What Ever Happened to Charlie?

God
brings beautiful treasures even out of smoke and ashes!” 
– Corinth
“Duty may not be all there is,
Turner. But doing thy duty, doing right, according to God’s rulings, bids thee
draw closer to Him, and that draws thee closer to the source of all true joys
.” – Arvi
I
don’t know what’s going on, but I know certain that I ain’t handing the prince
over to this crazed lady with a knife. I’s scared silly she means what she
says. But I’s promised Arvi, and God says a man’s gotta protect those as can’t
protect themselves, and Aston needs me now like he ain’t never needed no one,
and there ain’t no chance I’s gonna just hand over this baby.”

– Turner
“What of thee, sir? What would thou
wish for thy son?”
“A heart devoted to the Savior of
all life,” I answered immediately. “A servant’s heart, willing to do his duty
well. I would like to wish him whatever trade he chooses in life, but I fear he
is doomed to follow my footsteps.” – Charlie
“Bak!” – Aston
The fourth
volume of the Dreaded King saga, the penultimate book, has taken an abominably long
time getting to you. In my own defense, I actually wrote it twice because I wasn’t
satisfied with my first version; I also got married in the interim, and am
expecting our first child, which, you know, tends to cut down on time a bit.
But
finally! Mark your calendars, people, Heir
Raising
is coming out September 1st.
I know, I
left you hanging a bit, with Charlie and Corinth, and Arvi and Turner, all
crammed into a derelict little house in Hartsom while the country tears itself
apart and hunts everywhere for the king. Now it’s time to finish a little more
of the story. You finally get to learn if Jornas finds the ring he’s been obsessed
with tracking down, and what anonymous and deadly figure holds that sacred
heirloom. And what did Charlie find to do while the nobles ranted and raved up
at the castle? Corinth certainly has plenty to occupy herself with, what with
the new heir, and trying to keep Turner Hitchley from accidentally burning the
place down or teaching the prince how to pick a lock. Not that it much matters
what they found to do. All of it is swallowed in the sudden desperate quest to stop a
madman from unearthing a legendary danger threatening to wipe out everyone on
their little globe. Arvi merely has to keep them alive, whatever his companions
are doing. But as day follow day, Arvi’s task begins to be difficult, until the
morning it becomes plainly impossible. Then Arvi finds himself faced with a
choice; do his duty, take the Hartsoms to safety and lose every soul he has
ever come to love, or look the other way and keep trying to protect and serve
on his own. Either choice leads to a bleak existence. Unless of course he winds
up dead from an assassin’s bolt before he has to make the choice.
Twists and
turns follow the characters you’ve come to know through this series, and the
twists begin to writhe into knots by the end of the book, knots that will bring
death to someone, and maybe to all. But in the midst of a rocking world, with
ancient legends failing, and ancient legends rising, and reality itself seeming
to shift under their feet, the Son remains unshaken. God never changes, no
matter what planet you may be on, whether you are poisoned, dying of plague, or
in deep mourning for a son lost to you.
September 1st,
step back into their world, and follow Charlie and his friends through the
laughter and despair of their penultimate volume! My prayer, as I wrote this book
and spent countless hours working to make it right, is that you find more than
just the characters and the story enthralling. I want you to find the Weaver of
the tale, the One weaving your own tapestry of life, thread by thread, and
learn to know our Savior a little better than you do now. And perhaps, serve
Him with a little more purpose, and a little more heart.
Duty is a
precious tool, and deep, abiding love of the proper things can change a world.

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