J Lloyd Morgan or “Manly Lord Jog” likes his anagrams. His novel The Hidden Sun is also a play on words, but Morgan doesn’t just play-he also takes risks.
Set in a secondary medieval world, this might seem like a fantasy but it isn’t, there isn’t any magic nor even any fantastical creatures. It might seem like a romance, but it isn’t that either, it really isn’t too lovey-dovey despite relationships, marriage and family being the prime arena of conflict.
It took getting through about the first 50 pages for me to be interested. (author’s note: that’s probably the romantic part of the book)
Morgan is setting up a roller coaster ride. I fully admit to being put off that first 50 pages, BUT then I was blown away.
I love what happened.
The scheming villain is ruthless and it gets the reader concerned, we are thrown into the world where truly terrible things happen-this isn’t a white-washed little fable, people die here.
It made the ongoing story relevant to me.
As has been mentioned by other reviewers, it is a safe clean read.
When it comes to the sequel Morgan is working on, I’ll be very excited to see how he can possibly top the surprises he has thrown at us thus far.
I am a big fan of unique names, so seeing so many of them in this book excited me. Not only were the names unique, however, but the characters themselves all had unique and well defined personalities. You could easily fall in love with the characters, even several of the evil ones.
The plot was always twisting and turning, making certain events very unexpected. I often cried out in protest or surprise while reading it, because of something that had happened with no previous foreshadowing to lead up to the event. I certainly wanted to keep reading to see what might happen next.
The first line of the book, “The sun’s playing hide and seek,” ties the whole story together in a way so that all the characters introduced halfway through the book, and the periods and time that the story skips all make sense and fit right into the plot of the story.
This novel’s mix of fantasy and romance drew me in and kept me in and I can’t wait for the next book to come out.
“The Hidden Sun” is a delicately crafted fairy tale that both adults and young adults will find charming and intriguing. With just the right elements of romance, adventure, suspense and, of course, a happy-ever-after ending, this classicly-told tale is a refreshing change of pace in a world that today is so overwrought with troubles and woe.
As the father of four daughters, J. Lloyd Morgan must have had some special insight to the world he has created in this very special book. It is an enchanting novel guaranteed to please the most finicky princess in the castle, a story for girls, young and old, to enjoy and savor for years to come.
The minute I read the premise of this book, I knew I would like this book. I was able to read this book in almost one sitting. I read it while sitting in a car on the way to a family reunion in Idaho. The funny part was, my kids and my parents were able to hear all of my thoughts and feelings about the book as I went along.
I have to admit, I was really worried while reading the first 100 pages of the book. I kept saying, “No, how can he (The author) let this happen?” I am not going to disclose what I was referring to, because I want you to read the book yourself. Then I shouted out, “Not another one? I am not sure I like this book.” Again, you will have to read the book to understand what I am referring to.
I am happy to say, after page 95, things picked up for me. This now was the kind of book I loved to read. I started connecting with the characters and having empathy for their individual problems. I also was getting more involved with the mystery of Bariwon.
Overall, this book has action, romance, colorful characters and well written villains. The ending of the story was very fulfilling. I am glad that I kept reading. This is one adventure that is well worth the ride.
The very first thing I noticed while reading The Hidden Sun was that J. Lloyd Morgan knows how to draw in his readers. It didn’t take long for me to become emotionally attached to the characters. I was really, really happy with how things turned out. His descriptions allowed me to really feel as if I were in the story itself. I found myself frustrated with Governer Abrecan to the point of wanting to strangle him myself. The “healthy” relationships throughout the book were fulfilling and satisfying, even with all the necessary road bumps. (And we all know that those bumps along the way keep readers reading. )
Another thing that impressed me was Morgan’s talent at developing twists and subplots. Other intricacies in the plot delighted me - I won’t mention them here because I don’t want to spoil any surprises for readers. His imagination caught me off guard - he didn’t re-write popular stories, he created his own.
The parallels found in the book were pretty cool. I’ve always been obsessed with light and darkness. And I was able to relate to the problems in The Hidden Sun because I see them in society around me. I like political books, but I like them best when they’re mixed with other genres. Morgan found a great balance - one that worked really well for me.
I highly recommend this book—pick it up as soon as you can and read it.
Andrea Pearson, author of: The Key of Kilenya
The Hidden Sun by J. Lloyd Morgan is an enjoyable story of a woman facing her destiny for being queen with a difficult decision. As the new queen, she is required to enter into an arranged marriage and the person who has been chosen for her leaves her nervous and uncomfortable. Things have been slightly off in his corner of the kingdom for many years but it is unclear what is really happening. She’s worried for her kingdom and worried for her heart. It’s not bad enough that she is supposed to enter into a marriage she does not want but doing so would require her to put aside the love she feels for a man who has proven himself good and true.
It’s an interesting and compelling journey to take with the characters. I enjoyed my time within The Hidden Sun’s pages very much. And bonus: I loved the naming conventions of many characters. Some people might find them a little cheesy but for me they were plain fun.
I actually think that The Hidden Sun’s best quality comes in the form of the moral message woven into the story, mainly: the differences between right and wrong and the long-term consequences of both. While the logical choices of right and wrong may be clear enough, in every situation you’ll find multiple shades of grey that make it hard to see where such choices could lead. Morgan’s approach is to take the stand that wrong choices, even when you feel they have been justified by good reasons, will have far reaching consequences which are rarely good.
The story is engaging and enjoyable, with the added layer of a “moral of the story”, this might be a good choice if you happen to have a teenage child on the verge of life and finding themselves getting a little lost in the mists of life. Those who have a good understanding of the gospel or just find themselves struggling a little will find a great story that lets them see the consequences of someone’s actions from a safe distance. It allows them to look at their own choices with a different perspective.
For this aspect alone, I would recommend The Hidden Sun find a place on your family’s bookshelf. Pick up a copy and see what little messages you can find hidden in it that seem to speak directly to you and your life’s journey.
Political intrigue and conspiracy abound in the medieval kingdom of Bariwon. At first, because of the medieval setting I guess, I was expecting a fantasy. The Hidden Sun is not a fantasy, but there is plenty of action, intrigue and romance here. Morgan does a great job of creating believable, quirky characters that you can easily fall in love with (or hate entirely, in the case of the villains). I found myself a little disappointed to find that the book was not entirely about Eliana and Rinan, but instead deals with the long-term effects of their choices. My disappointment faded with the great characters and exciting plot, however. The story held my interest all the way through. I loved Morgan’s use of symbolism dealing with rain, clouds, sunshine, light and darkness. The ending was sweet and satisfying.
The Hidden Sun is a good read for all ages, and contains no objectionable material.