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Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor by Chuck Black

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Cover art: Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor - 5th in the Knights of Arrethtrae series
Author: Chuck Black
Publisher: Multnomah
ISBN-13: 978-1-60142-128-9
Release Date: October 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: YA Inspirational Fantasy
Publisherís Age/Grade Recommendation: 12 and up
OUARís Age/Grade Recommendation: 12 and up
Year/Setting: Kingdom of Arrethtrae, where Knights are still found
Overall Rating: 4.25
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: Minimal
Chuck's Website/Blog: www.arrethtrae.com


The story of Sir Quinlan tells the story of Twich (Quinlan is his given name, but he is always called Twich) and his desire to do more for and to serve the Prince. He has lived with Tav's family since orphaned and is very comfortable with them. Twich and Tav are almost inseparable until Tav trades his shield for a paytha (reworking of the word apathy).

Shortly after, Tav's uncle comes to see if he can recruit Tav to fight with him in the Swords of Valor for the Prince. Everyone has always known that Tav was destined for great things. So when Baylor asks him to join the Swords of Valor, Twich figures it's a sure thing. But when Tav decides that there are too many things keeping him from leaving his hometown, Twich makes a commitment to the Prince and instantly is put on the front line of good vs. evil. He decides to fight for good and becomes Sir Quinlan and part of the Swords of Valor.

From there, a terrible thing happens at one point and Sir Quinlan believes he is unlovable and unredeemable. I don't want to spoil any of the things that happen, but the road to recovery and redemption was personally moving to me. As an adult who has made more than my fair share of mistakes, I could see the truths of the Bible shown so gently through this book. I could clearly feel and empathize with Quinlanís feelings of failure. I know how hard it is to bounce back when you feel like it was your own self that caused the problems in your world. Itís hard to move on and go forward with your life. Quinlan is so sincere and desires to do right and he just tugged at my heartstrings.

This book is a great addition to the series, but it would very easily stand-alone. I think these books should be read by young and old alike. Itís a great series using metaphors to teach Biblical principals and character traits. Chuck Black has a way of making his point clearly while still letting the reader see it through the story. He allows the reader to apply the story to their life without making the reader feel put down or belittled. I admire his masterful story telling and look forward to the next book in the series.

Robyn

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