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Lady Carliss and the Waters of Moorue (The…
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Lady Carliss and the Waters of Moorue (The Knights of Arrethtrae)

by Chuck Black

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Though I’ve never read Chuck Black’s allegorical Kingdom Series, our families has truly enjoyed his sequel series The Knights of Arrethtrae. This series is an allegorical fantasy complete with noble knights, dangerous creatures, and temptations to be defeated. It is set in the period following the Prince’s departure from Arrethtrae, leaving his Knights to fight the good fight and spread the news of the Prince’s imminent return (the age of the church.)

Each title in this series stands more-or-less alone, and Lady Carliss and the Waters of Moorue (#4) is no exception. Though it builds upon the events of Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart (#3), our family read it first (we’re about to go back and read #3.)

Lady Carliss is a particularly loveable character for our family filled with girls (I have three daughters.) While a warrior and true Knight, Carliss also struggles with a heart that longs for one who is not rightfully hers. She nobly resists, but when Sir Dalton’s life is in danger and she is the only one who has a fair chance of finding the antidote to a poisonous bite, her heart is surely tested.

Filled with intense action sequences, clear parallels to the Christian life, and realistic temptations and victories, Lady Carliss was greatly enjoyed by our entire family. My seven-year-old is always asking me to read it again despite my initial misgivings that it might be too dramatic for her.

The discussion questions at the book’s end are perfect for leading teens to consider the consequences of escapism and the excessive use of diversionary pleasures as presented in the novel.

Black’s work makes excellent family reading material – parents can discuss parallels between the story and the Christian life. Tweens and teens can also benefit from reading the book independently, and are very likely to do so considering the engaging content!

Reviewed at quiverfullfamily.com ( )
  jenniferbogart | Oct 17, 2010 |
The appeal of fantasy fiction is wrapped up in its other-worldliness. On film, Peter Jackson captured this well in his Lord of the Rings trilogy. Of course, the books themselves are more effective at transporting the reader to another time and place.

In the "Knights of Arrethtrae" series, Chuck Black takes the grand Biblical story of redemption and crafts an allegorical, fictitious world to match it. Following John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress legacy, Black interweaves Christian themes into his fantasy tale.

The series is based on his earlier 6 part Kingdom series, and offers vignettes of followers of the King across the Sea. "The King reigns and his Son!" is the rallying cry of the Prince's Knights in the Kingdom of Arrethtrae. Shadow Warriors and evil knights battle Silent Warriors and the Prince's knights, in a battle for the souls of men.

In Lady Carliss, we find a fascinating tale of treachery, deceit, a dark plot and mystery. Carliss battles more than just the dark forces, as she must master her heart and its attraction to her brother's best friend Lord Dalton. Along the way, she faces the dreadful choice of saving the life of one she can't help but love, or saving the lives of friends who count on her.

At the end of the book, a discussion guide is included with pointed questions about the allegory and the story, chapter by chapter. The peril of a pleasure-inducing substance that sends people into an alternate reality provides a platform for addressing the problem of escapism in today's world. The questions also come with answers and make this book, and the ohters in the "Knights of Arrethtrae" series, ideal for parents to read with their teens, or for youth groups to read together in a church-based book club.

The story moves along at a fast clip and includes surprising twists and turns. The style is straightforward and action-oriented, suitable for teen-age readers and a shorter sized fantasy book. The allegory is at times very direct, and detailed descriptions of the meaning are included at the end. Still the story stands on its own right, and entering the world Black creates is both enjoyable and instructive.

The meta-narrative or grand story of the Bible is indeed alluring. We need to remind ourselves that an alternate reality has nothing on the redemptive plan of our Savior. We, like Carliss, need to learn to trust the Prince and follow him in spite of our feelings and uncertainties. And our Lord will prove True and Faithful, every time.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.

An expanded version of this review is available at CrossFocusedReviews.com, where you can find book excerpts, giveaways, promotional offers, audio reviews and more.
  bobhayton | Aug 16, 2010 |
Lady Carliss and the Waters of Moorue is an excellent young adult novel. Lady Carliss is a loyal Knight of Arrenthetrae. She serves the Prince and has made it her life's mission to help establish havens loyal to the Prince. On her way home from a mission she and Lady Salina stop at Salina's home for a quick visit. They find her family missing. As they leave to follow they find Sir Dalton, another knight and a man Lady Carliss has secretly loved, and by whose side she has bravely fought. She holds her feelings for him close because he is promised to another woman. While checking out the barn Sir Dalton saves Lady Carliss' life and is bitten by a strange lizard that can camouflage itself. At the same time Lady Salina screams that her family has been taken. Lady Carliss must now try to find help for Dalton and rescue Lady Salina's family.
The first village they stop in Lady Carliss makes a new friend in a simple-minded man the children are pelting with stones and calling Oaf. He leads them to an alchemist who might be able to help Sir Dalton. It is here Lady Carliss has her first major problem. The antidote can only be found in the city of Moorue, in the swamps to be exact. No one knows if it is real or myth. She also must try to find Salina's family who has supposedly been taken to the same city. She, Lady Salina and her new friend set off for the city of Moorue. It is here she meets up with friends and finds out about the work they have secretly been doing for the Prince. This book is full of twists and turns. An evil plot develops that will force Lady Carliss to make decisions that may mean death for many, including herself. How is she to chose who lives and who dies?

Chuck Black has done a wonderful job of bringing Bible truths to light in a way that speaks to teens without sounding preachy. The fact that this is set in Medieval times will draw a lot of my students in. My own mother has asked to read the book. This was the first time I'd read a book by this author. It will not be my last. ( )
  skstiles612 | Mar 9, 2010 |
This, the 4th volume in the Lady Carliss Series is introduced by Cedric of Chessington, who is a humble servant to the Prince, who represents Jesus Christ. It is a story of Lady Carliss, a young girl who is a Knight of the Prince and how she must save a friends family from Lord Malco's evil machinations. Along the way she meets up with numerous characters, some good ,some evil. This story is an allegory that convey's biblical truth, good vs. evil.
This was a relatively short novel (208 pages) that was easy to read.
I am not a fan of the fantasy genre, but was able to read this book with no difficulties except for the fact that this was the fourth in the series and I had not read the previous three. I found the story interesting and an enjoyable read. I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys this Christian Fantasy genre.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.I was not compensated monetarily for my honest review. ( )
  celticlady53 | Mar 7, 2010 |
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Lady Carliss races against time to save Sir Dalton's life, but an evil plot foils her efforts and she must choose between saving him or countless others.

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