Guest Blogger: Joshua Borden (Age 13)
I’ve enlisted the help of family members in the blogging reviews of books. Laurie, my wife, has been featured here on a few occasions and Joshua, my son, has been featured as well. He makes an appearance today with his review of Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart by Chuck Black.
Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart was a well-written and creative book. It was a very good metaphor for how we can slowly turn from just one small doubt to a spiritually debilitating doubt that stops us from being able to work for God. This addresses several critical areas that people struggle to find truth in. It does this in a way so that it is not confrontational and people can easily accept it as truth.
I would definitely recommend this book for any young person (of any age) who is interested in fiction. This was an easy read to me and I think that it might appeal to anyone from the age of eleven and up. I’m sure they would be able to read this without any problems and understand it. I believe this is aimed at a younger generation, because the main character goes from his early teens to early twenties, and this book addresses the issues and doubts he has during these various times. This would definitely help anyone who is struggling with doubts or who just needs some more assurance and proof.
Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart is also like the Narnia Chronicles, in that a non-Christian could read it and not have any qualms about it, but it could definitely make it easier for them to accept some Christian teachings later, because at several places it makes some points blatantly obvious. In addition, the parallels are easy to understand what they mean in our everyday lives and walk with God.
If you don’t understand some things, at the end of the book there are discussion questions and answers. This would allow it to be easily applied to an entire youth group and/or used for a group study. The questions make several things clear, and also bring up additional questions that can add depth and meaning to your own walk with God after thinking about them and answering them.
This book would be a definite yes for any teenager struggling with doubts and God. It could very easily used be for thoughtful discussion, and could be read in a comparably short amount of time with full comprehension and understanding. In addition, someone not totally won over to the Christian viewpoint might be swayed by this affirming book.
Sir Dalton, a knight in training, seems to have everything going for him. Young, well-liked, and a natural leader, he has earned the respect and admiration of his fellow knights, and especially the beautiful Lady Brynn.
But something is amiss at the training camp. Their new trainer is popular but lacks the passion to inspire them to true service to the King and the Prince. Besides this, the knights are too busy enjoying a season of good times to be concerned with a disturbing report that many of their fellow Knights have mysteriously vanished.
When Sir Dalton is sent on a mission, he encounters strange attacks, especially when he is alone. As his commitment wanes, the attacks grow in intensity until he is captured by Lord Drox, a massive Shadow Warrior. Bruised and beaten, Dalton refuses to submit to evil and initiates a daring escape with only one of two outcomes-life or death. But what will become of the hundreds of knights he’ll leave behind? In a kingdom of peril, Dalton thinks he is on his own, but two faithful friends have not abandoned him, and neither has a strange old hermit who seems to know much about the Prince. But can Dalton face the evil Shadow Warrior again and survive?