This first Christian, medieval fantasy, allegory book in the "The Kingdom" series by Chuck Black is published by Multnomah Kidz.
Kingdom's Dawn is written for kids ages 10 to 14. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Leinad's father teaches him how to farm and trains him in the use of the sword. After witnessing his father's murder and then saving his adopted sister from death by the hand of Lucius and his Dark Knights, Leinad realizes that his life's purpose rests with the King of Arrethtrae. He and his sister flee creatures that eat all living things, are saved by the prince and find work at a farm. They enjoy their new life until a farm overseer sells Leinad as a slave to Fairos. His sister eventually becomes a slave, also. Because Leinad teaches Fairos' ranks to be swordsmen, Leinad is raised to power, but when he stops one of Fairos' men from beating an older slave, Leinad is staked in the desert to be eaten by the Moshi Beasts. Leinad escapes the creatures and finds a desert oasis where the the King of Arrethtrae appears and teaches him more about using his sword. In the end, the king knights Leinad and asks him to free the slaves under Fairos. Leinad accepts.
Leinad's father, Peyton, symbolizes Adam. The king makes Peyton caretaker over Arrethtrae. Peyton has two sons, one honors the king and the other doesn't. The latter murders his brother, similar to the Cain and Abel story. Gabrik, one of the king's silent warriors, warns Leinad to tell the people of his town to flee or be destroyed by a wave of life-eating creatures, which mimics the Flood story. When the people don't listen to the king's message through Leinad, only Leinad and his sister survive. Eventually, Leinad finds himself enslaved under Fairos' rule, which has similarities to Moses' story. Leinad grows in Fairos' favor until he moves against one of Fairos' men. Leinad then must live in the desert where he learns more about the king and meets him in a miraculous way. By the end of the book, Leinad knows he must go back and free Fairos' slaves in the name of the king.
The King of Arrethtrae is intimidating yet understanding. He is concerned with each person in the kingdom and is the commander over the war between his forces and those under Lucius. Leinad's father is gentle but firm in his teachings of sword fighting, of loyalty to the king and of building good character. Master Stanton is a farmer who is fair but expects his people to work hard. Fairos abuses his power. He enslaves people to make his castle bigger. Leinad takes responsibility for his sister, Tess, after their father's death.
Lucius and the Dark Knights believe they can beat the King of Arrethtrae.
The book mentions that a character swears; however, it does not specify the word. At a wedding, there is a small reference to drinking, and throughout there are references to sword-fighting and whippings. Leinad feels a warm trickle of blood down his back, and he gets a knee to the back of the head. Leinad cuts a man on his side, which bleeds, and then Leinad runs through the forest, which causes his feet to bleed. A commander plunges his sword into Peyton's torso, however there is no graphic detail about the wound. A swarm of creatures destroy the countryside, eat the people of a town and devour Leinad's horse. The creatures start to chew Leinad's feet. A man is executed for trying to escape Fairos, but no detail is given. In a fight against Fairos, one man receives a sword to the chest, and another is stabbed in the shoulder and screams in pain. Leinad's whipping wounds are described as separating when he moves a certain way. Later, a Moshi Beast, a large squirrel-like creature, arrives in the desert where Leinad is staked to the ground and left for dead. The beast is carnivorous and starts to eat him.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
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