Children of the Knight (The Knight Cycle #1) by Michael J. Bowler

17939303According to legend, King Arthur is supposed to return when Britain needs him most. So why does a man claiming to be the once and future king suddenly appear in Los Angeles?

This charismatic young Arthur creates a new Camelot within the City of Angels to lead a crusade of unwanted kids against an adult society that discards and ignores them. Under his banner of equality, every needy child is welcome, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, or gang affiliation.

With the help of his amazing First Knight, homeless fourteen-year-old Lance, Arthur transforms this ragtag band of rejected children and teens into a well-trained army—the Children of the Knight. Through his intervention, they win the hearts and minds of the populace at large, and gain a truer understanding of themselves and their worth to society. But seeking more rights for kids pits Arthur and the children squarely against the rich, the influential, and the self-satisfied politicians who want nothing more than to maintain the status quo.

Can right truly overcome might? Arthur’s hopeful young knights are about to find out, and the City of Angels will never be the same.

Kimi’s thoughts:

Michael Bowler stuns with his depiction of modern disenfranchised youth, disillusioned and jaded adults, political greed and corruption, and the purity of hope. 14 year old Lance is a former foster child who is now a kid on the streets struggling to survive when he comes across the strange sight of a strangely dressed man riding a horse. Local gangs are at each others throats over a tag that’s been appearing all over the city, and the LAPD want the tagger caught before all out war erupts. What no one suspects is that this is no ordinary tag- it’s an announcement of hope. King Arthur, the once and future king himself, has indeed returned as legend foretold, only it’s not to Britain, but modern day LA. With Lance as his First Knight, Arthur looks to establish a new Round Table, to teach chivalry to a new generation, and to right the ills of society.

It might sound fantastical, and this is indeed a fantasy, albeit a gritty one. The ills mentioned in this novel are all too real: one size all education that doesn’t properly meet the needs of students, the rifeness of drugs on the street and the recruitment of children to peddle them and who are in turn cultivated as customers, abandoned children tossed onto the street, political corruption, crumbling neighbourhoods, racism, homophobia, and misogyny to name but a few of the societal ills. It’s not a story that will make a lot of adults feel comfortable, as it challenges some of the things that have been taken for granted and that feed our sense of control. It certainly made me stop and think. The more I thought, the more I realised that this book has something VERY important to say, and that I wanted my own two children to read it immediately.

It’s a story about empowerment- not just for kids, but for adults. Yes, adults. Adults who realise that children are always children, and cannot be adults because they are NOT adults. That they behave the way they are taught, and that each member of society is responsible for the examples a child learns by. It’s also a story that is about female empowerment, filled with strong adult and youth role models. It’s about LGBT youth and straight youth, of every colour, all coming together and using their personal strengths to help each other and those around them to make the world a better place. It’s about finding out who you are and your place in the world. It’s both frightening and inspiring. It’s simply a must read, regardless of your age.

Highly recommended.

Rating: amazing


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One Reply to “Children of the Knight (The Knight Cycle #1) by Michael J. Bowler”

  1. Kimi- I love this review. You truly saw and understood exactly what Michael was trying to express, right down to the fact that many adults will not feel comfortable reading this book. I am one of those adults who had to stop time and again, and ask myself how I am contributing to the problems outlined in the novel, and how can I help to change things, even if it is in one small way. This book opens your eyes. And believe me, the series becomes more and more compelling, until its powerful ending. Thank you for your spectacular review of Michael Bowler’s spectacular novel, Children of the Knight. I am envious of you, Kimi, because you have the entire series to explore!

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