Book Thoughts: The Hidden Sun by J. Lloyd Morgan

(**I received this book in exchange for a thoughtful review.)

A faraway kingdom. 

A beautiful princess.

A courageous hero.

A ruthless villain.

An impossible choice.

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? 

The summary drew me in with an interesting plot, but the story itself ended up revolving around characters not focused on in the summary. Although this book does center itself around the two characters introduced on the back cover, I wish the summary had let the reader know that there’s more of a plot than meets the eye.

The Hidden Sun has a prince, a princess and a villain. Sounds very fairytale-ish, right? The writing of this novel also sounds like a fairytale. I could imagine someone reading this novel to me as a little kid. Truthfully, I think the dialogue played a major role in achieving this effect. Although the protagonists change, their language doesn’t. The words that came out of their mouths screamed royalty/justice at me. Weird, but I hope you know what I’m trying to say.

Most of the time, a novel starts in the middle of things. A girl meets a boy that’s already some supernatural creature or a war is going and no one knows about it. This plot begins at the beginning of the whole issue, which I found pretty cool. Instead of getting a background story, the audience actually experiences the whole thing.

I really tried to enjoy this novel, but in the end I didn’t as much as I had hoped. A lot of characters appeared to be exactly the same. They acted the same, believed in the same things, etc. Every person has quirks that make him/her an individual and I couldn’t pick out anything that really set aside one character from another, except for Princess Elian’s saying about the rain. The antagonist, Abrecan, also really, really annoyed me. A strong character is well-rounded; I only read about one side of Abrecan and his greed for power. Every time he showed up in the novel I wanted to hit my head against the wall because he was only focused on that one thing.

The ending, though was nice. It wrapped up repeating themes in the novel and brought everything back to the beginning of the novel. I enjoyed reading The Hidden Sun, but the novel just wasn’t for me. I think if you’re a big fan of Tamora Pierce or Erin Hunter, you should check this book out.


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