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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Review: The Terrestria Chronicles

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The Sword, the Ring, & the Parchment (Book 1 of the Terrestria Chronicles) by Ed Dunlop

Josiah Everyman cannot believe his good fortune. King Emmanuel, Lord of all Terrestria, has saved him from the evil clutches of the cruel blacksmith, Argamor, and brought him to the peaceful Castle of Faith. No more Village of Despair. No more sleepless nights in the Dungeon of Condemnation. Or so he thinks. Josiah soon finds out how easily the powers of darkness might steal his faith.

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The Quest for Seven Castles (Book 2 of the Terrestria Chronicles) by Ed Dunlop

A year after his liberation from from the evil Argamor, Josiah is sent on a quest to acquire seven jewels for his shield of faith. His journey will take him to the far corners of Terrestria and force him to face the darkest parts of his own being.

The Terrestria Chronicles is a series of 7 allegorical books written for ages 10 and up. You’ll encounter characters like Heartless, Evilheart and Lawofsin (Argamor’s henchmen), Father Almsdeeds (the clueless cleric who carries around the worthless jeweled keys of Religion, Penance, and Sincerity), Sir Wisdom, Lord Dubious, Sir Faithful, and many others. You’ll leave the dungeon of Condemnation, ride in the Coach of Grace, feast in the Castle of Faith, traverse the Desert of Doubt and fall from the Path of Righteousness. But let us not forget the chain of iniquity. Or the weight of guilt. The ball and chain that Josiah drags with him through the first few chapters of book 1 loom large in Josiah’s thoughts. They’ll loom large in yours, as well.

The straight, heavy-handed allegory of these books was a turn-off. Maybe we are too ironic around here, but I can imagine my kiddos giggling and making knock-knock jokes if I started reading to them about “Lawofsin.” Really. The names of the characters and places was a major distraction. The writing itself is fine, not fine literature by any means, but not bad as far as adventure stories written for kids go. But these are not adventure stories.

The Chronicles series is basically a catechism told in the form of fiction. These books tell you what to believe (you can see the faith statement from Dunlop Ministries here). There’s nothing wrong with that, I suppose, if that is what you happen to believe, but the doctrine being preached here is not in line in Catholic teaching. I will not be reading these to my children.

The Terrestria Chronicles are available in paperback for $7.99 each, or get the complete 7 books series for $39.99. There’s also a study guide available for $5.99.

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received books 1 & 2 of the Terrestria Chronicles for review purposes. I received not compensation. This review reflects my honest opinion.

To read more reviews of these and other books by Ed Dunlop, go to:

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