By Don Boys, Ph.D.
I don’t like fiction, especially fantasy fiction; however, I have read with delight Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and Holy War many times and with less enthusiasm, Dante’s Divine Comedy, a three part poem considered a masterpiece. But those classics are an exception. I have finally found a new fantasy fiction series that in fantastic!
In a normal day, I do research all day; then at night, I do what I call “my non-essential reading.” I spend far more time in my library than any other room. I always have a stack of books beside our bed and read three or four hours nightly. Last week I finished a biography about Patrick of Ireland and just finished a second one dealing with Patrick. At the same time I finished New Testament Fragments amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls. I am about half way through the massive biography–Napoleon by Andrew Roberts.
While reading those books, I managed to read a book given to me by my youngest daughter that all three of her children really liked. It was the first in a series of seven books, The Sword, the Ring, and the Parchment, written by Ed Dunlop. Ed lives in my town of Ringgold, Georgia yet we had never met. We both work out of that city traveling the nation and the world with our separate messages. His work is mainly to youth and it is a very appealing and worthy ministry.
Recently, our county library featured county authors at an all-day book signing and I met Ed at that event. I told him my Indianapolis grandchildren loved his books. We exchanged books as authors often do at such events. I had just started reading his first book in the series. I have now read his first two books in a couple of weeks during my “non-essential” reading time. I, not liking fiction or fantasy, found them to be fantastic!
Ed’s books are geared toward children but also interest adults. His series is The Terrestria Chronicles, a series of seven books that inculcate biblical principles in the readers using allegory as the vehicle.
My books are all controversial dealing with Islam, politics, history, evolution, Christian Apologetics, etc., although I have written three joke books to lighten up a little. I have always considered fiction a waste of my time or at least not a wise use of it. I was wrong at least as it relates to Ed’s books.
I believe the Terrestria books are more exciting, more readable, and more worthwhile than anything C. S. Lewis or J. R. R. Tolkien wrote for kids! That is not hyperbolic; it is my honest opinion. Up front, while those men were great writers, I did not like their stories, their lifestyle, or their Catholicism. I never liked talking animals except as cartoons, but never as real life. Animals don’t talk. They are not “close” to humans since they cannot smile, reason, plan, weep, appreciate, etc. I don’t like wizards, witches, halfings (hobbits), magic, etc.; but I really like Dunlop’s books because they are exciting, teach eternal truths–that children are missing even in most Christian homes, and are well-written.
In reading his first two books, I did not find one typo in them! That shows the author is concerned with quality. And I just discovered a typo in the best seller Napoleon biography! That is important to me because it shows character by looking at small things. I have written 17 books and edited more than 125 so mistakes jump off the page yet I did not even see one in Dunlap’s books!
Dunlop’s books are true to Scripture and very exciting. I was amazed when I realized one evening that I was enjoying what I was reading! I always considered fiction to be a waste of time because I find a history of Rome, or Greece, or England, or America far more exciting and a better use of my time than any fiction.
In this series, Terrestria is the realm of the good King Emmanuel, where knights and their ladies live in castles, and where dragons still roam occasionally. Yet the land is at war. Wicked Argamor wants to take the throne from Emmanuel and he has loyal followers placed strategically throughout the kingdom. Who will win the battle for Terrestria, and what part will Prince Josiah play in the constant struggle? Josiah’s struggle as a prince of Terrestria takes him into all kinds of challenging, combative, and contemplative events.
Josiah is constantly learning to be a more noble, dedicated, and profitable follower of King Emmanuel. The author with great subtlety teaches the most desirable traits to the readers in an exciting way.
As I read the first two books in the series, I kept thinking, “The author simply cannot continue with such high quality work and consistency.” But he did. Any child (or adult) will be challenged to become a person who is honest in all his or her dealings, genuine in all relationships, and gracious to all people; also, a person who will accept people as they are whatever their status, appreciate kindness from others, have gratitude for what one has received, excel in all endeavors, be steadfast for one’s beliefs, eschew all evil, exude courage in midst of danger, and not be deceived by overconfidence. The books teach that everyone should grow in respect for those in authority and for the elderly and generally be gracious, good, even godly individuals.
Every home school parent and Christian school administrator should look at this series. As an educator, I would teach these books in Kindergarten, third, fifth, and seventh grades. If I had small children, I would start reading the books to three-year-olds and expect older children to read them once a year. Obviously, I am excited about Dunlop’s books.
The series carries out II Peter 1:5-8 command: “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither bebarren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
How can radical haters of Christ deny that our nation and world would be infinitely better if those principles were common in today’s youth?
I have never been motivated in such a way before but these books fill such a void in the lives of most people, I am compelled to recommend them without reservation. Of course, I need to add that I have no arrangement of any kind with the author or publisher.
The books are available at talesofcastles.com. The books retail for $9.99 but they sell for 7.49 each on his website. The set of seven titles sells for $46.99. The spiral-bound study guide is $5.99 and covers all seven of The Terrestria Chronicles.
I will not profit in any way from the sale of these books or his other series; but I will guarantee that you and your children will profit.
Boys’ new book Muslim Invasion: The Fuse is Burning! was published by Barbwire Books; to get your copy, click here. An eBook edition is also available.
(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives; ran a large Christian school in Indianapolis, wrote columns for USA Today for eight years; authored 16 books and hundreds of columns and articles for Internet and print media publications; defended his beliefs on hundreds of talk shows. These columns go to newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations and may be used without change from title through the end tag. His web sites are www.cstnews.com and www.Muslimfact.com and www.thegodhaters.com. Contact Don for an interview or talk show.)
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