The Heart of Arcrea

The Heart of Arcrea

‘ “He who discovers the heart of Arcrea and joins the hands of the seven regions will be king.”

Set during a forgotten age of kings and queens, knights and nobles, wise-men and warlords, The Heart of Arcrea follows the story of Druet the blacksmith, who, hoping to free his father from an unjust imprisonment, sets out on a quest that will solve an ancient riddle and crown a man as Arcrea’s first king. A host of memorable characters join Druet on his mission of justice, but opposition quickly rises to test their level of commitment and their faith in God. Will the dangerous wilds of Arcrea and her seven oppressive lords succeed in bringing an end to Druet’s quest and crush forever the kingdom’s hopes for a just king?

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What is this heart of Arcrea and where is it to be found?
“You must discover it for yourself.” ‘-summary from Goodreads

I liked the premise of this book when I first heard of it, and decided to give it a try. It was slow going through the first part, and my expectations dropped. I considered not finishing it, but then decided to push through it. And I am so glad I did!

The feel reminds me a lot of both Chuck Black’s Kingdom series and Jaye L. Knight’s books. It’s set in a fictional medieval kingdom, but still retains some sense of being “real,” as the characters in the story are well aware of the Gospel and Jesus. I would almost call it more of a historical fiction then a fantasy-except for all the awesome fantasy creatures. Ignispats, (come on, isn’t that just fun to say?) carnaturs, and catawylds are a few, along with your traditional dragon. The mythical creatures were definitely one of my favorite parts of the book.

The characters in themselves were also very excellently drawn. Though they seemed a little flat at first part, they rounded out well in the rest of the book. There was a clear distinction between the good characters, and the bad characters. I never felt like the protagonists were a bad example, which is a problem with some of today’s young adult books. My only beef with this, however, is that the main protagonist, Druet, felt a little too perfect. I felt like he needed some more flaws to make him seem more human.

The plot was fun as well, but a little bit predictable. I pretty much guessed how it was going to turn out from the very first part of the book. The author did surprise me with some twists and turns, that I did not expect, though, so it’s not entirely without excitement. (FYI: it does end on a cliffhanger. You are warned.)

Overall, it seemed tastefully done. A pure, encouraging book is hard to find now a days, and this was a refreshment to my soul. Younger kids especially are sure to enjoy it, and this would make excellent read-aloud. I recommend it heartily.

Content guide:
Language 2/10 (mild name-calling)
Violence 4/10 (several injuries, some serious, but handled well. Not gory or overly graphic)
Sexual Content 0/10

Rating: 4 stars
Recommended for 8 and up.

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*Many thanks to the author for providing a copy to review!*

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