The Hidden Kingdom

Tuesday, December 1, 2015
It was her land, her world that was an illusion, she mused. A wizard’s fabrication. But not this. This was a piece of the actual world above. The world that was created ages ago, designed for humans to inhabit. The world she and her people were from and were meant to be a part of. As wonderful as the box had felt under her hands, moving to her will, this rock felt even more wonderful. For it spoke to her heart and soul. To her origins that cried out in her blood. She felt as if she had been wandering lost her whole life, looking for her true home. She knew now she had found it.

Book: The Hidden Kingdom (The Gates of Heaven Book 7) by C. S. Lakin, Living Ink Books, 2015

Genre: Fantasy
Target Audience: Boys and Girls 12-16
Subjects: Faith
Summary: Destruction. One site after another is being destroyed. The Gates of Heaven that were set up to protect the world from evil are crashing. Sha’kath the Destroyer and his gryphons have been loosed and are seeking out all seven of the Gates of Heaven to destroy them. What the keepers and kings and wizards can not figure out is why Heaven is allowing it. Perthin, King and Keeper of Elysia is told that he will be the last king and the last keeper. Perthin, Kael, Adin, Joran, his father and other wizards, and Justyn from Wentwater join together in an effort to find the seventh kingdom in hopes of finding out how to stop Sha’kath. Back during the time of Lael, when Heaven first set up the sites, one wizard managed to escape Sha’Kath’s attack by creating a city hidden inside a mountain. The city is now failing as the wizard is aging but the only hope of saving their world is a young girl with a curiosity about the outside world that could complete the destruction in one rash move. Heaven holds the answers to all, but finding them is more than just searching scrolls. The kingdom is hidden and yet within. And only when finding it will the answers be revealed.
Notes: Seventh and final in the Gates of Heaven series, a series that constantly reminds us that Heaven exists, that personifies Heaven, almost takes on the role of God Himself. “Heaven favors the honest and valiant” is an example of one of these.  This series is designed to be fairy tales that teach Scriptural truths in fantasy settings. The biggest spiritual element in this book is the incredible power of God’s love. All throughout the series, we have been introduced to sites where Heaven set up a gate and a keeper to guard against evil in the world. All ancient literature points to there being seven such sites, yet no one knows of the seventh. The seventh is apparently hidden – even more hidden than the site under the lake or the site inside the ice kingdom that no one can even see without knowing the secret to it, or the city that appears to have no entrance. At the end, the characters finally learn that this kingdom is hidden in their own hearts – it’s God’s kingdom – accessed through His love. That’s the huge element – the conclusion of the whole series. There’s another element in this book though – the discussion of whether or not to hide the truth for the sake of protecting the innocent. A wizard creates a city inside and under a mountain and casts a spell so the inhabitants of the city don’t even know there is an outside world to protect them from the extreme evil that was destroying everyone.
Overall, this story completes the series well. At one point I was hesitant about it in terms of spiritual elements – it seemed to imply that a powerful wizard could create – just like God – and was powerful enough to accomplish about anything. At the end though, it turned it back around to show how the power comes from Heaven. Here’s how they describe it: “She knew now what this sensation was. It was the same thing she had felt in her cell in the Destroyer’s fortress – the wellspring of love that had grown from a spark into a wildfire. But this wasn’t just the love she felt for her father, or that which she felt from him, however deep and pure and strong and enduring. No, this was another’s love, and it was far more pure and strong than any human’s love could ever be. It was more powerful than the burning orb in the sky. More powerful than a pounding waterfall or an avalanche of rocks. This was the source of all creation, what fueled and sustained not just the world around her but the whole of life, of existence. Every tiny particle of everything in and under heaven had this spark of life. Yet it was not only everywhere outside of her; it was also within. The wellspring of her life. The key to the kingdom.”
In conclusion: I highly recommend this entire series!
Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Psalm 103:19 - The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
Psalm 145:13 - our kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.


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