Sunday, June 8, 2014

Book Review: The Beggar King by Michelle Barker

Book Title: The Beggar King

Author: Michelle Barker

Publish Date: March 15, 2013

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Plot (from Goodreads):  
"Everything has an underside, a part that chooses darkness and likes it. In the young adult fantasy, "The Beggar King," Jordan Elliott discovers that magic has an underside, which is known in the lands of Katir-Cir as the undermagic. He also learns that he has an underside, and it is seductive, dangerous, and ultimately threatens to destroy him.

A political coup on Jordan's fifteenth birthday brings the disappearance not only of his mother, but also the Cirran leaders, scholars and other palace workers. Brinnian guards have taken them away and imprisoned them at an unknown location. To make matters worse, the time is coming when Jordan must choose a vocation and take his robes, and not a single talent has revealed itself besides a gift for mischief. On his sixteenth birthday he risks everything in a defiant act punishable by hanging. When the guards spot him, he is doomed. Suddenly he hears a voice say, ?The world is merely wallpaper. Step behind it. Take this gift, and save yourself.? Just like that, he can disappear.

Disappearing is an undermagician's skill. But the undermagic ? a dark and old form of sorcery ? was banished from the world of Katir-Cir long ago. How could it have reappeared? The man who has given Jordan this gift calls himself the Beggar King, a figure from the Cirran old tales akin to ?the bogeyman.? No one believes such a person exists. The Beggar King is a sorcerer who seeks someone to help him bring back the full power of the undermagic. Sensing Jordan's weakness, he makes the boy an offer: if Jordan will help him, the sorcerer will share this power with him so that Jordan can find the Cirran prisoners and save his mother. After that, he will be free of it. He reasons there is little harm in using dark means if the end is good. Jordan figures the undermagic will be easy to give up ? until he begins to use it. All at once he has the power to bend the world to his command.

Why I Read this Book: I received this from Goodreads First Reads for free.  This in no way influenced my review.


This book started off slow and was quite boring in the beginning. A little less than half way through, the book picked up pace and it was hard to put down. It is hard to believe that this is Michelle Barker's first book. The book was very well written and her writing style makes it seem like she has been writing books for a while. I cannot wait to read more of her books. The overall theme of the light versus darkness is a nice theme and I am glad how the book panned out. Even though it was not the ending that I had expected, the ending was very good! I am so glad that I was a First Reads winner of a signed copy of this book!


Final Statements

Recommended Reading Age: 13+ for intense action scenes

Overall Rating: 4/5

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