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The Kingdom Series, Books 1-6 Review by Donna CamposBy Chuck Black
The WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group
12265 Oracle Blvd. Suite 200
Colorado Springs, CO 80921
The Kingdom Series is a group of six books, all soft-cover ranging from 144 to 168 pages. The titles are:
Each book includes a Prologue, an Author Commentary, a song, and an Epilogue that includes discussion questions by chapter and then the answers by chapter. Smaller drawings appear sporadically throughout the books, often placed creatively within the text. Written as an allegory, the series is set in the medieval time period. The discussion questions provide an excellent opportunity for families to discuss the many representations of Bible characters and events included in each book.
These books are appropriate for most children who are reading well. Though the series does include descriptions of such things as slavery, death, and animal attacks, there is no graphic gore. Families will be able to use the series in a homeschool environment or as quality reading in the family library. Every Author's Commentary closes the book with a Scripture verse that reinforces biblical truths.
This series holds an incredible amount of enjoyment for each family member, and when used well (particularly with in-depth discussion among family members), it will provide a higher level of instruction than most fiction books. Allegory is a hidden story by definition, but these books are incredible as they offer glimpses of the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah, Joshua, and all the way through Christ, Stephen, Paul, Antichrist, Armageddon, and the thousand-year reign. Excellent quotes like: "Never forget who you serve" and "I did not buy you--I bought your freedom" are thought provoking and provide teaching opportunities. That one quote alone, "I bought your freedom," offers so much opportunity for families to discuss the true meaning of choice and God's desire for us to freely serve Him! The allegory of Adam and Eve was incredibly well written and will make many readers really think about the first sin and gain a better understanding of Adam and Eve, their mistake, God's forgiveness, and our relation to it all. The writing is very descriptive. It includes difficult words, names that have deeper meaning, hidden messages, Hebrew words, and more. Educational value is both obvious and underlying throughout the entire series, allowing families to delve as deep as they wish. We also appreciate the respectful attitude taken toward parents and their God-given position of authority in the lives of children.
Some people are enamored with knights and medieval history in general, while others regard it as barbaric or disappointing with regard to church history. Whatever your family's stance, the Kingdom series does a very good job making the point that everyone should be prepared to fight for the King; and for Christians, that means the one true King. In the first book of the series, Kingdom's Dawn, the discussion of slavery and the abduction of children and may be too frightening for younger children. Slavery and redemption are inescapable facts in the history of God's people, and the series can educate children about the reality of that part of history. I was not previously a huge fan of allegory. At first, I didn't really like the idea of one individual in the story taking on the representation of many different people in history as the story progresses, but obviously it is a way to present a broad range of history in the course of one story. The included Author's Commentary is essential in each book for more fully understanding the story and the various characters throughout. Although each book could technically stand on it's own, we definitely preferred to read the books in order.
Kingdom's Dawn quickly draws the reader into the story. Kingdom's Hope and Kingdom's Edgecontinue through history to the time of Christ. In Kingdom's Call the many images of Christ's life, death, and resurrection will lead families into incredible discussions about His sacrifice for each of us, and the story continues through the life of Paul. Kingdom's Quest offers incredible insight into the person Paul was and the many lessons we can learn from his life and obedience. The final book,Kingdom's Reign, will be read and re-read as families are drawn to the Bible in an effort to more fully understand the end times and Christ's return.
Our family heartily recommends the Kingdom series by Chuck Black. This excellent allegory offers many levels of learning in a fantastic six-book package.
Product review by Donna Campos, Senior Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2008