Title: Children of the Knight
Author: Michael J. Bowler
Date: June 20th 2013
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Children of the Knight by Michael J. Bowler is a Young Adult contemporary fantasy book. One day, tags start to appear in the various neighborhood of Los Angeles, creating fights among gangs. A man, who consider himself Arthur of Camelot starts his own crusade and his warriors are children.
The Los Angeles portrayed by the author is a city where there are very few angels. Adults have stopped caring about their younglings, letting them free to do as they want, roaming in the dark streets, selling their bodies for little food, selling drugs for money. The key word for these children is Survival.
How, he wondered, could humanity have come so far in its inventiveness, and yet, place so little value on the human soul, on the human being in general?
“Things” seemed in this world to be of much greater value than people.
Arthur Pendragon has decided to help them free their city and homes from those who are destroying their life. With his first knight Lance, a fourteen-year-old boy, they start seeking warriors for their battle.
I really liked the concept behind the book: children who are considered adults when they put them in jail, but too young to vote for their own good. However, I think some topics weren’t handled very well. Lance’s past, like the past of many other gang members, is full of pain.
The fact that adults seems to us often incoherent, selfish and mean. Many of the kids in the book are outcasts, abandoned by those who should protect and cherish them.
Freedom had no time limit. They simply were, together, just being. And that was enough.
Fighting for freedom, for a future without drugs and battles among gangs, for a better life. Many of us swallow all our dreams and thoughts to never voice them, but Arthur has given them hope.
As I said, I enjoyed the book, but I had some problems with some topics the book dealt with. Raping a child is an awful thing to do and I found hard understanding why one of them was so ashamed of himself. He survived, he should be proud.
Plus there were so many underage prostitutes and no one who tried to stop it?
Most, he knew, had been at war their entire lives, so death was, sadly, nothing new to them.
Another thing that sometimes confused me was the language. I know that many of them didn’t go to school or dropped out, but it was hard understanding what they were trying to say.
However, I liked the great variety of people in the story. African, Mexican, Chinese and a lot more; there’s no gender or race difference among Arthur’s warriors. They’re brought together by their beliefs and I really liked it.
The writing style is fine and if you feel like you might like the book, then you should read it. I give it 3 out of 3 stars.
About the author
Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author who grew up in Northern California. He majored in English/Theatre at Santa Clara University, earned a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and a master’s in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills. Michael taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with disabilities. When Michael is not writing you can find him volunteering as a youth mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and volunteering within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles. He is a passionate advocate for the fair treatment of children and teens in California, and hopes his books can show young people they are not alone in their struggles.