By Sigmund Brouwer
Doubleday Religious Group 7.99 224 pages
In this introduction to Sigmund Brouwer’s new series, Merlin’s Immortals, readers meet and journey through medieval England with 18-year-old Thomas, who escapes servitude at an abbey filled with hypocritical monks in order to fulfill the destiny he has been prepared for since childhood: the rightful ruler of the kingdom of Magnus. Joined on his quest by a knight, a mysterious beauty, and a child pickpocket – all of whom Thomas saved from the gallows – the group works their way to Magnus, as Thomas picks up plenty of life-lessons and begins to piece together his adult identity. However, both Thomas and the discerning reader soon discover that nothing is as it seems: one must constantly question allegiances, decode messages, and anticipate potential secrets kept from those on all sides of the page. As such, there are times that the storyline becomes confusing because of the deliberate ambiguity, as readers try to sort out which side they are on: Magic vs. Science, Christianity vs. Paganism, Youth vs. Experience, Us vs. Them. However, Brouwer does an excellent job capturing crucial Young Adult themes, particularly those of loneliness, confusion, and status as an outsider, and has established in Thomas an extremely relatable character, one who will surely carry the committed reader through the forthcoming series.
Reviewed By Kaylan Isenberg