cover image The Orphan King

The Orphan King

Sigmund Brouwer. WaterBrook, $7.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-4000-7154-8

In the year 1312, the 18-year-old orphan Thomas finds the courage to leave the abbey where he has been kept in servitude since the death of his mother. Next he saves from hanging a former Templar knight, a girl who appears to be deaf and mute, and a young pickpocket named Tiny John. They join forces to make an unlikely group journeying toward the kingdom of Magnus, which had once belonged to Thomas' family. Following a slow start with broadly villainous monks, the action gallops along, made subtle and propelled by disguises, duplicity, and secrets aplenty. Faith elements are likewise subtle and well-knit in the story. Thomas makes a clever youthful hero, learning as he goes. Those reeled in by this start to the Merlin's Immortals series by Brouwer (The Last Disciple) will find it hard to wait for the follow-up. Ages 12-up. (July 10)