The Hidden Sun by J Lloyd Morgan is an enjoyable story of a woman facing her destiny for being queen with a difficult decision. As the new queen, she is required to enter into an arranged marriage and the person who has been chosen for her leaves her nervous and uncomfortable. Things have been slightly off in his corner of the kingdom for many years but it is unclear what is really happening. She’s worried for her kingdom and worried for her heart. It’s not bad enough that she is supposed to enter into a marriage she does not want but doing so would require her to put aside the love she feels for a man who has proven himself good and true.
It’s an interesting and compelling journey to take with the characters. I enjoyed my time within The Hidden Sun’s pages very much. And bonus: I loved the naming conventions of many characters. Some people might find them a little cheesy but for me they were plain fun.
So, what did I find to grumble about? The editing could have been better; the copy errors were a bit distracting. And, the story was told from many different perspectives. It was sometimes hard to tell whose head I was in and why. I think I would have preferred a few less characters telling the story.
I could easily recognize that this was a first novel. J. Lloyd Morgan is no stranger to good storytelling, but writing a novel was a new venue for him. It does show a little, but I expect a little of that from most new authors. Mostly, I judge a story on its ability to engross me as opposed to whether or not the author has mastered all the rules of the craft. Heck, I can’t place a comma correctly to save my life, so who am I to judge the polish of another storyteller’s craft? It’s a journey for all of us. I’ll definitely be interested to see what comes of the sequel Mr. Morgan is working on.
I actually think that The Hidden Sun’s best quality comes in the form of the moral message woven into the story, mainly: the differences between right and wrong and the long-term consequences of both. While the logical choices of right and wrong may be clear enough, in every situation you’ll find multiple shades of grey that make it hard to see where such choices could lead. Morgan’s approach is to take the stand that wrong choices, even when you feel they have been justified by good reasons, will have far reaching consequences which are rarely good.
The story is engaging and enjoyable, with the added layer of a “moral of the story”, this might be a good choice if you happen to have a teenage child on the verge of life and finding themselves getting a little lost in the mists of life. The truly rebellious element will probably see right through it and recognize the story as an extended lecture. But, those who have a good understanding of the gospel or just find themselves struggling a little will find a great story that lets them see the consequences of someone’s actions from a safe distance. It allows them to look at their own choices with a different perspective.
For this aspect alone, I would recommend The Hidden Sun find a place on your family’s bookshelf. Pick up a copy and see what little messages you can find hidden in it that seem to speak directly to you and your life’s journey.