The Orphan King

Written by Sigmund Brouwer
Review by Sue Asher

Orphaned at 10 and raised by monks, Thomas is 18 when he realizes the time has come for him to honor his mother’s deathbed wish. He must return to the fortress kingdom of Magnus and claim his destiny. But secret forces, good and evil, have been awaiting his coming of age. As Thomas sets out on his quest, he gathers an unusual army of supporters: a condemned knight, a beautiful deaf and mute girl, and a young pickpocket. But can he trust them?

The Orphan King is the first book in a series entitled Merlin’s Immortals. Set in the early 1300s, the novel mixes factual names and places with a fictional kingdom and conflict. The Druids and Immortals are fighting an epic battle, but in this installment they form only a mysterious background for Thomas’s quest. Although the adventure entertains and the interaction between Thomas and his comrades provides depth, this is very much an introduction to a series. At the end, rather than feeling eager to read book 2, I felt that I’d read a book that was incomplete. Fans of historical fantasy (ages 12+) who enjoy committing to a series may find the adventure in this tale outweighs the abrupt ending.