Presented here before ye are but two of the seven of the bound parchments (which one does not need to read chronologically to understand) to which I dare say that I received to review. I implore thee to come hither to reflect and ponder what stories I shall tell of these. Nay, only you can determine for yourself if this will suit your family and find honor upon your bookshelves. As my tale may not be what you yourself find to be true, but alas I must speak as Sir Wisdom would encourage me so to do.
The Crown of Kuros
4th in the Series
Due to the inpatient Prince Josiah, the Crown of Kuros is swiped from the castle-opening the possibility that it will fall into the hands of the evil Argamor. It is a quest that the Prince must undertake alone, although he is guided by several knights of King Emmanuel. Will the young, newly adopted son of the King be able to withstand the challenges and the final battle to regain the Crown? Will the underground reconnaissance Prince Josiah and Prince Selwyn encounter help thwart the plans of Argamor's Council? Take a step back into time to the land of Terrestria, where knight sightings are more frequent than at a Renaissance Festival, and trips through an underwater abyss reflect what can happen from choices righteously made, or from choices simply gone bad. Where evil tempts to crack the very walls of the King's Golden City, and the good and faithful struggle to slay the dragons which grip the residents' hearts. Castle facts, glossary and a notation regarding how to yield one's heart to the Lord included as an extra bonus as well. Please note-there is some discussion in several chapters about Argamor's tactics for gaining the hearts of the King-which directly relate to today's common goodies-the TV, rock music, women who are not Biblically grounded, etc. that I have discussed below. I do not agree with most of these assumptions and find the inclusion to serve as being over the top preachy-rendering this one my least favorite of the two.
The Dragon's Egg
5th in the Series
Could Prince Josiah have just made one of the most common yet life-fracturing decisions that could bring down an entire castle? The desire of a forbidden object has been planted in this young man's heart-only to grow and fester into an out of control need to feed the dragon (literally here). Denial is rampant, while deceit and ultimately despair rule the Prince-until he wisely learns to take advice from those who love him. How can he be used to help others when he himself is struggling with his own heart issues? Mount up and take a ride through the land of Terrestria with young Prince Josiah, as he learns what it means to live a life truly dedicated and submitted to King Emmanuel. Where little things grow to humongous proportions like the current National debt, dragons speak with forked tongues and the slaying of one's grotesque Carian Greatwing is the means to living in victory. Again-castle facts, glossary and information regarding the yielding of one's heart included at the end. Although I found Prince Josiah's ability to quickly resolve or change the situation (like saving a man in a fire, and then helping Prince Selwyn and Princess Gilda to put out the cottage fire within a mere couple paragraphs) hard to believe. I wondered at times if these kids (because they are not adults from my understanding and even so) were bred with Spider Man, Wonder Woman, Batman and other various Super Heroes, which would explain their amazing abilities. Kind of hard to swallow.
Now-for the most part these were OK. I have truly debated with myself, over how to properly handle what I am about to pen. Then the Lord spoke to my heart and this is how I choose to address such things. Let it be said that I am not anti-Christian literature, allegories nor the use of fiction to help spread the Word-as I am not. But there are times when certain issues within the material "rub me the wrong way" and there is my dilemma. I do not want to make it sound like these cannot be useful or a good fit for your family-but what I am saying is this:
I take the same position Paul reflected upon (when discussing how the preaching of Christ's truth was being handled when he was in chains-preaching for selfish gain or out of love) when considering the Terrestria Chronicles. Meaning because they promote Christ-I am not against them entirely.
"...But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice..."
Philippians 1: 19
Now, not that I am saying the Dunlop Ministry is falsely teaching the Gospel, because I do believe they are promoting these stories out of love and in the truth to Jesus Christ. That these can be used for spreading of the Gospel and the betterment of our youth. But rather that some areas they are fixated on, do not necessarily reflect our family's opinion and practice [the very personal and private matters-issues that are better left up to the discretion of the parents, the family's religious views and mostly-up to the Lord to convict upon. IE: the anti-TV, anti-rock music, anti-strong women lean]. Some of these points are valid and address the same concerns that I have-but they seem very bent on one side-one that could easily set a wrong impression and cause guilt, confusion and disdain-all of which are not of God.
It is Man's heart that is evil, no matter what surrounds a person, and it can go from good to bad in a literal heartbeat. Man has been sinful since the fall in the Garden of Eden, with or without the use of modern technology. After all, the heart is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23)-hence the very reason we all need our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Because without Him, there is no hope. Granted these things do, and will continue to set the "wheels in motion"-but such things are not the whole reason for the state of the world. Adam and Eve were not texting each other, Moses was not gyrating across the Pharaoh's palace floor, Debra the Prophetess/Judge wasn't holding "Down with Dudes" rallies, and Paul certainly wasn't surfing the Internet-yet each were used greatly by the Lord all the while they sinned over and over again-without these noted tactics [in the Terrestria Chronicles] from Argamor and his council. Any of those items, used in a positive Godly manner can and will be used by the Lord to enter the homes and hearts of millions, by whomever He chooses-to show the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, I implore you to please keep this in mind, if you choose to use these books as witnessing tools. Pray for wisdom and discretion.
For us, we'd rather open the Bible and read through the parables of Jesus. They use real life situations that are easier to comprehend without the use of a fanciful allegory approach. I personally really struggled with these, I ( a veracious reader) actually became quickly bored and had to struggle to get through them. The names of a lot of the characters were long and laborious to read, and the situations the main characters found themselves in seemed to be "wrapped up" way too quickly. Rendering much of the storyline into to the "way too far fetched" category. My teen felt this was like trying to sum up every lesson of the Bible into one chapter or book. That it needed to stay focused on just one or two topics at one time-that it was too "all over the board" making it less effective.
That said, it doesn't mean that it won't suit your needs. I would recommend borrowing one from the local library or friend, to get a feel for the nature of these. It may be exactly what your children love to read. Again, take into consideration my notes above, and be sure to read what my other TOS mates had to say to get a good idea if these books will be right for you.
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Terrestria Chronicles Homepage
$7.99 each (PB edition)
Don't forget to read what my TOS mates had to say about this, and many other fine homeschool products, over on our TOS Review Crew Homepage.
***Dunlop Ministries provided me with one free copy each of The Crown of Kuros and The Dragon's Egg, to read and enjoy, in exchange for my honest opinion of them. No financial compensation was received for providing this review.