Running Through A Dark Place by Michael Bowler
The second book in the Children of The Knight series, Running Though a Dark Place, begins with a young hero’s death and the sacrificial magic that allows him to return. Bowler’s fictional universe combines the chivalry and knighthood of King Author’s Camelot with a modern fight for disadvantaged children’s rights in California. King Author has travelled to the present day in order to fight, along with his son Sir Lance, the societal forces and government institutions that trap foster children in dangerous homes. The children and teens who are involved in the civil disobedience against the government fight tirelessly for their rights as humans and attempt to create a new world where their innocence is preserved. Sir Lance, a young man himself, leads the children as they explore their beliefs, sexuality, and family bonds.
Bowler takes on an ambitious web of characters and plot lines in Book II that is easiest to follow with familiarity with Book I. He does a stunning job in giving a pure voice to underrepresented children in the US foster car system. He also uses social media and modern technology in relevant, relatable ways that offers an interesting juxtaposition to the courtly knighthood of Arthur’s Camelot. At times, the speech patterns of each cultural group become predictable and come across inauthentic because they are not used consistently. Fans of science fiction and social justice will find a fascinating combination of genres in this epic tale that leaves the reader eager for the next installment.
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