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The Lion Hunter (The Lion Hunters #4)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  266 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
It is the sixth century in Aksum, Africa. Young Telemakos, King Arthur's half-Ethiopian grandson, is still recovering from his ordeal as a government spy in the far desert, trying to learn who was breaking the Emperor?s plague quarantine. Before he is fully himself again, tragedy and menace strike, and he finds himself sent, with his baby sister, Athena, to live with Abreh ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published June 14th 2007 by Viking Juvenile
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Feb 15, 2010 Chachic rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Megan Whalen Turner fans
Reread this for EWein Special Ops:

EWein Special Ops


2011 Review for The Mark of Solomon duology: The Lion Hunter and The Empty Kingdom, originally posted here.

I think we've safely established that I'm a book pusher and there's nothing I enjoy promoting more than under-the-radar books. I am constantly amazed that so many excellent books don't get the attention that they deserve. I reviewed The Sunbird by Elizabeth E. Wein last year, hoping that more people would read her books but I haven't been th
Sherwood Smith
Jun 24, 2009 Sherwood Smith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This is really first half of one story, called The Mark of Solomon. In these days of long books, I really don't know why it was split--readers complained that it wasn't properly ended, and when I was championing the second half for the Norton Award, it was pointed out that the second half didn't stand alone.

Whatever, I just mention that so readers will be sure to have The Empty Kingdom at hand, to read the entire tale.

It ties back to the events of The Sunbird, and matches it in tension and shar
Maureen E
Feb 17, 2010 Maureen E rated it it was amazing
The Lion Hunger and The Empty Kingdom
by Elizabeth Wein

I finished the last word of The Lion Hunter, shrieked (quietly--my roommate was already in bed), and dove into The Empty Kingdom. I stayed up far too late to finish that one, but it was worth it. Telemakos has grown so much over the course of this series and with the new twists I can't wait to see what he does next.

A Sounisian said that Telemakos is kind of like reading The Queen of Attolia from Attolia's point of view. I think that's a r
Mar 16, 2008 elissa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Megan Whelan Turner
Recommended to elissa by: Jonathan got me started on Wein
I loved the first 3 in this loosely connected series, and I finally found this at another library. I'm not too liberal with my 5 stars--just about everything I read seems to hover at 3, 3 1/2, or 4 for me. I just love books and reading! BUT Wein (pronounced Ween, as it says on the back cover flap) is a genius!! I'm amazed by the ferociously loving quality to this book. The characters are all so much people of extremes, which is something that I can definitely relate to, and they're also extremel ...more
Apr 18, 2008 Joy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Megan Whalen Turner's Attolia books
Recommended to Joy by: Sherwood
Shelves: teen, fantasy, american, 21c
Well, those Megan Whalen Turner comparisons seem more apt then ever now. Telemakos is wonderful in this novel, fully come into his own as a character. I love all the undercurrents of love, guilt, anger, and intrigue. There's not much resolution to the story here--no surprise, given that it's part I of a duology--so I'm waiting anxiously for the sequel now. Lucky for me it's just been released and should show up at the library soon.
Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)
OMG I am glad I have the next book sitting here. I understand this was written as one book or some such thing - this is The Mark of Solomon - book one. I will pick up book two when I finish this report. This book actually follows the first three books; The Winter Prince, A Coalition of Lions, and The Sunbird. The first book is very very loosely based on the Arthurian legend but we are way past that in this book - other than this one continues with the story of Medraut's (Mordred of Arthur legend ...more
The Lion Hunter is an amazing and fantastic novel written by Elizabeth Wein. The main character Telemakos, King Arthur's half-Ethiopian grandson, is trying to recover from his ordeal as a government spy in the far desert, trying to learn who was breaking the Emperor's plague quarantine. Before he's fully himself again, tragedy strike's, and he find's himself sent, with his baby sister, Athena, to live with Abreha, ruler of Himyar, longtime enemy of the Aksumites, now perhaps a friend.His aunt G ...more
The 39th book of the 2008 Book Count was The Lion Hunter by Elizabeth Wein. Overall, it was an okay book, with likeable characters and a very interesting setting that is apparently made up, but felt an awful lot like our world, albeit in the 6th century, which I don’t know too much about. Still, I wouldn’t have known that the setting of the book was made up if I hadn’t read the afterword. Wein has taken elements of Arthurian legend and transported them to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian penin ...more
Aug 10, 2008 Jess rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kitri; fans of Elizabeth Wein's earlier books
If I haven't already convinced you to try this series, well, I don't know what to say. It starts with Arthurian legend and jumps off from there into all kinds of travel and political intrigue and personal trials - and some of my favorite, complex characters that I've encountered recently. These characters make mistakes - and are tortured by them - but are still strong and interesting, never whiny. I have one more in the series and I might panic a little when I finish it. Each book - The Winter P ...more
The Lion Hunter is less able to stand alone than the other books of this series: the story ends in a cliffhanger, which goes directly on to the last book, The Empty Kingdom, so beware of that! It does help if you have read the other books, too, but really you just need to know what happens in them, what the main characters did in previous books.

Early in this book, Telemakos is severely wounded, and part of the point of this book is his adjustment to that, his ways of dealing with it, and also hi
Aug 27, 2007 Alex rated it really liked it
The first in a new series, The Lion Hunter follows Telemakos and his younger sister as they leave the comfort of home and travel to the kingdom of San'a. Uniquely set in Northern Africa and Southern Arabia, Wein uses the open landscape, animals, birds, foods, textures and fabrics to great advantage. Telemakos, heir to the throne, learns how treacherous family can be.

Do not start this book unless you have the next one in your backpack.

Otherwise you'll die.

Like me.

Nov 30, 2008 Rosalee rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: sounisians
Recommended to Rosalee by: Sounis
Shelves: belovedbookshelf
I would give it five stars except for the cliffhanger at the end... it just suddenly cuts off, right in the middle of the story... whats with that? But the characters, plotting, etc. was great. Until that cliffhanger, which is really bothering me.
Aug 28, 2007 GraceAnne rated it really liked it
Elizabeth Wein has once again forged a powerful tale that unites ancient Ethiopia with the Arthurian legends, but she makes us wait for Book Two until next year. Telemakos is a compelling character, as is his aunt Goewin, you won't be sorry to be in their company.
Feb 19, 2008 Karin rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, teen
pt.1 of 'mark of solomon' duet. quarantine has been lifted in empire, but intrigue still continues.
telemakos suffers terrible accident at start of book, then is sent with baby sister to stay with uncle in another kingdom where secrets continue to unfold.
total cliff-hanger of an ending.
Sep 19, 2008 June rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Adventure fans
Recommended to June by: Elissa
Continues the story of Telemakos, the half Ethiopian grandson of King Artos, after his sufferings as a spy in Sunbird. Great adventure story.
Mar 15, 2013 Deirdre rated it it was amazing
Definitely, you will like this book if you love Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief series.

Telemakos! You are such a wonderful character -- I love you!!

In fact, I love this book so much I hardly know what to say....

I will say that I was perplexed by one review I read by a fellow Sounisian, comparing Telemakos with Attolia. (I'm sorry -- I don't remember whose review that was...). But the person said that reading this book was a bit like reading QoA from Attolia's point of view. So, so, so.....

Mar 07, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing
Wow! This is an extraordinary series - I'm wavering between a four and a five on this book, because some of what happens to poor little Telemakos (and he is still just a child at the beginning of this series) is so very harsh. But I think it merits five stars because of the depth of characterization and the quality of the writing.

As Deirdre said, worst cliffhanger EVER! But, otherwise, when death threats apparently directed at him arrive at Telemakos's grandfather's house, his family sends him a
Rachel Brown
Jul 23, 2012 Rachel Brown rated it it was amazing
In a land based on ancient Ethiopia, the royal child-spy Telemakos recovers from his horrendous last mission, only to find that the reward of a job well-done is another job.

Here Telemakos copes with both new and old traumas, on a new mission intricately interconnected with his old one. His new baby sister is one of the best-written portrayals of a baby and toddler I’ve ever come across, adorable but not too adorable, a real character even before she learns to speak. The two of them are sent to
Verity Brown
Jan 21, 2015 Verity Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: spy kids

Unlike the first three books in this series, this is not really a stand-alone novel; be prepared to read The Empty Kingdom for the complete story of Telemakos's sojourn in Himyar (modern Yemen).

This book is slow to really get started. The first (and rather depressing) half basically sets up a new phase of Telemakos's life. The real story (which spans two books) doesn't begin until Telemakos and his baby sister are sent to Himyar to protect them from the unknown conspirators (from the failed att
Courtney Schafer
Fourth in the Wein's Lion Hunters series, this one continues the adventures of Telemakos - and right off the bat, Wein displays just how harshly she's willing to treat her characters. A moment of inattention costs Telemakos deeply, and much of the first half of the book deals with the aftermath and his slow and painful recovery. Parts of this felt sluggish to me, but Wein was taking care to set up later events. I also appreciated the portrayal (all too rare in fiction) of Telemakos's mother's ap ...more
Mar 29, 2008 Genevieve rated it really liked it
More my personal notes than a review.

So far, I am not as taken with the Telemakos books as with the previous ones. This book in particular was frustrating for a couple of reasons, among them a) cliffhanger ending! argh!; b) ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny (as it were)--very very upsetting, and did not work for me because it seemed so very arbitrary. There is just no reason for Telemakos to be damaged in the way that he is; normally I like parallels and mirroring, but the convolutions that the
Jan 18, 2013 Anna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Even though this book says it's #1 in the Mark of Solomon series, I suspect you'll be much happier if you ignore that and start at the beginning of the Lion Hunters series. However, even without reading the earlier Lion Hunters books, this one was understandable (especially once I found the family tree in the back.)

This is an Ursula-Leguin-like book. Vivid descriptions of another culture (which the author admits in the end note is partly fictional, but which is supposed to be ancient Africa). Fa
Still Telemakos can't catch a break. There was a lot of set up in this book, but then we got into even more espionage and things got exciting. But still, these characters are still the focus. Telemakos is given even more to consider with the addition of Athena. His story continues fluidly, dramatically and intensely. What I really appreciated was the weaknesses he shows. It's not as if he has just moved on to a new adventure. The plot of the previous one seamlessly fits into this one, and we cle ...more
Nov 29, 2011 Isaac rated it it was amazing
I absolutly loved this book and I am excited to see what happens to Telemakos in the next book the Empty Kingdom. I am however disapointed that this book ended with a cliffhanger. I mean I love books that do that because then you have to read the next one, but sometimes you can't find the next book and then you don't know what happens to the chaacters. I mean it seems that every book that I read it is in a series. Just like the last book that I read which was Wereworld the rise of the wolf. It w ...more
Dec 25, 2015 Lisa rated it liked it
This one didn't work quite as well for me, I think because I struggle with staying interested in characters and plots where someone is stumbling around being a victim the whole time. It just gets a bit boring and tragic, which is not the most enjoyable reading. However, this really read like the first half of a book, so I think the real ending will be in the sequel, and hopefully will redeem the plotline.

That's the trouble with splitting stories into two books, messes up the arc.

Well-written as
Dec 21, 2008 Andi rated it really liked it
Shelves: ls583-ya-lit
Really enjoyed this book and the other ones by Wein. This is the story of a young man in Ethiopia or North Africa around the 6th century. It's a made up world and others have said the story combines Arthurian legends with the mythology of many cultures. Telemakos is sent by his grandfather Arthur, with his little sister, to live with a rival king. Political intrigue and suspense are sharp. His sense of justice and compassion are tested and he grows into his strength in the process. A very entert ...more
Jul 02, 2008 Jenny rated it liked it
Telemakos is still recovering from his spying mission in the desert that has left him afraid of being bound or blindfolded. As he runs to greet his newborn sister, the tame lion Soloman attacks him, eventually costing him an arm. He slowly heals with the comfort of his sister Athena, but threats against him send the two to the kingdom of Hinyar and the guardianship of Abreha, a wily ruler who isn't what he seems, and now Telamakos is trapped.
Jun 19, 2015 Diane rated it it was ok
Shelves: juvenile-lit
Now I'm laughing at myself. I just found out while searching for this book that it is number four in a series. No wonder I felt like I fell into the middle of a story. I did. Not sure if I'll try to start at the beginning or give the series a pass. It did not grab me like Code Name Verity.
Brandy Painter
My review of the whole series can be found here.
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"I have seen many peices of cheese in my life but of all the peices of cheese I have ever seen you are the biggest peice. I hate to waste a peice of stationary on you but I will."

- F Scott Fitzgerald, quoting letter from an annoyed reader
More about Elizabeth Wein...

Other Books in the Series

The Lion Hunters (5 books)
  • The Winter Prince (The Lion Hunters, #1)
  • A Coalition of Lions (The Lion Hunters, #2)
  • The Sunbird (The Lion Hunters, #3)
  • The Empty Kingdom (The Lion Hunters, #5)

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“Wait and hope, as I did while they took your arm off. I held my hand over your heart all through that final morning, so I could warn the surgeon of its faltering."

"Did it falter?"

"Not once. Nor will it falter now. Fly free, my brave one, my sunbird. Take back the sky. Do not be afraid.”
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