Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart, Knights of Arrethtrae Series #3  -     By: Chuck Black
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Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart, Knights of Arrethtrae Series #3

Random House, Inc / 2009 / Paperback

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Product Description

Sir Dalton, a knight in training, seems to have everything going for him. Young, well-liked, and a natural leader, he has earned the respect and admiration of his fellow knights, and especially the beautiful Lady Brynn.

But something is amiss at the training camp. Their new trainer is popular but lacks the passion to inspire them to true service to the King and the Prince. Besides this, the knights are too busy enjoying a season of good times to be concerned with a disturbing report that many of their fellow Knights have mysteriously vanished.

When Sir Dalton is sent on a mission, he encounters strange attacks, especially when he is alone. As his commitment wanes, the attacks grow in intensity until he is captured by Lord Drox, a massive Shadow Warrior. Bruised and beaten, Dalton refuses to submit to evil and initiates a daring escape with only one of two outcomes-life or death. But what will become of the hundreds of knights he'll leave behind? In a kingdom of peril, Dalton thinks he is on his own, but two faithful friends have not abandoned him, and neither has a strange old hermit who seems to know much about the Prince. But can Dalton face the evil Shadow Warrior again and survive?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Random House, Inc
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.19 (inches)
ISBN: 1601421265
ISBN-13: 9781601421265
Availability: In Stock
Ages: 12-16
Series: Knights of Arrethtrae

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Publisher's Description

Sir Dalton, a knight in training, seems to have everything going for him. Young, well-liked, and a natural leader, he has earned the respect and admiration of his fellow knights, and especially the beautiful Lady Brynn.

But something is amiss at the training camp. Their new trainer is popular but lacks the passion to inspire them to true service to the King and the Prince. Besides this, the knights are too busy enjoying a season of good times to be concerned with a disturbing report that many of their fellow Knights have mysteriously vanished.

When Sir Dalton is sent on a mission, he encounters strange attacks, especially when he is alone. As his commitment wanes, the attacks grow in intensity until he is captured by Lord Drox, a massive Shadow Warrior. Bruised and beaten, Dalton refuses to submit to evil and initiates a daring escape with only one of two outcomes–life or death. But what will become of the hundreds of knights he’ll leave behind? In a kingdom of peril, Dalton thinks he is on his own, but two faithful friends have not abandoned him, and neither has a strange old hermit who seems to know much about the Prince. But can Dalton face the evil Shadow Warrior again and survive?

Author Bio

Chuck Black traveled with the Air Force as a communications engineer and F-16 fighter pilot before beginning a career as a product design engineer. Chuck and his wife, Andrea, homeschool their six children and have a family music ministry that travels regionally. He is the author of nine novels, has been published in The Old Schoolhouse e-zine, and has received praise from parents across the country for his unique approach to telling stories with biblical truths. Chuck and his family live in Williston, North Dakota.

ChristianBookPreviews

In Book 3 of The Knights of Arrethtrae series, Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart, Chuck Black explores the realms of doubt in the mind of a follower of Christ. The book's protagonist, Sir Dalton, struggles against the forces of evil and doubt in his quest to serve as a knight. The reader is drawn into his journey of learning the way of the Prince and ultimately conquering the shadow of doubt in his own heart, at one point referencing James 1:6, "For the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind" (ESV).

Chuck Black writes in an action-filled, kinetically energetic style that fits well with the content of a book full of knights, evil dark lords, sword play, and fair maidens. Sir Dalton interacts with many other characters throughout, and Black runs the risk of leaving them underdeveloped, so that it is hard to become attached before a different, new character will appear on the scene. However, Sir Dalton does develop a strong relationship with Master Sejus, a mentor/teacher figure who brings him back to his feet after a near-fatal injury and teaches him the nuances of sword fighting and being a true knight of the Prince. One especially vivid mountaintop scene appears when the young knight admits his lack of faith and realizes the truth of the cause he is fighting for.

The story opens with a particularly graphic chapter, and then reverts to tell Dalton's history as a younger man in training to become a knight. Once knighted, he experiences his first battle against dark forces and is eventually captured by the dark Lord Drox and thrown into his prison. Dalton barely manages to escape with his life, but is nursed back to health by the mysterious hermit called Master Sejus. It is here that he encounters true training and learns the folly of his own past experiences that diminished the genuine value of the Prince and the Code by which all knights are called to live—an obvious reference to the Bible. Revived, Sir Dalton returns to the prison lair of Lord Drox to confront the forces of evil that used to be his greatest fear, having conquered the doubt in his own heart.

Trying to follow Sir Dalton throughout the tale of his journey is fast-paced but bumpy. The plot meanders through many settings and characters so that the reader is left with a sense that Black hurriedly laid a shaky foundation to pave the way for the rest of the story. Sir Dalton's relationships with other characters are also hurried and unrealistic at times, perhaps with the exception of Mister Sejus, with whom Sir Dalton spends a considerable amount of time. However, Black's attempt to incorporate biblical values into a fictional tale in a medieval setting is admirable, and readers will not be able to avoid the strong Christian overtones that play throughout. In one scene, Sir Dalton wonders, "What should direct the thoughts and actions of a Knight of the Prince?" His answer is, "The Code and the life of the Prince."

Chuck Black's style is well-suited to young and early teen boys who appreciate action and suspense in a book's plot. It is a smart choice for parents who want to instill Christian values in their children and still provide exciting reading material without tapping into the potentially dangerous non-Christian market. However, I had some difficulty following the story and would not go so far as to praise it as complex literature for the more serious-minded reader. – Adam C. Golder, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Endorsements

“With sanctified imagination, Chuck Black transports readers back to the days of chivalry and valor, clashing steel, and noble conflict—but ultimately he transports readers to the eternal triumph of the King who reigns!” — Douglas Bond, author of HOLD FAST In a Broken World, and Guns of the Lion

“Chuck Black is a word crafter who is able to weave Kingdom principles into the fabric of one’s moral imagination. The characters he has created and the passions they exude, will motivate readers to follow their examples, which have now been etched into their awakened conscience.” — Mark Hamby, Founder and President of Cornerstone Family Ministries and Lamplighter Publishing

“Chuck Black is the John Bunyan for our times! Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione is a reminder of the origins of the spiritual warfare we are to fight daily.”— Iaci Flanders, inductive Bible study teacher and homeschool mom

“Not since C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia have any fictional books boosted my faith so much. They make me cry with joy for what the King and the Prince do. They let me see our world through new eyes. I can’t wait to read the Knights of Arrethtrae series and experience more. The King reigns—and His Son!” — Sophia, an avid reader

“I was so caught up in the books I would not do anything but read them. They were amazing…full of action, a little romance, and most of all, a love for the King and His Son. They made me feel as though I was truly traveling with the main character on his noble quest to spread the word of the King and His Son and standing in the middle of the Great Kingdom Across the Sea. I plan on reading the books over and over again. I loved the series so much!” — Ethan, an avid reader

Editorial Reviews

“With sanctified imagination, Chuck Black transports readers back to the days of chivalry and valor, clashing steel, and noble conflict–but ultimately he transports readers to the eternal triumph of the King who reigns!”
– Douglas Bond, author of HOLD FAST In a Broken World, and Guns of the Lion

“Chuck Black is a word crafter who is able to weave Kingdom principles into the fabric of one’s moral imagination. The characters he has created and the passions they exude, will motivate readers to follow their examples, which have now been etched into their awakened conscience.”
– Mark Hamby, Founder and President of Cornerstone Family Ministries and Lamplighter Publishing

“Chuck Black is the John Bunyan for our times! Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione is a reminder of the origins of the spiritual warfare we are to fight daily.”
–Iaci Flanders, inductive Bible study teacher and homeschool mom

“Not since C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia have any fictional books boosted my faith so much. They make me cry with joy for what the King and the Prince do. They let me see our world through new eyes. I can’t wait to read the Knights of Arrethtrae series and experience more. The King reigns–and His Son!”
–Sophia, an avid reader

“I was so caught up in the books I would not do anything but read them. They were amazing…full of action, a little romance, and most of all, a love for the King and His Son. They made me feel as though I was truly traveling with the main character on his noble quest to spread the word of the King and His Son and standing in the middle of the Great Kingdom Across the Sea. I plan on reading the books over and over again. I loved the series so much!”
–Ethan, an avid reader

Product Reviews

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    February 7, 2011
    Heidi Nickel
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    We read this book outloud to our students during library class. They were hooked. Knowing the Word of God, believing it and obeying it, is stressed.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 20, 2010
    Kendall Stauffer
    I have read all of the Kingdom Series and Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione but this book (as far as Spiritual growth) is the best yet. My zeal for God has been fueled to greater heights then ever before. I would strongly suggest this book for anyone who is experiencing doubt or wants to know the "Prince" better. Now I might give it another half star had the story been a tad bit more interesting but I might just be a bit skeptical because it still was a good story. I look forward to reading every single one of these books.Kudos to Chuck Black.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    March 9, 2010
    Stephen Adams
    The Sir Dalton is the best book of the series! When I started reading them, I couln't stop! I loved that they all had a Biblical twist to them. Keep publishing them! The King reigns-and His Son!
  4. Oregon
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    October 14, 2009
    Jill Williamson
    Oregon
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Sir Daltons life is going very well. He is young and handsome, respected among his fellow knights and admired by the beautiful Lady Brynn. But a shadow of doubt grows in his heart. Is that enough to destroy him? The powerful Lord Drox seems to be intent on killing Sir Dalton at all costs. Is there nothing Sir Dalton can do to escape the evil lord? This book was clever. I like the way Chuck Black uses knights and allegory to write deep stories. Having not read the first two books in the series, it took a bit to grasp the storyworld and what the knights were all about. I read this one to my seven-year-old son and he liked it, though it wasnt one of his favorites. Id like to read the other books in the series, especially the next one, as this book left us hanging a bit! Recommended for readers 8 and up who love medieval knights.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 26, 2009
    Roger
    From one of my favorite series! Great for reading aloud with the family. The kids enjoy reading them on their own. They are a great flight of the imagination and full of suspense, action, and drama. On top of being incredible fantasy stories, these books contain very clear allegory which can easily be related back to passages from the Bibleeven by our 8 year old. The series takes you through the whole Bible in only a few characters. Definitely a must-read from age 8 to 80!
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