For my most recent Blogging for Books blog tour, I received two fantasy books: Lady Carliss and the Waters of Moorue by Chuck Black and Raven's Ladder by Jeffrey Overstreet. I read Lady Carliss first. (Confession time: I'm still reading Raven's Ladder, and I'm only about 60 pages in. I have until Friday to post my review ... I may be lacking sleep in the new few days!)
Lady Carliss is the fourth book in Black's The Knights of Arrethtrae series. Marketed as youth/teen fiction, I'd say it's suitable for ages 7 and up, though it would probably be okay for younger children who don't scare easily, as well.
Lady Carliss, a Knight of the Prince, is returning home from a mission when she learns that a friend's family has been taken captive by followers of the Dark Knight. Then her friend Dalton is poisoned by a mysterious lizard-like creature, and Carliss must race against time--both to rescue her friend's family and to find a cure for Dalton.
Black's series is an allegory for Christianity, similar to C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia. However, based on Lady Carliss, I'd guess that these books more closely parallel biblical narrative than Lewis's did. Parents could easily discuss the themes present in this book with their kids and draw out applications to their lives. Black seems to have intended this, based on the author's note at the end and the discussion questions that follow.
I am certain that my 8-year-old self, the girl who read everything she could get her hands on and even used a flashlight under the covers to read late into the night, would absolutely love Lady Carliss. Oh, who am I kidding? My 28-year-old self loves it, too! This is the kind of book you could read with your elementary-aged kids and enjoy just as much as they do.
Besides the previously-mentioned discussion questions, the book also includes sheet music for a song called "Journey to Moorue." I banged it out the best I could, and even in my feeble attempt could tell that it's a hauntingly beautiful piece.
Should you read it? Yes, yes, yes! (And I plan to go back and read the first three books.) You can purchase it here.
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
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