Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Dragon King Trilogy #3: The Sword and the Flame by Stephen R. Lawhead

The Sword and the Flame (The Dragon King, #3)My name is Toli, and the king has blamed me for the kidnapping of his son. And he's right, I should have protected him better. Now, the king has lost all hope, and he's in danger of losing his throne. I've learned the kidnapper is Nimrood; we should have made sure he was dead when we had the chance. He is demanding the king's sword as ransom for the prince's safe return, but the sword has disappeared. However, the king's greatest threat may come from within the kingdom. His faith and devotion to a new God Most High has frightened many of the townspeople, and they may rebel. I must do what I can to help save the prince, the king, and the kingdom, or I must die trying.

As with the previous books, this one has a strong spiritual aspect to it that may turn off some readers. It will probably appeal to more mature readers. The king's faith in a new god is a driving force for many of the characters. I found the descriptions of their struggles to understand the god's motives and beliefs to be a distraction from the plot. It kind of stopped the flow in its tracks. I'm not anti-religion or anything; I'm just reacting as an avid reader. I enjoyed the loyalty of the king's close friends, as they maintained faith in him even as he lost faith in himself. Much like the first book, an innocent young boy displays great bravery to become a hero. The boy in the first book became King Quentin. The plot had its moments of action and suspense, and once again the climax involved a giant battle. Most of the characters live happily ever after.

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