Pen of Mercia is determined not be like his father who quietly submits to the outrages of the King's tax collectors. On the cusp of manhood, Pen learns how to wield a sword so he can defend himself and others.
His world is turned upside down when his father, with only his bare hands, subdues an armed soldier. Secrets surround the lad. His best friend, Liana, is remarkably proficient with the bow and arrow. How did she, a girl, acquire those skills and, more importantly, why? The greatest secret of all is Pen's clandestine meeting with a white deer, a legendary creature who, long ago, chose the kings of Mercia.
Pen finds himself embroiled in a rebellion that could make him king... if he can live long enough.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.62(d)|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The land of Mercia is uneasy. It has been ruled for twenty years by a king, Cearl, who is cruel, caring nothing for his people. Cearl is power-hungry and obsessed by thoughts of those who might try to take his place. For Cearl doesn't possess the one thing that makes a Mercia king legitimate and beloved. He was not chosen by The White Deer, a mythical creature who legend says appears when Mercia needs a new king to choose the man best suited. Pen is a twelve year old boy raised on a farm in the countryside of Mercia. He is drawn to two strange habits. Pen can communicate with all types of animals, both the horses, cattle and sheep on the farm and the wild creatures of the forest. He has even seen the White Deer, although he knows he must keep this a secret. He is also drawn to learn the skills of a soldier, how to use a sword, bow and knife. He is lucky enough to find a skilled teacher in the nearby village, although he hides his lessons from his farmer father. When Cearl learns of Pen's existence, he is determined to eliminate him, as he suspects that Pen may be the next Chosen One. Pen is kidnapped and thrown into Cearl's dungeon after Cearl meets him and decides his suspicions are correct. When Pen is rescued by his father and his friends, it sets up a situation where a battle will determine the fate of Mercia and who will lead it going forward. Robert Sells has written an engaging, rollicking tale of fantasy. The characters are interesting, and the action is brisk enough to move the plot along without dragging. This book is recommended for readers of fantasy.
This book was written so well. I contestant found myself returning to my iPad, to read more and find out where Mercia was headed. This story of a young boy, shrouded in mystery and secrets, as he moves toward a destiny he never could have expected. However, he is drawn to it, made for it and now he'll have to fight for it, whether he's ready or not. The fantasy element of this read was fantastic. It reminded me of a young adult version of George R. R. Martin's eloquent writing. It is woven with detail, excitement and wonder, which draws you in, straight from the prologue. The elements of fantasy he used are fun and exciting, giving each character a place, right down to the animals. The characters were excellent. Each wel created with a lot of thought, giving them detail and personality to really round them out. I loved Pen. Whilst he sometimes struggled, reading along as he comes to terms with life and becoming an adult, really was a journey. He was a sweet lad and often wanted to do right by those he loved, even if it didn't end up right. He has the ability to speak to animals, large and small, giving him a unique soft side. His best mate, though she may be a girl, was created beautifully. We watched as she was there for Pen, throughout, and as she grew into a woman. She was fun to get to know and very easy to relate to. The pace was excellent. There never seemed to be a dull moment. It wasn't forced excitement, it just flowed well and there was always something you were wondering or waiting to see how it would pan out. I liked that and think it will really go down well with most readers, especially young adults. I found the author's style and story to be exceptional. This is the kind of book I picked up and read, completely, without hesitation, as a young adult reader. With the new cover, and placements in libraries, I see this being a book that will be loved by many. It is also a great book to invest in, for young readers to enjoy at home, as it is attention grabbing, and is a book they will be excited to talk to others and parents about. Overall, this book was brilliant, from start to finish. I have added this author to my life of absolute favourites and will be ensuring I get copies of all his books, physical and ebook. I highly recommend giving this book a read, or two. **I received this book for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
It is impossible to believe that this is Robert Sells first published novel. Really. The 'about the author' in the back of the book clearly states "Return of the White Deer is his first public offering". It may be his first but I fervently hope it is not his last! With storytelling skills like his, Robert Sells could soon find himself among such nobility of legend and lore as Marion Zimmer Bradley, Diana Gabaldon and Roger Lancelyn Green (The Adventures of Robin Hood). Oh, I should say - I loved this book! Return of the White Deer has definite similarities to Arthurian legend - a young boy unaware of his fate as he grows up suddenly discovers he is the chosen King but he has to fight for it. But it deviates in ways that give the story it's own character: nuns with the skills of war and healing for instance. There is a bit of Robin Hood thrown in - green men who live in the forest - but they hardly rob from the rich to give to the poor. Robert Sells has managed to give us a book that is familiar enough to be comfortable and different enough to be interesting and exciting. It is 'an offering' that is sure to excite fans of fantasy and legend alike.