These are books 1 and 2 respectively of the young adult fantasy series Merlin's Immortals. Here's some blurb from The Orphan King:
The future of the Immortals is in the hands of an orphanA mysterious secret castle, Stonehengian druids trying to take over with their weird evil powers, and an orphan escaping a sinister monastery to save the world.... seriously, I live in England, and parts of it are still like that.
My greatest fear was that they would find us and make of us a sacrifice beneath a full moon. Now you, Thomas, must help us destroy the circle of evil.
The last words of a dying woman would change the life of young Thomas. Raised behind monastery walls, he knows nothing of his mysterious past or imminent destiny. But now, in the heart of medieval England, a darkness threatens to strangle truth. An ancient order tightens their ghostly grip on power, creating fear and exiling those who would oppose them. Thomas is determined fulfill his calling and bring light into the mysterious world of the Druids and leaves the monastery on an important quest.
Thomas quickly finds himself in unfamiliar territory, as he must put his faith in unusual companions—a cryptic knight, a child thief, and the beautiful, silent woman whom may not be all she seems. From the solitary life of an orphan, Thomas now finds himself tangled in the roots of both comradery and suspicion.
Can he trust those who would join his battle…or will his fears force him to go on alone?
Epic medieval sword and sorcery type fantasy, though, are not my thing, so my purpose here is to highlight the existence of the series for anyone who's thing it is, and direct you to some reviews and informed discussion, which will be happening at some of these blogs over the next few days:
Gillian Adams Julie Bihn Thomas Fletcher Booher Beckie Burnham Janey DeMeo Theresa Dunlap Victor Gentile Nikole Hahn Jeremy Harder Ryan Heart Janeen Ippolito Becky Jesse Jason Joyner Carol Keen Emileigh Latham Rebekah Loper Shannon McDermott Meagan @ Blooming with Books Megan @ Hardcover Feedback Rebecca LuElla Miller Anna Mittower Eve Nielsen Nathan Reimer James Somers Steve Trower Phyllis Wheeler