The Wormling (Book Review)

I came across The Book of the King at the local thrift store a few weeks ago. I almost missed the title, but my interest was piqued when I saw the book was from Tyndale. I am so glad I bought the book!

Scripture Connection

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

John 8:32

Spiritual Themes

I debated awhile about which verse to use above, for the “Scripture Connection.” The first one that came to my mind was the popular Ephesians 6 verse about spiritual warfare, because the book very strongly emphasizes the reality of the spiritual realm.

This is a fairly common theme I’ve encountered, lately, in Christian books and I didn’t particularly want to repeat the verse. I was looking for verses that point to the reality of the invisible, spiritual world and John 8:32 came up. I felt that this was the verse that really fits the book, because discernment truly is a big theme, as Owen discovers truth.

There are a number of Scripture quotes/paraphrases, throughout, as well as quotes that have Scripture embedded into them.

We also see a thirst for truth—which was infectious for me, as the reader—as well as an act of sacrifice.

Series

Published in 2007, The Book of the King is the first book in the Wormling series by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry. This is a children’s allegory series set in the present time, but straddling another kingdom.

What I Liked

I really, really enjoyed the writing style and narration. The narrators use a lot of second-person narration, directly addressing the reader, and the humorous style reminded me of Lemony Snicket— so much so that I wondered if it was actually written as a Christian alternative to A Series of Unfortunate Events (There’s even parts about not reading the book if you’re fainthearted). But where Snicket’s books ultimately promote moral relativism, The Book of the King very clearly points to absolute truth. Moreover, it is full of Scriptural themes and references.

The novel captured my attention, from the first page. This was one of those instances where I thought I’d just steal a peek into the story— and quickly became engrossed. In fact, I even asked to read the foreword and beginning to my mom, since I liked it so much.

I really enjoyed the intermingling plot/subplots. As I reflect, I almost feel like the two switch places, in terms of significance, midway through the story. At first, the emphasis is on Owen and the things he is experiencing as a freshman in high-school. Gradually, the emphasis shifts to the other (and other-worldly) plot. And yet, we are aware of both plots, from the beginning of the book. The narrators have a lot of fun jumping us back, forth and around while promising that all will be revealed in due time.

There are some beautiful, piercing moments of light and truth, which is exactly what I look for in allegory.

The formatting was refreshing, with short chapters and skinny columns of text on the first page of each chapter. This certainly made for a faster reading experience.

Critique

This is entirely personal, but I found myself losing interest once it came to the introduction of the dragon (I generally am not interested in books about dragons). With that said, dragons totally make sense in a biblical allegory, given that there is an actual dragon in Revelation.

Content Notes

Admittedly, I finished this book over a week ago, but I don’t recall any content warnings.

There is some content about dating/crushes, but no real romance or kissing. Because the protagonist is a high-school freshman, I think this book would be about right for ages 12 and up.

Recommendation Status

This is a title I would definitely recommend, although I’d recommend it as a YA novel, not a “children’s book.”

Published by Stephanie Agnes-Crockett

Hi, there! My name is Stephanie and I’m a Fresno, CA native. After studying at Biola University, I received my MLIS (Masters in Library Science) from San Jose State University. I live with my mom, poet Kimberly Vargas Agnese, and serve as her unofficial agent. We reside at MeadowArc, a food forest in its infancy. I am called to, and passionate about, purity. In fact, the name Agnes means “pure.” Before I was born, my mom felt led to include the name Agnes in her name, and in the names of her children. My full, hyphenated name includes 26 letters (but not the whole alphabet).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: