Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor- Chuck Black
Chuck Black writes allegorical novels for young people using medieval knights, princes, and kingdoms to teach Biblical truths. His original Kingdom Series, an allegory of the New Testament set in medieval times, is one we are already using in our family.
Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor is number 5 in his Knights of Arrethtrea series, tales of knights called by the prince who face real life struggles in becoming who they are called to be. Quinlan, called Twitch by his friends, lives in the shadow of his friend Tav. Both have been training to be knights for the Prince, but Twitch is never confident in his ability and is always sure that he can never be as good as Tav. When Tav's uncle, one of the Knights of Valor, tries to persuade Tav to join him in fighting the Shadow Warriors, Tav is unconvinced, but Twitch feels a call, a desire to find out his purpose. Twitch calls on the Prince to show him the purpose for his life and pledges himself to the prince.
As a result, Twitch, now Quinlan, becomes a Knight of Valor. He is still unsure of his ability, however; and his lack of confidence contributes to a failed battle in which their leader, Baylor, is killed. Quinlan, burdened and weary and discouraged returns to his former life and friend. But, he realizes Tav, as well as the other knights of his former city are all distracted now by the paythas they are keeping as pets. Quinlan resumes his journey to serve his Prince and discover his purpose and finds out that he was meant to be so much more than he ever dreamed as he leads the other knights in a battle for his home city.
I have to admit these stories are a bit predictable. And, my adventure reading son critiques them as being a little slow to get started and hard to get into. But, the medieval knights, princes, and battle scene is appealing to young readers- especially boys. The lessons learned by the characters in the story are good ones- obvious enough to be absorbed by young readers but not so obvious as to stifle the story line. I enjoyed Sir Quinlan's story and thought the lessons learned as he searched for his life's purpose were well taught.