In a kingdom where the Old Ways hold fast and a man’s worth lies entirely in his skill with the sword, Conor Mac Nir is a scholar, a musician, and a follower of the forbidden Balian faith: problematic for any man, but disastrous for the son of the king.
When Conor is sent as a hostage to a neighboring kingdom, he never expects to fall in love with the rival king’s sister, Aine. Nor does he suspect his gift with the harp (and Aine’s ability to heal) touches on the realm of magic. Then his clan begins a campaign to eliminate all Balians from the isle of Seare, putting his newfound home in peril and entangling him in a plot for control of the island that has been unfolding since long before his birth.
Only by committing himself to an ancient warrior brotherhood can Conor discover the part he’s meant to play in Seare’s future. But is he willing to sacrifice everything—even the woman he loves—to follow the path his God has laid before him?
This book is very artistically written. The descriptions throughout it are very detailed and readers can easily immerse themselves in Conor’s world. However, I had a difficult time getting into it. I’m not a huge fan of fantasy books, and probably wouldn’t have chosen this one to read except that it was on the Tyndale Summer reading list, so I decided to give it a try.
I did think the book had a very strong message to readers – to follow the call of God. The characters were well-written, and I could easily imagine the settings. There are many great things about this book, but I found myself hard-pressed at times to continue reading it.
Although this was not my favorite book, I think a lot of readers would love it, especially younger readers. If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings or the Narnia series, you would probably love this book. However, it just wasn’t for me. Sometimes it is difficult to find really good books for the teen crowd, and I think this would be a good suggestion for them to try.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.