The Orphan King, wrote by Sigmund Brouwer is the first book in a new series of Merlin's Immortals. Sigmund has 18 books already under his belt and has been features in Times Magazine and on ABC: Good Morning America.
I can definitely see why people are drawn to his writings. I am not much for Sci-Fyi types of books, even when they have a Christian element mixed in. Normally they are way too farfetched outside of reality for them to keep my attention (Yes, I know that's the purpose), but Sigmund did a marvelous job of keeping this book within a sane scope of reality that could be realistic. The possibility that all that is laid out in the book can/could happen to the characters. It made them human and easy to bond with and get invited into their world. A world of unfamiliar territory, new friends with uncertain motives, mystical elements to kingdoms and characters alike.
The story follows an orphan boy Thomas, who raised in the abbey by relentlessly abusive, greedy monks who are anything but Godly. After pledging a vow to Sara, his nurse maid, on her death bed he makes his escape from the monks to set out on a quest given to him to overtake Magnus and become its king. Thomas though, soon finds himself amongst a group of companions that he is not sure are friend or foe to help him accomplish his quest entering the mysterious world of the Druids in Magnus. , His companions, a boy who likes to steal, a young lady who pretends to be both deaf and mute, and a knight, all help Thomas on his quest to find himself, renew his relationship with God and how to recognize both the good and evil in himself and others.
This book would be excellent for readers 12 and up, as long as you discuss the mixed message of magic and Christianity with them before hand. I did love the lesson given to us in this book: God has a plan for everyone; we just need to be willing to look for it and follow His will in our life and not our own, no matter how rocky the road seems!
I received The Orphan King as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers. My comments and opinions are my own.