Book Review: Martyr’s Fire

21 Oct

407562_w185Will this dangerous quest lead the outcast Orphan King toward an ancient secret—or to certain destruction?

Posing as a beggar, Thomas escapes Magnus after fifteen men, who are calling themselves the Priests of the Holy Grail, arrive and take control of the castle through wondrous acts and apparent miracles. With the help of his longtime friend Gervaise, Thomas sets out on a journey that leads him to the ancient Holy Land. Unaware that Katherine and Hawkwood are watching over him, Thomas is tested in his beliefs and comes face to face with the ancient power that the Merlins and Druids have long been searching for.
Enter the world of Merlin’s Immortals, where ancient secrets and evil conspiracies take you on a breathless adventure of discovery, intrigue, and hidden knowledge. 

unknown1Sigmund Brouwer is the author of eighteen novels with nearly three million copies in print. His recent novel The Last Disciple was featured in Time magazine and on ABC’s Good Morning America. Sigmund is married to Christian recording artist Cindy Morgan, and they and their two daughters divide their time between homes in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada and Nashville, Tennessee.

My Impressions:

Martyr’s Fire is book 3 in Sigmund Brouwer’s Merlin’s Immortals series. And while I was less than enthusiastic about books 1 and 2, I liked this book very much. It actually changed my reaction to the first two books. (To read my reviews of The Orphan King and Fortress of Mist, click HERE.)

So who should read this book and why?

Written for the young adult audience, I think middle schoolers are the most likely to connect with Brouwer’s series. I gave the first two books to a friend. She said her boys eagerly devoured them. There is plenty of action, mystery, and tricks. The variety of characters — priests, Druids, knights, sailors, and outlaws — will also appeal to this age group. Martyr’s Fire continues the story of young Thomas, a character with more questions than answers. After his successful reclaiming of Magnus, his hold remains tenuous. Danger and threats make him take precautions that limit his contact with the people. Soon, a group of priests claiming to hold the means to bless the people take over the their hearts and force Thomas to be on the run again.

Trust, or the lack of it, seems to be the major theme in Martyr’s Fire. Thomas grew up abused by the monks who raised him; his nurse the only one who cared for him. Answers to past secrets continue to elude him. Now Thomas has Druids and Immortals vying for his allegiance all the while keeping him from the truth of his roots and destiny. Finding it difficult to distinguish between friend and foe, Thomas takes on a solitary quest to find answers that will help him reclaim Magnus once more. Fast-paced, Martyr’s Fire discloses more of just who the Immortal’s are. Characters evolve as well, allowing the reader to connect more fully with them. The legend of Merlin is expanded and is a big draw for the story.

All in all, a good series for middle schoolers who like medieval settings, epic quests and a young character that is easily identified with.


(I received this book from Waterbrook in conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase Martyr’s Fire, click on the image below.

Be sure to check out what others on the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour have to say. Click on the links below.
Red Bissell
Theresa Dunlap
Emma or Audrey Engel
April Erwin
Victor Gentile
Nikole Hahn
Becky Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Rebekah Loper
Jennette Mbewe
Amber McCallister
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Jojo Sutis
Steve Trower
Phyllis Wheeler
Deborah Wilson
Rachel Wyant

14 Responses to “Book Review: Martyr’s Fire”

  1. October 21, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    excellent synopsis. I especially appreciate your comments about who would like the series and why.

    • rbclibrary October 21, 2013 at 11:31 am #

      Thanks for stopping by and your kind words. This series is a reworking of an earlier series by Brouwer. The Merlin connection is what drew me in first.

      • J. L. Mbewe October 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

        Ah, that is interesting to know! I will have to check it out! And I agree, middle grader would love this book. 🙂

  2. Jojo's Corner October 21, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    I agree! This is a great series for middle-grade & up!!!

    • rbclibrary October 21, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by and for participating in the tour.

  3. Shannon McDermott October 21, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    I also had a notably more positive reaction to Book #3 than to #2 and #1. Glad to know I’m not the only one.

    • rbclibrary October 21, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

      I’m glad I wasn’t alone too. I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue with the series, but now I am ready for book 4, 5 . . .

  4. Meagan @ Blooming with Books October 21, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    Interesting review, most of the middle-graders I deal with at my local library wouldn’t pick this up. If it has more than 100 pages they won’t even consider it. Which is so sad because they are so missing out.

    • rbclibrary October 21, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

      I am referring to middle school kids (6th – 8th graders). The ones I know devour Harry Potter and The Hunger Games series. I think this one offers so much better fare than those books. In my opinion ;). But I know what you mean. So many kids and adults just don’t read. Thanks so much for stopping by.

      • Meagan @ Blooming with Books October 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

        Definitely a better reading choice than other fare that is popular. Last week I recommended a book to a 15 year old kid for their book report assignment. The book had 150 pages with 12 point font and pictures throughout. But there was NO way he could read the book in 3 weeks because it had 42 chapters. Ughhh. (If there were any tremors in Wisconsin that registered a 0.5 on the richter scale that was my head hitting the desk. :P)

      • rbclibrary October 24, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

        Love it! Don’t despair though. My daughter, aged 22, never wanted to read in school. Now as a college senior she is devouring books — just not the kind I like. She reads Christian non-fiction and cannot understand why I would pick up a novel. Just glad she is spending what free time she has with great offerings. Thanks again for stopping.

  5. Deborah Wilson October 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Great review!! While I loved the book, I am a little frustrated how Brouwer keeps leaving us hanging! I am too old to fall in the “love” category of this book, but I really enjoyed it and can’t wait for more!

    • rbclibrary October 24, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

      I am wondering just how many books there are. If I was in the target age, I would want them all available before I started the series. Thanks for stoping by!


  1. Martyr’s Fire by Sigmund Brouwer – CSFF Blog Tour, Day 1 | A Christian Worldview of Fiction - October 21, 2013

    […] Bissell √ Beckie Burnham Theresa Dunlap Emma or Audrey Engel April Erwin Victor Gentile Nikole Hahn […]

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