Sir Rowan and the Camerian Conquest by Chuck Black can best be deemed Christian allegory with a tinge of light fantasy. Mr. Black writes well and tells a good story that young folks, especially boys, should enjoy. This, his sixth book in this series, is proof that he is doing most things right.
This series is a pull no punches Christian allegory for young people. Mr. Black isn't afraid to meet issues head-on and he does it well. His story line is well thought out, in-depth without being ponderous and interesting. He lays out several issues and ties them all up fairly well. One thing I didn't realize when I asked for a review copy of this book that caught me rather unpleasantly by surprise is that this book deals with end times scenarios. If you lean this way in your understanding of end times then you'll agree with Mr. Black's scenarios and if you lean that way...well, you won't. (Sorry but I'm not gonna tell you which is which.)
This book is not really the kind of book I normally enjoy but that didn't keep me from being interested. If you have a teen that loves adventure, then get them this book. Even if you don't agree with Mr. Black's ideas, they still open up avenues for discussion and Bible study and that's always a good thing.
DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah and Blogging For Books for purposes of review. I was not required to give a positive review only a fair and honest one. My opinions are my own.
Sir Rowan and the Camerian Conquest begins with an orphan stable boy, born with a gifting for the sword, but too poor to ever own a real one.
When the noble Sir Aldwyn, knight of the Prince, brings his horse to the stable, he notices the boy's talent. Suddenly, the young peasant finds himself apprentice to the knight, learning the ways of the Prince and the skill of the sword.
As the years pass, the boy thrives, growing into the mighty Sir Rowan, champion of Laos and most accomplished swordsman in the country. Though always attentive to his physical training, Rowan gradually lost interest in the teachings of the Prince, leaving them behind for the pride and glory of the tournaments.
Then, in one fateful moment, he realizes he had sacrificed everything for nothing. Left alone to die, the once strong Sir Rowan mourns his weakness and the life he spent on futile things. Though he has no life left to live, he promises if he did, he would live it entirely dedicated to the Prince.
One day, when all time has melted into a single dark night, light appears. Rowan knows this second chance of life comes only from the Prince and he refuses to waste it.
In his absence, Cameria has become a dark place, filled with evil. Knowing how short time is, Rowan joins the Resolute to overthrow the wicked, launching into a meaningfully dangerous quest.
Sir Rowan and the Camerian Conquest is one of the very few fantasies that truly had an impact on me. Even after turning the final page, the message and spirit of the story played on. Sir Rowan learns, almost too late, what is really important in life. He must find and display courage, faith and determination, even when all seems hopelessly lost.
The allegorical weave of Sir Rowan and the Camerian Conquest brought a new perspective to the last days. Although the trials were very real and Sir Rowan was certainly not perfect, his trust in the Prince was so comforting to read about. I realized anew this trust wasn't something the author made up and that knowledge left me with a new sense of hope and peace.
Chuck Black has crafted a masterful tale, laced with many of the truths and struggles I think we all grapple with. Sir Rowan and the Camerian Conquest was well-written, riveting and real. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars!
I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah through the Blogging for Books program, in exchange for this review.
So I've come to the close of the Knights of Arrethrae series with Sir Rowan. I think...I think this one may be my favorite. But then I've said that with every new book in this series that I've read.
Sir Rowan has abandoned the call of the Prince in exchange for the honor, riches, and glory of being a tournament champion...until a close encounter with death rocks his world and changes his life. Recommitting himself to the King and His Son, he finds friendship-and love- among the other followers of The Code. But then a strange knight seeks out Rowan, revealing a startling revelation and a mission Rowan doesn't want to undertake.
Sir Rowan and the Camerian Conquest is a very loose allegory of Revelation. A cool thing about this book, though, is that though it is an end to the knights series, it fits right in with the Kingdom series, and is continued in the last Kingdom book.
I really enjoyed this series. My only complaint is that each book seemed to have an entirely different cast of characters, and I would have liked the heroes/heroines of each book to interact with the others. This aside, I highly recommend the Kingdom and Knights of Arrethrae series as some of the best Youth Fiction I've ever read.
Rating (out of ten): 9
I received this book free of charge from Multnomah publishers in exchange for my honest review.
Sir Rowan and the Camerian Conquest is a gripping tale of Sir Rowan, a former Knight of the Prince and an accomplished tournament knight, when his whole world is turned upside down when he is kidnapped while going to the biggest tournament in Cameria. Will he survive to find out what the dark knight has for Cameria, and most importantly, for Arrethtrae. As the Dark Knight prepares for his greatest plan every, will Rowan turn back to the Prince and help with the fight, or will he give in and return to what he calls his normal life. I really liked this twist that Chuck Black put on this book, but I didn't like it as much as some of his other books. This is still an amazing book and I would definitely suggest that you would read it if you want a lot of action and an exciting twists. I almost cried at one point in the story. THIS IS A MUST READ BOOK.