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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!