PUBLICATION DATE: MARCH 16, 2010
ady Carliss and the Waters of Moorue
ady Carliss and the Waters of Moorueby Chuck Black is a children’s book that follows a quest of Lady Carliss, a young knight of the Prince. On her way back from a successful mission, Carliss is sidetracked by one of the recently freed prisoners, Salina. Youthful Salina promises her an evening of entertainment with her family, but upon reaching her home, it appears as though her family has been captured. Carliss and Salina travel together at first to find her family, but then change direction to save another knight’s fading life with the help of a seemingly unhelpful local man. Carliss rides to the city of Moorue, where many of the citizens have been tainted by the powerful waters. Lord Malco, a Shadow Warrior, reveals his sinister plan which involves deadly creatures and a plot to take over the minds of the people of the city. Carliss is in a race against time to save the life of the knight she has harbored unrequited love for and the many civilian innocents in the city captured by Lord Malco.
This allegorical story is the fourth in The Knights of Arrethtrae series. Aside from the occasional PG-rated knightly violence one would predict in a book of this nature, parents can safely rest this in the hands of their children with no fear of corruption. Loyalty to the King and the Prince (representing God the Father and Jesus) are highly praised, and the sin of sloth is openly chastised. Discussion questions at the end of the book, complete with the cheat sheet of answers, are a good way to help your child fully understand the Biblical allusion he or she has been reading. Several Biblical references are pointed out in the rare chance they were missed along the way.
Chuck Black has spared little in using this book to train future fantasy readers to know what to expect in between the cover art and back page. Like any adult fantasy fiction novel, this one includes drawings, a map and even sheet music for a song nestled in the pages. As is to be expected, some things are sacrificed in compacting allegorical fiction into a children’s book. For example, Lady Carliss’s induction into the service of the King was anticlimactic. A picture that could have taken up a wall in my imagination was, I fear, painted with too few brush strokes. As with most fantasy, there is a prologue, and if skipped over completely, does nothing to stave off the telling of the story. This is a personal pet peeve of mine, and will probably go happily unnoticed by most. All in all, it was an enjoyable read that clearly draws the young reader’s eyes heavenward, which, despite the sometimes obvious plot points, is never a bad thing.