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Iron Heart Review by Dawn Oaks

By Victoria Kasten
Morris Publishing
3212 East Highway 30
Kearney, NE 68847

Iron Heart is a book in the fantasy genre written for tweens and teens. It is the story of a young princess, Kikpona, whom the ancients have identified as the next ruler of the kingdom of Leyowan. As a child Kikpona is banished from the kingdom because her stepfather, the current ruler, is aware of the foreshadowing of the ancients and attempts to eliminate her. As in many fantasy books, the main characters in the story are a mix of humans and animals. The animals take on many human characteristics while maintaining their natural strengths and abilities specific to their species. Princess Kikpona's greatest advisors come from the animal world.

As a mom of a young teen, I cannot recommend this book to others for their children to read unless it is with supervision. After her exile, Princess Kikpona meets Morgo. As the adventure unravels, the two fall in love. Unfortunately, the young princess, who is in her late teens or early twenties, abandons her purity. Nothing is said about what transpires between these two characters during the evening they spend together. However, when someone knocks on the door the next morning, both Kikpona and Morgo rush to get dressed, which implies that something happened.

A few pages later, she acknowledges that she has sinned, but shows no remorse, except for the two deciding that they now need to get married. They do love each other and announce their engagement to the city. The first day of fall they are married. There is no remorse over what they did. A priest performs the marriage, but he was never called upon to provide counsel when they actually committed the sinful act.

I am first and foremost a Christian parent who also homeschools. Our oldest child is only 12, but I am not sure that I would recommend a book with this moral fabric to her even when she is 17 or 18. People make mistakes as the main character did. That is reality. I cannot shelter my children from this forever, but it would be more appropriate for them to read of such disobedience to the Word of God if the characters actually had remorse.

The whole incident takes up no more than a few paragraphs, and then they live happily ever after. From my perspective, this is evidence that the world has crept into the book. The sinfulness of abandoning our purity is nullified if we quickly get married to show that we loved each other when we sinned.

I am sure that Ms. Kasten invested a great deal in weaving the details of this story. Unfortunately, the unraveling of the integrity of the characters negates the other well-written elements.

Product review by Dawn Oaks, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2009