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Between Two Kingdoms Paperback – March 1, 2010
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Joe Boyd has been on quite the adventure himself over the past thirteen years. During that time he helped to plant a large "church-within-a-church" in Las Vegas in 1997, then transition that into APEX, a decentralized house church network in 2000 (Joe's story was recounted in the 2005 book Emerging Churches by Eddie Gibbs and Ryan Bolger). Boyd is now the Teaching Pastor at the Cincinnati Vineyard Christian Fellowship, and working to integrate his passions for the Kingdom in a new city.
One of those passions is creative expression (Boyd is also a professional actor), and Between Two Kingdoms is his take on a Kingdom of God fantasy, complete with a King, good and evil Princes, a magical doorway between two realms, and an atmosphere of both innocence and tragedy. Throughout the tale, we follow our reluctant hero, Tommy, as he endeavors to follow his hero the Prince of the Upper Kingdom. Together they seek to rescue wayward subjects in the Lower Kingdom. Along the way we discover a little something about what it means to to have faith, be a friend, recognize true danger, and, perhaps most importantly remember what needs remembering and forget what we need never hold on to.
There is much more in this densely packed fable. There are swords, rescue missions, perilous confrontations and mysterious creatures.Read more ›
The Upper Kingdom is a beautiful land governed by a benevolent king and prince who rule with strength and love. The people of the Upper Kingdom are eternally seven years old. Imagine the luxury of eating warm, chewy chocolate-chip cookies for breakfast each and every morning! Tommy is often sent on missions by the prince to the Lower Kingdom, a land of darkness ruled by a malevolent Dark Prince. Those who enter the Lower Kingdom must face the horrors of lost innocence and rapid growth. Can Tommy rescue his friend, Bobby, from the Lower Kingdom before it is too late?
I was thoroughly mesmerized by the spiritual truths contained within this beautiful story. Mr. Boyd is never preachy, and the best part of this book is the excellent characterization. Tommy is steadfast, yet his vulnerability is superbly portrayed. The Prince is valiant yet also loving and gentle. The other characters are equally well drawn.
My favorite aspect of the novel is the way in which children from the Upper Kingdom help those in the Lower Kingdom to build tree houses. These structures give the subjects under the Dark Prince's spell a glimpse of the Upper Kingdom. Although the bespelled subjects often spend their time arguing over the composition and look of the tree houses, (thus missing the valuable point of why the houses were built), there are those who grasp the reasons the structures are constructed. This truth was beautifully conveyed and very moving.Read more ›
The biggest thing I got out of the book was the authors concept of the upper kingdom. As I first read the book I was trying to figure out if the upper kingdom represented heaven or the church. Then I realized that there is no real distinction between the two. The upper kingdom is the "church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity" (CS Lewis, Screwtape Letters). I understood this concept, that the church is God's attempt to bring his kingdom into the world. However, when I finally made the connection in the book it was a shock to my system just how much I had separated the two in my real life. It is perhaps a little sad that I have not thought of the church the way it is presented in this book.
The title of my review is perhaps a bit lofty. It would be hard for me to place any book in the company of Lewis, Sayers, Tolkein, or Williams. Of the group only Lewis is really comparable, as none of the others wrote allegory. While "B2K" might not rank with the best of Lewis' work it is at least as good as if not better than his lesser works (such as Pilgrims Regress). The reason for the title is that the author is clearly influenced by these authors in the same way that Lewis was influenced by MacDonald and Chesterton. He is a good student of these masters. So, if you like Lewis' allegory, "Hinds' Feet on High Places", by Hanna Hurnard, or "Phantastes" by George MacDonald; then you should add this book to your reading list.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My kids have read this story over and over. It's an easy read for a 4th grader and brings a lot of discussion. Author Joe Boyd is a grand storyteller with a lot of heart. Read morePublished on August 23, 2014 by Steve weeeeee White
I loved this read. It was simple and appropriate for either family time or individual reading! Creative insight fused with a simple allegory. I highly recommend this short story.Published on March 21, 2014 by David J.
This book puts me in mind of the Chronicles of Narnia. I enjoy Joe Boyd's story telling style. A good quick read and a nice book to read to children.Published on January 6, 2014 by Barbara Kurnick
Great book and imagery of what God's kingdom may be like. It can be read lightly as a story or re-read time and time again in depth as you contemplate some of God's MYSTERIES.Published on October 5, 2013 by Jessica Hylander
Between Two Kingdoms is Jo Boyd's take on a Kingdom of God fantasy, complete with a King, good and evil Princes, a magical doorway between two realms, and an atmosphere of both... Read morePublished on June 14, 2010 by Edna Tollison
I often enjoy reading young adult novels. Some of the best books that I have read are listed as young adult. This book sounded interesting, so I thought I would give it a shot. Read morePublished on June 9, 2010 by C. Hamilton
This book was so good because of how creatively it was written. It is easy to understand, yet creative enough to draw the kids into the story. Heck, I enjoyed it a bunch too. Read morePublished on June 8, 2010 by Heather E. Revelle
This was a beautifully written, endearing story. Tommy, along with his friends, all live in the Upper Kingdom with the Great King and the Good Prince. Read morePublished on May 20, 2010 by A. Baker