In the Hall of the Dragon King by Stephen R. Lawhead is the first book of The Dragon King trilogy. Quentin, a young acolyte at the temple of Ariel, has spent his whole life growing up inside the temple until one winter night when he is awakened by the temple bell and walks out to find a wounded knight in the entrance hall. The knight's head wound is severe, yet his only thought is to find someone to carry his message to the queen. Leaving the temple, however, means leaving it behind forever and not one of the priests is willing to take up the task. Quentin, moved by the knights pleading, steps forward to volunteer. That decision changes his life forever. He faces many dangers from the scheming Prince Jasper to the evil necromancer Nimrood, but he does not face them alone. With help from Durwin the hermit, Theoin a loyal knight to King Eskebar, and many others Quentin begins an adventure on whose outcome depends the life o the king and the fate of the kingdom.
I absolutely LOVED this book. It is the best piece of fantasy writing I've read in several years. If you like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, then I would recommend given this one a try. There are not many books that I can honestly say grab my attention at the very beginning and hold it the entire time. I will definitely be coming back and rereading this one over and over. As far as age, although in my library this book is listed in the adult section, I would recommend it for ages 12 and up. It does contain elements of paganism (temples to gods, beliefs in omens, etc.) but it also has a nameless god who is said to be the King of kings, which I'm looking forward to learning more about in subsequent books. Definitely a must read for fantasy lovers.