Martyr's Fire: Book 3 in the Merlin's Immortals series

Martyr's Fire: Book 3 in the Merlin's Immortals series

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by Sigmund Brouwer

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Will this dangerous quest lead the outcast Orphan King toward an ancient secret—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

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Will this dangerous quest lead the outcast Orphan King toward an ancient secret—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. 

Product Details

The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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The man that Isabelle faced was wealthy. And handsome, except for the stub where his left ear had been, now half-covered by hair. She could tell by the shift of his shoulders and the intensity of his gaze that he was enthralled by her, as indeed were nearly all men. Yet he was not Thomas. She spent hours dreaming that one day, Thomas, too, would be enthralled.

The man before her now had been on his horse, crossing a pasture that overlooked the town of York, clustered behind the high stone walls that protected it. With occasional clouds throwing brief shadows as they crossed overhead, she’d waited in sunshine, knowing that this was along his regular path to York from hunting in the moors. She’d been sitting on a blanket like a woman of leisure, dressed in fine silks, a basket beside her.

He was tall and slim, wearing the clothes of a nobleman. He’d dismounted and looked around, as if wondering where her servants might be. She had risen from the blanket and now lifted the basket with food.

“If you’ve been riding long,” she purred, “you must be hungry. And I’ve been waiting for you.”

She set the basket on the ground and leaned down to lift out a piece of thick buttered bread and pieces of rich cheese.

As she expected, he took it without hesitation. “You know who I am, then?”

“Of course,” she answered.

He smiled with pride.

He was Michael of York, the son of the earl who had enlisted Thomas’s army to prevail against the Scots not so long ago. As he tore off a chunk of bread and stuffed it into his mouth, he looked around again. Not with the eye of a man wary of a trap, but with the sharp glance of a predator. She was in front of him and so alone. And he was a rich and powerful man, accustomed to being offered what he wanted—or to taking it whether it was offered or not. Obvious on her neck was jewelry that was worth a year’s wages for a working man. If he had the heart of a thief, and she knew he did, his mind would have been on her apparent helplessness.

Since no noblewoman should be alone in a field because the dangers were too great, the apparent helplessness should have made him suspicious. But men were fools.

“Mead?” she asked, holding up a chalice.

He took it without a word, as if he were entitled to it. He rammed some cheese into his mouth first, then washed it down with the honey wine.

“You’ve been waiting for me,” Michael said, with a grin that came too close to a leer.

“With a message from those who watched you cut off your own ear.”

His smile froze, just for an instant. Then he laughed.

“From anyone but a lady as lovely as yourself, I would take that accusation as an insult. And I would answer it accordingly.”

“It is a dangerous accusation,” she agreed. “If your father ever had proof that you severed your own ear to force him to attack Magnus, you would be thrown in prison and disinherited.”

“You are very alone here.” He gestured at the open pasture. “You would be wise not to anger me.”

He placed his right hand on the hilt of his knife, hanging from a sheath on a gold-studded belt.

“And you would be wise to listen to me,” she said. “After all, your father already questions your loyalty, does he not? After the trial by ordeal, did he not leave Magnus believing that Thomas is an ally and that you had deceived him?”

Michael’s face pinched. He was beginning to suspect a trap. But his next words suggested that he believed the trap came from the earl.

“I will speak to you as I have repeatedly spoken to my father: I do not know the men who attacked me and cut off my ear. All I know is that I was given a message to deliver and told it was from Thomas. Obviously, those who cut off my ear were the ones deceitful about Thomas. Not me. Go back to my father and tell him this.”

“Your father did not send me,” she said. She tossed him a heavy ring. “Look closely at the symbol. Those of the symbol are the ones who sent me.”

He caught it in his left hand and studied it. He glanced at her and closed his fist around the ring. He kept his right hand on the handle of his knife.

“I don’t believe you.” His words were certain enough, but not the tone.

“Let me repeat what you were told by those of the symbol. You were promised that if you delivered a letter to your father, along with your ear, pretending it was a letter from Thomas, that your father would go to war and take the castle of Magnus. And that Magnus would be yours.”

Isabelle knew this was truth. She’d been hidden behind trees, watching the discussion, seeing greed cross this man’s face as he calculated what small price it would cost for him to obtain a kingdom—his deception and his ear.

“Lies,” he said, smiling.

“The man who made you that promise,” she said, “was my father. Richard Mewburn, who ruled Magnus until Thomas took it from him.”

She watched his smile fade as he thought through the implications. This was not something that a person could guess—proof to him that she knew for certain. And if she knew of that secret conversation, then she likely knew much more.

Michael lifted his hand away from his knife. “Please tell Lord Mewburn that I had no intention of harming you.”

“Of course not,” she said. “We are just having a conversation. So tell me. If my father were to deliver York to you, would you, in return, help him secure Magnus?”

“York cannot be mine while my father is the earl,” he answered. It was an oblique answer. Nothing in it openly suggested disloyalty. Yet it was an invitation to continue.

“A man who is willing to cut off his own ear is a man hungry for power,” Isabelle said. “This time, however, what we ask of you will be far less painful."

Michael’s face reflected obvious relief before once again contorting into dismay. “But I was already promised that Magnus would fall. It did not. The trial by ordeal that Thomas faced and survived—”

“Nothing will be asked of you until Magnus falls,” Isabelle said. “But believe me, it will. Very soon.”

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Martyr's Fire: Book 3 in the Merlin's Immortals series 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
druidgirl More than 1 year ago
As I began reading this book I realized I should have read the first two in the series, as some of the characters were introduced in those books and their history had begun. But with that said, the story was so full of mystery that it kept you guessing about how everything would end up. The book is set during the Medieval times of castles,noblemen,knights,the druids,the holy Grail and deep dark dungeons. In this segment fifteen monks of the Priests of the Holy Grail arrive in Magnus. They preformed tricks to make the people think the were miracles and believe in them. Thomas tries to stay hidden but his cover is blown by a friend. Though I would recommend reading this book after the first two.
ductapewallet More than 1 year ago
I think it only took me 2 days to read this book from cover to cover, and then I read it again! Maybe the best book so far in the series, I can’t wait for the next one to come out. This one takes Thomas further into the intriguing  mystery that surrounds his past while propelling him forward into the adventure that is his fate. With more travel and more testing  of his person than in the previous books, this one will keep you turning pages until you lament having to wait for the next book in the series as I am. “I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.
Writer4God More than 1 year ago
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. I chose this for my next read from Blogging For Books because it was pretty much the only thing I had to pick from, and it was short so I knew I could read it in a timely manner. As it is the third installment in a series it was a little confusing in some parts as most of the characters had already been introduced in the previous books and the plot was set, but I didn't find it to be too terribly hard to follow. Toward the beginning I thought it to be kind of boring and it didn't really grasp my interest. Still I read on, and I'm glad I did! It actually turned out to be a fairly entertaining read with likeable characters and it was well-written. Also, it was kind of funny as I'm reading along and all of a sudden Robin Hood is randomly thrown in it! Anyway, the only downside is that the story leaves off in the middle of things so now I must read the next book in the series! Anyway, not a terribly amazing book but entertaining enough to keep my interest. I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for this honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ACS_Book_Blogger More than 1 year ago
Martyr’s Fire is full of intrigue, mystery and action. Although this is the third book in the series Merlin’s Immortals, it is not absolutely necessary that you read the first two books to follow along and understand the story. The setting of this book is medieval days and reminds me of the “Knights of the Roundtable.” Closer to the end of the book, the author even includes a very familiar person /character: Robin Hood! What fun! The writing style of the author is enjoyable. The chapters are short, which makes the book easy to pick up and put down for younger readers, such as 4th to middle school, which is the target age. (rev. P.Howard) DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer. No compensation was received for this review.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
.This is a book for that young reader in your life (although I am enjoying the series as well). This is for the teen or tween who likes the Harry Potter type of book. But this book has spiritual elements peppered throughout to give the young reader something to think about. I have read the first two book in the series and I think if you haven't read those you might be a bit confused. It even took me a few chapters to remember everything that happened in the first two books. Therefore, I do recommend reading the first two books before diving into this one. This book is full of tense moments that will keep you flipping the pages to see what will happen to Thomas and his group of friends that quietly watch out for him. You will also be wondering who can Thomas really trust? I have really enjoyed this series and highly recommend it to anyone who likes books that have a bit of that medieval flare to it. I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.
JudithCEvans More than 1 year ago
Martyr's Fire is the third book in Sigmund Brouwer's Merlin's Immortals series. This book begins with a takeover of Magnus Castle by the mysterious Priests of the Holy Grail. When Thomas escapes from the castle dressed as a beggar, his quest is only beginning. Aided by his friend Gervaise and watched over by Katherine and Hawkwood, Thomas must journey to the Holy Land in search of a secret involving the ancient struggle of good against evil. Although I did not read the first two books, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. My only criticism is the fact that the first few chapters are difficult to follow without some background information. The publisher recommends Martyr's Fire for readers age 12 to 17. I recommend this book for any reader who enjoys a tale of adventure and intrigue.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite In the third book of the Merlin's Immortals series, Sigmund Brouwer gives the reader Martyr's Fire. Thomas is forced to escape Magnus and pose as a beggar as the city falls to the Priests of the Holy Grail. As Thomas wanders to find the truth of his own mission, Katherine and Hawkwood watch over him. Loyalties are questioned and Thomas struggles to understand the truth of his own immortal being. He is forced to come to terms with the power of the Druids and the Merlins while ancient secrets of evil threaten to destroy him and everything he believes in. Not having read the first two books in the series, I struggled to find my place in the overall picture. Once in, the story was delightful and it should hold the interest of mid-grade children. There are many teasers throughout the book and young readers will probably switch theories and loyalties several time while reading. This is part of what makes the book fun. Martyr's Fire contains a lot of adventure and Sigmund Brouwer will delight readers with images of times past. Many readers will jump right into the book and imagine themselves as one of the characters. Hawkwood was a particularly delightful character for me as I was intrigued by his loyalty and his wisdom. There are lessons to be learned in the book and they are suitable for mid-grade readers.  Although I am not particularly a fan of ending a book with the promise of solution to come, it is well done and most children will simply speculate on the outcome until the next book is available.
Teresa_Konopka More than 1 year ago
I want to preface this review by saying that I am a bit biased when it comes to Brouwer's books.  He is one of my all-time favorite authors, and he has yet to let me down in his literary endeavors.  This book is no exception.  The style with which Brouwer writes keeps you turning the pages, holding onto the plot until it slips out from underneath you like a rug.  This book is the third in a series about a ruler in Magnus.  His empire rises and falls as a new band of Druids posing as priests of the Holy Grail sway the public opinion with carefully crafted "miracles."  Literally running for his life, the protagonist Thomas is constantly wondering who is friend and who is foe.  Katherine is following Thomas in his flight.  At times, both perceive the other as the enemy.  Yet, both are hiding a love for the other.  Matters are complicated as Isabelle--another character who is seen as a potential foe--hides her own love for Thomas.  I also enjoy how Brouwer intertwines romance in his novels that is sweet but not graphic.  The twists and turns in the story will captivate authors.  While I have not read the first two books in this series, I managed to follow along without any problems.  The only complaint I have is that the back cover speaks of the characters venturing to the Holy Land of Jerusalem while the book only covers this on the last few chapters of the book before ending.  I suppose I'll just have to read the next book to find out what happens next.  ;)  
j2starshine More than 1 year ago
Thomas is now the ruler of Magnus, but not for long when the Priests of the Holy Grail arrive and take control while displaying wondrous acts and miracles, but something deeper and darker is underfoot, and it is up to Thomas to figure it out. Martyr's Fire takes you back in time when history and fable blur the lines of fact, but that's the beauty of speculative fiction. I enjoyed the world Brouwer recreated. There was a sense of familiarity amid the fantastical. I loved the little details that rooted us in a different time and place like Thomas wearing a piece of fat in tiny cage around his neck to keep the fleas away.  While we have the adventures of Thomas, we see another story unfolding. The clash of the druids and the Immortals, hailing all the way from the time of King Arthur. I loved the concept of the Immortals and how they were connected to Merlin.  I was worried about jumping into book three before I read the others, but I was never confused about what was going on, and the story itself was engaging as I tried to figure out the good guys, bad guys, and where this story was heading. But I'm sure I missed out in the character building of the previous books. The relationships were key. I knew Thomas had a history with the other characters, and it will be interesting to see how their relationships progress in the next book.  One thing that disappointed me was missing the dual between Robin Hood and Thomas. We end one chapter in anticipation of the dual and begin the next chapter with a time lapse and a vague reference to it.  It was a fun, short read. Maybe a bit too short. Ha! It ended in the middle of things, and with a  surprise reunion I'm sure readers of book one and two would definitely appreciate it. I would recommend to anyone who loves to read young adult, medieval, Arthurian-flavored legends. In conjunction with the CSSF blog tour, I received a free copy of the book from the publisher.