Title: Lady Carliss and the Waters of Moorue
Author: Chuck Black
Who Should Read It? This is a great book for those that enjoy epic fantasy.
What I Have to Say: So, I didn't realize when I decided to read this book that it was the 4th in a series, and I'm one of those people who really likes to start at the beginning. When reading the first chapter of this book, which gave some background information on the Knights of Arrenthetrae, I thought "Uh oh," as frankly, I found it hard to follow.
And then the second chapter came along. And all was good. :-) Throughout the rest of the book, I never once felt lost, and I actually became excited about the prospect about going back and reading the previous books, which I don't think were ruined in any way by the fact that I read this one first.
Now with that aside, this book was WONDERFUL epic fantasy! It was action-packed with a loyal, likable kick-butt female heroine. Seriously, Chuck Black has the epic fantasy novel down pat - awesome hero goes on a quest in a make-believe land where the characters have super rad names; horrible things happen on the queset that lead to mini quests, most of which end up having to do with the original quest. Oh, and of course, you can't forget to add a couple surprises (perhaps people aren't who you think they are, perhaps the world is not as it seems). And there you have it. Writing Epic Fantasy 101. Now, that may sound like a criticism of this book, but let me assure you: it is not. Epic fantasy, when done correctly, is, in its own way, unique and exciting enough to keep you guessing at every turn and not feel like you're reading some pre-determined format. And Chuck Black does it right.
Lady Carliss is a Knight of Arrenthetrae, fighting for the glory of the Prince and His Son. She is unwavering in her faith, compassion, and goodness. By the end of the first chapter (well, the first one about her), I knew that I was going to love her. And I did. She stayed loyal and true to her cause throughout the entire book. I don't know if it was meant to be so, but I loved the way she and her quest were reminiscent of Arthurian Legend. I loved her empathy and sympathy and, I repeat again, how she never wavered or strayed. She was a good person to the core.
Another thing I loved about this book was that it was a contradiction. The background story was a metaphor for the story of Christ and his teachings and lessons and the "knights" that fight for him. And Chuck Black used the quest of Carliss to teach Christ's lesson: the devil will try to tempt you into a world of fantasy where everything is as how you want it to be, but you must resist temptation, because behind that fantasy land will always lie hate and destruction and evil. And he used a fantasy novel to teach this lesson, which I thought was just brilliant. It was like saying: escaping from real life is okay from time to time, as long as you remember Christ as you are escaping.
Non-Christians (like myself), don't let that last paragraph scare you, as this book proselytizes none at all. It uses metaphors to teach important life lessons, but if you choose not to learn those lessons, they're not forced on you. It is allegory, pure and simple.
If you're in for heart-pounding, seat-grabbing, action-packed epic fantasy, then check out this book. It's short (I actually would have liked for it to be longer, with a little more background info on some of the characters and places) and easy and fun to read, and it will leave you wanting to be a better person.
Summary (thank you, Waterbrook): Determined, smart and a master of both the sword and the bow, Lady Carliss has proven herself as a veteran Knight of the Prince. Returning from a mission of aid, Carliss is plunged into adventure once again as she searches for the marauders responsible for kidnapping a friends’ family. Along the way she is reunited with Sir Dalton and discovers that the struggle in her heart is far from over. When Dalton falls to the vicious attack of a mysterious, poisonous creature, Carliss finds herself in a race against time. As Dalton clings perilously to life, she must find the antidote in the distant and strange city of Moorue.
While there, Carliss uncovers the master plot of a powerful Shadow Warrior that will soon overtake the entire Kingdom. Her faith in the Prince and her courage as a knight are tested as she faces evil Shadow Warriors and a swamp full of dreadful creatures. The lives of many, including Dalton’s, depend on Carliss. But she cannot save them all, for time is running out. She faces an impossible choice: save Dalton, or let him die so that others may live.
Author Info:Chuck Black, a former F-16 fighter pilot and tactical communications engineer, is the author of nine novels, including the popular Kingdom series. He has received praise from parents across the country for his unique approach to telling biblical truths. His passion in life is to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and to love his wife, Andrea, and their six children. He lives with his family in North Dakota.
Cover Story: Well, that girl is not AT ALL how I imagined Carliss looking. And the swamp in the background - also not the swamp I imagined. What can I say, I'm not really a huge fan of this cover.
This book was supposed to be reviewed in conjunction with Raven's Ladder by Jeffrey Overstreat, but unfortunately, due to recieving the books late, I have not yet read it. Look for that review soon!
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.