With a touch of romance, this action/adventure novel is amazing. A great book for both kids and adults. I had it read within twenty-four hours. I couldn’t put it down. And now my daughter is half-way through and loving it! The author weaves an intricate tale spanning two generations. You are cheering for the characters throughout as they battle the effects of one wicked king in their fight to restore liberty and justice to the people of Bariwon. This book visited my thoughts long after I closed the cover, and I am anxiously awaiting the sequel to this one!
This review has special insight since Angie Lofthouse read both the first and second editions. Her blog can be found here.
Here is what she had to say:
“The Hidden Sun by J. Lloyd Morgan, 2nd edition is a fun medieval adventure, with plenty of intrigue, action, secrets, heroes and romance. This is actually my second time to read and review this book. I reviewed the first edition a little over a year ago. Since then, The Hidden Sun was picked up by my publisher, Walnut Springs, and issued in a shiny new edition, newly edited, with a new cover.
So, what do I think of the second edition? Same great story, wonderful new package! In my first review, my main complaint was a large number of typos that I found distracted me from the story. That issue has been resolved, and without those distractions, I found the story even more fun to read this time around.
I love the way Morgan uses symbolism in the book. His characters are well-developed and easy to love and root for. I found I really cared about what happened to them and to their beloved kingdom of Bariwon. But the story itself is not the only thing to love about this book. I had fun noticing (on my second time through), Morgan’s skillful naming of characters and places. Can you guess the secret of Bariwon and it’s seven districts (Erd, Grenoa, Lewyol, Regne, Lebu, Donigi, and Teviol)? Not to mention such events as the Mortentaun and Shoginoc.
The Hidden Sun is full of surprises. It’s also a good, clean read with no objectionable content. Just the sort of thing I’m looking for!”
This cover is totally worthy of a fantasy novel. There’s the castle and surrounding grounds, plus gold font. It really works.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from The Hidden Sun, but it sucked me in from the very beginning. Like with any fantasy, the names take a bit of getting used to, but there was a nice pronunciation guide in the front of the book. After about 30 pages, I didn’t even stumble over the names anymore.
The corrupt leaders had me fuming throughout the book. This is a novel that really evokes some emotion from the reader. There are so many twists and turns, that I thought I had things figured out, only to be told something else. It was amazing.
J. Lloyd Morgan does not hold anything back in this fantasy novel. You will read about death, love, politics…everything. Even when I wasn’t reading this book, I was thinking about it. I wanted to solve all of the mysteries throughout the book and see the fates of my favorite characters.
I *think* this novel was billed as young adult, but I think it could really work for adults as well.
I am so excited for the sequel, The Waxing Moon. It should be available sometime next year.
Let me start off by stating that the cover fits in perfectly to the setting of the novel and what I imagine places in it to look like. I bet all of you are thinking, “Whats the twist in the story Erika? Are they vampires, werewolves, witches”? The quick answer is no and I know you guys are all shocked. Morgan doesn’t add that element to the novel and I am perfectly fine with that. The lush landscapes that were created held my attention fully.
Eliana was the perfect character in this tale. I would have thought and done many of the things she did in the situations she was placed. Rinian was amazing and I want him all for myself. I mean what is not to like about a hot guardian? Well nothing in Rinians case. The complex relationships and tangled web of politics was incredible. I fully understood their situation, but yet wanted to find some sort of loophole for them.
The Hidden Sun is a gem of a novel that will captivate readers from any age. Morgan adds incredible detail that will transport you to a time long and far from the computer screen you are staring at right now. I can not wait for the next novel which is due out in 2012.
We’ve had the wonderful opportunity of sharing J. Lloyd Morgan’s first novel The Hidden Sun. If we were asked to describe this book in one word we would have to say a breathless “Wow”. His eloquent writing method using multiple character relationships interwoven with riveting action scenes give this novel a unique “one of a kind“ style compared with some of the books being released today. It’s an invigorating change to the “one hero, one villain, one story approach and one we thoroughly enjoyed.
The Hidden Sun subtly grabbed us in what could only be accurately described as a “great big warm bear hug” and enveloped us into a vast array of twists and turns always leaving us suspecting but not quite sure, only to be pleasantly surprised as each relationship unfolded.
And what relationships they are! Portrayed in the “Middle Ages”, we find ourselves taken back to our youth when imaginations ran vivid and wild with visions of “Robin Hood and Maid Marian”. We find ourselves rooting for almost all the characters. Almost you might ask? Well there’s no shortage of “lower morality” incorrigible types who brought out the “revenge is sweet” emotion in us. In the end we found ourselves smiling and crying, laughing and shouting, demanding justice, and dreading the moment when the pages would end as we knew the story would unfortunately come to a close.
We made a pleasant discovery however, by being curious enough to read the prologue to The Waxing Moon. We found that the story from The Hidden Sun seems to continue, to our immense satisfaction, but now we find ourselves in a greater quandary being hopelessly hooked and impatiently awaiting what we are confident will be Mr. Morgan’s next great novel.
Thank you, J. Lloyd Morgan for allowing us to share such a wonderful story. We strongly recommend that everyone add this book to their “must read” list and rush out to get this book. It’s one fantastic read.
Have you ever had one of those books that you picked up and couldn’t put down? Where you were so engrossed in the book that you stayed up all night to read the book in just one sitting? For me, this was that book. It was such an incredible story, that I stayed up until 3am so I could find out what happened!
Eliana, the daughter of the current leader of Bariwon is coming of age where she must marry and must produce and heir. Unfortunately for Eliana, she’s fallen in love with her royal guardian Rinan. Breaking every law, these two try and find a way to be together. Sadly, nothing ever goes the way they planned.
J. Lloyd Morgan has written such amazing characters!! They draw you into the story and keep you wanting more. This story has so many ups, and downs, and twists, and turns that it keeps you on your toes right up until the very last page. I don’t want to give away any details on the story, there are so many small events that are tied that could spoil the whole story for someone.
I can’t wait for the next book by this author: The Waxing Moon. This author has definitely been added to my auto buy list and will have a permanent home on my book shelf! I highly recommend this book, and think that almost anyone who enjoys romance, fantasy and a bit of mystery will love this book.
A faraway kingdom.
A beautiful princess.
A courageous hero.
A ruthless villain.
An impossible choice.
You can see Author J. Lloyd has all the elements for your typical epic novel of true love and political intrigue, but you must read it for all its hooks, twists, turns, and surprises. All I can say is my 17 year old son has been staying up late into the night reading it. Here’s more to whet your appetite…
Eliana and Rinan are in love. However, she is destined to become queen of Bariwon, obligated to marry the victor of a competition called the Shoginoc, while Rinan, her royal guardian, is forbidden to marry. Normally they could renounce their titles to be together, but these are not normal times. Abrecan, the malevolent governor of Erd, is determined to win the Shoginoc, thereby placing his easily manipulated son Daimh on Bariwon’s throne. Can Eliana and Rinan find a way to be together without jeopardizing the peace they are so desperately trying to protect?
About the author:
J. Lloyd Morgan is an award-winning television director.He graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in communications and a minor in English. Morgan resides in North Carolina with his wife and four daughters.
The Hidden Sun is Morgan’s first published novel. For a glimpse at the upcoming sequel, The Waxing Moon, please visit http://www.jlloydmorgan.com/ Once .there, be sure to read the “secrets” behind The Hidden Sun. The third book in the Bariwon series is still rattling around Morgan’s brain, waiting to escape.
“THE HIDDEN SUN is deceptive both in terms of its cover and its content. The cover is pretty typical fare for a fantasy novel involving knights and kingdoms. The book’s synopsis, on the other hand, outlines a story that seems much simpler than it actually is. I was expecting a fantasy novel full of heroes and royalty, a sweeping epic romance set among the background of political intrigue. THE HIDDEN SUN had all that…but it was also so much more. [Authors note: this was intentional. I feel that too often the cover and synopsis give too much of the story away] Author J. Lloyd Morgan twists and turns the plot in so many directions that nothing is ever expected as he takes us on an adventure that reminds me of all the reasons I love this genre best.
THE HIDDEN SUN takes place over a longer period of time than I originally anticipated it would and only the first third of the book goes the way I think it will. Morgan’s characters are endearing from the start. I loved seeing Princess Eliana as a girl with her own phrases and habit of doodling in her books. The opening scene really humanized her and I immediately began to care, even more so as she develops feelings for Rinan, her personal royal guardian. Following the fashion of all forbidden romances, there’s seemingly no way for the two to be together. Eliana will soon be queen of Bariwon and must marry whoever wins the Shoginoc. On top of that, royal guardians aren’t allowed to marry until after they’ve retired. The two hatch a dangerous plan in order to be together, one that will wreak havoc not only in their own lives, but throw the kingdom they’ve sworn to protect in mortal peril.
Morgan has created yet another novel that’s hard for me to talk about without giving away major plot points and spoilers. Bariwon is a kingdom that reminds me of other beloved fantasy realms such as Tamora Pierce’s world of Tortall. I love books and movies featuring knights and kingdoms and competitions of skill. To have all of those things bound up in one novel was a pleasure and I blew right through this novel, never wanting to put it down. There’s so much meaning behind the title alone, more than I initially thought after reading the first couple of chapters. By the novel’s end, I understood it on a deeper level and appreciated it all the more. With the exception of guessing two character-related events, THE HIDDEN SUN kept me guessing, never sure quite what to expect next. I can’t wait to journey back to Bariwon in the future.
A SNEAK PEEK AT WHAT’S TO COME:
As a blog tour participant for THE HIDDEN SUN, Morgan has shared some secrets about what’s ahead regarding Bariwon’s future.
He states that while THE HIDDEN SUN was created as a stand-alone, he got an idea that brought him back to Bariwon. He’ll be releasing a companion novel entitled THE WAXING MOON in 2012. The summary is up on Goodreads now. He’s working on the third companion novel, THE ZEALOUS STAR, now. While each book can be read on its own, THE WAXING MOON takes place four years after THE HIDDEN SUN and revolves around a minor character from that title. The second novel will also set up the events that will occur during THE ZEALOUS STAR. This is similar to the way Shannon Hale’s Bayern novels or Juliet Marillier’s Sevenwaters series are stand-alones focusing on fellow family members or descendants from previous books. THE WAXING MOON will reveal things like why things happened at the end of THE HIDDEN SUN in quite the way they did and continue on into Bariwon’s future.
Morgan will also be releasing a stand-alone novel entitled THE MIRROR OF THE SOUL sometime in 2012.
Finally, once you’ve finished reading THE HIDDEN SUN, Morgan has set up a page on his web site where he reveals writing secrets. How did he come up with names and certain plot points? The page is spoilery, so it’s not recommended for reading before finishing the novel.”
“If I ever pick up a book that involves royalty, it always involves fantasy as well. Any sort of element from fantasy and I’ll be good. But this time the one I picked up was just royalty and politics. And oddly enough, I really enjoyed it. Getting straight to the point here, The Hidden Sun is a story that shows how challenges are met.
The reason I’m getting straight to the point is because it’s what the novel does itself. It gives us these breaks every few paragraphs skipping from one scene to another, reminding me of a television show. [Author’s note: perhaps my writing is influnenced from my TV directing skills?]
The characters were brilliantly written out. They brought out real emotions and care which as a reader I was happy about. His writing was also pretty good. It was easy to read and the way he played with words made it bearable.
Overall the whole book itself was epic and kept me interested enough to want to read what comes next. But I was also surprised at the fact that I fell for this story pretty hard. Not only did I enjoy it like I said above, I wanted more by the end. I wanted to know what happens next with all of the characters. I know that their stories haven’t ended and that there’s so many things that can go wrong. And even though it didn’t have any magic or dragons or wizards or whatever, it still had that magical spark to it. It was magical without the magic.”
This story came as such a wonderful surprise to me. I am fascinated with stories of far away kingdoms, princesses, and knights (or in the case of this book, guardians). Every author who writes about these far away places seems to bring something new to the table and that is most certainly true with J. Lloyd Morgan!
The characters in this book were rich, vibrant, and so full of life. There are so many characters that you are introduced to in a short amount of time but J. Lloyd Morgan does a phenomenal job introducing us to each and every one. With quirky names to match their quirky personality traits, I seemed to recognize every character with ease. I knew Rinan was a strong, protective, kind man. I knew Eliana was vibrant and full of life. I could tell from the very beginning just how sinister Abrecan could be. I was able to understand where all the characters were coming from and that made this super interesting. The awkward characters like Bertram made me laugh quite frequently. The evil characters like Abrecan, easily made my skin crawl. And then there are the lovely characters of Eliana, Rinan, Rayne, and Sunshine. They were such a joy to learn about, I loved meeting each and every one of them.
The story held my interest the whole entire time which is a huge plus! There were action scenes, mystery and romance, basically everything I need in a good book. The author keeps us on top of our toes by switching from character to character. Just when something big and epic is about to be revealed, J. Lloyd Morgan will flip to a different scene. While this would annoy me in many other stories, I found it added so much to The Hidden Sun!
On top of great characters and an interesting plot line, J. Lloyd Morgan did a PHENOMENAL job with his attention to detail. I could picture the characters in my mind. I could see the grand halls and tapestries of the castle. I could imagine the competitions playing out in my head. J. Lloyd Morgan did so well describing everything in his story that it was almost like a mental movie in my head while reading it!
In the end, I am so happy that I was able to read this book. At a first glance, I thought it was something I’d enjoy but I never would have guessed I’d love it this much.Beautiful, enchanting characters, a twisting plot-line and vivid visuals, what is not to love?
I would love to thank J. Lloyd Morgan for allowing me to be a part of his blog tour! This book turned out to be a wonderful read and I can’t wait to see what is next from him!