My 11 yo son and I both recently read Book 5: The Knights of Arrethtrae: Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor by Chuck Black. My son and I both immediately than got Book 1 and are anxiously awaiting books 2-4! Yes, the books are that good. The books can be read out-of-order and are stand-alone stories so don't feel like you have to read each and every one.
[The following review is specifically about Sir Quinlan.]
Sir Quinlan begins in a world where the Silent Warriors are in a battle with the Shadow Warriors. In the village of Burkfield, two boys are raised together. One, the son of the house, is an amazing teen-warrior. The star of his academy, Tav has it all: skill, a loving family, even a local girl who likes him. Twitch, an orphan raised as Tav's almost-brother, is not as fortunate: not as skilled a warrior, loved but underappreciated by his adoptive family, noone to love him ... That's how the book starts, but positions quickly change when the young men each make their own choices: Tav to stay in the village and not follow the Prince; Twitch, to give up all, go against his "family's" wishes, and fight for the Prince. How these personal choices affect each boy and his whole life are the subject of the rest of the book.
This book has it all: good vs evil ... scary creatures ... tough battles. Chuck Black, the author and former F-16 pilot, brings to the story some amazing battle tactics and strategic warfare that makes the story shine. Black also brings to the story his Christian faith -- which shouts out from each page in the classic battle between God and His people and Lucifer and his minions. The theme of this book is the great danger of apathy and its insidiousness that allows diabolical events to occur unchecked. At the end of the book are study questions for using this book a a teaching tool -- excellent reinforcement of the message!
Both Lego Maniac and I really liked this story; and the underlying message is one that a Christian parents wants her children to learn and take to heart. Thank you, Chuck Black, for writing such a great series for tween/teen boys -- a group of readers that are often overlooked in deep, meaningful contemporary literature.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of Sir Quinlan from WaterBrook Multnomah's "Blogging for Books" program. The above review is my honest reaction to the book.