Author: J. Lloyd Morgan
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From Morgan's website:
Eliana and Rinan are in love. However, Eliana is destined to become Queen of Bariwon, obligated to marry the victor of a competition called the Shoginoc while Royal Guardian Rinan, her personal protector, is forbidden to marry until he retires. 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. Aware of his lust for power and the questionable way he has ruled the district of Erd, Eliana and Rinan are convinced the only way to counter Abrecan's influence is for Eliana to become Daimh’s queen. When a plan is devised for Eliana to retain her power, yet still marry Rinan, both she and Rinan see a way they can live up to their individual obligations and still be together. Little do they realize that they are choosing to be part of a deception that will threaten the peace they are so desperately trying to protect.
The Hidden Sun is a gripping tale which counters the lust for power with a longing for love. Author J. Lloyd Morgan weaves deception, devotion, caring and courage into a narrative that will keep you guessing. Its intriguing story line questions the worth of the things valued most in life, while considering the rippling consequences of a single choice.
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. For example, and without revealing too much, I would never have thought up the solution to Eliana's problem with marrying Daimh, nor the resulting consequences. 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!