of five stars

**I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review**

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