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Kingdom's Edge [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Chuck Black
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Book Description

April 25 2008 The Kingdom Series (Book 3)
Kingdom's Edge is an action/adventure allegory of the life of Christ where swords, knights and battles are biblically symbolic. It is told by Cedric, a young peasant who is doomed to a life of hopelessness and despair, until he meets the "stranger." The stranger takes Cedric under his tutelage and trains him in the art of the sword, for this man is a true "Master of the Sword." When Cedric learns that hope and compassion are as great a weapon as the sword, he is propelled into a desperate battle against evil. Cedric must rely on the Masters training if he is going to survive his new life of non-stop, action-filled adventure. But the ultimate battle is yet to come. The Dark Knight is quickly implementing his plan to take over the kingdom. Will Cedric and his fellow brothers-in-arms be ready? Kingdom's Edge is the first book of a future Kingdom Series trilogy.

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About the Author

Chuck Black spent eight years in the Air Force traveling the world as a communications engineer and an F-16 fighter pilot. He has invented or coinvented eleven patented construction products now being sold internationally. He earned his BS in electrical and electronic engineering from North Dakota State University and today, with his wife, Andrea, is in his thirteenth year homeschooling their six children. The Blacks take their family music ministry on the road, singing Christian gospel, contemporary, and traditional songs. Chuck is enjoying his eighth year teaching adult Sunday school classes at First Baptist Church in Williston, North Dakota. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

A Stranger in Our Midst

“Cedric, if you don’t hurry, we’ll miss the procession,” William called.

William was a dreamer. Unfortunately, these were times when not even dreamers could hope for a brighter tomorrow. Although his heart was tender, his features were sharp, giving the false impression that he was a hard man. William was strong and knew where he wanted
to be, but he was not sure how to get there. His hair was dark and matched his brown eyes. Taller than average, he was a handsome man. I had known him since I was a boy. He was my friend.

“William, you know I’ve got to check on Leinad first,” I said. “Besides, what is so grand about seeing not-so-noble Noble Knights pass by when my stomach howls in hunger?”

“If only we were one of them, we wouldn’t be hungry,” William said as we approached an old cottage that matched the age of its lone occupant.

“You’re dreaming again, William. We were not born of noble blood and will therefore never become Noble Knights. Get that foolish notion out of your head!”

Leinad lived just outside Chessington near a small stream that lazily wound its way toward the sea to the south. He was a strange fellow. I had come to know him when I was a young lad. People tend to avoid what they cannot understand or what makes them uncomfortable,
and this was the case with Leinad.

Although most people avoided him, I was drawn to him and his stories–stories that seemed too strange to be true and too original to be fabricated. If even a small portion of the tales were true, then Chessington was ignorant of a very gallant man. If the tales were indeed made-up, then Leinad was just as everyone thought him to be: insane. Either way, I had a tender spot in my heart for him, especially since he was now too old to properly care for
himself.

“Good day, Sir Leinad!” I raised my voice in greeting as we approached his door. Many of his stories portrayed him as a knight in service to the King. I half-jokingly addressed
him as such, but I could never tell if I was humoring him or if he was humoring me by graciously accepting my flippant use of the title.

“Ah, dear Cedric,” came the familiar warm voice. “Welcome to my palace. Please come in.”

We stepped into his home to see Leinad seated at a small table near the south wall. His left hand was resting on the sill of the window he was staring through.

His silver hair and brows partnered with his bent frame to paint a picture of a man near the end of life’s journey. He attempted to rise and meet us, but I halted him as I placed
my hand on his shoulder.

“It’s all right, Leinad,” I said. “I know you are already standing in your heart.”

“It is good to see you, Cedric and William,” Leinad said with sincerity. He smiled at us with his eyes.

“Hello, Leinad,” William said. “How are you feeling today?”

Leinad took in a deep breath, and he turned again toward the window.

“They listened once before, but time has defeated the sincerity of truth,” Leinad said, answering a question no one had asked.

William glanced my way with a raised eyebrow. I smiled.

“We brought some bread for you,” I said, trying to break his distant trance. “I will try to bring some fruit on my next visit, but the city is pretty short on food these days.”

Leinad turned to us and gazed into my eyes. “Time is short,” he said. “The power of the King is near, and the Dark One is mounted. You must be ready…the people must be ready!”

We were used to Leinad’s odd talk, but today he seemed overcome with his delusions.

“My mission is nearly complete,” he said. “The Sword of the King sings in anticipation of the One who is worthy!”

“Yes,” I said, “your sword has no equal in splendor or beauty, that is certain. You have done well in its keeping.” I rested my hand on his shoulder. “Leinad, we must leave you now, but I will return in a few days to check on you. We can talk more then.”

Leinad smiled. “Very well, Cedric. Thank you for the bread. The King will remember your kindness to me.”

I bowed and smiled as I winked at William. “Good day then, Sir Leinad,” I said as we turned toward the door.

Outside William took a deep breath and shook his head.

“Someday, William, you and I will be hallucinating fools too,” I said as we quickened our pace to make the procession.

“I don’t think you should humor the old man so much,” William said.

“What harm can it do? Leinad is old, and if he wants to spend his final years believing in something more than we are living…then why not?”

“Yes, but I think you crossed the line with that bit about the sword,” William said as we entered the city.

“The sword is real,” I said. Soon I realized I was walking by myself. I turned around to see William standing still with a perplexed look on his face.

“What?”

“Yes,” I said. “Leinad owns a sword that is more magnificent than any I’ve ever seen–even more beautiful than any of the swords owned by the Noble Knights.”

“Where did he get such a sword?” he asked, still not quite believing me.

“His story is long and bizarre, William. In truth, I do not know how he came to own it. He keeps it wrapped in a cloth in that old wooden chest in the corner. I fear that someone would kill him for it if they knew it was there. That is why I have told no one about it.”

William rejoined me, but his gait was slower now, and his thoughts appeared to be deep.

“You’re sure about this sword, Cedric?” he asked.

“It’s been years, but I’ve seen it myself. It nearly glows in its splendor. Why someone would give a sword like that to Leinad is a mystery indeed.”

At the city’s main thoroughfare, we pushed our way to the front of the crowd. Beside us a woman with two small children waited, hoping for a scrap of food the Noble Knights might throw her way. The children’s faces were as dirty as their clothes. Poverty overwhelmed the people.

The sound of hooves on cobblestone announced the knights’ approach.

“Their horses prance and snort to match the arrogance of their riders,” I said in low tones to William.

“Enough, Cedric. After all, these Noble Knights are the chosen, are they not?”

“The King has been gone so long that I wonder if He even remembers this dreadful land.”

A poor old peasant woman was begging from one of the knights as he passed. “Please, good sir, a bit o’ food for a hungry old woman?”

He laughed as he threw a half-eaten apple her way. “Don’t eat it all at once,” he sneered.

The old woman picked up the dirt-covered apple and ate it as though it was her last meal. Maybe it would be.

The Noble Knights often passed through the streets handing out tidbits of food to show their goodwill toward the people. I believed they did it to inflate their egos; they loved their position over the people. But they had been chosen by the King to defend our land, and from all I had heard of the King, He was just and fair. Somehow, since He’d left for another country, the welfare of the kingdom had continually declined.

“Here, old man, have a feast today.”

One of the knights threw a loaf of bread to a bent old man just in front of me. I prepared for my opportunity, fully expecting the feeble old man to miss. I saw his hand reach up for the hurled loaf. The gnarled fingers I expected to see were not gnarled at all. The hand was quick and strong. He snatched the loaf with such ease and purpose that I looked a fool as I grabbed a handful of air.

The old man wore rags that covered his head and body. He began to turn around. As he did, his back slowly straightened until I faced a man who was a full three inches taller than I. He was not bent or gnarled or old. On the contrary, this man was close to my age and had shoulders as broad as a horse. His arms were defined and powerful. One could even see strength in his jaw as he removed the cloth that covered his head.

A man’s eyes give away the story of his character, my father once told me. I forced myself to gaze into the eyes of the stranger. I felt as though he had already questioned my eyes for my character. His eyes burned like fire. They penetrated into the very depths of my soul. They were not eyes of hate or malice–far from it. I saw power yet meekness, forcefulness yet gentleness, discipline yet compassion. I had never seen eyes like his!

He stretched forth his hand with the loaf of bread and offered it to me. I slowly took it from him.

“Tell me, Cedric,” the stranger said in a rich voice, “what do you hope for?”

My mind was fuzzy. I heard the hungry cry of one of the children beside me. How selfish I felt. I was ready to rob an old man of his bread, and instead he gave me the very thing I’d hoped to take.

I knelt down to the child and gave her the loaf of bread. “I’m sorry I haven’t more to give you,” I told the child’s mother.

I turned to the stranger once more. “I am a man of little hope, sir. The kingdom becomes more dreary every day. The people are starving, and the Noble Knights are the only ones who fare well. What is there to hope for? Were I foolish enough to hope, it would be that Arrethtrae was a kingdom free from hunger. A kingdom of truth, justice, and honor. A kingdom where men may serve ... --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Praise God! Aug. 26 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This series of book really have surprised me. I was a bit skeptical at first seeing the size of the books, but it was such a blessing to read! It really gives you a new perspective on the meaning of living for the glory of a King and the Name of God is praised on every page. It's simple to read so anyone can enjoy it, both young and old. Highly recommended.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An adult's review Aug. 7 2006
By Debbie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
On the back of the book it says it is supposed to be for teenagers. I enjoy a lot of 'young adult' fiction, so bought this book. Frankly, it's written more for pre-teens, maybe 8- to 12-year-olds. The language and writing is very simplistic for teenagers. I do think a pre-teen could really enjoy it, though.

In my reviews of the first two books, I complained about how the author didn't do a good job making this book a true allegory, which he clearly wanted it to be. This book, however, is very good in both the writing and in the allegory. I think it helped that he let the allegory be looser (less 'this is this event!!') and each chacter represent one group of people or one person instead of changing what the character represents throughout the story.

I would recommend this book to young adults and am going to give this book to my church's "Knights of the Cross" 4th and 5th grader Sunday school program as a prize gift.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book you will benefit from reading! May 12 2006
By Armchair Interviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Kingdom's Edge is the third book in the Kingdom's Series (Kingdom's Dawn and Kingdom's Hope being I and II). Leinad (Moses) has crossed the sea to be with the King (our Lord) and has left his stories with Cedric. Cedric of Chessington is not too sure if the stories are to be believed, but there is "something" about them that rings true.

The Kingdom is going through some very tough times. The Noble Knights have lost their path--and now they are out for themselves rather than for the people and the King. Through the years they have stopped following the Code (Commandments) and become more interested in their own power over the people.

In the midst of these hard times, the Prince arrives. His coming was foretold by Leinad. He gathers believers around him and trains his Knights (the Apostles) to fight the Dark Knight (Satan/evil) who with his Shadow Knights are coming to take over the Kingdom.

Kingdom's Edge tells the story of the Prince's life, His death and then His rising again. Even if the reader does not catch all the symbolism that the author intends, this book is very inspirational. It gives the reader a sense of hope and reminds us, in a contemporary story, the importance of faith. Kingdom's Edge (as well as the other books in the Kingdom series), should be put on everyone's reading list.

Armchair Interviews says: Anyone who reads it will benefit in some way.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boys love it! Jan. 12 2012
By Danielle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
We got our boys the set for Christmas and they have hardly put them down! My 10-year-old loves the fights and action, we appreciate the overall good themes and message. Great set of books!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it was a great book Feb. 19 2014
By Hendus & Marnelle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was a great book full of adventure and full of courage a and wonder I can't wait for the next book
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kingdom's Edge Jan. 19 2014
By Bethel Billesbach - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My son is reading the series, and liked it enough to want his own copy, so I ordered it for Christmas. The books are in very good shape for used copies. Thank you
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