Saturday, April 30, 2011

Review: Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor

#5: Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor  -     
        By: Chuck Black
Sir Quinlan, a man plaqued with self-doubt and an annoying facial twitch, is not the type of man that most people would choose to be a great knight.  Indeed, his first attempt ended in utter failure.  However, he had an important quality that transcends any skill - a loyalty to the Prince and a willingness to give his life in service to him.  (For a more thorough description see the Amazon product description.)  

I'm not a big fan of stories with battles.  I tend to skim the battles to get to the dialogue.  However, I know so many people who love this series of books that I decided to find out what all the fuss was about.  What did I think?  I really liked it.

The author writes in an engaging style and is able to keep the book moving at a fast pace without losing the reader.  The battles are not long and drawn out (thankfully) but actually quite interesting to read.  A fair amount of the story builds on the first four books in the series and the previous series, The Kingdom series.  I had the nagging feeling that I was missing things because I had not read the previous books.  However, my husband had read all of the books and was always willing to fill me in.  (I think it was short sighted for Waterbrook Multnomah to offer this as a review book in their Blogging for Books program.  They should have offered the first book in the series, not the fifth.)

The story is an allegory.  If you flip to the end of the book and read the discussion questions and answers as you go, you will gain a better understanding of the whole story.  The author does a brilliant job of symbolically representing the vice of apathy through the use of ______________.  (Sorry, I can't tell you.  My husband says it is a spoiler.)    The author commentary in the back of the book explains his purpose for the story.

"Apathy is one of the deadliest sins.  The Lord has strong words of warning for believers who fall into a lifestyle of apathetic behavior.  Apathy spreads to others and hinders God's work.  It also destroys the witness of a believer by demonstrating  to the rest of the world that God's people appear to be no different than anyone else.
One might think the cause of apathy is laziness, and that is sometimes true.  But apathy more often results from spiritual blindness and worldly distraction.  One of the most frustrating challenges for a parent, teacher, or pastor is to motivate young people out of apathy and into a vibrant and productive Christian walk.  Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor attempts to accomplish this by showing the contrast between two knights who choose different paths- one of apathy and one of purpose.  There is great reward both here and in heaven for those who choose to live a life of purpose for Jesus Christ.  It is my heart that this book will encourage people of all ages to live such a life."  
The strength of this book lies not in the writing syle, or choice of words, or the original plot.  All of which are quite good.  No, the strength lies in the message that the author is communicating.  A message that we can all relate to.  What distracts me from serving the King?  It is a sobering question.

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I also enjoyed this book. "Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor" really pushed me out of my comfort zone and pulled the curtain back on some of the activities I've included in my life that were unknowingly distracting me away from the Lord.
    I've read all the Chuck Black Kingdom series and Knight series books. I must say, that of all of those books, I'd call this book very influential (in a good way).
    May the Holy Spirit use this book to help other Christians discover anything that the Deceiver might be using to distract them from a more true obedience to and growth in the One we profess to be the Lord of our life.