Today I'd like to share a few thoughts on my friend, J Lloyd Morgan's book, The Hidden Sun. This was an interesting, delightful read in many ways. The characters are fun, endearing, intriguing, calculating, and despicable as needed to provide many surprising twists and turns.
The story takes place in a kingdom called Bariwon. The Hidden Sun is the first of a trilogy featuring the Bariwon Chronicles. Book 2 and 3 are titled The Waxing Moon and The Zealous Star respectively. They are already published, so if you fall in love with The Hidden Sun, there is no waiting to see how the Bariwon Chronicles end, always a plus for readers.
As well as the main characters, I fell in love with the kingdom of Bariwon itself. Bariwon is governed by ancient rules established in the kingdom's infancy called the Tome of Laws. A book created by many founding fathers AND mothers of the kingdom hoping that as Bariwon's royalty and common citizens follow the rules in the Tome of Laws, all in the kingdom could live together peacefully. I really liked the angle that women's opinions were respected as much as the men's.
Bariwon has some unique laws dictating how the kingdom changes hands. Instead of a king leading the kingdom until he dies, then his firstborn son taking over, the kingdom switches hands every time the firstborn heir of the reigning king or queen turns twenty-one. The firstborn son or daughter marries soon after their twenty first birthday, and the reigning king and queen become advisers to the new king and queen. This ensures that changes can be made if the reigning royalty are failing to put the good of the people before their own desires.
Of course, those royalty who do not have the best interests of the people in mind play whatever cards they have to ensure they stay in power for as long as possible and try to up the odds that the future king and queen will continue their traditions, but the theory is that every twenty-two years or so, new management can take over and guide the kingdom the way they want.
Because I enjoyed the kingdom of Bariwon, I used the name Bariwon (with J Lloyd Morgan's permission) as a heroic character defending the downtrodden in a chapter in my new book: Being West Is Best. (Kindle edition to be available soon). The name seemed perfect to me.
I still need to read the next two books, but they are on my list.
When Monique Bucheger isn’t writing, you can find her playing taxi driver to one or more of her 12 children, plotting her next novel, scrapbooking, or being the “Mamarazzi” at any number of child-oriented events. Even though she realizes there will never be enough hours in any given day, Monique tries very hard to enjoy the journey that is her life. She shares it with a terrific husband, her dozen children, an adorable granddaughter, a son-in-law, three cats, and many real and imaginary friends. She is the author of several books and plans to write many more.