Friday, June 15, 2012

Hall of the Dragon King

I am excited to be working my way through "The Dragon King" trilogy by author Stephen Lawhead. I have finished the first book in this fantasy/adventure series called In the Hall of the Dragon King. The story begins with Quentin, a 15 year old temple assistant who has been having strange dreams and witnessing signs that he believes are omens regarding his future. There is alarm in the temple one morning as the priests drag in a wounded knight on the edge of life. The knight had come from a distant land with an urgent message for the queen from her king, when he was attacked and left for dead. Quentin felt an unquenchable calling to leave the temple behind and deliver the message.

King Eskevar of the realm of Mensandor, along with the kings of the adjoining lands, had sailed off with their war hosts to battle a vicious and brutal enemy who was intent on invading their lands and destroying everything in their path. In the absence of the good and wise king, a counsel of regents made up of the lords of the land, had been established to act in the king's stead. However, after several years with no word of Eskevar, the king's brother, Prince Jaspin began to develop his scheme to usurp the crown and take control of the land. As he is merely a feeble shadow of his brother, he enlists the help of the dark and powerful wizard Nimrood.

Quentin delivers the message to Queen Alinea and learns that Eskevar was ambushed and captured by Nimrood on his return from the battlefront. In order to escape Jaspin's clutches, Quentin, Alinea, the wise holy hermit Durwin, and one of the king's knights, set out on a quest to find their king and restore the land. The story follows the arduous adventures and trials of the small band as they use their wits, their heart, their experience, and the leading of the one true God, to overcome the forces of darkness. A good story, with the humble hero Quentin as an interesting protagonist pulled into a role that he could never have imagined. This was Lawhead's first published work of fiction, and it is clear from reading many of his later works, that he really has grown and developed in his craft since this effort. Even though many of the characters are kind of "stock characters", I still very much enjoyed this story. Now, onto the next part of the tale, The Warlords of Nin.