Friday, October 1, 2010

The Peleg Chronicles: Foundlings, a book review

As part of the The Old Schoolhouse Review 2010-2011 Crew I received "Foundlings" by Matthew Christian Harding. I appreciate the letter the author included with his biographical information and the background information for writing "Foundlings". I never tire of hearing the testimonies of Christians, and how they turned from their sin and became believers.

From the web site:

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. 

My Son's Experience

I asked Paperboy to read this and planned to discuss it with him. He attempted to read it and didn't stick with it. Since it wasn't "school related", I chose not to force him. I began the book and immediately discovered why he couldn't read it. In the first 6 pages I stumbled across 2 phrases that even I didn't know. I was unable to figure them out in the context of the sentences either. I had never heard the words or phrases. "his intense cogitations" and "developing his master's deportment". Paperboy has had reading struggles in the past. This style of writing for him was challenging. I do plan on encouraging him to re-attempt it after we discuss it. (He is currently visiting Poppa and Grandma, so that will have to be in the near future.)

My Experience

Now, I on the other hand, like it when an author goes into great detail or vivid descriptions. I like to try to imagine the scene. I quickly moved on and found myself drawn into the story. I love battles between good and evil mixed in with the ebb and flow of descriptive writing. I was surprised to see I had stayed up until midnight reading. This is a measure of a good book for me. It is either my "no-doze" or "sominex". I know this is a very crude way to measure the worthiness of a book, but it's the best measuring tool for a tired mom, who loves to read.

The heroes: Lord McDougal, Thiery, Fergus, Suzie and even Gimcrack are lovable, have weaknesses, yet godly virtues. The gospel and God-honoring values are woven in different manners throughout the story. The story kept me in suspense, and I couldn't imagine how it would end.  Predictably, it leaves the reader hanging. 

Initially, while reading this, I believed this book would be enjoyed exclusively by Christians. It is clear at the conclusion, the author intends to share the Gospel with the reader. It could be used as an evangelical tool, perhaps a gift to someone who enjoys fantasy novels. I don't see this author as a crossover author, whose allegorical tales can be open for interpretation, the character's conversations contains preaching and Bible quotes.  Understanding the Bible states: The preaching of the cross is foolishness to them that perish. I consider this a compliment. I enjoy this in a book when it is presented in a manner that is not scripted or canned. Mr. Harding was very creative in his presentation of the Gospel. I've never really thought about how life was during civilization after Babel and how those who worshiped the one true God dealt with personal sins or shared their faith. This book prompted me to consider this.

The Peleg Chronicles, Book, The Foundlings is available at Zoe and Sozo Publishing for $11.95. It is the first in a series, with Book 2, Paladins also available. A few things of note on the web site: There is a chronology  chart available, a unit study and the opportunity to order an autographed copy. On his website, Mr. Harding explains his desire to write books that contain no magic, no evolution, and no humanism. I also notice there are no romantic scenes. There is an ample amount of fighting and gore. This is handled with virtue, accepting self-defense and defending of a weaker person, yet condemning killing an unarmed enemy.

Because I normally don't read fantasy novels, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. You may read what other Crew Members are saying about Foundlings here.

I received a complimentary copy of this book as a participant in the 2010-2011 TOS review crew. The opinions are my own and of course my children's. 

I welcome reader comments with open arms. I also understand if you aren't the commenting or hugging type of person, you can drop me an email at

1 comment:

Just an Average American Mom said...

Good review.

It seems this book brings about a mixed pot from all the crew members.