I first heard of the "Kingdom Series" by Chuck Black, a homeschooling father, and began noticing it in catalogues back as early as 2004. In Kingdom's Dawn, the first book, Cedric of Chessington tells the story of Leinad beginning when the latter was sixteen years old. For four years, Leinad had been trained in swordsmanship by his farmer father Peyton who is a loyal servant of the unseen King. Leinad's mother Dinan had died when he was eight. They lived in the Kingdom of Arrethtrae on a farm in the Plains of Kerr, near the town of Mankin, along the western shore of the Great Sea. After adopting a girl named Tess, Peyton is killed by the Dark Knight Lucius, his henchman Zane, who happens to be Leinad's older brother, and their Shadow Warriors.
With the help of their friend Gabrik the blacksmith, Leinad and Tess flee. Then, after escaping the destructive Vactor Deluge, they sojourn in the Valley of Nan and work on the Stanton farm. However, Leinad is betrayed by his fellow workers and sold into slavery to Lord Fairos of Pyron Mid in the region of Nyland. Eventually, Tess is captured and brought as a slave to Pyron Mid as well. Because of his training in swordsmanship, Leinad is chosen to train Fairos's men but after a battle with the Eminafs he protests Fairos's treatment people of Nan and is taken out into the Banteen Desert to be killed by the Moshi Beasts. What will happen to Leinad? And the big question is, will he remain loyal to the King no matter what? The entire Kingdom Series of six books is intended as an allegory that attempts to capture the incredible true story of the Bible.
The first book covers creation, paradise, the fall, the flood, the patriarchs, and the Egyptian bondage. The second book, Kingdom's Hope, continues this line of symbolism to the end of the Old Testament. The following books are Kingdom's Edge, Kingdom's Call, Kingdom's Quest, and Kingdom's Reign. I have not read any of the others besides the first one, but someone has said that the first three are based on the Old Testament, while the last three are based on the New Testament. I have also been told that the last two do relate to the tribulation and millennium. However, what some like about them is that they are Bible-based fantasy in a medieval type of setting with no magic, mysticism, or wizardry. There is only sword fighting, along with accurate descriptions of battle and torture, but these ar age-appropriate and not gratuitous. Some people may not like Biblical allegory, but I found Kingdom's Dawn to be exciting reading that is full of adventure. There are discussion questions in the back of the book.
I got this for my birthday a couple of years ago and have since gotten the rest of the series and a couple of the Knights of Arrethtrae books, also by Chuck Black. I recommend these books to everyone - they are fantastic allegorical books that teach wonderful lessons!
I bought this series for my 8 year old. We started reading it as a family and have finished Book 1. We all loved it and can't wait to find out what happens in the remaining 5 books. Great story and you can really tell the parallels of the story with stories from the Bible.
My 10 year old picked up this first book and could not put it down. She quickly read the second and is now on to the third in the series. She has not liked to read much so it is awesome to see her enjoying these books so much.
Leinad is sixteen years old - the son of a farmer. He has spent his life working the land, and practicing sword fighting with his father. He eventually learns that the sword fighting was not just to pass the time. Leinad has been called to serve the King. He sets out on his journey with a young girl named Tess, facing many hardships as they find themselves the enemy of the Dark Knight and his Shadow Warriors who want nothing more than to ruin the plans of the King.
Kingdom's Dawn is book one in the Kingdom Series, and it's a great start. The book is written as Youth fiction, but I think it makes a pretty good light read for adults as well. There is a lot of symbolism and representation of Bible stories and figures, from the rebellion of Lucifer to Moses and the burning bush. Based on this book alone, I would expect the series to take us through the most important moments of the Bible all the way through Revelations and Jesus' return to establish His Kingdom. The symbolism is pretty easy to grasp if you know the Bible, but just in case you miss some things there is a discussion guide with answers in the back of the book. The only problem I had with the book actually came in the first few chapters with regard to the writing style. It was loaded with adjectives. For example, "The night breeze chills my moist face as I gaze across the rhythmic mass and see the outline of hundreds of other galant ships." The almost poetic feel goes on for a bit as the narrator fills us in about himself before he starts telling us about Leinad. It does, however, lessen after the story gets going.