Saturday, November 28, 2015

Book Review: King's Warrior by Jenelle Schmidt

Buy it Here
Description: Six hundred years ago the land of Aom-igh was threatened with invasion by the Dark Country across the Stained Sea; in their danger King Llian sought the help of the dragons and the myth-folk. Graldon, King of the Dragons, granted the human king with a gift that would help him defeat his enemies. Graldon also promised King Llian that the dragons would come to the humans’ aid should Aom-igh ever be in such danger again. Years passed, and Aom-igh remained safe and isolated from its enemies. The dragons slowly disappeared and faded into legend and myth, and people forgot magic had ever existed.
When her kingdom is threatened by the Dark Country once again, the headstrong Princess Kamarie sets off on a quest to find the man who may be able to save them all: the former King’s Warrior. Traveling with her are two companions: her eccentric maid, and a squire who resents his charge to travel with and protect the princess. However, finding the legendary hero proves to be the least of their worries. Together the companions encounter more than they ever bargained for. A beautiful gatekeeper, a sword fashioned by dragons, enemies who pursue them relentlessly and hound them at every turn, and an underground world full of mythical creatures are just the beginning of their adventures.
As they search for the answers to mystifying riddles and seek a way to save everything they hold dear the comrades will learn a little about courage, a lot about truth, and more about themselves than they ever imagined. But if they can succeed in their quest, they may join worlds together.

Honestly, this is the hardest review I have written all this year, and it is going to be brief. I have read blog posts and such by this author, and I really like her on a personal level. I also am a firm believer that book reviews need to be honest, but not harsh. However, sometimes it is hard not to come across as sounding harsh.

This story was well written and had compelling characters and a great setting. I think many people will really enjoy this book. That is why I am giving it three stars, because the quality cannot help stand out among a lot of fantasy stories that only parrot other fantasy stories.

I cannot recommend this book because it violates biblical ethics when it comes to sorcery. God clearly states the magic and wizardry are sins and are hated by Him (Galatians 5:19-21, Deuteronomy 18:10-11, Leviticus 20:6). At least three character (whom you cannot help but love) cast spells and use magic for ‘good.’

I thought long and hard before writing this review, and even decided a couple of times not to write it. However, I felt that some people out there might want to know before picking up the story.


  1. Thank you very much for being honest and sticking to your beliefs! ; )

  2. Galatians 5:19-21 lists 'witchcraft' among other forms of sin. Witchcraft is defined as 'black magic, the use of spells and the invocation of spirits'. Deuteronomy 18:10-11 again lists witchcraft as detestable alongside human sacrifice, consulting the dead, and divination. And Leviticus 20:6 warns against consulting spirits.

    The fantasy genre was founded on the idea of relating and comparing the abstract to the mundane in order to unpack difficult themes. C.S. Lewis created an allegorical world to help readers grasp the concept of salvation. J.R.R. Tolkien longed to remind his Oxford students of the mystery and wonder of the ancient Celtic and Nordic cultures. John Bunyan wanted to demonstrate the life of the Christian with all of its ups and downs.

    There is no black magic in King's Warrior. There are no spirits, human sacrifice, or divination. There is a God (based entirely on the Christian God) in the novel which gifts certain races of people with genetic magical ability. This ability can be used for good or for evil, depending on the intentions of the owner.

    In reality, there is no such thing as genetic magic. The only magic in existence is that of spirits (aka demons). The Bible warns against this magic, among other real vices. The Bible warns only against real sins. Genetic magic is not a reality. Therefore, the Bible does not warn against it. So the next question that begs to be asked is this; is non-real genetic magic evil, or is it merely a metaphor? I suppose the answer is up to the context of the novel, the discretion of the reader, and/or the views of the author.

    However, in the case of King's Warrior, I think it is hardly fair to discredit the entire novel on the basis of Bible verses which do not even apply to the type of magic utilized therein, especially without even a mention of the many wonderful (and Biblical) themes woven throughout the story: themes of Christ-like sacrifices, wisdom forged through hardship, a cautionary tale against jealousy and the destruction it can cause to a family, the condemnation of racism, the effect of loneliness, grief, humility, and many, many more such lessons.

    I thoroughly enjoy reading this blog, and I appreciate your willingness to market me and my fellow homeschooled authors. I simply wish that the fantasy genre would be reviewed on the basis of it being metaphorical, rather than disregarded for its imaginative use of genetic abilities.

  3. Sarah,

    Supernatural abilities are often called magic in fantasy fiction. Biblically, many people have demonstrated supernatural abilities through the power of God. Think of Moses's staff transforming into a snake. That is a supernatural ability God allowed Moses to use. Elijah called down fire from heaven at least three times. Even Biblical people in the style of antiheroes were given supernatural abilities. Samson was gifted with incredible strength even when he did things that were clearly wrong. If an author chooses to use the term 'magic' to describe the supernatural abilities God gives to people, why does it become wrong?

    You said you could not find any biblical reason to condone magic. I have not read King's Warrior, but based on Kaycee's description I would answer that the magic present is a supernatural ability given by God, which the author has chosen to describe as magic. In history God gave many people supernatural abilities. Why is it wrong to depict supernatural abilities in fiction, even when these abilities come from God?

    I also believe the Bible is very clear on this issue. I read the Bible verses you mentioned as well as a few related ones and found nothing that condemned supernatural abilities. Supernatural abilities from demonic sources are forbidden, yes. But God does not forbid supernatural abilities which He gives, as the profusion of Biblical people He empowered attests.

  4. I'm very pleasantly surprised. When it comes to the Christian fantasy genre, most Christians let their stand on magic/ witchcraft slide. It was very brave to write this review and you did a good job without criticizing the book too harshly.