The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer

 

The Orphan King (Merlin's Immortals, #1)

I wish I would check before I read a “book one” of a series to determine if any other books in the series are published or if I am going to have to wait many years for installment number two to be published. You would think I had learned SOMETHING from J.K Rowling! This is book one (obviously) and Book 2 is not due out for another year or so, by which time I am certain to have forgotten what this book was about or that I was even mildly interested in reading more.
I say “mildly” because I feel in a way as though I was tricked by this book. I believe all books with a religious slant should come with a warning – the way music comes with an “explicit lyric” warning for consumers. Unfortunately there was no such warning on this book and of course I was more than 100 pages in before the whole “why would a loving God allow this to happen” conversation and “preaching” took place.
On one hand I am glad I picked the book up because it turns out the author is a Canadian and I am committed to reviewing  some books by Canadians in the next year, but had I know Brouwer was a well known author of evangelical books I would have passed on this one.
Thomas was raised in a monastery where he was ill treated. His mother (who he was taught never to reveal ans anything but his nursemaid) has taught him to read and write in French and Latin and he has continued to read and learn past her death. Without knowing his full role in fulfilling prophesy and unaware of his allies and enemies he leaves the monastery and begins to follow a path laid out for him by his mother prior to her death.
He is joined in his journey by a pickpocket, a knight and a beautiful deaf and mute girl. One is an ally, one is a spy and Thomas knows nothing about any of them, nor of their role in his life.
All in all the book is a quick read, I finished it in a few hours. People who are less sensitive than I about religion and being preached to may not be offended at all by the religious undertones of the story, but unless you want to wait another year for the second part of this tale I would recommend waiting before picking this book up.

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