Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione

The Knights of Arrethtrae

Young Adult - General
208 Pages
Reviewed on 03/10/2009
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

It is always exciting to find a new series that you really like. When I began reading my copy of Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione, I knew this one was a winner. While this is fantasy, it is easy to see the Christian slant. Just as C.S. Lewis told the story of Christ in his Chronicles of Narnia, Black tells the same story of salvation with a medieval twist. The lead characters each have a strong voice. Kendrick is deeply dedicated to the Prince. He is a changed man. Duncan is young, impulsive, and energetic. He supports the Prince but wants adventure. The supporting characters bring depth to the story. This is an appropriate read for middle schoolers, high schoolers, and adults. What better way to introduce youth to the King of Kings?

Cedric of Chessington, a servant of the Prince, narrates the story. The setting is the Kingdom of Arrethtrae.   The King of the Kingdom Across the Sea and His son were kind rulers. They wished to spread their rule to the Kingdom of Arrethtrae; they established the Noble Knights to protect the kingdom. The Dark Knight, Lucius, was evil and fought the Noble Knights for control of the kingdom. When the good King sent his son to the Noble Knights, they did not recognize him. They imprisoned him, tortured him, and murdered him. Not all was lost. The good King’s son conquered death and lived again. He went back to his father with the promise that he would return. When he returns, he promised he would take all his followers back with him. So begins the story.

The Knights of the Prince have a mission. “They are to spread the good news of the Prince to the entire Kingdom and recruit as many as possible.” The Dark Knight and the Shadow Warriors were training selected knights to stop the Knights of the Prince. Sir Kendrick and Sir Duncan were commissioned by the Council to discover who the knights are and what they are planning. To tell more of this story would spoil it for the reader.

There are great discussion questions at the end of the book. There are strong Christian lessons taught in this story. You do not want to miss Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione. Knights, tournaments, good versus evil, this book has it all.

Michelle Sutton

Sir Kendrick and the Castle at Bel Lione is thoroughly engaging. I think the author is a genius with an amazing gift of showing through fiction what the heart of man is truly like. I was enthralled with the story and am amazed that the genre is categorized as teen fiction. Adults who love Medieval stories will enjoy this, too. The only thing that tipped me off was the lack of descriptive violence. When someone got killed they "ran into the blade" but that was as descriptive as it got. Even the sickest scene in the dungeon/torture chambers was easy to stomach despite the cat o nine tails being used on someone. I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to gore, so this book was perfect for me. At any rate, I enjoyed Chuck's lyrical style of writing so much I read several portions out loud to my husband. The author has an amazing "voice" for writing medieval fiction with castles and knights and I felt as if I were watching a movie as I read.

What made this story unique was the allegory to the New Testament ministry of Paul. Sir Kendrick reminded me of Paul and Duncan was a lot like Timothy. I loved the clear parallel to scripture and the emphasis on good versus evil, minus the witches and dragons and other mystical themes that are often found in fantasy novels. The story did contain some pretty scary wolves, though. I felt the terror from the attacks of evil. The moral lessons were fabulously knitted into the fabric of the story, and I was moved to tears several times over themes of forgiveness. It really isn't about what we say we believe, but it's about how we actually apply our faith in Christ to our lives. The author demonstrates this theme with perfection. You can't help being inspired by reading this book.

Sarah Anderson

I have 2 sons in elementary school, and we have read everything Chuck Black has written. His Knights of Arrethrae series is even better than the Kingdom Series, and we loved that! I loved the story, and as we were reading it each night, I found it hard to put down. I confess I'd frequently read ahead after the boys were asleep! Not only is the story line captivating (to little boys as well as their Mom & Dad), the message and "moral" of the story is excellent. We did the discussion questions at the back of the book as a family, and it opened up all kinds of great family discussions about spiritual issues. After reading Chuck Black's books together as a family, the boys like to read them on their own, sometimes multiple times! I give this book a strong 5 star rating.


All of the Chuck Black Kingdom Series and now the Knights of Arrethtrae series Audio books are superb! This one is no exception. Have immensely enjoyed listening to it.

R. Stevens

Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione, by Chuck Black was a really good book, but not perfect. I give it **** stars for three reasons. The first reason is that there was action throughout the whole book. The second reason is that this book was placed in Medieval times. The last reason is that Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione is the first book in the series. That means there is a lot more to look forward to in the next books. I really liked this book and I think you would too.

Janna R. Ryan

I was blown away by how much I loved this book! It looks like a great start to a fantastic series. This is a book that would be a great read aloud to your family and would keep everyone entertained while giving you good discussion of spiritual truths and ideas. The characters are great and the settings are vivid with imagery that will take you right into the castles and countrysides as the characters go there. This is a series that I will be collecting for my family and I would strongly suggest that you do as well!