Children of the Knight (The Lance Chronicles, #1)

Children of the Knight (The Lance Chronicles, #1)

by Michael J. Bowler

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Overview

An orphan boy. A mysterious stranger. A city in crisis.

When 14-year-old Lance is saved from death, his life is forever changed. For starters, his savior claims to be King Arthur, the once and future ruler of ancient Britain. Lance has met lots of weirdos on the streets of L.A., and they claim to be many things. But this "king" not only reeks of sincerity, he wears armor, rides a gorgeous white horse, and lives in the storm drains underneath the city! Arthur has a throne, old-school clothes, and weapons up the wazoo. Swords, daggers, bows and arrows—the kind Lance has only seen in movies.

Turns out this Arthur guy wants to start some kind of revolution. He plans to collect other cast-off kids like Lance—even teen gang members—and create a New Camelot of Knights to gain more rights for youth and shake up the out-of-touch politicians who run Los Angeles.

Lance is all for helping kids like him. He's spent his entire life in and out of the system, and it sucks. And he wants to believe in Arthur, but doubts even a king can accomplish such lofty goals. Despite these uncertainties, Lance readily accepts the position of First Knight—youth leader of Arthur's new army—thereby setting in motion a crusade of tsunami proportions. When the children rise, will the city fall?

The Lance Chronicles Begin…

Product Details

BN ID: 2940156564453
Publisher: Michael J. Bowler
Publication date: 08/17/2018
Series: The Lance Chronicles
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 1 MB

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Children of the Knight 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
LitPick More than 1 year ago
In modern-day Los Angeles, gangs and drug dealers run rampant through the back streets. The police struggle to take care of this blight. Due to the extent of this problem, those running the streets carry on, seemingly unchecked. Although this war between police and gangsters has been going on for quite a while, the situation seems to have gotten much worse recently. Massive gang wars have broken out and the police struggle to contain them. The cause of these wars seems to be the appearance of a certain strange graffiti mark, which is always found at the scene of these fights. No one knows where the marks come from, what they mean, or even who is making them. The police worry that if the mysterious tagger isn’t found, the gang wars will spill into the main part of Los Angeles and hurt many more people. Fourteen-year-old Lance Sepulveda is an orphan who lives on these shadowy streets. One of the few who hasn’t turned to crime in order to survive, he struggles just as much, if not more, than others in his neighborhood. With gangs trying to recruit or kill him, and police at every corner, he has a tough time simply trying to keep his head down. One day, as he is struggling to survive on these streets, he is jumped by two gang members in an alley. Just as he is about to be seriously hurt or killed, a mysterious man on horseback rides in and saves him. The man brings Lance back to his home and introduces himself as the legendary King Arthur. He goes on to explain that their meeting was not by chance, and that he needs Lance for a special quest to recruit an army of kids and clean up the streets of Los Angeles. Although struck with disbelief at the notion, Lance agrees. Obstacles block their way at every path, including many of the dangers Lance and Arthur seek to improve. The road to a better world will certainly be long, but if these two work together, could they possibly have a chance? Children of the Knight is a well-written book, jam-packed with action and suspense. I was constantly on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what happened next. Another thing that I greatly enjoyed was the depth of the world created by Michael J. Bowler. The book’s setting truly felt real, and although I have never seen any of the worst neighborhoods in Los Angeles, I could easily picture them in my head. The author truly seems to have captured the reality of some of the seedier communities in the United States. Being able to easily picture the setting, it made for an easy task to picture the characters. The characters each had their own unique personality, which easily shone through and allowed me to step into each new character’s skin. In fact, the characters' personalities permeated the book so much that the book’s narrator seemed to change tones depending on who currently held the spotlight (which was a new and interesting concept for me). Despite all the obvious strengths of this book, one thing I didn’t quite like was the inclusion of many unnecessary details. Although many of the book’s details improved the story vastly, some of them seemed to detract from its pacing and could possibly have been omitted. In the end, Michael J. Bowler succeeded impressively in creating an intriguing book that distinctly incorporates many problems that plague today’s society. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fantasy story that just wins you over. King Arthur returns to 21st century Los Angeles to rescue young boys who are unwanted by their parents and society at large. King Arthur takes them in transforming them into his new band of knights. Their race, religion or sexual orientation makes no difference to him. Eventually he gets the people of "The City Of Angels" to rediscover the pride they have for their community encouraging them to improve their way of their life. The importance of having values is emphasized creating a message of redemption. What an original take on how to prevent today's youth from taking the wrong path in life.
TheBibliophilicBookBlog More than 1 year ago
King Arthur has returned…younger, with all of his weapons necessary for his triumph, and his horse. Not to England, but to L.A. where he finds a disturbing amount of unwanted and unloved children calling out for a chance. Arthur draws these children to him and any child who heeds his call is welcome. Lance Sepulveda is Arthur’s First Knight and together they train these children to become an army. Through the training the kids learn their own worth and gain a sense of hope for their futures. King Arthur pits himself against the greedy, the rich, the abusers, the pushers, and those who have turned a blind eye to the suffering of these children. Whether King Arthur and his knights succeed or fail, they will have made an everlasting impact on the denizens of Los Angeles. CHILDREN OF THE KNIGHT is a clever story - a vehicle to bring the plight of modern children to light in a way that will both entertain and teach. While it would have been interesting to learn how exactly it was King Arthur arrived in this time and in L.A., CHILDREN OF THE KNIGHT is primarily about the child-knights in training he has taken under his wing. About them and the hardships and discrimination they face and the system which has done little to protect or encourage them. CHILDREN OF THE KNIGHT harnesses a powerful message and puts it in a format to which most can relate.
Tribute_Books_Reviews More than 1 year ago
What's the highest compliment I can give a novel? That it's unlike anything I've read. And upon Michael J. Bowler's urban fantasy CHILDREN OF THE KNIGHT, I gladly bestow that distinction. He takes the framework of Camelot and morphs it into something wholly original and cutting edge. King Arthur is back with a vengeance, but his knights are the ones who end up stealing the show. So often novels focus on one or two main characters, forsaking the rest as talking heads or blatant stereotypes. Not so here. Bowler takes great pains to humanize his supporting cast. They're not all good and they're not all bad. They come across as real because their individual personalities are so complex, like they're drawn from actual teens that Bowler has come in contact with. They use the language of the street. They bait each other mercilessly. But across the board, all they want is to be loved. Arthur's knights are throwaway teens, the kids nobody wants. And that designation is most tellingly applied to the gay characters in the novel. It's rare to come across a story aimed at a male audience that has more than one LBGT storyline, and this book has several, giving a more complete picture of an oft-ignored demographic in young adult fiction. Lance is the hero around which the action pivots. Nicknamed 'Pretty Boy' because of his effeminate looks, not many authors would have given such a character the heartthrob role. But Bowler takes a chance, breaking through the overdone Arthur-Guinevere-Lancelot drama and fashioning something completely different by having such a key figure question his sexuality. Bowler turns the idea of a love triangle on its head by introducing Mark and Jack as Lance's fellow knights. All three provide a unique perspective on what it's like to grow up gay in America. Lance isn't ready to embrace who he is, but Mark and Jack are willing to accept the consequences of who they are. When Arthur brings the three boys together, they spend a lot of time in each other's company and things inevitably get complicated. Signals get crossed. Feelings get hurt. And two of them meet a bitter end. No matter the era, love in Arthur's court is always a dangerous game.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hollywood. The first thing that usually comes to mind is the glamor and decadence of the red carpet. Movie stars bedecked in diamonds waving to adoring crowds. However, the reality is quite different. The streets lined with the handprints of famous celebrities are where children abandoned by society are forced to make a living, hustling drugs or selling their bodies. It's a bleak scene, lacking hope and in need of a champion. Michael J. Bowler answers the call by heralding King Arthur from the mists of history to fight for these neglected teens in CHILDREN OF THE KNIGHT. Arthur is oblivious to the culture of instant fame and America's obsession with reality TV. He magically wakes up in twenty-first century California, but he doesn't know how. Is it the working of Merlin? Legend has it that he would return when Britain needed him most ... but would one of her former colonies count when it comes to summoning him from the beyond? He has Excalibur. He has his throne. He has a trusty steed. All he requires are the knights he can lead into battle against poverty and despair. But parading through the barrio to combat crime and corruption with a bunch of delinquent teens, gets him noticed. Soon the whole world is aware of his campaign through viral videos and internet postings. The media can't get enough as they follow him around, reclaiming one poor neighborhood after another. Ratings soar. Interest is high. His knights become household names. People can't get enough, hounding them for autographs and asking them to pose for cell phone pics. In a town where everyone's looking to catch a glimpse of a famous person, King Arthur and his new and improved Knights of the Round Table become the hottest stars around. But there's a mysterious quality surrounding the whole production. Is it really King Arthur or a lunatic with delusions of grandeur or even a well-meaning person acting out one of the world's greatest hero roles? No one really knows for sure. And even though Arthur recruits over a thousand teenagers to train and fight with him, his underground lair remains a secret. He travels stealthily through the city, using the drains and grates of the sewer system. He emerges to right the wrongs of urban decay and child abuse, empowering the weak to take their city back from the corrupt politicians and dangerous criminals who think they are running the show. He gives the people the choice whether or not they wish to help him in his mission, having them reclaim ownership over the place they call home. Maybe in a day and age where celebrities wield the most influence, Hollywood is exactly the place where King Arthur needs to reign. In spreading the message of right over might, it's no wonder he's such an intoxicating figure. Long live the ideals of King Arthur today and everyday!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I appreciate an author who has the courage to take a classic and make it his own. Michael J. Bowler tackles the Arthurian legend of old and gives it an American, inner city twist in CHILDREN OF THE KNIGHT. This time, the king doesn't reside in a castle, he lives in a sewer. His knights aren't men of nobility, they're destitute teens. His goal isn't to rule over a vast dominion, it's more like the ultimate urban renewal project. His dialogue is still laced with words like henceforth and perchance and his wardrobe still consists of suits of armor and flowing tunics, but he's a different man this time around. He knows how jealousy and in-fighting allowed his fabled Camelot to fall, and he's determined not to repeat the same mistake again. However, he never factored homosexuality into the equation. He rescues Lance, a fourteen-year-old boy from the hands of two drug-dealing thugs, making him his First Knight. What he doesn't expect is the boy's confusion when it comes to accepting love and affection. He doesn't like to be touched. He's afraid to open up. Arthur senses that Lance has a good heart, but it's yet untested. The boy is yearning for attention, but Arthur only gives it to him in small doses once he starts recruiting other teenagers to his cause. He keeps Lance at arm's length, even though he wants to draw him close. Arthur, himself, is not gay, but Lance isn't sure what he is. He views Arthur as more of father figure, but he's terrified to tell him that he loves him. He holds back, afraid that Arthur will reject him for being weak and unworthy. Based on the homophobic nature of the macho street culture he grew up in, he fears Arthur will think less of him because he's attracted to other boys. It hurts Lance deeply to think that he's letting Arthur down. He mistakenly feels that being himself just isn't good enough. Bowler doesn't shy away from these gender confusion issues, instead he addresses them head-on. There has always been a homoerotic undercurrent to the King Arthur tale by uniting a group of men under one banner. It has been discussed by numerous literary critics throughout the years, but Bowler gives it a fresh perspective so that the Arthur-Lance dynamic has more of a father-son feel. It's through Bowler's depiction of the other knights of the Round Table that Lance experiments with his burgeoning sexuality, not in a graphic way, but in a tender, searching quest for acceptance and belonging. This retelling broaches many complex social issues and breathes new life into one of the greatest stories of all time. Bowler succeeds in making King Arthur relevant for a whole new generation, and provides gay teens with a number of characters they can relate to and admire. He doesn't shy away from what's uncomfortable or confusing, instead he seamlessly weaves those discordant feelings into the tapestry of a much-beloved story.
TheCharacterConnection More than 1 year ago
Memorable, heartbreaking, endearing - the cast of characters in this modern day retelling of the King Arthur legend brings a twenty-first century consciousness to a classic stalwart of the Western literary canon. King Arthur is back fighting drug dealers and urban blight with a new and improved Round Table of worthy knights in training. This time around Arthur surrounds himself with an assortment of troubled California teens plucked from the seedy streets around Hollywood and Vine. They're a multi-cultural lot - white, black, Latino, Asian. They encompass all sexual orientations - gay, straight, bi. They include both genders - male, female. Arthur embraces America's melting pot, and he doesn't discriminate. His main focus is to ensure the human rights of a neglected population of children, no matter what they look like or who they choose to love. The book is gritty and real, but has the courage to imagine such a lofty ideal where might equals right, and these characters represent the hope of achieving such a glorious ambition, even if for now it's confined to the page. Arthur. He's naive, but in the best sense. He puts his heart and soul into the crusade of helping these children take back their lives and save themselves from a corrupt system that doesn't care about them. But at times, he gets too caught up in the mission, placing the welfare of the many above the needs of the one. He doesn't show any of his charges special treatment in order not to show any favoritism, but that turns out to be a fatal mistake. He leads the children on a quest to clean up their city, but they need more guidance than he's sometimes able to provide. He's clueless about a lot of things and not just cell phones and television cameras. Lance. He's an extraordinarily beautiful Latino boy - picture Ricky Martin in his Menudo days. Raped by his foster father at a young age, he's sexually confused. He doesn't know if he's attracted to boys or girls or both. These conflicting feelings make him question his worthiness. He doesn't think he's good enough to be loved, even though he has the purest heart of the bunch. His inferiority complex runs deep. So much goes unsaid in his relationships with Arthur and the other knights, until nearly the very end. He's a reluctant leader, but he becomes a dependable, solid presence in the midst of the oncoming political storm. He's a pretty rad skateboarder too. Mark. He's a delicate junkie whose blue eyes are as unending as the sea. His parents kicked him out when they found out he was gay and never looked back. He's forced to survive on the street, selling his body to older men until Arthur gives him another option. Due to this unexpected kindness, he develops unrequited feelings for the king that lead to a catastrophic misunderstanding. Jack. He's the black musclebound quarterback who was outed and disgraced. He's watched over Mark, falling in love with him at first sight. But when the attraction isn't reciprocated, he's left to wallow in despair and anger until he's thrown into Lance's path. It sets up an uncomfortable love triangle where admitting the truth is avoided at all costs. Reyna. She's the phenomenal archer of the group, modeling herself after Katniss Everdeen in the HUNGER GAMES. She's one of the few girls, serving as a knight. She also comes from a wealthy family, but instead of it being a plus, she's virtually ignored and paid off to be seen and not heard by her callous parents. She's just as lonely and abandoned as the kids Arthur picks up off the street. Esteban. The Latino hustler is one of the key players in the drug running in his barrio. By turning him, King Arthur scores a major victory in drawing gang members to his side. He falls hard for Reyna's beauty and no nonsense attitude, but has to adjust to taking orders from a pretty boy like Lance. He only backs down after Lance bests him physically during a sword fight. Jenny. She is Lance's high school English teacher who doesn't know if she loves the kids she teaches anymore. She's at a critical tipping point when she meets Arthur. He challenges her to rediscover her true passion for her calling while at the same time kindling a fire between them. She doesn't necessarily approve of Arthur yanking her students out of school to go on their charitable endeavors, but eventually realizes that he's teaching them more worthwhile lessons than the rigid lesson plans she's forced to comply with. And these are just a few of the standout characters in a novel that's chock full of them. As a reader, it's hard not to care about these kids. Author Michael J. Bowler has an extensive background in reaching out to troubled youth, both inside and outside of prison. His personal experiences no doubt enrich his storytelling abilities, peopling his novel with characters that make an impression. His talent for making the reader care about children that are marginalized and forgotten is to be commended, and might even foster some positive action in communities across the country, hopefully fostering the new Camelot he envisions.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
Children of the Knight, by Michael J Bowler, has an excellent plotline and a powerful feel for the needs and hurts of inner city children. King Arthur returns, as legend predicted, but to Los Angeles, USA, instead of England, to aid the multicultural youth of a youthful nation rapidly losing its way. The lessons are wise, with an honest no-holds-barred approach to young people and the wounds—physical, sexual, and mental—that drive them to gangs and homelessness, or simply rebellion. The LA teen voices seem achingly authentic, at least to my English ears. And the mission of Arthur, to restore meaning to life, to offer praise and reward hard work, and to give each child significance, has a powerful message to a culture that punishes as adults those it simultaneously sidelines as children. King Arthur’s attempts to understand our modern world are nicely drawn, and his opposition to swearing, disrespect (in all its many forms), and careless hurt is nicely convincing. Less so are his accent and dialect, which read awkwardly to my English ears, but probably mirror the confusion of American city kids trying to read Shakespeare. “Gaels didst hate the Galls who didst hate the Normans...” had me wondering whether to check ancient grammar or history first. But “I doth be fine” declares Arthur at another point, and “When canst any of thee recall...” as he proclaims an upwelling call for change to assembled listeners. The story’s greatest strength is in its depiction of exploited youth, brave children finding their place in a system that’s rejected them, seeking their sexual identities in a world that too freely abuses and condemns, needing approval, and learning to stand up for what they finally believe in. The novel is fun and exciting, well-plotted, and pleasingly fanciful, with a blend of gritty realism and idealistic resolution that should appeal to younger teens. Bearing in mind the story’s shadier themes though, this book might work best for those who’ve already seen or learned of the darker side of life. Disclosure: I received a free ecopy during the author’s blog tour, with a request for an honest review.
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
CHILDREN OF THE KNIGHT by Michael Bowler is an interesting Teen & Young/Fantasy read. A very controversial story! King Arthur re-appears in the City of Los Angeles and creates a new Camelot using a group of unwanted kids. He believes as should be, all children are created equal. He accepts the unwanted, homeless,discarded children into his Camelot. It deals with many issues such as, poverty, homelessness,children’s rights, corrupt politicians, meth labs, single parent homes, child abuse,sacrifice, and sexual orientation. While, “Children of the Knight” may be a bit controversial, it is a great read. A modern day version of the Knights of old. Today’s society may have forgotten the most important lesson of all…love.”Once upon a time in the City of Angels,the children did lead, and the people did hope” from “THE CHILDREN OF THE KNIGHT”. Although, it is recommended for Teen & Young Adult readers, I would suggest older Teens. An interesting read from start to finish. The story was well written with realistic characters who where also engaging. The plot well through out and carried through. I would recommend this read,especially if you enjoy Fantasy with a twist of modern day. Received for an honest review from the author/publicist. RATING: 4 HEAT RATING: REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Review courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite "Children of the Knight" by Michael J Bowler is a book that will leave quite an impact on you, no matter whether you are a young adult or a pensioner. It is a story about how our society lets down the members who would need its care most: abandoned children, the ones no one really cares for and who have to fend for themselves on the road - either by selling drugs, being in a gang or even selling themselves as prostitutes. But when a man who calls himself King Arthur appears in the life of Lance, one of the children in the book, it looks as though the world could change for the better. After all, it is said that the King would appear again in the hour of need. But who would believe someone who says he is the famous king of old? Can one man and a group of children change society? I chose to read this book because I like the legends that surround King Arthur and his round table and it interested me what King Arthur would think about our world and how he could ever get used to it. In "Children of the Knight", Michael J Bowler manages to show how a man from a totally different point in time perceives our society and how easy it is for him to immediately see the weak points of it. King Arthur is the knight many people dream of - the one person who could turn things around and make people believe in a better future. The story becomes better page after page and at a certain stage you can't put the book down until you arrive at the end. It is a very moving story and makes you wonder about how good our society really is and whether we care enough about the weak links in it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel is a fantasy where King Arthur comes to modern day Los Angeles, gathers a band of homeless kids and gang members and trains them as knights.  They all work together to change their lives and neighborhoods.  The novel deals with many issues that plague modern society...poverty, homelessness, political corruption, children's rights, meth labs, single parent homes, child abuse and LGBT relationships.  The characters are real and believable.  The story is action packed and full of surprises.  It is a great read.  I can't wait for the sequel!!!!