Well, okay, I ended up taking way too long to finish this book, a Christian fiction fantasy I m not sure I can give it a fair rating, except I suppose it dragged in a few places for me, then really picked up at the end dragons always help Also had a big gut punch ending I ve read some interesting things about the sequel, I may give it a shot. Excellent I ve read the entire series twice over and this is still my favorite of the five novels It packs an intricate storyline and brilliant, solidly developed characters Graham really does a good job of developing the setting, too it has a very broad, epic feel And talk about a shocking ending to the first book Although it frustrated me emotionally, and a little disappointment lingered throughout the following books, I think it made for a good plot device to compel the reader to finish Excellent I ve read the entire series twice over and this is still my favorite of the five novels It packs an intricate storyline and brilliant, solidly developed characters Graham really does a good job of developing the setting, too it has a very broad, epic feel And talk about a shocking ending to the first book Although it frustrated me emotionally, and a little disappointment lingered throughout the following books, I think it made for a good plot device to compel the reader to finish the series, and added a lot of interesting character options in later book that couldn t have existed otherwise Debut novels to a sword and sorcery series especially allegorical ones, which this is to a degree tend to be very formulaic, but the latter parts of this book, at least, were anything but The reader also gets a very strong sense of how sinister the villain usually is, which isanda rarity I enjoy coming across fantasy books from time to time that have fewer morally grey areas, and this is one of those.I will say that I think the author could have done some work on editing, and restructuring the dialogue in some places to addcharacter to it, but in my opinion it detracts little from the plot I would and have highly recommended the entire series Why almost no one seems to have heard of these is beyond me Joraiem and the young Novaana train in the Summerland to rule Kirthanin and to defend it against the evil schemes of MalekThe Binding of the Blade is an original fantasy series based in part on prophecy from the book of Isaiah Book , Beyond the Summerland, is where the adventure begins for a band of young Novaana, eager to serve and rule the four regions of the world of Kirthanin Kirthanin is enjoying a time of peace, though Malek, Master of the Forge, and the betrayer of old, controls Agia Muldonai, the Holy Mountain Malek s servants are growing bolder and venturing further from their mountain stronghold, and the fragility of Kirthanin s peace is growing ever clearer Join this adventure of friendship, love, and betrayal Ride through majestic forests and sail the forgotten waters Rest a while in a summer paradise and walk the streets of an ancient and forbidden city It will be the greatest challenge of their lives, but it is only the beginningThe Binding of the Blade Series has the world building of Robert Jordan s Wheel of Time, the heroic tone of Lawhead s Pendragon Cycle, and thematic richness and depth of Tolkien s Lord of the Rings While The Binding of the Blade is distinct from each of these series, these are authors whose works are similar in nature to Graham s series This book gripped me at times, but lost my attentionthan once I will definitely consider reading the next one in the series though I understand the worldbuilding well, and I enjoy the spirit of the book and story Just the pacing and the character building would cause me to drift. Awesome A must read for those who love Christian fiction Great character development and plot twists It was a slow read, but definitely worth it in the end. That surprise at the endingjust wasn t my kind of surprise Pooey But probably it s really a good book my brothers seem to like itfor some reason. How am I supposed to get through my to read list when I keep re reading old favorites Faerie tales and adventure stories have long held our imagination Tales of far off lands with exotic beauty, of hair raising dangers and evil warlords, of bravery and skill in the face of overwhelming odds such tales awaken our spiritual thirst for meaning and fulfillment in life We ve been blessed with fantasy authors steeped in a Christian worldview, great men such as J.R.R Tolkien and C.S Lewis have bequeathed a rich heritage of inspiring tales that Christians can embrace Others have Faerie tales and adventure stories have long held our imagination Tales of far off lands with exotic beauty, of hair raising dangers and evil warlords, of bravery and skill in the face of overwhelming odds such tales awaken our spiritual thirst for meaning and fulfillment in life We ve been blessed with fantasy authors steeped in a Christian worldview, great men such as J.R.R Tolkien and C.S Lewis have bequeathed a rich heritage of inspiring tales that Christians can embrace Others have continued that legacy and in The Binding of the Blade series, L.B Graham had picked up the mantle of Tolkien and Lewis.Beyond the Summerland, the first book in The Binding of the Blade series, contains all that s best in fantasy fiction Written by a Christian trained in a reformed worldview who s even contributed articles to IVP s Dictionary of Biblical Imagery , it doesn t have the baser elements that modern fantasy fiction often includes Butthan a clean work of fantasy, Beyond the Summerland is a well crafted, tale that s sure to keep you riveted until its very unexpected ending.The world of Kirthanin is a beautiful place with a scarred and ugly past A fallen angelic figure has brought war and desecration to the land, but all that seems so far away now But the peace of Kirthanin may prove to be an illusion.Graham takes us on a journey through the length of the land with an assortment of interesting and many sided characters Prophetic visions and hints of danger combine to add suspense and wonder to the tale And the beauty and courage on display is almost palpable.His tale is no copy cat, and the world he creates is believable and unique The tale seems like it will go on forever, which it almost does And by the end of the book, you are begging forFortunately, there are four additional titles in the series, and if they are all as exciting and fast paced as this book, I will certainly be picking them up.More than a good story, a Christian view of the world pervades the tale The characters struggle with making wise and right choices, a creator God is worshiped and the world is seen as his gift to men The vision for the future is of a restored holy mountain and communion with the Creator in newly reborn world The story lines intersect with our Christian faith in several key places This adds to the value of the book and makes it an inspiring read that can help orient one s mind and heart appreciate the wonder of the Greatest Fairy Tale of all, that we are a part of Jesus Christ and His restoration of our fallen world, is certainly the greatest fantasy tale of all Graham s work helps us taste a tiny bit of the wonder of it all.The book is written with young adults in mind, but I found it suitable for all adults and youth alike I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to continuing this series My thanks go out to PR Publishing for supplying a review copy of this work I was under no obligation to give it a favorable review This book was awesome But, now I m depressed because of the ending. If you get into fantasy, pick this one up and begin the journey of the Binding of the Blade My sister Sariah got me into this series and I just finished the fifth and final book in the series It is written by a Christian author and is the best thing since the Chronicles of Narnia I love that it isn t sorcery, but the people believe in one God It is gripping once you get past the slow prologue so just skim that if you have to and go back later for the info Definetly recommend.