When Eric Reinhold's children asked him for original bedtime stories, he created multidimensional characters, an alternate universe, and a magnificent adventure based on the armor of God. Oh, and a few years later...he turned those stories into a book series geared toward youth and landed a publishing contract for said books all while running his own company and remaining a devoted family man. Impressed? Me too.
The story behind the story is one of the things I love best about Reinhold's Ryann Watters series. Here are a few more things I love about Ryann Watters and the King's Sword (part one of the trilogy) and Ryann Watters and the Shield of Faith (part two).
- It's geared toward kids 8-13 but lends itself to an enjoyable reading experience for adults.
- The non-fantasy segments take place in the real town of Mount Dora, FL.
- The stories come with a moral compass and promote spiritual growth.
- Scripture references are used appropriately throughout the books.
- The four main characters are every day kids who encounter real obstacles and struggle to make the best decisions.
- Family values are accentuated as Ryann Watter's parents play a role in the story.
- The fantasy world of Aeliana and its mythical inhabitants are created with beautiful and vivid finess.
- I was disappointed that Drake, the bully in Ryann Watters and the King's Sword, was written as though he was a lost cause because of his horrible home life. I think there are some beautiful redemption tales that could be told based on Drake. Hmmm...perhaps a sequel?
- At first I was turned off by the fact that Carwyn, the heroic unicorn in Ryann Watters and the Shield of Faith, closely resembled Aslyn from the C.S. Lewis masterpiece The Chronicals of Narnia. However, that fact no longer annoyed me when I gave the matter more thought. Both Aslyn and Carwyn are based on Jesus, so it would make sense that their story arcs are similar.
Now, for the fun part. I have an auographed copy of book one and book two in the Ryann Watters series that I will give to one lucky reader who leaves a comment on this post.
If you don't win...don't worry. You can purchase both books online for $20. This special sale ends on Friday, January 15th. Visit www.shop.ryannwatters.com for more details. (Sorry for not linking directly...I'm having some Blogger issues) Even if you do not have children, these books would make a fantastic gift to your local library.