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  • Sir Bentley and Holbrook Court
  • Written by Chuck Black
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9781601421258
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  • Sir Bentley and Holbrook Court
  • Written by Chuck Black
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9781601422620
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Sir Bentley and Holbrook Court

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Written by Chuck BlackAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Chuck Black

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List Price: $8.99

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On Sale: April 21, 2009
Pages: 176 | ISBN: 978-1-60142-262-0
Published by : Multnomah Books WaterBrook Multnomah/Image
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

Sir Bentley, an honorable young knight, abandons his calling in order to seek the truth of the Prince. Choosing to live as the Prince did, he forsakes his former lifestyle and wealth to live as a pauper. His travels take him to Holbrook, where the townsfolk live in poverty, paying high taxes to support the lavish lifestyle of Lord Kingsley and his court. But something even darker is lurking in the shadows of the beautiful castle.

Bentley soon befriends Eirwyn, a mysterious but compassionate young woman who often distributes food among the poor. When Eirwyn is kidnapped by a ruthless tribe to serve as a sacrifice, Bentley battles a vicious mountain creature to save her life. But when he discovers who is really behind Holbrook’s downfall, he’s faced with an even bigger challenge–battling the Dark Knight’s most evil commander and his Shadow Warriors as they attack the castle.

Will greed destroy the kingdom the way it destroyed Lord Kingsley? Or can Sir Bentley and Eirwyn work together to restore order and prosperity to the kingdom through the compassion and grace of the Prince?

Journey to Arrethtrae, where these knights of noble heart live and die in loyal service to the King and the Prince. These knights are mighty, for they serve a mighty King. They are…the Knights of Arrethtrae!

Excerpt

“Bentley of Chessington, do you swear to uphold the Articles of the Code, to defend Chessington and her citizens from enemies both outside and within her borders?” Lord Kifus’s voice echoed through the great hall of the palace.


“I do.” Young Bentley looked up at Kifus. Sand-colored hair formed loose curls around the young man’s neck and ears. His square, clean shaven jaw revealed a small, faint scar—a badge to remind him never to become prideful about his considerable abilities as a swordsman. Bentley’s shoulders were broad, and he carried himself with the distinctive posture of a nobleman. In spite of his comely appearance and his social charm, however, Bentley did not hold himself in high regard, and thus there was very little to dislike about the young man.


“Do you swear to uphold the honor of the Noble Knights, placing the protection of your fellow brothers- in-arms above your own?”


“I do,” Bentley replied.


Nearly all two hundred Noble Knights were present to witness the knighting of one more squire into their brotherhood. It was a time-honored tradition that often followed the family lines of the wealthiest men in Chessington, and such was the case with Bentley. Behind the Noble Knights stood two to three hundred highly respected citizens of Chessington, for this was a significant event for both the Noble Knights and the citizenry.


“Do you take this oath without reservation, fully understanding the authority and responsibilities granted to you by the King—an oath that binds you to the order of the Noble Knights until death?”


Bentley hesitated, looking past Kifus toward the two men standing behind him. His father, Sir Barrington, and Sir York, the man who trained him at sword—his role model and his mentor. Could any two men be more different?


Bentley looked toward York and then to his father. A few seconds passed, and the delay became awkward. Barrington gazed at his son, smiled, and nodded. The room filled with tension, and Kifus’s gaze
became stone hard.


Bentley looked back to the white-haired knightly leader, an icon of the perfect knight in many eyes. This was what Bentley had wanted his whole life, and yet something tugged upon his soul from another direction. It was those last few words that caused him to hesitate, for such an oath was a seal that would establish the course of his life forever.


He repeated the words in his mind:
“Do you take this oath without reservation…an oath that binds you to the order of the Noble Knights until death?”


What could be more honorable than service to the King?


“I do.” Bentley lowered his head in submission.


As if the doors of a flooded chamber had opened, the tension abated. Kifus lifted his brilliant silver sword to just above Bentley’s shoulder.


“Then I dub thee Sir Bentley, protector of Chessington and Noble Knight of the King!”


He touched the flat of the blade to each of Bentley’s shoulders, and a roar of shouts and acclamation filled the great hall. Bentley stood and Kifus offered his arm as a token of brotherhood.


“Well done, Sir Bentley. You are young but well deserving of the honor.”


“Thank you, Lord Kifus.”


Kifus turned to greet some of the approaching prestigious knights and citizens. Bentley’s father stepped forward and embraced his son.


“I am proud of you, my son.” Barrington smiled broadly through his cropped salt-and-pepper beard.


“Thank you, Father. You and you alone have been my inspiration.” York stepped forward and grasped Bentley’s arm.


Sir Bentley…has a nice ring to it, aye, laddie?” He slapped Bentley hard on the shoulder with a meaty palm.


Bentley bowed his head toward York. “I am indebted to you for all the training you have given me, sir.”


York’s smile vanished as his mind seemed to return to a former preoccupation. “Aye, and ye’ll be needing those skills in the days to come. The Followers continue to be a menace to our cause, and Kifus tells me our missions to eradicate them will increase.”


“Yes, sir,” Bentley replied, but something in his heart resisted the words. “What was it like before?”


York squinted and cocked his head to one side. “Before the…ah…Followers?” Bentley added. It was an unusual question, and it conveyed much more than curiosity. Those few words carried a subtle message that raised the eyebrows of both York and his father.


York looked back and forth between Barrington and Bentley.When he spoke, his words vibrated with passion. “It was a time when the authority of the Noble Knights was never questioned! That’s why we
must fight well in coming days. The lingering effects of that dead Stranger will end, and we will restore the order of the Noble Knights to its rightful place when we eradicate His imbecile Followers.” York’s
countenance had assumed a familiar ferocity, his eyes beneath their bushy black brows seemed to shoot forth fiery darts.


Neither Bentley nor his father said a word. It was exactly the response Bentley had expected, and he wasn’t sure why he had even asked the question. The momentary awkward silence between them
ended when his mother took his arm and a dozen other knights and citizens moved in to offer congratulations.


When the knighting ceremony was over and the accolades were finished, Bentley lingered behind in the great hall. It was a day he had looked forward to for a long time. He took a deep breath and tried to
enjoy the moment. It felt good to be a Noble Knight…almost perfect.


Almost.


Bentley’s heart pounded hard in his chest. He readied his sword in a midguard stance as he stood face to face with a fierce warrior whose markings Bentley had never seen before.The warrior yelled and initiated a diagonal cut that nearly blew Bentley’s sword from his grip. Preoccupied with his own survival, he was barely conscious of the clanging of other swords nearby.


He tightened his grip and countered with a rising cut, followed by a horizontal slice. His sword was met by the nearly immovable dark blade of the warrior, and he had to retreat to avoid the next deadly slice.


Out of the corner of his eye, he saw one of his fellow Noble Knights fall to the ground—and realized that he, York, and his other five companions could shortly succumb to the same fate. The five warriors they
faced were much more than mere marauders; they had the look of seasoned war veterans. The Noble Knights had the advantage in numbers only, for the skill and power of these men far surpassed anything they had ever experienced.


Bentley considered his next move. How could they have made such a serious miscalculation and come to such a desperate situation? The months following his knighting ceremony had been filled with raids on the Followers, but each week seemed more intense than the previous. This was already their third mission this week.


They had received news from an informant that a handful of Followers was meeting near a hut in the hollow at the northwest edge of Chessington.When they arrived, a strange old woman had yelled at them and cursed them from afar. York had ignored her and insisted they search the hut and the surrounding area. When they dismounted and neared the hut, these five massive warriors had attacked. Bentley had barely been able to draw his sword in time before one warrior launched a deadly slice toward him. Ever since, he had been fighting for his life.


Another powerful slice came terrifyingly close, and Bentley ducked. He heard the swoosh of his enemy’s blade pass just above his head. Bentley initiated another rising cut, but missed and found himself slightly off balance. He knew that such an experienced man of war would capitalize on Bentley’s mistake—and he did. The next slice came from Bentley’s left, and he was only able to raise his sword for partial protection before the grisly blade blasted through his defense.


The concussion on his sword carried on to Bentley’s left spaulder and slammed into his helmet. Bentley careened to the right, scrambling in vain to keep his footing, then crashed to the ground.
He knew what would happen next. In seconds, he would feel the steel of his enemy’s sword pierce his armor and then his chest. He lifted his sword for protection against the vertical slice, but the edge of the
warrior’s blade burst through his resistance and into his breastplate. The impact of the blow on his body seemed to force the last of his strength from him. His end was near.


Bentley froze as the warrior lifted his sword high above him for a final downward thrust.His physical exhaustion did not diminish his fear of death in the least. But just as the tip of the warrior’s sword began its plummet, Bentley heard an unfamiliar yell and watched a wide arcing blade slice across his enemy’s torso from behind.


Screaming in pain and frustration, the warrior recoiled and turned on his unknown assailant. Bentley’s strength immediately returned, and he rolled away, quickly finding his feet. The warrior was now heavily
engaged with a new adversary, one Bentley had never seen before.


Bentley chanced a quick glance about him and realized that four other knights had joined their cause against these massive warriors of destruction. Another glance filled him with shock as he recognized their insignia.


Followers!


The newcomers bore the unmistakable mark of the Stranger. This was the enemy Bentley and his comrades had set out that morning to engage. Yet these men were fighting to save their lives.


Bentley brought his sword to bear along with his unexpected ally against the dark warrior, who was now wounded and searching for an avenue of retreat.Together, they forced the warrior into flight and joined
the remaining knights in vanquishing their foes.


When the tips of the swords slowly settled to grassy harbors of rest, only one man had fallen. Bentley and anotherNoble Knight went to him and began removing his breastplate, for the wound was serious.The other men stood breathing heavily as the rush within their bodies subsided.


Bentley looked up in gratitude toward the man who had wielded sword to help him. “Thank you for your help. We’ve never faced such men before.”


The Follower nodded in the direction the enemy had fled. “We have. They are enemies of the King.”


“As are ye,” came York’s voice from behind. “Drop yer swords.”


Bentley looked up incredulously. “But these men—”


“—are our enemies,” York repeated. “They’ll be imprisoned.”



The four Followers looked stunned, then slowly stepped back and away once they determined the burly knight was not bluffing.


Bentley jumped to his feet. “They just saved our lives!”


“Then they be fools as well,” York spat. “Disarm them!”


The other knights looked at one another and then at Bentley. Bentley met their eyes, then knelt back down to his fallen comrade.The delay allowed the Followers to separate themselves, and they ran into the trees of the valley.


“After them!” York commanded.


“Sir!” one of the older knights exclaimed. “Nordan is down and needs immediate treatment.We either help him, or we chase the Followers and let him die—you choose!”


York’s eyes burned with fury, and in that moment Bentley fully discerned how deep York’s contention with the Followers lay.


It was a moment that set his mind on a different course.
Chuck Black

About Chuck Black

Chuck Black - Sir Bentley and Holbrook Court
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.
Praise

Praise

“With sanctified imagination, Chuck Black transports readers back to the days of chivalry and valor, clashing steel, and noble conflict–but ultimately he transports readers to the eternal triumph of the King who reigns!”
– Douglas Bond, author of HOLD FAST In a Broken World, and Guns of the Lion

“Chuck Black is a word crafter who is able to weave Kingdom principles into the fabric of one’s moral imagination. The characters he has created and the passions they exude, will motivate readers to follow their examples, which have now been etched into their awakened conscience.”
– Mark Hamby, Founder and President of Cornerstone Family Ministries and Lamplighter Publishing

“My son, Nathan, loved the first book in this series and he said the second was even better. In my son's own words, ‘Mom, it was exciting and full of mystery. It compelled me to read more. I couldn't put it down.’ As a mom and an author, I give Sir Bentley and Holbrook Court two thumbs up!”
– Tricia Goyer, homeschooling mom and author of eighteen books, including Generation NeXt Parenting

Praise for The Knights of Arrethtrae series
“Chuck Black is a master storyteller. The fourteenth-century feel of his books is wholly captivating. Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione is no exception. Yet the principle anchors of the story–faithfulness, friendship, loyalty, redemption, and forgiveness–are what make it fully worthwhile. Expect to see very little of your young knight after he gets ahold of this book. He will more than likely emerge from the pages with an intensified determination to fight the battles in his own life as a faithful Knight of the Prince.”
–Jennifer Igarashi, freelance writer, homeschool-resource reviewer, and mother of an eleven-year-old Kingdom series fanatic

“Chuck Black has once again transported his readers to the time of knights, castles, and damsels in distress. The Kingdom series was such an enjoyable read that I was surprised to find Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione even more delightful…I was drawn into the tale and cared almost immediately for the characters. I rejoiced in each victory, wept with each failing and loss. Chuck is clearly maturing in his skills, and I look forward with great anticipation to his forthcoming works.”
–Gail Biby, publications editor for the North Dakota Home School Association and author of North
Dakota Guide to Home School High School

“Chuck Black is the John Bunyan for our times! Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione is a reminder of the origins of the spiritual warfare we are to fight daily.”
–Iaci Flanders, inductive Bible study teacher and homeschool mom

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