Thursday, March 3, 2011

Book Review: Sir Rowan and the Camerian Conquest

Sir Rowan and the Camerian Conquest by Chuck Black, the sixth and final book in the Knights of Arrethtrae series.

A knight left for dead, a country on the verge of ruin, and an evil lord rising to conquer.

"Sir Rowan is the most decorated tournament knight in Cameria, but when he is attacked and left for dead, his world collapses. Betrayed and lingering at death’s door, only a bizarre vision of his Prince and the help of a woman dedicated to the King keeps him alive. As Rowan heals, he finds new purpose in life through service to his King.

But his beloved land of Cameria has fallen victim to the tyranny of the Dark Knight.

Rowan’s countrymen need his help taking their cities back from the enemy, but all is not as it appears. The mysterious Sir Lijah insists Rowan’s purpose lies elsewhere—far away from Cameria, in an ancient city and for an ancient cause.

Rowan’s destiny is greater than he ever imagined. The final battle with the Dark Knight approaches, and he must choose where he will fight. Will he discover his true identity and purpose as a Knight of the Prince, or will the Dark Knight claim victory for eternity?"

- Book description

Review by Gabe. (Sorry about the double-review. This is my first official post on here and it's a double review...oops!)

Sir Rowan and the Camerian Conquest is the last book in the The Knights of Arrethtrae series, and being the last book, I expected it to end in a bit more of a “bang”.

The story has good morals and teachings straight from the Bible. Throughout the book (and the series) it’s clear that the author intends to point readers to Christ. All of the “good” characters serve the King and his Son the Prince, referencing God and Jesus. The main character, Sir Rowan, gets caught up in his own pride when he becomes the most famous knight in all of Cameria, and is so enraptured with himself that he no longer burns with a passion to serve the King and the Prince. Eventually (after being kidnapped and held hostage by thugs) he realizes that amassing earthly possessions and having fame no longer matters; what truly matters is serving the King (Christ). 

But while the book is wholesome, I felt as if the book, being the last in a six part series, should have been a bit longer in order to wrap up untied strings and unanswered questions from the previous books (not to mention the fact that there were far too many intrusive time skips almost every two chapters, ranging from a couple of hours to months and years).  In addition, I found the characters to be dry and dull – and sometimes quite irritating in their "perfect" behavior. It felt as if they were blandly reading off of a set script. 

Chuck Black does an excellent job describing the characters descriptively showing their emotions and recounting their actions.  His battle scenes however lack action and energy.  I felt this was a weakness in the text. I would love to see him write a novel in the fantasy genre as I think he would be great in that arena.  

Regrettably, the book left no lasting impression.  I loved the concept of the likenesses of the king and the son as types of God and Jesus.  I would have liked for a battle and kingdom book to include more action and adventure and I would have preferred having more multi-dimensional and dynamic characters.  

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