Author: Carolyn Ann Aish
Series: The Frencolian Chronicles, book #0/1
Major Themes: Christian Fiction, Kingdom Fantasy
Synopsis: After their parent’s deaths, Luke and Jobyna must determine which side they are on, and whether they’re willing to stand for what’s right.
Years ago, I was telling a friend about my new favorite fantasy series, the Kingdom series by Chuck Black, and she remembered a “Kingdom series” she had read. After her recommendation, I read them—and enjoyed them—and when I perused a friend’s shelves recently, I spotted Treasures again. Since I enjoyed it the first time, I wondered if I would enjoy it now that I’m older. Unfortunately, it didn’t have quite the beautiful ring to it that it used to, but I still found it engaging, and can understand why I liked it when I was younger.
Luke and Jobyna are hiding in a secret valley, trying to stay away from evil King Elliad’s soldiers. While there, they discover a cave full of treasures—and the remains of what had been their king. When Luke goes out for supplies and disappears, Jobyna must find her own way out of trouble. She is captured when she reappears, and through many trials, ends up in Elliad’s hands. Can she keep the faith, even when she is tortured to try to reveal her brother’s whereabouts? And can Luke find trustworthy men to help him, since he is the legal king?
I didn’t enjoy Treasures as much as I remember enjoying it, but it is written for the 12-14-year-old age group. It had a bit more violence in the story than I remembered (see the warnings below), so that could be part of the reason why it took it down a bit for me. I did enjoy the fact that it brought in some parts of the Reformation to the fantasy story; often, medieval fantasy doesn’t have much historical Christian basis at all, but that was here—or, at least, the struggles with trying to preserve God’s Word when the authorities were against that. An interesting story, although I don’t know if I would ever read it again. It’s not one of those books you read and think about for weeks afterward.
WARNING: This isn’t necessarily the most peaceful story ever. I didn’t appreciate that Christians were involved in fighting or killing other people; I don’t believe that is Jesus’ way. Overall, the book isn’t too bad, although it does mention a lot of people who were hurt or killed. If you’re interested in specifics, here they are:
Children discover a dead man in a cave in ch. 1, and they discuss their parents who were killed. They find out the man was poisoned in ch. 2. In ch. 3, the word “swear” is used twice, someone plans to lie, he sees a severed hand, and he gets hurt. In ch. 5, a boy is hurt and that is described, there is a mention of some men who were killed, and someone says, “to repeat such things would mean one’s tongue to be cut out”. In ch. 6, someone’s life is threatened, and we are told some people killed others to escape from prison. In ch. 8, a girl has a horrible nightmare about being tortured. Someone lies in ch. 10, a man talks about his life being threatened, and a girl has a nightmare about someone being killed (fairly graphic). In ch. 11, there is a quick battle and several people die, and there is more lying. In ch. 12, a man threatens a girl and tries to get her to lie, and then injures her (pretty gruesome). In ch. 13, a doctor does bloodletting, and a man commands that some people be killed if they don’t obey. In ch. 15, people discover a man who had died, and a girl is left to starve to death. In ch. 17, a girl discovers another girl no longer has a tongue. In ch. 18, a man lies to get information, finds out a man had threatened a woman’s children if she didn’t comply, and a man vows to kill someone.
Reading Independently—Ages 12 – 15