Aug 9, 2010

Book Review - The Hidden Sun

The Hidden Sun
~By J. Lloyd Morgan

Genre: Medieval
Pages: 328
Release Date: May 1, 2010
Content: Nothing offensive


Back Cover:
The kingdom of Bariwon is at a crossroads. Ever since Eliana was born, she has been primed to become the kingdom's leader. But she is not to rule Bariwon alone. A contest of sorts, called the Shoginoc, is to be held when Eliana turns twenty one. The victor gains the right to marry Eliana and become king of Bariwon. Rumor has it that the favorite to win the Shoginoc is Daimh, son of malevolent Governor Abrecan. However, Eliana has fallen in love with her personal guardian, Rinan. She is torn between renouncing her title to be with the man she loves or marrying to keep the kingdom out of the hands of those who would rule it unjustly. A plan is hatched to keep her in power while allowing her to marry Rinan, but little does she know the impact this deception will have on everyone in Bariwon for years to come.

About the Author:
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 has lived all over the United States, but now resides in North Carolina with his wife and four daughters. He is currently working on a sequel to The Hidden Sun.

Author's Website:

My Review: I'd like to get the unpleasantries out of the way first. Then I'll move on to the parts I liked and loved.

First of all, I think this book could have benefited from a professional editor. As a writer, I found myself wanting to reach for my little red pen to mark the missed words, mistakes in spelling and places where the point of view of the characters switched back and forth in the same scene--sometimes the same paragraph. Although a little annoying, I was able to look past them and move through the story.

The other thing that I found distracting was the use of strange names. Although very creative and sometimes beautiful, I found that trying to pronounce most of them drew me out of the story and was, at times, frustrating. It wasn't until I was about 3/4 of the way through the book that I went to the author's blog and discovered he actually has a key on how to pronounce the names. Go HERE to take a look. If you choose to read this book, which you should, go there first. Very helpful.

Now that I have that out of the way, I have to tell you that this was a very enjoyable read. I loved the way the author weaved the events together in little snippets, giving me a full view of the story through different character's eyes. I loved and hated the characters, which is a good thing. Each was portrayed in such a way that it brought those love/hate feelings out about them and made me either cheer for them or want them destroyed. I do have to admit, however, that when certain characters were killed off in the book, I was not happy. I wanted them to find happiness and live the life they hoped for. But as the story progressed I realized that their deaths were necessary in order for the bad guys to get what they deserved and for the real "happily ever after" ending to materialize. It isn't often that the ending of a book brings tears to my eyes, but this one did.

All in all, this was a great read and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good medieval tale. J. Lloyd Morgan is an excellent story teller with a vivid imagination. The twists and turns woven within the story kept me wanting more, especially toward the end when I could NOT put the book down. 

If you're interested in purchasing this novel, click HERE.

Disclaimer: I occasionally receive books for review directly from authors and publishers at no cost to me. This in no way influences my opinion of the book. My review is my honest opinion and has not been swayed by anyone in any way.


  1. Hi,how are you today?I have surfed your blog serveral times, thanks for your information and photos. I will go on to follow your blog. If you have time, you can come to my blog and feel free give me some comment, more important thing is be follower!

    (My blog is

  2. I would like to thank C. K. Bryant for taking the time to read The Hidden Sun and reviewing it on her blog. The fact that she wrote: "All in all, this was a great read and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good medieval tale. J. Lloyd Morgan is an excellent story teller with a vivid imagination. The twists and turns woven within the story kept me wanting more, especially toward the end when I could NOT put the book down," and "It isn't often that the ending of a book brings tears to my eyes, but this one did" leads me to believe there is hope for me as a writer. *smiles*
    Bryant nailed the two points of the book that I'm the least satisfied with. Number one, there are several extra or missing words, some misspellings and various other technical issues throughout the book. Even with several people going over it with a fine tooth comb (apparently there were some gaps in these combs, especially my comb *smiles*), things were missed. Secondly, I have received feedback that some of the names in the book are so odd as to be distracting. It isn't until I direct them to the pronunciation guide that the readers forgive me. I appreciate Bryant including the link to the guide in her blog. My next book will have the pronunciations in the book proper.
    A quick funny point about this: as a first time author, I felt I had the ability to tell a good story, just not the developed skills to do so. When I would re-read the first few chapters, I noticed I had a knack for leaving out words. Why? I wish I knew! However, I took inspiration from this. One of the plot points of the book stems from a seemingly missing word in The Tome of Laws. So, I turned my own weakness into part of the book.
    Overall, I'm glad that Bryant was able to look beyond the blemishes and enjoy the story. I'm most certainly an author in training, so I feel that if I can tell a good story that evokes emotion, then there is hope.
    She also mentioned the other major criticism I've gotten from the book: things happen readers don't expect, and the readers aren't particularly happy when they occur. I even had one reader tell me she was so mad at me that she put the book down for a week and wouldn't touch it after a certain event. However, just like Bryant, she was brave enough to finish it until the end and then understood why.
    Lastly, I would like to thank Bryant for the kind words at the end. When I wrote the final part of the epilogue, I, too, had tears come to my eyes. After all the "trouble" in the book, the ending just felt right.
    I would encourage anyone that has completed The Hidden Sun to go to the "secrets" part of my website. There are quite the number of fun things you may have missed along the way.
    Once again, thank you C. K. Bryant for your honesty and time in reviewing The Hidden Sun.

  3. Christine's review and Morgan's comments really stir the mind! Can't wait to read the book!

  4. Jason, you are very welcome. Thanks for asking me to read and review your book. It was an honor.

  5. Great review. I get suspicious when there are nothing but glowing words about a book. I like to know what to expect when I read the book, and Chris has provided this for me. I feel I can trust her as a reviewer.

    And, the weak points mentioned would not keep me from reading and enjoying the book, which I'm looking forward to doing.

  6. Christine, great review! I know it takes courage to be frank and honest, but what more can we ask for? You'd be one of the first to trust because of your courage!


  7. Christine,

    Great review. As Jason's friend and a reviewer of the proof that went to the publisher for final corrections, I do need to say something that Jason wouldn't say because he is to kind.

    When we went through it, my daughter and I found a lot of the errors that are still in the book. We sent the list to him and he forwarded the list of corrections on to the publisher. So, as you may imagine, when I got my autographed copy of the book and read it again, I expected to see all the corrections. When I didn't, I was, to say the least, flabbergasted, and then kind of upset. The publisher didn't correct any of the mistakes that we found.

    Fortunately, as you have so eloquently pointed out, the story itself is good enough to carry reader's beyond the editorial blemishes. I loved the book myself. The first time I read it, I couldn't put it down. I felt the same way you did at the end.

    Thanks again for the great review!