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Excerpted from The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer Copyright © 2012 by Sigmund Brouwer. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
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Posted July 12, 2012
Review by Jill Williamson
Thomas is planning an escape from the corrupt monastery he grew up in. He has many secrets left for him by his dead mother. But when he sets out to accomplish that which he has been planning for years—to take the castle Magnus—he finds himself in the company of an odd band of companions. Some know things they can’t possibly know. Who to trust? And who are the Immortals?
This book was so cool! I loved it. My kind of story. 1. Medieval. 2. A mystery. 3. Mentions of King Arthur and Merlin. The characters were wonderful. A young orphan, a mysterious knight, a pretty girl, and a pickpocket boy. Who to trust? What is going on? So many questions that all played out to a satisfying conclusion. And at only 224 pages, a really quick read. Highly recommended!
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Posted November 20, 2013
Plot: This was an interesting plot with a lot of mystery and intrigue. The plot is revealed as you read and you are kept in wonder as the story unfolds. But by the end of the book, the plot has been revealed and executed. You are left, however, with questions that are sure to be answered in the rest of the series.
Characters: The character development in this book is very interesting. You start off with no knowledge of any of the characters, but as the story goes on, you learn about the intentions and even some background on some of them. However, you learn still, as you read on that things you thought you learned as truth about some characters, turns out to be falsehood. In some stories, this method of character development would have been confusing, but for this story, it works and it works well.
Themes: I would say that an important theme in this book is finding God. Thomas, who grows up in a monastery, doesn't believe that a loving God could exist in such a cruel world. As his journey progresses, he is faced with people who challenge him to question his beliefs and allow him to look beyond what he thinks and see that the possibility of God is more real than he has believed.
Emotion: This book did lack emotion. There was intrigue and wonder, but there was no emotional connection to the characters or their predicaments.
Overall: This book was a very easy and a very fast read. I was kept engaged by the mystery and wanted to continue to read to see what would happen next. While it is geared toward younger readers, it was enough to satisfy and wasn't too childish.
---I read an ARC of this book. The final published book my differ.---
Posted March 7, 2013
While the story got off to a bit of a slow start for me - there was a lot of background information to include in a shorter novel - about 100 pages in the story began to get really interesting. However, I'm not sure how the author could have given that information (all fairly important) without taking the extra pages to do so.
With intrigue on top of intrigue it can be difficult to tell friend from foe from random person on the street. But this is the situation Thomas finds himself in as he journeys (with a very unexpected group of people) to the city of Magnus, intent on conquering it to rule as his own.
Having studied and developed quite an ingenious plan to take the city, he now just needs to get there in one piece and make sure he trusted the right people. The intrigue was very exciting and I was constantly trying to guess, right along with Thomas, who was truly good and who was out to stop him.
The ending was quite a surprise to me and set the stage for the second book very nicely.
Posted November 30, 2012
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.
Posted November 7, 2012
The Orphan King is a great teen fantasy novel. It chronicles the quest of newly orphaned Thomas to conquer the evil fortress of Magnus and restore it to a kingdom of righteousness. Along the way, Thomas meets a knight named William, a pickpocket named Tiny John, and a mysterious girl named Isabelle.
This book is fun and mysterious. Character development and vocabulary are both good. Though the book concludes well, it is way too short for my taste. However, I will be eagerly awaiting the sequel Fortress of Mist.
I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Posted September 12, 2012
I was really excited to be able to read this first book, I had just finished watching the BBC tv show “merlin” and was looking for a similar story when I requested this book to read and review. That is not what I got. This book is unique, a truely original story with mystery and magic, history and faith interwoven throughout the story.
The story of the orphan king takes a single young man from a hard working life as a monk into an adventure started years earlier by the books and instructions left to him by a woman ( maybe his mother) who brought him there and died leaving him alone in the world.
Thomas attempts to help save a knight from the gallows and gets some help from a stranger with even stronger magic than the few tricks he knows, and not only does he save the knight but a girl and a boy also, and they join him on his journey. But it dosn’t seem like chance to him, and maybe it isn’t. There are threads run through this story, strings being pulled by unseen hands, prearranged meetings and events that are more than chance.
I dont want to give anything away so I’ll keep this review short and sweet, it was a fun book to read, I can’t wait to read the next one in the series, and I think you will enjoy it too.
“I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.
Posted September 8, 2012
The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer book review. Keep your friends close, and you enemies closer.... if you know who is who
This is book one of the Merlin's Immortals. I wish that I could have read them all. I cannot wait for the next one in the series. I have always been a fan of immortals and mythology, and this book gave me both. I read it very quickly and could not put it down.
The story starts at a monastery where a young man named Thomas has just lost the only family he has ever known. He is told that he must fulfill his destiny, and destroy the circle of evil. During his travels he has people help him and give him advice, but he doe not know who to trust. He saves a man from the gallows, and is told to save all people hanging from the gallows that day, because they will help him on his journey. There is a thief, a deaf mute and his original target the knight. Each person he saved helps him on his journey.
However one of them is really his enemy. In fact the knight does not even know if Thomas is the enemy. Their goal is to reach Magnus. When they do, They are in for a big surprise. I was shocked to read the last few chapters. All in all it was a very entertaining book and was fun to read. I will definitely keep this as part of my personal collection so I can reread them when the series is complete.
book 2 is coming out on 2/19/2013... Fortress of Mist: Book 2 in the Merlin's Immortals series
I have also read and recommend the Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer as well!
Posted September 1, 2012
Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers Favorite
I recently had the opportunity to review "The Orphan King: Book 1 – Merlin’s Immortals" by Sigmund Brouwer. I have always been fascinated by the tales of Merlin, Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. While Arthur is not part of this tale and Merlin is only mentioned as a witch of the past, there is most definitely a King and a Knight in this story. In this first book in a new series, Brouwer left a lot of unanswered questions; I am assuming he did this on purpose as a teaser to get us to read the rest of the series. Thomas was raised by a small group of monks. They were entrusted with his safety and care. Rather than fulfill their duty they made him their slave and beat him for the slightest infraction. When Thomas first came to the monks his nurse maid came with him. Unbeknownst to the monks she was actually his mother Sarah. Bravely, she told him about his special destiny. Unfortunately she died when he was young. When the time was right Thomas stood up to the monks and took his leave. A knight, a young pickpocket and a thief were facing the hang man when a Spector appeared to the crowd and demanded their release. Their fates were intertwined with Thomas’s mission to take back Magnus.
"The Orphan King" is an entertaining read. It was fun watching Thomas mature from a naïve and immature childlike man to a mature man with the capability to reason with logic. Thomas is a fantastic character; he certainly comes up with unique ways of dealing with his problems and missions. I was amazed at how he could figure things out, such as the true loyalty of Isabelle. I wanted Katherine to come back to Thomas and hope that we shall see more of both characters in future novels. The pickpocket is a character with a great sense of humor. "The Orphan King" combines action, adventure, suspense, humor and a touch of romance. Brouwer has written this tale with Christian undertones but they never distract from the plot. I think the undertones add depth. This is a great read. I look forward to reading the other books in this series.
Posted August 29, 2012
I love Sigmund Brouwer’s fantasy (Especially the dystopian Broken Angel and Flight of Shadows) so I was really excited to see he had a new series for teens coming out. Actually The Orphan King is a rewritten version of Brouwer’s earlier work for adults, Wings of Dawn, which I’ve read in the past. I liked it then and I like it now. My only complaint is that I didn’t feel that the story ever really got going, (which is probably due to the fact that Orphan King is only a small piece of the story) it felt very serialized. It also felt a little young and to short for a teen audience. I feel it would have been better marketed to a Juvenile audience. But Brouwer is a fantastic writer and I can’t wait to see how this series develops! I’m tempted to go back and reread Wings of Dawn, but my to-read list is kind of astronomical right now so that probably won’t happen… I guess I’ll just have to wait until February 19th when Fortress of Mist comes out to find out what happens to Thomas next!
Posted August 17, 2012
In this story we meet Thomas, an orphan who just turned 18 years old, he
has been on his own since his caregiver Sarah passed. Thomas has been
living like a slave in an abbey all of this time and is waiting for his
chance to to leave. As Thomas adventures out into the world on a secret
mission that he believes he is the only one to know about it, he makes
his way to the kingdom of Mangus with three other people he does not
know, he only knows they are to come with him. The storyline gives the
reader a high adventure of action, chivalry, knights, swordplay and
danger that will keep the pages flying and the reader wanting more.
Sigmund Brouwer writes in such a way that you feel like you are there in
the story witnessing all that is happening around them. As I read this
story I truly felt like part of the adventures. I also enjoyed Sigmund
Brower's way of weaving the Christian theme throughout the story. He
portrays it with Thomas, who begins as a nonbeliever and through his
companions he starts to realize that there can be a God. With this new
series, Sigmund Brouwer has given teens and adults a glimpse into the
superstitious medieval times. He adds just enough easily explained
"magic" to emphasize the mystique of the educated in the
Middle Ages while avoiding turning this into yet another "sword and
sorcery" fantasy novel that reads like a dozen others. The Orphan
King has a unique plot filled with mystery and questions that leave the
reader begging for more. I can’t wait for Book Two: Fortress of Mist,
coming out in February 2013. I received this novel for free from
Waterbrook Multnomah Press in exchange for an honest review.
Posted August 14, 2012
This book has me confuse if it a fantasy book or something else. With that in mind, I have enjoy this book if it one. Though I think it hit some mystery as well.
The orphan in this book is named Thomas. He is determined to fulfill his mother deathbed wish. We learn that his nurse is his mother. Though he to want to protect from the evil. This books take us on his jouney to Magnus Along the way he takes rescue some people. Though He first asked to Release the knight along with pickpocket boy and mute and deaf girl. As they travel Tomas tell the knight some things that he plans to do but not all is revel. He tell the knight about what he want to conquered of Magnus. There are three others that have secrets as well as he.
Does Thomas conquer Magnus or not that you will need to read an find out. Also to find out the other three names of one on his journey you need to read. I dislike giving away surprise and ending. This is a Fantasy and Mystery book in set a Medieval England.
Posted August 12, 2012
Thomas. Is he an Immortal or has he been won over by the Druids since he was set off on his own when his mother, pretending to be his nurse maid, had died all those years ago when he was not yet a teen?
Neither side of the most important night in the history of the fight between good and evil could know. But neither could risk allowing anything to happen to him until that night or the prophetic fulfillment would not reveal the promise.
Thomas. His story is yet a twist on the age old boy comes of age, anointed to save the ages. The twists and turns of this story are death defying, roller coaster highs and bottom cave dwelling lows - they don't let you go even for a moment. You have to go all the way with Thomas.
Only to find out, just like Thomas, that you probably had the answers all the time. Except - you only have the answers to this valley experience. And just as soon as it's over - it's time to for the next valley.
Author Sigmund Brouwer leaves us waiting, dangling, wondering - what's in the next valley? What is the next test for the Orphan King, Thomas? What will God reveal to him, now the he has acknowledged that the God he has been so angry with is really there, listening, waiting, for him?
Posted August 10, 2012
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. 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 leaves the monastery on an important quest to fulfill his calling and bring light into the mysterious world of the Druids.
This book is packed with adventure and intrigue. Each chapter brings a new twist and adds just enough information to allow the reader to discover what is going on right alongside Thomas. The Christian theme is masterfully woven into the plot, revealing itself more through Thomas's doubts than through any great displays of faith.
This book heralds as Christian fiction, but there was very little of God in the book. Still, it fit in well with the storyline. Thomas does not believe in God, and it's not until the end that his views are challenged and he is forced to reconsider. The foreshadowing is that there will be more about his journey of faith as the series unfolds, which just added the anticipation for the next book.
The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer is a tale about noble knights, ancient secrets, mysterious castles, evil conspiracy, love, and the destiny of one young man that will change everything. I was disappointed with the story. In the beginning of the book, I felt like I had jumped in the middle and I had missed the whole back story. I found it hard to really get into the book. I pressed through and about half way in I was able to make sense of the book. The overall storyline is good and enjoyable and would recommend this book for teens and young adults.
I received this EBook from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in their Blogging for Books program for my review.
Posted August 4, 2012
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.
I could not really get into this book. While reading this novel, I felt that everything was squished together. It did not go into elaborate detail on anything. It merely mentioned something and continued on with the story. It didn’t give the reader a chance to really dive into the pages of the book. It felt in a sense quite flat and vague to me. Although it jumped from one thing to the next, it was still slow paced.
The story felt more like an ongoing synopsis, in a sense; rather than an actual story. Most of the topics that were covered within the novel felt rushed and skimmed over, like the author barely scraped the surface. Upon reaching the end of the novel, the reader is still left somewhat blind about different aspects of the story that the author neglected to cover as well as he should have, in my opinion. The characters were decent, especially considering the length of the book.
Overall the book was okay, but I would not recommend it.
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Posted February 17, 2013
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Posted August 11, 2013
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