The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer- A Book Review – CSFF Day Two

Warning: This review may contain spoilers.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review & in conjunction with the CSFF Tour.

Today’s book is The Orphan King (Merlin’s Immortals, Book One).

The Blurb:

The future of the Immortals 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 fulfilling his imminent destiny. But now, in the heart of medieval England, a darkness threatens to strangle the truth. An ancient order tightens their ghostly grip on power, creating fear and exiling those who would oppose them. Determined to bring light into the mysterious world of the Druids, 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 night, 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 suspicion.

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

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the Winds of Light was the first book series that I utterly fell in love with.

I’m excited to see it coming around (again, yes. Besides Winds of Light, this also seen an incarnation as Wings of Dawn.) but am also a little leery.

When something you love has been revised (whether it’s your own work, or a beloved story, like this), it’s always an anxious encounter. You don’t know what’s going to be changed.

There has already been at least one major element I love that was changed, but I’ll go into that in a bit, so that anyone who doesn’t want spoilers can read :).

What I love: The fact that this story has been revived.

Years ago, as Winds of Light, this story was told from Thomas’ point of view. (Just an FYI, I’m typing this up Saturday night after doing yard work all day. I seriously just tried to spell “of” as “ov”. I think I might be tired.)  I see why it was written that way in Winds of Light. It was sold as a children’s story. You don’t confuse children with multiple POVs. Now, we get to see MORE. There’s snippets from the protagonists POV, and from Hawkwood, Katherine’s, and William’s POVs. You have no idea how happy that made me.

I will confess, though. I found a typo in the book. Did anyone else find it too? 😀

What I’m not sure about yet: (This is more a spoiler for Winds of Light and Wings of Dawn than the current incarnation as Merlin’s Immortals.) 

The fact that Thomas knows from the beginning that Sarah is his mother. I can see both sides of the issue, here. In the above mentioned previous works of this same story line, Thomas doesn’t find out until near the end of his & Katherine’s plot wrapping up that the beloved nursemaid he had as a child, and who died of illness, was actually his mother raising him in secret and preparing him for his destiny.

I admit to wondering, even as a young child reading the series, about why Sarah didn’t tell him on her death-bed. But there were numerous speculations that it plausible (especially since nothing was said about her actual death) – she could have been delirious on her death-bed, maybe he wasn’t with her when she died, etc.

It set up a beautiful scene later between him and Katherine in the Holy Land that really punched in my gut and made me care for Thomas so much more.

And now I know there’s no way that scene can even fit in (much later in the plot line). And I’m so very saddened by it.

While I’m hopeful  something has been written in that will still give us that emotional sucker-punch, that scene made me feel so much before that I’m almost dreading seeing how everything changed.

There can still be one redeeming factor for the series, though: If it will include the stories of Thomas’ descendants that made up the last two books of the Winds of Light series (The Jester’s Quest, and Dance of Darkness). I was sorely disappointed when Wings of Dawn ended with the resolution of Thomas’ plot.

Please visit the other blog tour participants:

  Gillian Adams
Julie Bihn
Thomas Fletcher Booher
Beckie Burnham
Janey DeMeo
Theresa Dunlap
Victor Gentile
Nikole Hahn
Jeremy Harder
Ryan Heart
Janeen Ippolito
Becky Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Emileigh Latham
Rebekah Loper
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Megan @ Hardcover Feedback
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Anna Mittower
Eve Nielsen
Nathan Reimer
James Somers
Steve Trower
Phyllis Wheeler