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The Terrestria Chronicles, Books 1-7 Review by Kris Price and Lisa TrombleyEd Dunlop
Cross & Crown Publishing
331 Water Mill Trace
Ringgold, GA 30736
I was very excited to have a chance to read and review this series of Christian allegory fiction. I am always looking to share with my kids good books that explain, on their level, the story of what it means to be a Christian and what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross. I have found that in The Terrestria Chronicles! When these books arrived, my 13-year-old daughter grabbed them and headed to her room to read them. She's a fast reader and emerged a few days later telling me that she really liked the series and thought that I would too. It took me a lot longer than a few days to read the series, but they were hard to put down once I got started!
The series consists of seven books:
- The Sword, The Ring and The Parchment
- The Quest for Seven Castles
- The Search for Everyman
- The Crown of Kuros
- The Dragon's Egg
- The Golden Lamps
- The Great War
The series centers on a medieval theme of knights, princesses, castles, etc. Christ is King Emmanuel, and the King saves the main character (Josiah) from Argamor (Satan) in the first book. After Josiah is brought into the Kingdom of Terrestria, he is mentored by Sir Faithful and learns what it means to be a son of the King. In each book, Josiah undergoes various trials and learns about faith, the power of his King, and that he cannot rely on his own power to gain success.
In the third book, The Search for Everyman, two more main characters are introduced--Prince Selwyn and his sister, Princess Gilda. They aid Josiah in his many adventures throughout the rest of the series. One aspect of the books that I really liked was the naming of the many peoples and places--Sir Wisdom, the Path of Righteousness, the Castle of Faith, Captain Temptation, Woebegone, Discouragement, and so on. The series is written for ages 10 and up; some younger readers won't know the definition of some of these names, but they will get a general understanding of their meanings after reading through these books!
The Biblical principles taught in this book are sound, and I found the allegories helpful in showing me a new way to look at the lessons in the Bible. I don't want to give any specific examples, but I loved the way that the author takes modern-day items and ideas and shows how they are Satan's tools for drawing us away from our Lord. We are encouraged over and over again to make Christ our first priority and shown the value of doing so. My favorite book was The Great War, which tells the story of the book of Revelation in terms that a child can understand. It is the final book in the series and depicts the greatness of our King, leaving a lasting impression. I thought about this book for several days afterwards.
I plan to read this series with my son as his Bible study during our upcoming school year. We will go through one book monthly, reading and discussing each story and learning more about our King of kings and Lord of lords! I know that he will be enraptured by the fantasy setting and able to identify with Josiah. I have read a modified children's version of The Pilgrim's Progress with my children, but I believe that the books of The Terrestria Chronicles are much easier to understand while getting many of the same points across. They are definitely more action-packed! Each book is reasonably priced at $8 each (or $48 for the entire set), and further discounts may be given for quantity purchases. I highly recommend this series for all families. It will open a whole new world of understanding what it means to be a son or daughter of our wonderful King!
The Terrestria Chronicles Set (Books 1-7)
The Terrestria Chronicles series was written to honor Jesus Christ as king, to challenge readers to love and serve him, and to teach them to guard their hearts for them. This series was written for readers ages 10 and up and takes you back in time during the age of quests, castles, and dragons. In these allegories, readers will follow the adventures of Prince Josiah as he journeys through Terrestria, the land of King Emmanuel. The Terrestria Chronicles Set contains 7 books and can be purchased for $46.99. The books in the series are all paperbacks and range from 150-220 pages in length. Each book has a glossary of terms that is very helpful, especially for children reading the books on their own, who may not know what a portcullis or lute is. Each of the books also have a page with facts about knights and castles that we have found very interesting to read. The books need to be read in order for a complete understanding of what is going on.
The first book in the series is The Sword, The Ring, and The Parchment. This book tells the story of a young man named Josiah, who is enslaved by the evil Argamor. Josiah is desperate to escape but his attempts to do so on his own fails. King Emmanuel arrives and not only frees Josiah, but adopts him into his royal family and takes him to the Castle of Faith. Argamor has followers everywhere and a war is raging. Josiah has choices to make and battles to fight.
In the second book, The Quest for Seven Castles, King Emmanuel requests that Josiah leave the Castle of Faith and go on a journey to seven castles. While on this journey, Josiah will face many dangers and temptations. He has to learn to follow his book and listen to the voice of the dove, for these will never steer him wrong.
In Book Three, The Search for Everyman, Prince Josiah, Princess Gilda, and Prince Selwyn are on a quest to deliver a pardon to Adam Everyman, who is condemned to die. During this journey, they have to overcome many obstacles and locate the Dungeon of Condemnation to get the pardon there in time. They travel through difficult places such as the Valley of Indifference and the Land on Unbelief while Argamor's men try to distract them from their task.
The Crown of Kuros is the fourth book in the series. The Crown of Kuros has been stolen from The Castle of Faith and Prince Josiah and the other knights of the castle need to find it back before Argamor gets it. They go on a journey looking for the thief, Morphina, but all is not as it seems. Josiah is the only one that can get the crown back by taking part in a battle that seems impossible.
In Book Five, The Dragon's Egg, Princess Gilda and Prince Selwyn refuse an offer of a forbidden gift, but Josiah accepts. The Prince tries to hide what he has done and for a while is successful. But soon a ferocious dragon starts terrorizing Terrestria and Josiah is unable to control him. His act of disobedience has cost him greatly and Josiah must face the consequences of his actions.
The sixth book in the series is The Golden Lamps. In this book, Argamor's knights attack a village and they ask King Emmanuel to build them a castle for protection. Emmanuel sends a master builder to help the villagers construct their own castle. Things are going well until the villagers begin to find some golden lamps that seem to have the power to make one prosperous. The villagers begin focusing on what they think they need rather than the King's business.
Book Seven is called The Great War. War has been going on in Terrestria for a very long time. Argamor and his forces are determined to gain control of the kingdom. Princess Gilda is taken captive and Josiah begins to feel discouraged and defeated. The Book of the Apocalypse shows Josiah how mighty the King really is.
To go along with the books, you can purchase a 116 page, spiral bound study guide called Visits to Terrestria for $5.99. The study guide covers all 7 books in the series and deepens the study of the books by explaining the messages and the imagery covered in the stories. It is recommended that you read the book first and then go back through it with the study guide. Each section of the study guide contains: comprehension questions from the books, quotes from the book, thought questions, Bible reading assignments and questions, and Just for Fun activities. The Just for Fun section lists several hands-on activities such as writings, drawings, acting out parts of a play, or craft activities that relate back to the book. The study guide is recommended for family devotions or classroom discussions. A free downloadable answer key is available on the website.
It can be so difficult to find good, quality books for our children to read. My boys love adventure stories, especially about knights and dragons, but I worry about inappropriate content if we go to the library and choose books in those subject areas. I was very excited when I heard about the Terrestria Chronicles and had an opportunity to review them.
My thirteen-year-old son did not want to wait for me to read them aloud, so he read them all and had them finished in about a week. I have been reading the series aloud to my eleven and nine-year-old boys along with my eight and six-year-old daughters. We have loved the stories. They ask every night for me to read just one more chapter. There is plenty of action and adventure but the part I love the most is that these books teach Biblical truths that each one of us can relate to our lives. The books have led to some great discussions about the Bible and choices that we make. I have been amazed at how many times they have recognized something from the Bible in the story. Some of the symbolism is quite obvious such as King Emmanuel being Jesus and Argamor representing Satan, but other things like the symbolism of the Littlekins are revealed as the stories progress. Going through the study guide after you finish the book will allow you to enjoy the story but also allow you to see some of the deeper meanings that are found in the books.
These stories are not just for children, there are many lessons that can be learned by adults too. But, if you are reading them with younger children you may want to pre-read the books as they are recommended for ages 10 and up. There is nothing gory or inappropriate, but some things may be scary for younger children. Josiah starts out as a slave imprisoned by Argamor. There is evil, battles, and people and animals dying.
It was a joy for me to read these books with my children. I think the Terrestria Chronicles is a great series for family read aloud and discussion.
-Product review by Lisa Trombley, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April, 2017