Friday, October 1, 2010

Foundlings (The Peleg Chronicles: Book 1) by Matthew Christian Harding

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The Author's Summary:  "Foundlings, book one of The Peleg Chronicles is Historical Fiction that takes place in the time period of Peleg, soon after the tower of Babel dispersion. In its pages we meet dragons, giants, false priests, the death hunt, an under-city of the Dwarven Brotherhood, and many memorable characters.  The story begins with Lord McDougal and his faithful shield-bearer, Fergus Leatherhead, departing their lands with giants at their backs, while before them lie in wait denizens of the bog-land and forest.   Ever ready to protect and serve others, they gather in tow an assortment of displaced adventurers and find themselves embroiled in a mysterious search for the foundlings: orphaned Thiery with his companion Horatio the white wolf, and Suzie who has been deceitfully retained by the thieves Elvodug and Flemup. Others also seek the foundlings, and their purposes are most sinister - Dragon Priests who practice cozen sacrifices, and their leader Count Rosencross who is torn by his God given conscience and his pursuit of personal glory. Onward toward the city of Hradcanny they travel, meeting with treachery, beast attacks, camaraderie and psalms of praise with an eye toward the gospel. Though their battles are at times fierce and the outcomes uncertain, the author maintains the integrity of these noble characters, who through weakness are made strong by Him in whom they trust.  Foundlings weaves together the Biblical principles of chivalry, truth, courage, duty, faith and love within the framework of Genesis, and a bold adherence to its historicity. It's an exciting page turner that leaves you wanting more, but more importantly it leaves the reader with Godly heroes to think on and emulate, and a young earth creationist view of history that conforms to the Word of God."

My Thoughts: Unfortunately, I must disagree with the last sentence of the author's summary.  I did not find this to be an exciting page-turner, but rather another difficult book to plow through. The book was accompanied by a rather long letter from the author, sharing his background and his vision for the series.  Although I disagree with some of the conclusions he comes to (for one, his dismissal of fantasy and all uses of magic in fiction) and was put off by his choice in advertising (promoting a book through what's not in it seems rather backward), his life story was quite interesting and I was hopeful for a novel as exciting.  That was not to be.

As I've stated here before, I believe a story should stand on its own, with the message woven seamlessly throughout.  A good story will cause one to think and dig deeper, to gain new insights naturally as the story proceeds.  To learn and grow through discovery.  The message should not overpower the story. And the story should be one where you can't wait to turn the page.  I have high standards for story and yet am easily pleased when I find an enjoyable one.  Unfortunately, this was not one I enjoyed. 

Some will enjoy this story because they like message heavy, fantasy free fiction (although you may find it too dark).  What's missing from the book will cause you to want to read it.  And that's okay too.  We all have different perspectives.  If you'd like to order Foundlings, its available for $11.95 and he'll even autograph it for you.


*Disclosure: I received this at no cost, for review purposes.  If you'd like to read what others thought, please see the TOS Crew site.*


2 comments:

Lizzie said...

Good to know. I already don't like him. You know my feelings on magic and fantasy, our world would be poorer without stories in the vein of Lewis, Tolkien and Rowling.
I am steering clear. Thanks Lori.

All American x5 said...

I found the book difficult as well.

I really felt scammed by the abrupt ending and the need to buy the next book in order to continue with an all ready lacking book.

Great review.

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