Chuck Black’s fourth installment in the Knights of Arrethtrae, Lady Carliss and the Waters of Moorue, features a young female knight on a quest she believes she cannot accomplish. As she hunts for answers, she learns the dangers of escapism and the value of trusting herself and her king.
Lady Carliss has just agreed to help a fellow knight find the friend’s kidnapped family when another friend, Sir Dalton, is poisoned by a mysterious lizard. With the help of an absent-minded alchemist and a slow yet friendly beggar, Carliss travels to Moorue to find a cure growing in the lizard’s nest before Dalton dies. Soon, Carliss realizes Dalton’s illness must wait. Lord Malco, a prominent figure with a guarded castle, has been extracting the poison and distilling it to produce a mind-numbing pleasure trip when drunk with water. The addiction is so severe that some people in Moorue do nothing but drink it and remain in the pleasing dreams all day. Carliss must not only save Dalton, but she must also stop Lord Malco’s schemes.
Carliss faces many internal battles during her quest. Though Dalton is intended for another woman, Carliss struggles with a romantic interest in him. She feels confused and even angry when she sees him. She also questions why the king chose her and not a stronger knight to defeat the lizards.
The Knights of Arrethtrae series is a Christian allegory, and this can overpower Carliss’ unique story sometimes. Some conversations between characters obviously intend to teach the dangers of addiction in a creative, fictional way. Black handles this well; only a few small sections sound preachy.
The book begins slowly. Black makes readers wade through an introduction and a prologue about the spiritual background of Arrethtrae, and the narrator describes Carliss’ history from a distance for a chapter before showing her thoughts and emotions. After this, however, Black introduces quirky characters and increases the plot’s tension to keep readers interested.
Though the fighting scenes are slightly graphic, Lady Carliss and the Waters of Moorue provides an entertaining yet discerning moral application that teens, both male and female, should enjoy. – Alexandra Mellen, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Determined, smart and a master of both the sword and the bow, Lady Carliss has proven herself as a veteran Knight of the Prince. Returning from a mission of aid, Carliss is plunged into adventure once again as she searches for the marauders responsible for kidnapping a friends’ family. Along the way she is reunited with Sir Dalton and discovers that the struggle in her heart is far from over. When Dalton falls to the vicious attack of a mysterious, poisonous creature, Carliss finds herself in a race against time. As Dalton clings perilously to life, she must find the antidote in the distant and strange city of Moorue.
While there, Carliss uncovers the master plot of a powerful Shadow Warrior that will soon overtake the entire Kingdom. Her faith in the Prince and her courage as a knight are tested as she faces evil Shadow Warriors and a swamp full of dreadful creatures. The lives of many, including Dalton’s, depend on Carliss. But she cannot save them all, for time is running out. She faces an impossible choice: save Dalton, or let him die so that others may live.