A book review for parents
This medieval fantasy and allegory is the fifth book in "The Kingdom" series by Chuck Black and is published by Multnomah, a division of Waterbrook.
Kingdom's Quest is written for kids ages 10 to 14. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Sir Gavinaugh is a knight who used to follow wicked Lucius but was saved by the Prince's sacrifice. Now the Prince has bestowed a quest upon Gavinaugh to carry a message of grace to the ends of the kingdom and to train up more followers of the Prince to defeat the Dark Knight's warriors of evil.
When Gavinaugh discovers Keanna at a slave auction in Santiok, she is bitter and hateful toward him because he killed her parents years before. Over time, Keanna lets go of her hatred for him. Gavinaugh gradually falls in love with Keanna, but he will not act on his love until he is sure that she loves the Prince. After a Shadow Warrior takes Keanna, Gavinaugh fights a fire-breathing dragon to get her back.
Gavinaugh chooses to fight in the Tournament of Lords to honor the Unknown Lord. History holds that no knight fighting for the Unknown Lord has ever made it past the first round, but with the Prince's power, Gavinaugh wins the tournament. He then places a royal robe on Keanna's shoulders
Gavinaugh later gives himself up to the Noble Knights to save a friend's life. The Noble Knights do not want Gavinaugh to be exalted in his death as the Prince had been exalted in His, so they exile Gavinaugh to Namor by way of Captain Dante's ship, the Raven.
The Raven ends up on the Isles of Melogne; the crewmembers fear the Isles are haunted because no one who goes in ever comes out. The natives of the Isles welcome Gavinaugh and explain that Lucius' warrior Lord Malthos has enslaved their people in his fortress. However, the menacing Malthos becomes paralyzed when Gavinaugh speaks the name of the Prince, and Gavinaugh defeats Malthos.
Like the apostle Paul's conversion, Gavin was renewed and renamed Gavinaugh and now lives to serve the Prince. Gavinaugh travels from town to town telling the story of a Prince who died on a tree and rose again to save all men, painting a picture of Christ's sacrifice. On his journey, Gavinaugh continually fights the Noble Knights and Shadow Warriors of the Dark Knight Lucius, who represents Satan. Lucius does not want the Prince's message to be proclaimed or for people to follow the Prince.
When Gavinaugh places the royal robe on Keanna's shoulders, he tells her that everyone who accepts the Prince becomes royalty in the Prince's kingdom, which parallels the rewards Christ's followers will reap in heaven.
Malthos becomes paralyzed when Gavinaugh speaks the name of the Prince, implying that the Devil cowers at the name of Jesus. Gavinaugh defeats Malthos because the Prince's power overcomes wickedness, mirroring Christ's triumph over Satan in Jesus' death and resurrection.
Gavinaugh serves the Prince faithfully and risks his life to spread the Prince's message to the kingdom. Knights fight in the tournament to honor the great lords and to earn nobility. However, Gavinaugh dismounts his horse before the final duel of the tournament, as he believes it is wrong to praise a man other than the Prince.
Other Belief Systems
Shipmates of the Raven believe the Isles of Melogne are haunted. The Tempests are believed to be evil warriors of the sea.
Shadow Warriors and Noble Knights of Lucius often swear in battle, although the words are not mentioned. Sword fighting is described through a series of cuts and slices. In the Tournament of Lords, a knight must kill or physically disable his opponent to advance to the next round. Gavinaugh defeats knight after knight in the tournament but does not kill any of them because he follows the Prince. Gavinaugh and his horse, Triumph, foil a Noble Knight's attempt to hang a man. The Noble Knights beat Gavinaugh brutally and throw him into prison, bruised and bleeding. Captain Dante unlocks Gavinaugh's chains aboard the Raven and says he will slit Gavinaugh's throat with his own sword if he tries to escape. Lord Malthos, who rules over the Isles of Melogne, threatens to cut Gavinaugh's heart out and feed it to the dogs. On one of the Isles of Melogne, a strangler vine grabs Gavinaugh and slashes at him with its prickly tree arms. In the dragon's lair, Keanna thrusts a knife into a Shadow Warrior's back to save Gavinaugh. Gavinaugh then pierces the dragon's heart to save himself and Keanna.
Keanna kisses Gavinaugh's cheek after she discovers the love of the Prince. She kisses him again briefly before the knights take him away to receive treatment for his wounds inflicted by the dragon Tarmuwth.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
- Whom does the Prince represent?
Whom does Gavinaugh represent?
What quest does the Prince give Gavinaugh?
What quest does God give Paul in real life?
- Read Matthew 28:16-20.
What does Jesus tell His disciples to do after He is gone?
Now read Acts 1:6-9.
Where does Jesus tell His disciples to preach the Gospel?
How does this apply to us?
- Why would it have been easier for Gavinaugh to go back to the order of the Noble Knights than to remain a follower of the Prince?
Why doesn't he?
If you were a character in this book, would you be a Noble Knight or a follower of the Prince? Why?
- How does Gavinaugh risk his life for the Prince?
Why does he do that?
What is exciting about the thought that someday you may have to risk your life for the Prince?
What is scary about that thought?
- Where does Gavinaugh find strength during battle?
How does this strength help him?
What kinds of battles do you face each day?
Read Isaiah 40:27-31.
Where should you find strength when you feel weak?
- What challenges made it difficult for Gavinaugh to follow the Prince?
What challenges make it difficult for you to follow Jesus?
How are your paths similar?
How are they different?
What can you learn from Gavinaugh?
Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.