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The Kingdom Series Audio CDs Review by Cindy WestChuck Black
Perfect Praise Publishing
1228 4th Avenue East
Williston, ND 58801
Wow! My children and I literally could not get enough of these CDs! We wanted to stay in the car once reaching our destination because we simply couldn't stop listening. Believe me, this doesn't happen with just any book we listen to in the car. But these stories kept us on the edge of our seats wanting to hear more every single time we popped them into the CD player.
Action-packed allegories of the Bible is the best way to describe this series. Each book focuses on a different part of the Bible, and the main characters go through similar experiences that the beloved characters from the Bible have gone through. For example, the first book of the series, Kingdom's Dawn, takes you on a quick journey from the creation of Adam and Eve through Moses. The book is different, however, because a couple of main characters are experiencing all of the events you would normally find in Genesis through Exodus in the Bible.
Set in medieval times, the main character, Leinad, must wholeheartedly serve his King while under great opposition from the world around him. You watch him struggle to understand why he, a humble farmer, is being called by the King to do such serious and courageous work. You see him escape from the total destruction of a people after warning them that destruction is coming. You see him end up in slavery after believing the King had better plans for him. You see him gain the respect of the leader and be pulled out of slavery. You see him battle with feelings of wanting to help free the other slaves.
So many stories of the Bible are covered in allegorical fashion. The most exciting part for me was when my children would say, "Hey, that reminds me of Noah building the boat while everyone laughed at him." Or, "Wait a minute. That sounds like Joseph gaining respect and not being a slave anymore." Or even, "Mom, Moses didn't think he was the right person for the job, either!" I had to only mention once to my eight- and eleven-year-old children that they should listen for things that remind them of Bible stories. They took over making the connections!
The second book, Kingdom's Hope, takes you on a journey from Moses to Malachi; and the third book, Kingdom's Edge, takes you from Jesus to the Tribulation. The fourth in the series, Kingdom's Call, takes you from Jesus' crucifixion to Paul's conversion, while the fifth book, Kingdom's Quest, focuses on Paul's journeys. And the final book, Kingdom's Reign, goes from the second coming of Christ to the end of the age.
Each sequel is just as exciting and riveting as the one before it! Each book has approximately 3 1/2 hours of listening time on three CDs. The quality of the audio is outstanding, with two very talented narrators taking on the parts of all the characters. There is even an original score of music that adds much to the drama of the narration.
I hesitate to give an appropriate age-level for listening. If your children are old enough to hear the "good, bad, and ugly" from the Bible, they are old enough for these books. Obviously, the Bible contains some graphic scenes of war, sickness, and death, as do these stories. No matter what age you feel is appropriate for younger children to hear them, I believe teens and adults will find them just as interesting. Think along the lines of The Chronicles of Narnia and you will find these books to reach a similar audience.
One important fact to note: the books do not contain any magic, wizardry, fantasy, or mysticism. Some people may find them offensive simply because they take stories from the Bible and change them to fit the characters of the books. I, however, took the attitude of listening simply for enjoyment and asking my children to compare the characters from the book to the great characters of the Bible.
Through our discussions, we were able to talk about how the simple characters in the book were able to trust God and work mightily for Him. I feel like listening to the CDs helped my children make connections. In other words, they were able to see that Bible characters aren't the only ones who are able to trust God and follow Him. My children very clearly saw that others can manifest those qualities too. I obviously don't recommend these books as a substitute for the Bible, but I highly recommend them for enjoyment!