The Kalymbrian Chronicles books one and two give us a solid American fantasy coupled with an excellent coming of age tale. A teenage boy is summoned, made king, and married in one momentous day. How does he deal with that?
The Summoned King is wonderful fun
This is the American hero fighting tyranny, bureaucracy, and corruption. Added to that is an arraigned marriage which grows into a love affair. It’s great fun to watch US values clash with the entrenched court politics and “the way we do things”. We find the new king doing things we would do in our fantasies. The blurb:
Indiana high school senior James Madison Young might best be described as a Renaissance man: intelligent, of good character, well educated, and full of passionate interests in everything from Krav Maga to robotics. One evening he falls asleep while studying at the library. He wakes to find himself in another world, filled with magic, danger, and romance. He has been summoned by court wizard Maynard to be the king of Kalymbria. Forced into marriage with the beautiful and magically powerful yet untrained Julia Roper for his queen, he must restore the lapsed Constitution in the face of opposition from a hostile Council of Advisors, and defend his new country from the evil machinations of the wizard Ruinga and her allied kingdom of Venicka. Rediscovering the lost art of enchantment may provide him with a powerful edge in his quest, if he can survive the assassins and conspiracies arrayed against him.
The middle book is always tricky
The obvious results of book one are major moral, political, and military clashes. of course, the nasty, faux regents do not like being pushed aside. People do not like to give up the known for the supposedly better. Plus, the assassination attempts continue. Friends and foes are found in surprising places. Book two in a series is always the low point, but Dave did an excellent job of keeping my interest while prodding my curiosity. The blurb:
James Madison Young, American teen, has been summoned to serve as the figurehead King of Kalymbria. Not one to be satisfied with a do-nothing role, he has wrested control from the corrupt ruling council. After solidifying his hold on the reins of government power, he has instituted the first of his planned reforms: abolition of slavery and human sacrifice. A year after his summoning, he now must defeat rebellious former Council members who seek a return to the old ways. Martialing the newly raised Kalymbrian Legion, he leaves his pregnant wife, Julia, to serve as regent, and sets out to suppress the nascent rebellion before it can plunge his country into unbridled civil war. Along the way, he invents powerful new enchanted devices, and meets interesting new allies, dangerous new foes, and a dragon!
The Enchanter King provokes thought
How would you deal with the problems and issues raised by this book? As one who has serious issues with the efficacy of democracy, Jim’s republic is very intriguing. I’m very curious about how Dave will resolve all the issues raised—in the final [as yet unwritten] book in the series.
The Kalymbrian Chronicles books one and two are enjoyable edifying reads
I’m giving them Religious Recognition of Achievement awards. The Summoned King came very close to redemptive. For The Enchanter King, hard work overcame the spiritual walk. My hope is that the final book will become redemptive. That remains to be seen.
However, I am eagerly waiting for the final book. This has been an excellent series so far. It would be wonderful for teens, assuming their education has included American history. But for adults, the series offers hope and wonder in the midst of a world of chaos and fear. You should read these books.