We were excited when we received Foundlings, the first book in The Peleg Chronicles. Matthew Christian Harding included a long letter introducing the series to us and explaining his views on fantasy books, dragons, magic, and historical fiction. My 15 year old daughter (fantasy fiction lover) and myself were both intrigued by the premise of The Peleg Chronicles, historical fiction set at the time following Noah and the dispersion following the Tower of Babel ... a time when dragons (dinosaurs) still roamed the earth WITH man, and giant men existed.
Sound like fantasy to you? Well, not if you look at history from a young earth creationist viewpoint. Giants are mentioned in the Bible, as are dinosaurs. If we believe God created all things in 7 days (as our family does), then dinosaurs did co-exist with man. Since God didn't tell Noah to take 2 of each animal, except dinosaurs, on the ark ... then they would have also existed following the flood.
As a Christian, I am thankful that Mr. Harding's fiction does NOT include magic, humanism, or evolution. But I was even more impressed with how he works Scripture into the storyline. At first, it seemed odd to find the characters quoting Psalms, when the book is set in a time before the book of Psalms was written. And yet, I realized that not all of the Psalms would have been written as original compositions by David. Some of them would have been songs he was taught as a child, and then recorded in the book of Psalms.
The characters in Foundlings were very likable and became real to me as I read the book. The heart of the believers to praise God, follow Him through dangerous situations, and draw others away from idol worship and back to the Father was encouraging. I also found the twisting plot to be very exciting. Its cliff-hanger ending definitely leaves you wanting to read the sequel, Paladins.
When I was younger, I enjoyed reading fantasy fiction. However, God began to convict me about the magic and humanism that pervaded the books, and I chose to discontinue reading fantasy books. Though Mr. Harding rejects the fantasy classification for his books, it was wonderful to read a book set in an earlier time (with kings, dragons, giants and dwarves) that was not only SAFE to read ... but more importantly glorified the Lord. I feel confident in recommending this book to my children and others looking for Christian alternatives to fantasy fiction.
I would not recommend this book for children under the age of 10 - 12, as portions of it may be too intense for them. In our home, we would not use it as a family read aloud, since we have 5 children under the age of ten. As always, it is best to preview a book yourself, especially for children in the 12 and under age group. This book does have evil Dragon Priests who practice human sacrifice (including child sacrifice), but there are not any descriptions of their ceremonies, and they fail at each human sacrifice they attempt in this book.
Foundlings is the first book in this series, and can be purchased for $11.95. It is a softcover book, with 239 pages. The final seven pages include Scriptures that present the Gospel to readers. Mr. Harding offers a Good Read Guarantee: if you or your child doesn't love the book, keep your copy and still receive a full refund.
This item was provided free for our review as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. We received no other compensation, and this review is our honest opinion. Visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.
Trusting In Him,