Ed Dunlop has done it again. His first success with the amazing seven-book series The
Terrestria Chronicles is now followed by a new series, The
Tales of Terrestria. These books are certainly action packed, but they are also packed with Christian allegory. Unlike the first series, The
Tales of Terrestria is not sequential, and the books do not use the same cast of characters. So do not fret if you find yourself reading them out of order.
Upon first reading The Quest for Thunder Mountain, I was filled with enthusiasm. We have two girls followed by two boys. As our girls were growing up, I found that as long as the topic of the book interested them, it did not really matter whether the main character was a girl or boy. This does not seem to hold true for my boys. No matter how much action and adventure are in a book, it just does not hold the same appeal if the main character is not a strapping young lad. My boys just ate up the adventures of Gavin in The Quest for Thunder Mountain.
As the story unfolds, young Gavin has just been fired from his job as a minstrel. He is wandering the streets in hopes of figuring out what to do next. No job. No place to sleep. No food to eat. And no way of providing any of these things. Gavin properly discerns that the answers for his future lie with King Emmanuel and begins his quest for Thunder Mountain in order to gain an audience with the king and get the answers to his many questions.
Along his travels, Gavin encounters those that encourage him, discourage him, tempt him, and guide him. As I continued to read, I was amazed by the incredible knowledge of the Scriptures that Mr. Dunlop must possess to create such powerful symbolism and allegory throughout the entire novel.
Have you ever desired for your children to read the original Pilgrim's Progress but knew the challenges that would be faced in the Old English writing? If there was ever a modern-day counterpart to Pilgrim's
Progress, it would certainly be the work of Ed Dunlop. As a read-aloud book, The
Quest for Thunder Mountain could be used as a chapter-by-chapter devotional tool to engage your children in uncovering allegorical truths about our Lord. Family discussions about these truths could challenge each member of the family to watch for the guiding hand of God and His provision and protection.
Our 12-year-old daughter read this novel independently. I asked her to read a chapter a day and then write a journal entry reflecting on the Christian truths that she encountered in her reading. Our greatest struggle in these assignments was keeping her bound to reading just one chapter a day. It was similar to bridling a wild stallion. She eagerly asked if there were any more books like this one: "This is a cool way to really think about God. He really does do stuff like this in my life too."
I heartily encourage all Christian families, whether they homeschool or not, to read The
Terrestria Chronicles and The Tales of Terrestria books with your children. While you do, your family will have plenty to talk about that is a whole lot more fulfilling and exciting than "Did you get your math done yet?" Then share these great books with the kids in your neighborhood and just see what happens!