Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
In this, the fifth book of the Knights of Arrethtrae Series, apathy is the subject of development. Two boys raised together must decide whether to fight for the Prince or whether to lead a comfortable life without challenge. As expected, one chooses apathy and the other chooses challenge and commitment.
The plot development concerns one's response to evil, which admittedly is difficult to recognize if disguised as conventional decision. The author related that, if apathy is allowed to grow, it gains strength. If one chooses apathy, consequences follow, namely the forfeiting of a spiritual walk. If one has faith, then he or she has a shield against the forces of evil. If one lacks faith, then the individual lays him/herself vulnerable to the evils of the material world. It is an excellent analogy and indeed, it is a message inherent in nearly all religious teachings.
The lessons learned in the reading of the book are not thrust upon the reader; rather they are laid out for the reader to extrapolate and ponder. If left to its own devices, apathy can be contagious and can spread until a critical event forces humans into action. By that time, the struggle is always much more difficult. This a valuable book for middle school children as it teaches that one should strive toward the good path in life, even if it is the more difficult road to follow.