The Empty Kingdom

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In The Lion Hunter, Telemakos?the half-British, half-Aksumite grandson of King Arthur?was sent for his safety to stay with one of Aksum?s former enemies. When Abreha, ruler of Himyar, allegedly the boy?s protector, catches him in the midst of what appears to be treachery, he sentences him to a fate seemingly worse than death. Not only is Telemakos forbidden to see his beloved younger sister, Athena, but he is also commanded to reproduce the maps that Abreha plans to use in order to invade Aksumite territory. ...
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The Empty Kingdom

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Overview


In The Lion Hunter, Telemakos?the half-British, half-Aksumite grandson of King Arthur?was sent for his safety to stay with one of Aksum?s former enemies. When Abreha, ruler of Himyar, allegedly the boy?s protector, catches him in the midst of what appears to be treachery, he sentences him to a fate seemingly worse than death. Not only is Telemakos forbidden to see his beloved younger sister, Athena, but he is also commanded to reproduce the maps that Abreha plans to use in order to invade Aksumite territory. Countries away from his family, lacking any way to tell them what has happened, Telemakos must bring all of his subtle talents to bear in order to regain his freedom. The Empty Kingdom is a stunning conclusion to the Mark of Solomon duology?a triumph of historic suspense.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Vicki Foote
The second book of this duology, set in the sixth century, combines the Arthurian legend with ancient Aksum (Ethiopia) and Himyar (Yemen). It continues the adventures of Telemakos, the half-?British, half-?Aksumite grandson of King Arthur. Because of what is perceived as treachery, Telemakos is being guarded as a prisoner and threatened with death. He is unable to see his beloved younger sister, Athena. He has lost one of his arms in an encounter with a lion. He is unable to tell his family what has happened since they are too far away. He is forced to reproduce maps that his captor, Abreha, plans to use when he invades Aksumite territory. Telemakos learns to plan and use his skills, and as he develops these skills, he is able to solve moral and physical problems. This historic story is unusual and imaginative and is written in excellent prose. Reviewer: Vicki Foote
VOYA
AGERANGE: Ages 11 to 15.

This second volume of the Mark of Solomon duology in Wein's alternate history series picks up two weeks after Lion Hunter (Viking, 2007/VOYA August 2007) left off. Telemakos, son of an Aksumian (Ethiopian) noblewoman and British Medraut (Modred), son of King Artos (Arthur), is still in the palace of Abreha Anbessa, King of Himyar (Yemen). Telemakos and his baby sister, Athena, were sent to safety in Himyar after their family was threatened. Telemakos feels more like a prisoner than a guest, especially because, as a result of his actions at the close of the last book, he is forced to wear a bell-covered bracelet and is confined to the scriptorium. As his season of confinement progresses, Telemakos tries to get coded messages to his family (and through them to the Aksumite Emperor) about the secret plans of Abreha Anbessa. All is not what it seems until the final chapter. Wein deftly continues the stories of her characters in this series that is a mash-up of British Arthurian legend and ancient Ethiopian history. It is the fifth story about Artos's descendants. Fans of the series have likely been chomping at the bit for this since Lion Hunter closed with a pause rather than an ending, leaving Telemakos in peril. They will be amply rewarded with twists and turns and secrets revealed. Readers new to the series might make it through, but should at least begin with Lion Hunter if not Sunbird (Viking, 2004/VOYA April 2004) for maximum enjoyment. Family trees and maps are great reader aids. Reviewer: Timothy Capehart
April 2008 (Vol. 31, No. 1)

KLIATT
AGERANGE: Ages 12 to 18.

This reminds me somewhat of the brilliant series by Megan Whalen Turner that starts with The Thief, about court intrigues in an exotic other world. Elizabeth Wein writes about an Arthurian/Aksumite cycle. Her hero is Telemakos, the grandson of King Arthur himself, trying to survive by his wits and courage as a prisoner in the court of Abreha, who appears to find it necessary to humble Telemakos, but perhaps has need of his brilliance. The most precious person to Telemakos is his little sister Athena, and we met both of them in the first book in this part of the saga, The Lion Hunter. It’s impossible to summarize this challenging story in a brief review. Suffice it to say, it must be purchased where the first book has been read. Clearly, Wein is a unique writer whose work elevates the field of literature for adolescents. Reviewer: Claire Rosser
March 2008 (Vol. 42, No.2)

School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up- In this sequel to The Lion Hunter (Viking, 2007), Telemakos, half-Aksumite grandson of King Arthur, has been accused of treason by the najashi of Himyar, in whose care he has ironically been sent for protection. As punishment, the boy is separated from his beloved younger sister, Athena, and forced to wear a bracelet of bells that announces his presence, so he can no longer explore the palace in hopes of finding the secrets behind the many intrigues that surround him. He is not able to communicate directly with his parents in Aksum, so he must use his wits to outsmart Abreha. Telemakos is an engaging character, a resourceful young man who is forced to make adult decisions that affect his loyalties and future, and the future of his country. Readers unfamiliar with the previous volume may have a hard time sorting out the many names and background, but fans of The Lion Hunter will find more of the danger, plots, and adventure found in that title. Filled with friendships and secrets, trust and treachery, this is a worthy entry in Wein's sophisticated look at ancient Ethiopia.-Beth L. Meister, Pleasant View Elementary School, Franklin, WI

Kirkus Reviews
Wein's precise and powerful prose brings the tale she began in Lion Hunter (2007) to a fitting close. These two titles are also part of an extraordinary series that marries the Arthurian legend in Britain to ancient Aksum (Ethiopia) and Himyar (Yemen). Telemakos is captive to Abreha, ruler of Himyar, as is his small sister Athena. Although only about 14, Telemakos is deeply gifted as a spy, a tracker, a student of the heavens and a trainer of both dog and lion. Abreha keeps him from Athena, even though she is wild and uncontrollable without Telemakos. In the wary dance that Telemakos and Abreha perform, there are wheels within wheels, secrets and lies, but Telemakos is the grandson of Artos of Britain and by the thrilling conclusion comes into his own. Wein's evocation of the desert, of the memory of torture, of the forged bond between a possibly autistic child and her older sibling and of Telemakos's fierce intelligence and cunning, make this extremely riveting. (Fiction. 12+)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670062737
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/17/2008
  • Series: Mark of Solomon Series , #2
  • Pages: 208
  • Age range: 10 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 870L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.78 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Wein

Elizabeth E. Wein lives in Perth, Scotland.
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