I have often found myself struggling to find wholesome adventure and fantasy novels for my children to read that do not contradict the biblical principles that govern our home. Our answer of late has come in the Tales
of Terrestria books by Ed Dunlop. Book 2 in this series, The
Golden Dagger, is no exception.
The Golden Dagger is set in the age of castles, knights, swords, and the battle between good and evil. This particular battle is raging between the bloodthirsty Karnivans and the Cheswold kingdom, which is ruled by none other than King Emmanuel. The quest to save the kingdom is being accomplished not by great armies, but through the lives of three young people. Dathan and Lana, slaves in a castle, find themselves rescuing a new captive, Sterling. Upon freeing young Sterling, who appears to be of royal blood, the three must flee from the castle to escape their own death. Throughout the story line, mystery creeps as Dathan and Lana attempt to discover the true identity of their new companion. Danger is always lurking as they attempt to journey 300 miles to Sterling's homeland and safety, while constantly being pursued by the Karnivan army.
This tale is just as packed with adventure as the first book in the series. In reading it aloud to our children, ages 5-12, I never finished a chapter without hearing "Mommy, read just one more chapter." Unlike The
Quest for Thunder Mountain, this book has only a few instances of Christian allegory within the storyline. However, the symbolism and Scriptural message at the end of the story is very powerful. It is a culmination that will not disappoint. The author's single statement that serves as a preface to the story tells it all: "That my heart would learn to trust in the guidance of my King."
The Tales of Terrestria books are approximately 200 pages long and appropriate for most upper elementary and junior high students. They are easy reading based on vocabulary, but the meaning in the story line lends itself to wonderful family discussions of richer biblical truths for your family. This and other works by Ed Dunlop provide parents with such good reading material to offer to their children that the lure of worldly fantasy writing will not compare.