About the Book:
According to legend, King Arthur is supposed to return when Britain needs him most. So why does a man claiming to be the once and future king suddenly appear in Los Angeles?
This charismatic young Arthur creates a new Camelot within the City of Angels to lead a crusade of unwanted kids against an adult society that discards and ignores them. Under his banner of equality, every needy child is welcome, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, or gang affiliation.
With the help of his amazing First Knight, homeless fourteen-year-old Lance, Arthur transforms this ragtag band of rejected children and teens into a well-trained army—the Children of the Knight. Through his intervention, they win the hearts and minds of the populace at large, and gain a truer understanding of themselves and their worth to society. But seeking more rights for kids pits Arthur and the children squarely against the rich, the influential, and the self-satisfied politicians who want nothing more than to maintain the status quo.
Can right truly overcome might? Arthur’s hopeful young knights are about to find out, and the City of Angels will never be the same.
Once upon a time in the City of Angels, chaos was king, and carelessness ruled.
So begins Children of the Knight, a heart-tugging new young adult fantasy. The picture the author paints of life on the streets of Los Angeles is brutal, and, I’m afraid, mostly true. I know of children who have been kicked out of their houses in my own small, Northern California town, so I can only imagine how many kids are living on the streets in a big city.
But King Arthur comes back to help the children take back the streets; to kick out the pimps and dealers; to renovate whole neighborhoods. Sound a little cheesy and too good to be true? It probably is, but it is a fantasy novel, after all.
Although this book is labelled as young adult, there are some pretty strong scenes in it. Child abuse and prostitution are both depicted (although not graphically), as are two death scenes.
The strongest theme in Children of the Knight, for me, was the theme of acceptance. Arthur, in the book, in many ways is like Jesus Christ – accepting and encouraging anyone who wants to give up their old way of life to “come, follow me.”
I found the book to be a little long, but I could not put it down as I waited to see how Arthur’s crew would fare in their mission and watched the poignant relationship between Arthur and his “kids of the Round Table.”
I give Children of the Knight 3 1/2 swords. It’s a fresh take on a very old story, and worth a look if you want to renew your hope for the future.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review through Innovative Online Book Tours. All opinions are 100% my own.
About the Author:
Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of three novels––A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time, and Children of the Knight––who grew up in San Rafael, California.
He majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University and earned a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount and another master’s in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills.
He partnered with two friends as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II,” the reviews of which are much more fun than the actual movies. Ha!
He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook.
He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to seven different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a nearly thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles. He is a passionate advocate for the fair treatment of children and teens in California, something that is sorely lacking in this state.
He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and National Big Brother of the Year. The “National” honor allowed he and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office.
He has already completed the two continuations of Children of the Knight entitled Running Through A Dark Place & And The Children Shall Lead, and plans to release both in 2014.