Raven’s Ladder, by Jefferey Overstreet

Raven’s Ladder, by Jefferey Overstreet is the third book in his Auralia’s Thread series.

Cal-Raven leads the exodus of his people as they search for a land of legend in which to build their new home.  This sounds like a well-known Bible story so I expected to be in very familiar territory.  I was pleasantly surprised to find myself elsewhere.  Cal-Raven’s story has some parallels to the book of Exodus, but I would not consider it an allegory.

Raven’s Ladder is extremely well-written.  The author’s attention to detail is notable.  He writes vividly and crisply.  Because of this, I have ordered the first two books in what I believe will be an outstanding series.  However, I cannot recommend Raven’s Ladder as a stand-alone read.  While reading I was often pulled out of the story by references to previous happenings I was not privy to since I had not read the first two books.

I feel confident in recommending this book to my readers on the strength of the quality of the writing, but with the caveat that they begin the series with book one, which has been twice-nominated for a Christy Award.  You can read more about Jefferey Overstreet and order this series from Random House.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Multnomah Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Lady Charliss and the Waters of Moorue, by Chuck Black

Book 4 of the Knights of Arrethtrae: Lady Charliss, Knight of the Prince, has a choice to make. Does she save the man she loves, or does she save a village? She cannot do both. While she struggles to decide, her friendship is betrayed and her own life is placed in mortal peril.

This is an edge of your seat read. In Lady Charliss and the Waters of Moorue, Chuck Black, former fighter pilot and communications engineer, has written an outstanding allegory for youth of any age. I loved this book. I didn’t care it that was smack in the middle of a series from which I’d read nothing else. It was a complete story on it’s own from beginning to end.

If you like fantasy, coming of age, and/or quest novels, you will like this book. The vocabulary is best suited for 9-12 year-olds, but the story will span all ages. The story includes action, friendship, loyalty, betrayal, and a tiny touch of romance. It is also packed full of Christian principals and models wise decision-making skills, yet it does not come across as sappy or preachy.

The back of the book contains discussion questions for every chapter. These questions help one think about what one is reading in the story and relate it to Biblical precepts. There is also a music score in the back of the book titled, Journey to Moorue.  It was written by Emily Elizabeth Black.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Multnomah Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”