Title: Kingdom’s Dawn
Author: Chuck Black
Series: Kingdom, book 1
Major Themes: Biblical Allegory, Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Synopsis: Leinad always thought he was just a common farmer’s son…but when the King calls him to help Him in a plan to save Arrethtrae, will he rise to the challenge?
I’ve always thought that for such an exciting series, Kingdom’s Dawn has a slow start. Once gotten into, however, I usually expect to stay up late to finish the story. I’ve always been a fan of allegories—Pilgrim’s Progress being my favorite by far—but now Chuck Black’s stories fall a close second on the scale.
Leinad’s father has trained him in the art of the sword since he was a young boy, even though they live like common farmers. When tragedy strikes and his father is brutally murdered, Leinad realizes his calling is bigger than that of a farmer’s son. The King personally commissions him to help in His plan of saving the kingdom of Arrethtrae. People refuse to listen to a sixteen-year-old, however, and he wonders if the job that has been entrusted to him will ever be completed.
After being sold into slavery, and his expertise in the sword is found, Leinad becomes a sword trainer for the palace guards. But when the time comes for him to try to free the slaves, he is sent out to the desert, where ferocious beasts are ready to eat anyone alive that they come across. Has the King forgotten His people? Does He no longer care? Will the slaves never be freed?
Kingdom’s Dawn, book one out of six in the Kingdom series, covers a timespan in Biblical terms roughly from the flood through Moses’ flight out of Egypt. It’s a fascinating portrayal of Biblical truths, interwoven with exciting sword fights and thought-provoking allegories. Although slow for the first few chapters, Kingdom’s Dawn shows us that the Lord can and is trustworthy, no matter what happens—even if the night is completely black. This series is especially suited for teenage boys, because of the content.
WARNING: Swear is used in ch. 3, 5, 10 (three times), and 14. Curse or a variant is used in ch. 6 and 12. Blasted is used in ch. 9. There is lying in ch. 3 and 12. Someone recounts a knife being held to a woman’s throat, and many people killed, in ch. 3. In ch. 4, there is a sword fight, a man is badly injured, and a character witnesses someone being killed. In ch. 6, there is a description of a plague killing people (this may be somewhat frightening for young readers). In ch. 8, someone is sold as a slave. There is another sword fight in ch. 10, and someone is injured. A battle is briefly described in ch. 11. In ch. 12, someone is badly whipped, a man is punched, and someone is choked. In ch. 13, someone is left to die at the hands of carnivorous animals (this would be frightening to younger readers).
Reading Independently—Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above