Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book Review: The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer

The Orphan King (Merlin's Immortals Series #1)
My prayer was to watch you grow into a man and become one of us, one of the Immortals. You will help us destroy the circle of evil.
The oath Thomas gave his mother on her deathbed to one day understand and destroy the evil that forced them into exile now directs his life. Smart and handsome, but young and a bit naive, Thomas escapes from the monastery where he's spent his entire life to accomplish this purpose.
On his journey, he encounters several people who play significant roles in his life: William, an ex-Knight Templar, who becomes a grudging mentor; John, a percocious boy with surprisingly helpful pick-pocket skills; and two mysterious young women, the mute Isabelle and the scarred Katherine. One has captured Thomas' attraction; the other, his heart. Finally, an old man who keeps appearing and disappearing seems to know more about Thomas' purpose than he does, but what exactly does he want? As Thomas draws closer to the first stage in his plan--capture the impregnable castle, Magnus--intrigue entwines around him, and he discovers not everything, nor everyone, is what it seems. And who exactly are the Immortals?
My recent fascination with Camelot, King Arthur, and Merlin caused me to buy this book. While The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer is set after the Age of Camelot, several references to Arthur and Merlin hint that the classic legend will influence this new story, which is legendary in its own right. While the first half of the book felt a little slow to me, the second half flew by. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough (or tap the pages since I got the ebook). It's the kind of book that slowly unwraps layer by layer different aspects of each character and elements of the story that hint at something big beneath the surface that's trembling to break through.
Apparently, some events in The Orphan King appear in Brouwer's books, Magnus and Wings of Dawn, which he released twenty years ago, but he wanted to approach the story with new perspectives. I haven't read the original books, but The Orphan King is great on its own. Swirling with mystery, it's a coming-of-age tale that thrusts you into a time and place that lingers, even after you set the book down.
Genre: Historical Fiction/Adventure/Coming of Age
Ages: 12 and up
Pages: 224 (Paperback), 171 (ebook)
Publication Date: July 2012
Part of a Series: Book 1 (Merlin's Immortals)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

An Update

Okay, so this summer has been way crazier than I thought it was going to be but in a totally good way! I haven't been able to post as many reviews of some fabulous books I've read over the past few months, but don't worry, those will be coming soon as well as a couple more great blog tours. So keep stopping by!

The reason this summer has been so crazy (especially the past month) is because some amazing writing opportunities have landed in my lap. It's been kind of a dry season figuring out some things related to my writing career, but as they say: when it rains, it pours! So here's what's going on:

--I'm self-publishing a children's book! The story was adapted into a ballet this summer and was a great success. The proof for my review is in the mail, and when it's officially published I'll post more information, including the story behind the story. It's been so much fun! Here's a picture of the two main characters, Casper and Vanessa, dancing in one of the scenes --->
Lovely, huh? :-)

--Second, I'm hopefully publishing an e-novella in the next few months! It's a fairytale that's been loads of fun to dive into, and it's just the kind of story that keeps me smiling as I write. ;-) Will share more info when it's closer to being released.

--And, drumroll please...I'm getting published! Officially! *does happy dance* :D Next year, a YA novel of mine will be released. It's a story that's close to my heart and will hopefully bless others. And, again, I will try to share as much information with everyone as soon as I can about this project. I'm just so excited about this opportunity!

So that's what's been going on recently and has consumed much of my time! Please keep stopping by for posts about these new works and, of course, reviews of some great stories!