The Lion Hunter (Mark of Solomon 1)

“It is with unbridled pleasure that readers will return to Wein’s Aksumite empire of the sixth century. Our hero Telemakos is visiting the emperor’s mostly tame lions while awaiting the birth of his sister; when news of her arrival comes, he unwisely runs across the pit, causing the male lion to attack.  His wounds fester in the hearts of his parents as well, estranging them from his infant sister. Telemakos, though a picture of waking resilience, is plagued by nightmares, not of the wounds given him by his beloved lion but by memories of the torture inflicted when he was spying for the emperor and his aunt Goewin, the British ambassador, in the salt mines. When it becomes clear that not all of the traitors in the emperor’s quarantine have been caught and that they are still looking to avenge themselves on the spy, Telemakos is sent to study with his uncle in the royal court of Himyar, where he uncovers a plot that will pit his well-honed talent for espionage against his genuine affection for his new home and his instincts for self-preservation. Telemakos grows more and more likable as his vulnerabilities surface behind his childlike springiness: his devotion to his sister, his desire for a less distant father, and his determination to overcome the residual effects of his imprisonment render him humble and accessible despite the fact that he is clearly exceptional, even kingly, at twelve years of age. After the lion attack shatters the quiet domesticity to which Telemakos has returned after his earlier adventures, Wein keeps the tension quiveringly high even at moments of rest and relative calm; readers sense that Telemakos must never again make the mistake of complacency in the presence of those who are mostly tame, be they lions or men.”

—Karen Coats, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books



  • Shortlisted for the 2008 Andre Norton Award

(Click here to purchase The Lion Hunter as an e-book from Open Road Media)