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The Empty Kingdom

(The Lion Hunters #5)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  244 ratings  ·  43 reviews
In The Lion Hunter, Telemakos, the half-British, half-Aksumite grandson of King Arthur, was sent for his safety to stay with one of Aksum's former enemies. When Abreha, ruler of Himyar, allegedly the boy's protector, catches him in the midst of what appears to be treachery, he sentences him to a fate seemingly worse than death. Not only is Telemakos forbidden to see his be ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published April 17th 2008 by Viking Juvenile
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  244 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Nov 03, 2011 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sherwood Smith
Jun 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Here's what's said on Amazon, which is succinct and doesn't spoil anything: "in The Lion Hunter, Telemakos—the half-British, half-Aksumite (African) grandson of King Arthur—was sent for his safety to stay with one of Aksum's former enemies. When Abreha, ruler of Himyar, allegedly the boy's protector, catches him in the midst of what appears to be treachery, he sentences him to a fate seemingly worse than death. Not only is Telemakos forbidden to see his beloved younger sister, Athena, but he is ...more
Feb 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Megan Whalen Turner fans
Shelves: favorites
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
Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms) by: Chachic
I raced through this book in a day and evening after the cliff hanger of the previous book, The Lion Hunter. The two books are meant to be read together but they fit with the previous series of three beginning with The Winter Prince. Perhaps they could be read out of order but I would not recommend it. Upon finishing I just sat with a smile on my face when I closed the last page. So many twists and turns and such a beautiful ending that began five books ago with The Winter Prince which is a very ...more
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read2019
Dang this series is good! Why is it not more well known? I had to get this last book used on amazon cause the library didn't even have the final book in the series. They're very fast reads as well, only around 200 pages in each.
The Empty Kingdom is quite a long way away -- in time, in distance, and in the kind of story it is -- from The Winter Prince. Medraut and the Arthurian characters are much less in evidence now, and Telemakos is definitely our hero, and one I enjoy completely independently from his links to the Arthurian story, which is almost unimportant by this point in the story.

Unlike The Winter Prince and The Lion Hunter, this book is less about healing and focuses more on the political intrigue. One thing I
Oct 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Adventure readers
Recommended to June by: Elissa
Continues Telemakos trials as a prisoner in another country's court. Forbidden to see his sister and commanded to reproduce the maps to invade his own country, he must use all his skills to escape.
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This one was just the perfect wrap up to all the ones about Telemekos. The ending was superb! I love how he learns to move so silently with the bells.
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As usual Elizabeth Wein has created another amazing tale in her Lion Hunters Series. For fans of her previous books in the series this will be like a cool drink of water in the desert! While I have been using Library copies to read the series up until now, it was so good I will be buying the whole series!
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellently written and satisfying in tying up threads, but I was a little disappointed in some of the plot choices. Overall though, one of my favorite series. The winter prince remains my favorite.
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Political intrigue and a good wrap-up to the series.
Maureen E
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'
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
OK, GOODREADS -- Why did you eat my review? Well, here we go again.

This book is fantastic -- I loved it, and I'm so glad I finished reading it. I almost didn't. I admit, there was a scene right in the middle of the story that I found so horrific that I had to stop and put the book aside. But after that, the pace picked up and the book came to such a satisfying conclusion -- I can understand those who cried at the end (I didn't but I do understand why someone might -- so beautiful!)

So...I want to
Sarah Wynker
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing

I didn’t think this series would become one of my all time favorite, but it did. The first first is some kind of Arthurian tale, Medraut the son of Morgause being the protagonist. The story was enchanting, disturbing at times and utterly engrossing, mostly due to an amazing cast of characters. Lleu, the Bright One and his twin sister Gorwin, were as amazing as Medraut. I especially have a soft spot for Lleu, how can someone as arrogant and rude as him can also be so
Aug 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This can be read as part of a larger series - The Winter Prince, A Coalition of Lions, The Sunbird, The Lion Hunter, and finally those one - but they can also be read out of order if you can't get your hands on the earlier ones. Do read The Lion Hunter and this one as a pair, because the tensions in this one won't make much sense without that background.

As with the earlier ones, the strengths are really an atmospheric sense of history and setting (rather than a slavish attention to accuracy) an
A fitting conclusion to this series, which I read in three days. Telemakos proves himself again, through even more ordeals and incredible intelligence. But what really got me in this book was the characters. The entire series has really been about families. The plot lines amplify their personalities, but every single characters is so much more complex. Even the tiniest characters, rarely seen, contains considerable depth. It's refreshing. There is no black and white enemy. Even the most horrific ...more
Verity Brown
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: spy kids

This is not a stand-alone novel, but rather the second half of the story that began in The Lion Hunter.

I must admit that, in spite of having predicted a number of the "reveals" that come at the ending of the story, I was disappointed with how they worked out in practice. Perhaps Abreha's behavior toward Telemakos can be excused/explained by his own upbringing, but it is hard to believe that someone who is supposed to be wise and winning enough to have been elected ruler of a foreign nation could
Apr 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, post-arthurian
what a powerful, exquisitely crafted conclusion to the mark of solomon arc. what i find most remarkable about telemakos is not necessarily his growth into a formidable, unforgettable young man so much as the path he takes in the process, all that ferocious courage and fear and unswerving loyalty for those he loves. it is heartbreaking, how he must pay for his experiences with scars. it is also utterly believable, and i would demand nothing less than that in my heroes. i loved too the way in whic ...more
Nastya Gallagher
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Disappointed. The ending was completely unfair to Telemakos, Abreha needed to be exposed for the evil man that he was and get the crud knocked out of him. None if this "We were actually being really nice to you Telemakos, we just couldn't let you know!" stuff. But given that I tore through most of the book like a starving animal, I probably missed half the goodness and would appreciate it more on a second read. All in all, well done Elizabeth Wein, well done.

Courtney Schafer
Fifth in Wein's Lion Hunters series, this novel is a direct continuation of the preceding one. In disgrace and under guard in Himyar, Telemakos nevertheless attempts to continue sending secrets to his aunt, despite knowing the cost if he is found out by Himyar's ruler Abreha. The complicated relationship between Abreha and Telemakos takes center stage here, with Telemakos caught in a tangled mix of fear and betrayal and respect for the king who controls his fate. I will say I saw the resolution ...more
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
A satisfying and well wrought conclusion to the series - though I am still mourning Menelik the lion! The last paragraph reminded me of the ending of "Return of the King"; I had tears in my eyes. Yes, I cry easily at stories, but Wein earns her readers' emotions. Telemakos continues to be a wonderful character. Isolated and afraid, separated from his whole family, and dealing with layers of lies, he matures a great deal in this final volume. Anyone who has read the first part of "The Mark of Sol ...more
Aug 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, ya-childrens
Went a good way toward rectifying the things I didn't like about The Lion Hunter. (Interestingly, however, my little sister felt the opposite.) Telemakos grows up and I like him better that way. I now have high hopes for book 6 to be about Telemakos going to Britain for a family reunion (no doubt I will be disappointed!). I also wonder if there is something of a (tangled, of course) Percival element going on here.
Feb 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Loved way more into the series and now learned about the prequel to this series so I'll have to go and start with The Winter Prince, A Coalition of Lions and then The Sunbird. At the end there were a few major twists and turns that I wasn't expecting and I couldn't put it down. I really enjoyed this series--so different than anything else I've read. Based on life in Old Ethiopia I think I read somewhere. :)
Jan 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
The eminently satisfying sequel to The Lion Hunter. I didn't adore it quite as much as the first book, but it certainly fulfilled the promise set up therein, resolved everything I wanted resolved, and packed an emotional punch. Not to mention the depth of intrigue. Reading this reminds me how much I need to go back and read the first trilogy (Winter Prince, Coalition of Lions, and Sunbird).
Feb 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Megan Whalen Turner
An excellent conclusion to Telemakos's story, though I certainly wouldn't mind following his story in the future. Wein's Ethiopian setting is so richly drawn, and her characters are as compelling -- and complicated -- as her plots. Her stories are a classic example of writing that's so good it's for kids instead of adults.
Sep 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Megan Whelan Turner fans
After reading its companion, The Lion Hunter, I drove 1/2 an hour away to get this at another county's library system. I liked it just slightly less than Lion Hunter, so possibly 4 1/2 stars, but it's still wonderful. I hope that we'll get to read more about Telemakos in the future. I will really miss him! I missed him after The Sunbird, but not nearly this much!
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the middle of this book, I was apprehensive--it was not quite living up to its predecessors, and I was worried the series would end on a flat note. I shouldn't have been concerned. What an ending! Thank you, Elizabeth Wein, for inspiring Megan Whalen Turner, and for your characters, your symbolism, and your craft.
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This entire series was superb. Among my favorite series of all times. Wein has a sharp eye for detail, and her main character Telemekos is as savvy a protagonist I could have asked for. He misses nothing, his struggles became my struggles, and his love, kindness and loyalty won me over from the beginning. A fabulous ending to a fabulous series.
Feb 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief
Shelves: historical, teen
Mark of Solomon bk 2 - continues story of Telemakos as he is exiled then imprisoned in kingdom of Himyar, unable to contact his family in Aksum (ancient Ethiopia). More intrigue and wonderful historical detail. Hope she continues to write about these characters!
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Other books in the series

The Lion Hunters (6 books)
  • The Winter Prince (The Lion Hunters, #1)
  • A Coalition of Lions (The Lion Hunters, #2)
  • The Sunbird (The Lion Hunters, #3)
  • The Lion Hunter (The Lion Hunters, #4)
  • The Lion Hunters Novels: The Winter Prince, A Coalition of Lions, The Sunbird, The Lion Hunter, and The Empty Kingdom

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