Cloak of the Light: Wars of the Realm, Book 1

Cloak of the Light: Wars of the Realm, Book 1

5.0 10
by Chuck Black

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Drew is caught in a world of light - just inches away from the dark

What if...there was a world beyond our vision, a world just fingertips beyond our reach? What if...our world wasn’t beyond their influence?

Tragedy and heartache seem to be waiting for Drew Carter at every turn, but college offers Drew a chance to start over—until an


Drew is caught in a world of light - just inches away from the dark

What if...there was a world beyond our vision, a world just fingertips beyond our reach? What if...our world wasn’t beyond their influence?

Tragedy and heartache seem to be waiting for Drew Carter at every turn, but college offers Drew a chance to start over—until an accident during a physics experiment leaves him blind and his genius friend, Benjamin Berg, missing.

As his sight miraculously returns, Drew discovers that the accident has heightened his neuron activity, giving him skills and sight beyond the normal man. When he begins to observe fierce invaders that no one else can see, he questions his own sanity, and so do others. But is he insane or do the invaders truly exist?

With help from Sydney Carlyle, a mysterious and elusive girl who offers encouragement through her faith, Drew searches for his missing friend, Ben, who seems to hold the key to unlocking this mystery. As the dark invaders close in, will he find the truth in time?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Black (the Knights of Arrethtrae series) gets his Wars of the Realm trilogy off to a strong start. His hero is Drew Carter, a high school football player whose father has died in military service. Drew and his mother move from Chicago to Kansas, where Drew befriends Ben, a misfit genius, putting him at odds with some of the popular players on the team. Then things get weird: Ben shows Drew a mysterious photo and suggests it is evidence of alien life. Meanwhile, Sydney, Drew’s love interest, says she can’t date him because he’s not a Christian. Drew doesn’t believe in aliens or Jesus Christ, but when he and Ben try to use a laser machine that Ben has been working on, there’s an accident, and Drew glimpses terrifying creatures from another dimension. Then his life changes forever. Strong writing, a complex main character, and a well-developed plot pull readers along. Drew’s a good guy, and he’s drawn to Sydney’s inner strength, but he’s not going to be an easy sell on Christianity. A reader’s guide discusses the theological framework for the series. Ages 12–up. Agent: Steve Laube, Steve Laube Agency. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Cloak of the Light

“The invisible world gets a makeover in Chuck Black’s Cloak of the Light. Often reading like a thriller, this fresh take on the unseen inspires and entertains in equal measure. Reader of all ages will enjoy this one.”
—Shannon Dittemore, author of the Angel Eyes trilogy

“Bring on the battle! Cloak of Light is a journey you won’t quickly forget. Angels and demons clash in an epic story line laden with spiritual warfare. I loved this book.”
—Heather Burch, author of Halfling series

“Over the last several years, my family and I have come to appreciate Chuck
Black’s works, and Cloak of Light is no different. Cloak of Light is set in the modern world rather than the ancient times of the Kingdom Series. We have come to expect two features from a Chuck Black work: allegory based in spiritual matters and illumination of the spiritual warfare that happens around us every day. Many young people long for adventure, and this book has it.
What I appreciate most is that adventure and spiritual battle are presented as common rather than special. As Christians, our adventure is in living for our
Lord, and this is what Chuck Black brings out so deftly in his allegories. This is a great book for all young people, especially young men.”
—David Nunnery, Teach Them Diligently

Product Details

The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
Wars of the Realm
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

His dad was gone.


Drew might only be twelve, but he knew the sting of his father’s death would last a very long time—a lifetime. The pain of loss was a fresh wound to his young, unscarred heart. There were no life calluses to impede the searing ache of death.

He sat there, staring at the casket, sorrow hanging heavy on his soul, threatening to pull him down to where he could not breathe. Though the sun darted between the clouds, trying to peek down from time to time, the day was a dark one. Long faces, black dresses, tears, tissues, and “Taps”—the four loneliest notes ever played on a trumpet.

Drew tensed up when the colonel knelt down in front of him. He struggled to look the man in the eye. He had quelled his tears, letting them spill only in the privacy of his bedroom. Here, in front of military statues made of flesh and blood, he wanted to be brave for his dad. He stared at the colonel’s whitegloved hand covering the perfectly folded flag being offered to him. His mother had asked that the flag be given to Drew, not to her. He wasn’t sure if the gesture was for her, for Drew, or for his dad. It didn’t matter.

He just wanted it over.

The colonel’s deep and sober voice resonated through Drew.

“This flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for your father’s honorable and faithful service.”

As Drew reached for the flag, he looked into the man’s eyes—and saw there the same sorrow crushing his own heart. And though he knew the words had been spoken thousands and thousands of times, Drew believed the colonel meant them.

Tears brimmed his eyes as he took the flag. He pursed his lips to restrain his hurt, but it didn’t help. He felt his mother’s hand on his shoulder and knew that the pain they each bore was additive in a vicious cycle that provided no escape. He leaned in to her. He had heard that time was the salve for such a wound. If that were true, Drew wished a million years could pass in an instant to separate him and his mother from the pain of his father’s death, but instead the seconds took an eternity to pass.

The day lasted forever. Drew didn’t want to feel the pain, but he didn’t want to forget his father either.

So he walked through it all, painfully aware that his life was forever, irrevocably changed.

And there was nothing he could do about it.

A few days later, Drew and his mother, Kathryn, received a visit from Jake Blanchard. He had attended the funeral but was silent through its entirety.

Kathryn invited him in and offered an iced tea. The raw emotions of the week were still evident as the odd trio sat in the living room in silence. Jake held his glass with both hands, either to keep it from falling or to give his hands something to do while he worked up the courage to speak.

How ironic that a Special Forces soldier of Jake’s caliber, with years of combat training and experience, could be reduced to a hesitant, irresolute man struggling to say a few meaningful words.

Drew had seen his mother have this effect on other men, for she was a beautiful woman, the kind of pretty that could not be diminished with dirt, sweat, or sorrow. In fact, the worse the condition, the more resolute her beauty shone in defiance. Her dark-brown hair usually fell loose across the right side of her olive-toned face. Deep-blue eyes framed by high brows and accentuated cheekbones captured the gaze of both men and women. Drew remembered how he’d blush when his dad talked about how beautiful she was, but he was right.

As Drew looked across the room at Jake, he realized that his mother’s beauty was not what was causing the man’s unsettled beginning. Jake finally set the sweating glass of tea on the coffee table before him.

“Ma’am, I’m not very good with words, but I do have a few I need to speak.” Jake dropped his gaze to the untouched tea and the ice still circling to find a resting place. His left hand massaged his right as he continued. He glanced at Drew and then back at Kathryn.

“Ryan and I were on a lot of missions together. We became good friends. In fact, he was the best friend I’ve ever had.” He stopped and swallowed hard.

Kathryn teared up. “He wrote of you, Jake.” She spoke with a sweet compassion. “I know Ryan considered you the same.”

“What I’m sure he didn’t tell you was that he saved my life in Iraq. I owe him everything.”

Kathryn dabbed her eyes with a Kleenex. Jake reached into his shirt pocket and removed a folded piece of paper.

“I’m sure he would have wanted you to have this. It was a letter he was writing as we got called on our last duty together. He gave it to me just before—”

Drew’s mother gasped, and tears streamed down her face. Jake leaned across to her, and she took the letter as though it were as precious as gold. She looked at Jake and mouthed the words thank you.

Jake turned to Drew. “And this is for you.” He held out his father’s Army Special Forces pin and green beret. “I know he would have wanted you to have these. He was very proud of you.”

Drew held the pin in one hand and the beret in the other. Despite all the pain that came flooding back, these things helped. They were one more connection to his dad.

Drew sniffed. “Thank you, sir.”

Jake smiled through wet eyes and nodded. He took a deep breath, as if to prep for a mission. “I don’t mean to make this difficult, ma’am, but I need you to know one more thing before I leave. I was with Ryan at the end, and he asked me to make sure that you and Drew were taken care of.”

“You’ve done that for us today. We will be all right.”

Jake shook his head. “I promised him, ma’am, and I intend on keeping that promise.” He leaned forward and handed Kathryn another paper. “This is my address and phone number. I will be stationed here in Fort Bragg for the next six months. No matter where you are, if you need anything, call me and I
will be there for you and your son.”

Kathryn took the paper. “Thank you. That means a lot, Jake.”

He nodded, then stood up. Drew walked with his mother to the door to see Jake out.

On the porch, Jake turned. “It was an honor to serve with your husband, ma’am. He was one of those rare men of true honor and integrity.” Jake put a hand on Drew’s shoulder. “You can be very proud of your father.”

He looked as if he wanted to say something else, but instead turned and left.

When the door closed, Drew and his mother retreated to their rooms to spend time with their new treasures. Later, Drew’s mother read the letter to him. One part stated that Drew’s dad had some exciting news to share but that it was too important to share in a letter. He wanted to tell them in person. Whatever it was, it was news that was lost forever. Worse than that was how the letter ended…

“Please tell Drew that I miss him and that…”

That was it.

News untold and a message undelivered. The letter hurt more than it helped, but it was worth it because it was a final memory of his dad. The ache in Drew’s heart was the painful tutor teaching Drew a new law that was as unbreakable as all the laws of the universe: life isn’t fair.

Meet the Author

CHUCK BLACK, a former F-16 fighter pilot and tactical combat communications engineer, is the author of thirteen novels, including the popular Kingdom Series and The Knights of Arrethtrae series. Chuck and his wife, Andrea, have six children and live in North Dakota.

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Cloak of the Light: Wars of the Realm, Book 1 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Cloak of the Light- Chuck Black Book One Wars of the Realm Sex/nudity -None Profanity -A man mouths "ditz" about a girl Drugs/alcohol -Several teens drink beer at a party; some are later drunk Violence -No gore -Lots of action and intense fight scenes -A school shooting -A gang fight Frightening Images -A young man is described dying a car accident -A crazed man attempts to murder his ex-girlfriend -Possessed are slightly scary for younger audiences This book was fantastic! I normally read medieval books and wasn't sure how much I'd like this one; I'm very picky about futuristic/present set stories. But this blew me away. The characters and plot are astounding, especially once Drew gains his sight and special abilities. He is my all-around favorite character. Black's cast is very realistic with faults and strengths that make them more human. His fight scenes are amazingly detailed. This is my new favorite book!!!!! Recommended mature 6th graders and up.
S-Scales More than 1 year ago
As I was reading Cloak of the Light, at first I thought “When is the action going to start?”. Then I looked closer at the cover and realized that it wasn’t a stand alone book (silly me!!) but the first book of the Wars of the Realm series!  And what an awesome start is was…with well developed characters, an interesting story that opened up a mysterious unseen world of invaders, and YES even battles …I was hooked (and I got this book for my husband). I am definitely looking forward to the rest of the series! We are also planning to check out more from the author Chuck Black, because, Yes, I was that impressed with my first book of his!! I really appreciate the author’s note and the readers guide at the end of the book. “The Readers Guide explains the biblical framework from which much of the speculation for the novel is derived. I hope you find it informative and helpful in your own investigation of understanding spiritual warfare.”  As a wife and mom deep in the seemingly mundane, repetitive tasks of parenting and education, I appreciated this book not only as a great read but also as a needed reminder and encouragement of what is important in this life! Thank you, Chuck Black. :) **I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for an honest review.
Anonymous 4 months ago
OMG!! Best. Series. Ever!!! Definitely recommend it! May not be good for young audience because of some violence, but its not bad.
Lynn-MI 9 months ago
What a wonderful talent of life all mixed up together to include: religion, mystery, adventure, suspense --- the writing is quite superb, the plot well positioned throughout the book and the ending a true battle of good versus bad! At the ending of the book – he has a marvelous set of examples for reader question guidelines! Throughout the book I kept thinking good versus evil but wasn’t really thinking about the bible and/or religion! I couldn’t put the book down, was so glad I already have book 2 so I can continue ---- and keep wondering how many people have been locked up forever because of their supposedly “visions”. A truly enjoyable "make you wonder" read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an aweaome book. I hope I am getting the Rise of the fallen for my birthday (February 22).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are like me, and have read all of Mr. Blacks other books, and loved them, and when you saw this book you thought why not read it, its probably really good like his other books. I didn't like this book at all... I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!! :) Drew Carter is only 12 when his father dies while deployed overseas in Iraq. He struggles with bitterness, and life looks bleak. Drew and his mother move to live with is grandmother.They soon get the news that his grandmother has cancer. Bad. Six months later she dies. His mother gets a job in Kansas and they move. Meanwhile Drew discovered, through his father's best friend and Drew's mentor, Jake, that he has a talent for football. Drew starts going to highschool and wants to play on the football team thats where he runs into a problem. The position that Drew plays is occupied by Cameron OBrian, whos father is very influential. If Drew gets that position it will cause division and anger. Drew and OBrian face off and Drew wins the position. Drew has made himself an enemy. Later on after a party Drew gets into a car crash and his friend gets killed. He is then shunned at school and sinks into a depression. College offers some escape, and there he remeets Sydney, the girl who has his heart. The one problem is that she is a Christian and Drew is not. Then, his geek friend Ben tells him that Dr. Wasseem, the physics teacher has seen aliens. Drew thinks he is crazy but agrees to let Ben show him. Then Drew sees them...and becomes blind in the lab accident. Then, miraculously his sight returns ... and with it some unexpected add ons. A MUST READ!!!
Shadowplay4u More than 1 year ago
If you are searching for something that will challenge your mind, touch your heart, and refresh your soul, then look no further! This is one story that will not only revitalize your love of reading, but it will also drive your desire to reach a world that is in desperate need of the unconditional love and redemptive power of Jesus. A spark will be created and from it will burst forth an unquenchable and ravenous flame of desire to proclaim the freedom, love, and grace that only God can give to those who turn to Him, humble themselves, and seek His face. Some would think that Drew Carter would have every right to be bitter and angry at the world and at God. At a young age, he lost his father to a tragedy in the military and after that things progressively seemed to just get worse. Having to move around from school to school, losing his chance at a college scholarship, and worst of all seeing a friend die right in front of his eyes brought his world crashing down around him. If all of that wasn’t bad enough, he ended up losing his sight due to a freak lab accident, but Drew’s story doesn’t end there. In fact, this is just the beginning. His accident in the lab forced him to come face to face with something that he should never have seen. Will he leave well enough alone and live out his life as best he can, or will his fear and curiosity catapult him into a brutal struggle whose prize is the very soul of mankind? This story is brimming with beautiful examples of hope amid despair. Jake was a very powerful illustration of how one person can make a huge difference in the lives of others. He stuck by his promise to his best friend to look after his family if he fell while fighting for his country, and as a result Drew was given an incredible father figure who molded his life in a very positive way. While Jake wasn’t his real dad, he showed Drew what it meant to be a real man. He lived his life in a way that showed what true strength, courage, and honor looked like, and as a result Drew was able to see that there was still good in this life in spite of all of the bad that he had endured. I truly enjoyed the painstaking detail that was put into building this amazing world and its captivating characters. The twists and turns were exciting and unpredictable, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it! This is a journey that requires a strength of spirit that only you can choose to create from the pain and sorrow that this life brings our way. Nothing about this life is easy, but it is a choice that we all have to make. Live with hope and a purpose, or give into the pain and just survive from day to day. What a true joy to find such a beautiful talent in this incredible work by Chuck Black! I have been won over by the unassuming yet brilliant gift that God has blessed this author with. When words leap off the page and make their home in your heart, you know that you have found a truly inspired and deeply precious treasure that you will always remember and forever enjoy. I eagerly await the next part of this journey, and I challenge you to join me on this extraordinary ride.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite Cloak of the Light by Chuck Black is the first in a new series for young adults and teens. It features two friends who come together in a tense school-related situation. Drew comes to a new school, hoping for a position on the team's football team. Ben is the school geek and everyone takes advantage of him. Sydney is a beautiful girl who immediately catches Drew's attention. When Drew forms a friendship with Ben, everyone pretty much avoids them as well. And then, tragedy strikes Drew and he is further ostracized. Ben becomes his sole contact until a science experiment goes horribly wrong and Ben disappears. Drew is lost. He begins to wander in hopes of contacting Ben and making sense out of his world gone wrong. Ben has spoken of aliens and now Drew becomes a believer. The science experiment has left Drew with extraordinary powers. When he detects "invaders" in the environment, he becomes committed to helping those targeted by the aliens. The characters of Drew and Ben are beautifully portrayed and highly believable. The character of Sydney does seem a bit rigid but there seems to be a purpose for that. Cloak of the Light will appeal to young people who want a different way of viewing the battles of angels and demons. Black has made an interesting story from traditional Scriptures and it is one which will grab and keep the interest of those needing to learn of God's light in a non-traditional way.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
"It's wrong to do nothing when you have the power to do something." This isn't just an alien visitation. It's an all-out invasion. That's why I call them invaders." Ben sat back in a daze. "It makes perfect sense." "What do you mean?" "Think about it. What better way to take over the world than without the inhabitants even knowing it's happening? If an alien race has cloaking technology, it would be the perfect invasion." Drew nodded. "You're right. But their ability to cloak themselves goes beyond just being invisible. They can walk through walls and doors. It's like they are in some interdimensional state. What I don't get is how come they can see us but we can't see them. Oh yeah, I can't hear them at all. It's like watching a silent movie. I haven't figured it out yet, but they can affect the outcome of naturally occurring phenomena. Like make a tire go flat to cause an accident or maybe weaken a bridge support to make it collapse. It's usually the small things though. They do what they do is such a way that people would never suspect the event has been tampered with. They are extremely careful and crafty that way." (excerpt from Cloak of the Light.) There seems to be an interest in aliens and other dimensions that parallel our own. At least that is what Drew Carter and Benjamin Berg believe for now. When a science experiment at the local college reveals the ability to gain insight and see into a parallel dimension running alongside our own, they don't know what else to believe the shadow-like figures really are. Since Ben has always believed in aliens, he convinces Drew that is precisely what Drew has been seeing with his ability to see faster than light travels. However Drew also see's what he calls light invaders as well. They have the ability to wage war in a world that no one but Drew can see. He can't understand what their true purpose is, but when the dark invaders attempt to kill both himself and Ben, all he knows is he can't stand by and do nothing. His unique abilities of heightened senses have allowed him the ability to be one step ahead of the human race and he believes he must do all he can to convince others that there are aliens all around us that we simply can't see. The only person he isn't able to convince is a girl he met in high school Sydney, a church going girl, who believes there is more to what is happening than Drew is willing to admit. All Drew knows is that the light invaders are always present and helping in the battle against the dark invaders whenever Sydney or her church group is nearby. Even Sydney seems to radiate a blue flame like aura all around her and she seems to be illuminated in a way that offers a sense of peace and power that aid the light invaders. Now it's a race against time for Drew to aid Ben in rebuilding the device that will enable others to see into the parallel dimension before the dark invaders attempt to stop them. I received Cloak of the Light by Chuck Black compliments of Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own unless otherwise noted. I LOVE this series as it explains precisely what an unbeliever would see if they had the ability to see into the spiritual realm. With no basis for any other explanation, it is logical that Drew and Ben would believe they are seeing aliens. This is such an amazing new series dealing with spiritual warfare and I especially love how Chuck explains his ideas using biblical references in each chapter at the end along with scripture verses to back up how his ideas came to life, such as angels using swords to further enhance the readers experience in enjoying this amazing fictional series! I personally give this one a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for the next one to come out. This has definitely made it to my "watch list!"