Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Orphan King

by Sigmund Brouwer

Water Brook Press

It is 1312 AD and all Thomas knows about his past history is that he was raised for the first ten years of his life by a woman named Sarah. When a fever took her too soon from him, he was placed in a tiny monastery and cared for by four greedy monks. Not one to question his lot in life, he clings to the stories of the Immortals his nursemaid passed down to him and practices all the things she taught him. The library she has knowledge of and shares with him, and all the wonderful powers he can have with the simple study of herbs and powders. Chafing under the injustice of the monks who were supposed to be his guardians, he holds back all his studying and tends to the endless task of the garden for their gluttonous bellies.

On the night of his planned escape, things go wrong. Forced to reveal his knowledge of their wrong deeds, he barely escapes the monastery with all he needs to make is journey. His destination is the castle of Magnus; a formidable, unconquerable and legendary place of evil. To become king of such a fortress it must be taken from another; but Thomas has a clever plan to make it his. Among his companions there is the knight he recused from the gallows, a beautiful, silent girl and a young pickpocket sentenced to hang for his crimes. Sure of his destiny, he is completely unprepared for the challenges he is about to face. Will the mysterious knight be able to make Thomas the great king he is supposed to be? Or is destiny ever truly enough?

While I enjoy watching films from the medieval time period, I cannot say I've ever enjoyed reading about this time period. So coming into this novel, I was hoping to be at least mildly entertained at best. But I discovered instead an author who does more than entertain and amuse; he actually takes you to the time and place of the story. I am now staunch supporter of the mystical/fantasy/medieval genre, and I highly recommend this book for anyone.

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