The Journey Beyond Seven Values of the Kingdom

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
142 Pages
Reviewed on 08/15/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Ever since I was little I’ve been writing, sometimes while talking and singing to the frogs and turtles in the pond. They were my best friends. The pond sparked my imagination and my creativity flourished. This was my happy place! Writing poetry and song lyrics also brought me great joy. Many of my poems are published by the Famous Poet Society. Writing is my lifelong passion.  I attended the Institute of Children’s Literature and studied Writing for Children and Teenagers. Only 10 students across the county were offered the opportunity to continue with an accelerated program.  I was one of the chosen . I also hold a Bachelor of Science from Centenary College. 

I also attended nursing school and received my nursing license. I currently work as a Nurse and write when I come home in the wee hours of the morning!

Please share your comments and thoughts with me.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Deepak Menon for Readers' Favorite

The Journey Beyond Seven Values of the Kingdom by Cheryl A. Matsen-Nieves is the story of an amazing journey through many crystal geodes by a young prince named Raphael. He is accompanied by his friends; Skylar, a pony, his sister, the beautiful and gracious Haniel, Wolvarith, a white shaman wolf with many lives, Wise Old Owl, and the courageous and delightful Frog Prince, Frogeye, whose identity and destiny is yet to unfold. Sister Seven, who is a tree, cannot be forgotten as she has incredible powers that mother earth and the universe have granted her. The story starts with a prayer that sets the tone: “One should always believe in oneself and the universe will be one with you always.” The adventurers start their journey by going through a crystal geodesic into a timeless tunnel and finally reach Raphael’s father's throne. Knowing he is in tune with the universe, Raphael calls out to his father to guide him. His father speaks to him from across dimensions and describes how the evil came from all over the land in different forms, shapes, and sizes. Although he, men and women fought bravely, he was caught off guard, distraught, and killed by a powerful warrior. He explains that the power of evil tears at all beings with good hearts, minds, and intentions and that evil tries to divide and conquer all. He exhorts Raphael to stand strong, no matter what!

The little band of warriors continue their incredible journey, traveling across time and space through many geodes of many colors, across many dimensions. They encounter the many gifts of the universe - meats and fruits, human values of courage and kindness, precious metals and stones of great value, the abundance of nature in beautiful forests and marvelous flowers that the universe gives us selflessly. They encounter evil in the form of a powerful scorpion whom Raphael vanquishes in battle, but does not destroy once he realizes that the evil in the scorpion has been dissipated, a lesson in nobility to readers. Cheryl A. Matsen-Nieves has written a memorable tale full of human values. The chapters flow seamlessly into each other, formatting is excellent, and the pictures of beautiful crystals that make up the geodes are superb. The ending is charming. This is a 5 star book and should be read if one wants to be in tune with the universe!

Sarah Scheele

The Journey Beyond Seven Values of the Kingdom by Cheryl A. Matsen-Nieves is an inventive middle-grade fantasy story. Brother and sister Raphael and Haniel travel through a sequence of symbolic geodes accompanied by their awkward, insecure friend, Frogeye, and their companions—a hilarious talking tree, a mystical wolf, a regal horse, and an owl. At each geode, they learn important personal lessons tailored for them as their journey to understand the universe continues. I gradually fell in love with the story and the characters, until the climactic end with the rebuilding of the castle filled me with deep satisfaction. As an adult reader, I see how much this story would appeal to children, but the themes and ideas would make many adults feel equally at home.

Cheryl A. Matsen-Nieves has a poetic, visionary quality as an author, and the story uses the simplest language to depict deep themes in a really special way. The imagery is thoughtful and quietly beautiful. Each “stone” the characters travel through—stones are portals to the next step of their quest—was individualized and lovely, and the geodes were all different colors with different properties. I loved the pictures of actual gemstones that accompanied the descriptions. Reading this book was like an imaginative extrapolation of real life, envisioning walking through different jewels. Frogeye’s conclusion surprised me, but I was very pleased with it. This is the kind of book parents should be giving their kids. Recommended for anyone who likes middle-grade fantasy with a wholesome message.