The Sword of Telemon

The Orfeo Saga Book 1

Young Adult - Coming of Age
235 Pages
Reviewed on 02/27/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

When I was younger I was a psychiatrist as well as a rug collector and dealer. I traveled to the East to learn more about carpets and the people who made them. I was exposed to cultures that preserved much from their past.
I developed an interest in how and why states form. I wanted to write books that explored the characters of people who created civilizations. I wanted to come to grips with what makes leaders tick. I suppose this comes back to my training as a psychiatrist.
The Orfeo series is designed for audiences young adult and up. Unlike some modern books set in the "heroic age" they have little sex and violence. I hope they convey the spirit of the Bronze Age and not our age!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite

The empty feeling of not belonging to a group is timeless, as Orfeo demonstrates clearly in The Sword of Telemon: The Orfeo Saga Book 1 by Murray Lee Eiland, Jr. Born as the second son of King Kiros, Orfeo was sent to the foreign city of Pylos as a hostage when he was roughly 5 or 6 years old to guarantee peace for his nomadic tribe. While in Pylos, Orfeo studied alongside the prince with a renowned scholar and that knowledge would prove quite useful many years later. After escaping Pylos and returning to the hillsides and sheep of his Achian heritage, Orfeo is not accepted by the people who now view him suspiciously. When his older brother and heir to the king, Herron, is captured and feared enslaved by the Therans, Orfeo is among the group that will attempt a rescue. Instead of simply minding sheep, Orfeo is now responsible for learning to fight with a sword and use his cunning to face and survive many adventures. From an isolated teenage boy, Orfeo turns into a wise young man who uses his many talents to help his people defeat a tireless enemy. Will he learn enough to succeed?

The Sword of Telemon: The Orfeo Saga Book 1 by Murray Lee Eiland, Jr. provides an amazing look at ancient Greek life from roughly 1,600 years ago. Against this historic backdrop, the story of Orfeo is compelling. The characters come alive and the thoughtful emotion Eiland fills them with truly lets you feel as though you are toiling along with them. The action is intense and really gives you an idea about ancient beliefs, many of which are still with us today, such as loyalty, personal choice, responsibility, and duty to others. This book is amazing and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to read it. The strong characters and realistic emotions truly provide lessons about assuming responsibility and looking at the different aspects of every issue. The Sword of Telemon offers a great look at ancient history as well as the modern quest for a sense of purpose and belonging.

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

Murray Lee Eiland Jr. takes you back to the days of antiquity in The Sword of Telemon. As a child, Ofreo was given as a hostage to the King of Pylos. With this decision, Ofreo’s father, King Kiros of Achia, hoped to keep the peace between the two civilizations. At the age of fifteen, Ofreo escapes and returns to Achia, only to be treated as a stranger by his people and family. Shunned as an outcast, Ofreo finds solace as a shepherd. One day while he is tending the goats, the village is raided. His brother Herron, heir to the throne is taken. Ofreo becomes one of a band of four to rescue and return Herron. This would be no easy task. War is brewing across the land. The Therans are a cruel, yet orderly people. These islanders desire to conquer the world. Obstacle after obstacle, “complexities beyond imagination” impede the quest of the four liberators. But Ofreo never strays from his mission. He will survive and he will rescue Herron, no matter the cost. With his determination as a guide, this adventure transforms a boy into a warrior.

The Sword of Telemon by Murray Lee Eiland Jr. portrays the coming of age of its main character. The narrative transpires during the portion of history when life was perilous and the gods dictated mankind’s thoughts and ways. A time when loyalty was revered and betrayal was severely punished - king and country ruled. No one dared to question authority. Eiland’s protagonist is young and earnest. However, these admirable traits are not enough to make him acceptable among his peers. Therefore, the author places him in the midst of a unique supporting cast of characters. Each character and the events of the journey shape the evolving character of Ofreo. His childhood imprisonment could have created a victim, but instead it paved the way for a victor. The youthful nature of the hero is transformed by war, adversity and internal personal conflict. Although Ofreo is at war with the Therans, he also wars within himself. As a man without a home, he battles who he is and questions his purpose. Through Ofreo’s character, the survival theme of the story erupts. Much like the volcano on Thera, the plot action explodes, resulting in a tidal wave of action that, by the end, leaves little to chance. The resolve to overcome life’s tragedies constructs the pathway toward destiny.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Ancient Greece, long before it became what has been classified as the Classical Era, was a complex world of tribal wars and unsettled peace. Orfeo, the second son of an Achaean king, makes his mark and places himself in a world where legends are made. Sent out to rescue Herron, his captured older brother and heir to the throne, Orfeo, once a slave himself, projects himself to great heights, maturing as an accomplished warrior, diplomat, learned scholar and entertainer.

The adventures of Orfeo take him on lengthy journeys, extensive battles and to the very militant and isolated island nation of Thera, where he meets his biggest challenge, the temptation of a beautiful princess. It is in recognizing her true nature, embedded in the selfishness of her people, that Orfeo finds himself and his true course. He realizes that Clarice, his companion and fellow conspirator, is more desirable as a lifetime partner and, with this profound enlightenment, he stumbles upon his brother, now a galley slave, injured and with a deep, angry hatred for his younger brother.

Murray Lee Eiland Jr has written a riveting tale based on the Greek legends of the great leader, Orfeo. The Sword of Telemon: The Orfeo Saga Book One is an historic adventure set in the early days of Greek history. It is also a coming-of-age story as it traces the growing maturity of a young man, Orfeo, who was once, as a child, sold into slavery. The author has a real knack for making history come alive as the characters are infused with great elements of humanity, both good and bad. The various settings are clearly described so the reader feels a part of the story. The plot moves at a compelling pace and the reader feels driven to follow along with both interest and intrigue. A great read. Well done.