Monday, July 16, 2012

Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer

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. How you, Thomas, must help us destroy the circle of evil."

The last words of his dying mother would completely change the life of young Thomas. Raised behind monastery walls, he know nothing of his mysterious past or fulfilling his 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. Determined to defeat these mysterious enemies, Thomas leaves the monastery on an important quest.

He 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 who may not be all she seems. From the solitary life of an orphan, Thomas now finds himself tangled in the roots of both camaraderie and betrayal.

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

I have read most of Sigmund Brouwer's books, and I have enjoyed almost all of them immensely. However, the Orphan King fell flat for me and did not meet the expectations I have for a Sigmund Brouwer novel. The plot line was interesting, but I did not like the pace, nor the way the author revealed unknown information. The book was too short at only 200 pages, so the storyline felt as if it was crammed into a very short space. There were also times when the story moved too slow, and there were also important aspects of the story that were skimmed over. The novel almost felt as if it squished together and watered down to make it a young adult novel, and the worth of the story suffered as a result. There were parts of the storyline that I enjoyed, but as a whole the plot did not flow well. At the end of the novel there were still many aspects of the plotline that were still in the dark, which left me confused about many of the connections the author was trying to make. While a few strings left untied to be solved in a sequel is a good thing, I felt like I was tangled in a mess of strings.

The characters were decently developed, considering the length of the novel. Most of the characters were left in shadow and mystery even at the end, so I still had little information about them. Thomas was the only character with any real development. The rest of the supporting characters were static and one dimensional. I hope that the next book in the Merlin's Immortals series reveals more about these characters.

Overall, Orphan King was only an alright book. The plot was interesting but confusing and too short to explain anything. The characters had very little to no development. I will read the next book in Merlin's Immortals series in order to clear up the mess the first one left, but only for that. If anyone is interested in reading a novel by Sigmund Brouwer, this is not the first one I would recommend. The Sam Keaton: Legends of Laramie and the Nick Barrett Mystery series are both excellent series that Sigmund Brouwer has written.

I received this novel for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Press in exchange for an honest review.

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