Wednesday 12 May 2021

The Crown Jewels of Undlar - Roger Thomas

The Crown Jewels of Undlar 
Roger Thomas

ISBN 9781733080958

Over the last 2 years I read all the book available from the masterful pen of Roger Thomas. And there are some excellent reads. I especially loved his earlier collection of stories, The Last Ugly Person: And Other Stories, It was one of my favorite reads of almost 400 books that year. But somehow I missed the publication of this volume, and once I did pick it up, was in the midst of several other books and it got lost in the shuffle for a few months. Once it came to the top of my ‘To Be Read’ pile, it was a thrill from start to finish. This story written for the authors own children, is one of his earliest works. And it is just now coming to the light of day. I approached this volume much as I did Boxen by C.S. and Warnie Lewis. And though there are vast difference between the world created by the younger Lewis’s and Undlar. There is something wonderful about this volume. 

The description of the book is:

“Six siblings awaken from a mysterious sleep to find themselves in a beautiful but perilous land called Undlar that is missing some important things. The residents of Undlar are missing from their villages and fields, cowering in fear from the menace that haunts their skies and woods. The Lord of the land is missing from his throne, and is presumed to be asleep in his tower. The jewels which brought order and harmony to Undlar are missing from the Lord’s Crown, and are scattered and lost. Also missing are mysterious visitors who are foretold to be the ones to find the missing jewels, restore them to the Crown, awaken the Sleeping Lord, and restore order to Undlar. Not much is known about these visitors, except that they will be “giants”, and there will be six of them. To their alarm, the children find that the inhabitants of Undlar believe them to be the prophesied rescuers. Can six ordinary children surmount deadly peril to find the lost jewels that will heal a broken land?”

A fascinating story about Faith, Hope, Family, and new friends. That is what this story is about. It is about making things right. And helping to play a role in redemption. Follow the children after they pray for an adventure, and wake up in a strange world. A world where they are considered giants. A world befouled by greed and sin. A world with a sleeping ruler. A world that has been so long lost some no longer hope or believe the old stories. A quest to retrieve the six stones and right an old wrong. Can the children maintain hope as they separate and quest for the 6 missing stones. Can they bring insight and wisdom? Can they restore hope? To find out you will need to read the story.

I greatly enjoyed this volume. And it reminds me of many stories both old and new. It reminded me of Hinds Feet on High Places by Hanna Hurnard. And in some ways it also reminds me of The Secret of the Shamrock by Lisa M. Hendey and Jenn Bower Chime Travelers Book 1. And even somewhat of the recent release Mystic Informant by Carissa Douglas the Douglings Adventures Book 1. And Fans of any of those works will enjoy this volume as well. 

In the canon of Thomas’s work it is obvious this is an earlier offering. But there is a charm and simplicity about this story that is very endearing. If you are a fan of any of the stories mentioned above, or of Thomas’s work this is a must read. A spiritual pilgrimage with 6 children as they find their way into a very different land, a prophecy they seem destined to fulfil, and a world in need of saving. An excellent read! 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Roger Thomas:
The Accidental Marriage
From Afar
The Last Ugly Person: And Other Stories
The Ghosts of Midgard Manor And Other Stories

The Crown Jewels of Undlar

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