Book Review: The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer


Book Overview:

The only life that 18-year-old Thomas has ever known is one of hard work under the guardianship of four hypocritical monks in a small, seemingly god-forsaken monastery. This all but destroys his faith in a God. His nurse, Sarah, had died when he was 10 but not before she instilled in him the destiny to become the lord of Magnus, an impenetrable fortress ruled with a fist of iron and holding a mysterious secret group.

After escaping the monastery, he befriends a reluctant knight, silent girl, and small pickpocket. This motely group travels to Magnus seeking it’s surrender. But none of them are what they seem. In Magus, they face many obstacles but are finally about to bring Magus to its knees without killing a single person. Thomas becomes its lord, but he has much to learn and many enemies to face. What he does not realize is that now he has placed himself in the midst of an epic battle between the Druid cult and Merlin’s Immortals.

My Thoughts:

This young adult book kept me interested as well as entertained. Even thought I am grown, I still love a good medieval tale. Sigmund Brouwer is a master at spinning not just a good yarn but a yarn that makes you think too. In his pod cast, he discusses how he desires to engage young people in reading and designs books to reach reluctant as well as advanced readers.

Thomas is not a perfect protagonist by any means. Throughout the book he makes mistakes and struggles with the idea of faith in God. Yet, his companion the knight, William, subtly mentors him while he undertakes his quest. Also, Thomas learns that looks can be deceiving. The lovely and alluring, Isabelle, his female companion, turns out to be part of the enemies plot to entrap him. Yet the disfigured, Katherine (who befriends Thomas in Magnus) is willing to defend him and his cause with her life. This book ends with so many questions that will leave the reader desires for the next one in the trilogy.


For those who are interested, you can read chapter one on the Publisher’s website.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."


Book Review: From Blah to Awe by Jenna Lucado Bishop

From Blah to Awe


Book Overview:

This book is written for adolescent girls to help them understand that being a Christian is more than just going to church and youth group or keeping a bunch of rules. It is meant to challenge teenage girls’ faith to light a desire in them to pursue God. Jenna confronts why a person feels bored with God and how to overcome that boredom through:

  • seeing the brokenness of our hearts,
  • stop caring what the world thinks,
  • stop creating God in our own image,
  • stop thinking we are a “know-it-all” about Christianity,
  • actual reading the Bible (and understand what it says),
  • praying (more than just “God give me a nice day and lots of stuff too’”),
  • understanding the gospel (understanding what Christ really did for us),
  • stop focusing on rules and start focusing on Jesus,
  • share God’s love with people,

She retells her testimony of being bored with God as well as also some powerful stories of girls whose faith is anything but boring. It is written in a conversational style with modern references to media and events of today. The book also includes note sections mid chapter for writing down the readers thoughts and reactions.

My Review:

I will admit, it took me a LONG time to read this book (months and months). Why? It’s written in a very conversational, teen-girl style. Great for a teenager, but it drove me insane. Also, I thought it was too long. The book could have been more succinct.  

But overall the content of the book was very good. The problem she presented along with the solution was spot on. This would be a good book to go through with a preteen or teen who felt bored with God and Christianity.

I got this book from Thomas Nelson’s Booksneeze blog program. These opinions are my own.