Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Review: Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart

I've read Book Two in the Knights of Arrethrae series (reviewed here), and the more I read, the more I like Chuck Black's style. He takes Biblical precepts and truths and effectively weaves them into a medieval-style story to make the truths accessible to youth.

Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart, Book Three in the Knights of Arrethrae series, is more of this allegorical storytelling. Sir Dalton, a young and inexperienced knight recently graduated from training camp, finds his skills as a Knight of the Prince challenged. He becomes a captive of the Dark Knight Lucius and finds that being a Knight of the Prince is very different than simply strapping on a sword and fighting evil.

This book is highly entertaining, but it's meant as much more. The discussion questions at the end can be used by parents, youth leaders, teachers or students themselves to examine and discuss Biblical truths about faith in Christ, true friendship and spiritual warfare.

I plan on teaching my own kids with this series. If that's not a testimony to the book, I don't know what is.

Liner Notes:

Sir Dalton, a knight in training, seems to have everything going for him. Young, well-liked, and a natural leader, he has earned the respect and admiration of his fellow knights, and especially the beautiful Lady Brynn.

But something is amiss at the training camp. Their new trainer is popular but lacks the passion to inspire them to true service to the King and the Prince. Besides this, the knights are too busy enjoying a season of good times to be concerned with a disturbing report that many of their fellow Knights have mysteriously vanished.

When Sir Dalton is sent on a mission, he encounters strange attacks, especially when he is alone. As his commitment wanes, the attacks grow in intensity until he is captured by Lord Drox, a massive Shadow Warrior. Bruised and beaten, Dalton refuses to submit to evil and initiates a daring escape with only one of two outcomes–life or death. But what will become of the hundreds of knights he’ll leave behind? In a kingdom of peril, Dalton thinks he is on his own, but two faithful friends have not abandoned him, and neither has a strange old hermit who seems to know much about the Prince. But can Dalton face the evil Shadow Warrior again and survive?

Get it here.

Author Info:

Chuck Black, a former F-16 fighter pilot and tactical communications engineer, is the author of eight novels, including the popular Kingdom series. He has received praise from parents across the country for his unique approach to telling biblical truths. His passion in life is to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and to love his wife, Andrea, and their six children. He lives with his family in North Dakota.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Never the Bride

If you are one of us who cried, "But I'm going to be forty...someday!"

If you ever asked "But why didn't he wanna marry me?"

If you have ever been in love with your best friend--the one who shares all his heartbreaks with you and tells you about the ones he loves...

If you have sat alone at Valentine banquets, church picnics, and Sunday services directed at smug marrieds....

If you have helped most of your friends with "the most important day of her life"...

If you are still searching for your one true love, or even if you've found him after living through any/ALL of the above, then this is the book for you!

Cheryl Mckay and Rene Gutteridge's book, Never the Bride takes a heartwarming look at a not-so-young-anymore woman who is waiting through her thirties, just as she waited through her twenties, for her life to begin. What does she believe it will take?

A man.

More importantly, a husband.

Follow Jessie, as she talks to you like a beloved friend. Experience her daily meanderings and obsessive thoughts of love and finding love. Perhaps take a few lessons from a fictionalized character who embodies a dozen people I myself know!

There is just enough of Jessie left in me that I wondered if I could stand to read a story about wanting to get married if she didn't find love and happiness in the end. For other readers out there who will feel the same way, and I know you're out there, the ending is very satisfying. Just like the man she meets along the way.

Cheryl McKay is the co-author (with Frank Peretti) of the Wild and Wacky, Totally True Bible Stories series, which has sold nearly 200,000 copies, and the screenwriter of the award-winning film The Ultimate Gift. Rene Gutteridge has published thirteen novels including Ghost Writer, My Life as a Doormat, the Boo Series, the Occupational Hazards Series, and the Storm Series. Together, McKay and Gutteridge are the authors of The Ultimate Gift, a novelization based on the feature film and popular book by the same title.