|The cover of the new book my family owns|
The Dragon King fantasy series by Stephen Lawhead seems to be lesser known than his other works, perhaps overshadowed by them. In Book 1, titled In the Hall of the Dragon King, we are introduced to a fifteen year old boy named Quentin who is an acolyte in the temple of Arin. His life changes one night when a wounded, dying knight comes to the temple and charges Quentin to deliver an urgent message to the queen. Quentin sets out on the quest to deliver the message and help the enslaved King Eskevar. His adventures lead him to question his religious training and discover the only true God.
The next review (slightly longer) was voted 5 stars on Amazon; it is written by Priscilla Stafford and can be found at this link: http://www.amazon.com/review/R14FF7XCI8UMLF/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R14FF7XCI8UMLF
Stephen R. Lawhead's book, "In the Hall of the Dragon King" is a fantasy novel. The story is set during what seems like the Middle Ages where there are kings and queens, knights and lords, and battles against good and evil.
The cover of the first book I read
Quentin is the main character of the story. In the beginning, he is a fifteen-year-old acolyte to the god Ariel but later becomes a follower of God. He is very headstrong, courageous, and kind. He is always helping others and makes many friends. Durwin the Holy Hermit is the one who teaches Quentin about God. Durwin is a hermit who lives in the woods, healing and helping the sick. He is very helpful and caring and loves to tell others about God. Toli is a Jher, a race of people who live in the woods. He leaves his tribe to be a servant of Quentin. He is not only a servant, but also Quentin's best friend. Toli is a quiet person with a crafty and quick mind. Prince Jaspin is the wicked brother of the Dragon King of Mesandor. He is crafty and mean but also a coward. He plots against the king with the help of Nimrood the Necromancer. Nimrood is an evil magician who calls on the dark side for his powers. He is evil, cruel, and a lunatic for power.
Very late in the night, Quentin awakes suddenly. He hears the priests talking in the temple a goes to find out what happened. A morally wounded knight had stumbled into the temple where Quentin serves as an acolyte to the god Ariel. The knight says his name is Ronsard and that he has a most important message to deliver to Queen Alinea at the city of Askelon. Since because of his injury, he pleads for one of them to send to message. Quentin decides to deliver the message for him. But though that means he can never come back to them temple, he still insists he will go. So one of the priests named Biorkis, tells him to go and on the way ask help from a certain man named Durwin.
Quentin leaves on the knight's horse Balder and sets off for Durwin's cottage. He arrives there and sees not only Durwin there, but also Durwin's friend Heidi. When they hear that Quentin has a message from Ronsard for the queen, they both suddenly get excited. Theido says he will go with Quentin to Askelon. They go to Escalon trying to slip there unnoticed but Prince Jaspin recognizes Theido. You see Theido is really a lord who was made an outlaw by Prince Jaspin! Prince Japan's henchmen catch Theido but Quentin escapes. Quentin takes his message to Queen Alinea. When he delivers the message and the queen reads it, she tells him that Nimrood the Necromancer is holding the Dragon King prisoner. Queen Alinea knows that if they don't free the king, Nimrood and his accomplice, Prince Jaspin, will kill him. The queen then frees Theido, and goes to Durwin's cottage with Quentin and her warder, Trenn. Then, the four of them flee to an ancient city called Dekra, but they find out that Prince Jaspin has put three Harriers on their trail. Harriers are barbarous and savage people who hunt down people and bring them back, dead or alive. Will they be able to make it to Dekra to obtain help to find the king? And even if they do, will they be able to free him from the evil clutches of Nimrood the Necromancer?
Great trilogy, one of my favorites of fantasy novels. It's very exciting and suspenseful, while at the same time it has a Christian moral to it. My favorite part is in the beginning where Quentin tries to give the message to the Queen. Also love it when Quentin and his band try to free the king. Enjoyable for everyone, kids and adults alike though my opinion is it is best for teenagers.
For other fantasy books like "In the Hall of the Dragon King", I recommend the Narnia Chronicles and the Lord of the Rings series. These books are also terrific!
Now for my own opinion:
I personally enjoyed In the Hall of the Dragon King immensely. It was infused with prose left-right-and-center, which is precisely the writing style I love. I cannot get over how beautiful Lawhead's writing is and how magnificently and poetically he describes scenery. If you're one for fantasy that has a touch of a medieval tone, very little romance (there was practically none, and I kind of like that), and expertly manned battle scenes, then you will love In the Hall of the Dragon King.
The only part of the book I didn't take a liking to was the large portions dedicated to sorcery, spells, omens, and teleporting. Once I realized how to decipher the Christian background to the book, I realized that it was an excellent read (it took me a little bit XD). The fact that the mc (Quentin) comes to be a believer in the Almighty One is a highlight of the story. Also, as I'm reading the second book, I'm finding that his faith continues to grow and the people around him are coming to know his Lord as he knows Him. While there have been complaints on Amazon concerning the "Christian" basis of this saga, I personally enjoy the viewpoint and find it very refreshing to read from an author that is talented in prose, mythology, and Biblical matters.
If you wish, you can read the first chapter of In the Hall of the Dragon King at Stephen Lawhead's official site. Just click that link! :-)