Item description for Cristo's Chronicles: Book One: The King's Challenge (Cristo's Chronicles) by Anthony J. Mirarchi...
Overview In the early Bronze Age on the island of Adolphia, young Cristo and his friend Grigor help their mentor, Lord Allard, to meet King Adolphus's challenge to invent a way to measure the time of day and the time of year, while the king's rival seeks to stop them.Young Cristo and his friend Grigor help their mentor, Lord Allard, to meet King Adolphus's challenge to invent a way to measure the time of day and the time of year, while the king's rival seeks to stop them.
Set in an ancient time, featuring two competing wizards, and turning on the deeds of two brave young boys, this book provides all the adventure of a fantasy novel but pushes magic completely out of the picture, replacing it with the real conditions of the Bronze Age and fact-based conjecture about the earliest human scientists. The fictional characters, who live in a time before recorded history, include Cristo, an orphan who has grown up in the court of King Adolphus, and Lord Allard, the king's wizard, who makes Cristo his assistant in a quest to perfect a water clock and use it to set up a calendar. All is well until they discover that Duke Nextor, the king's unscrupulous rival, and his wizard, Boltair, are also intent on inventing a calendar and have dispatched Grigor, a peasant boy, to spy on Lord Allard's work. The two young boys join forces, and the action becomes a race between two scientific teams to acquire the strategic advantage of a new technology. A particularly tricky feat concerns recording data in a world without a counting system or written symbols. Lord Allard's solution to this problem results in versions of what are usually thought to be the earliest tools of timekeeping: a bead calendar for recording the readings of a water clock and a shadow clock, the precursor to the sundial.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Release Date Jul 28, 2007
Publisher Dna Press
ISBN 1933255323 ISBN13 9781933255323
Availability 4 units. Availability accurate as of May 27, 2017 12:41.
Usually ships within one to two business days from Momence, IL.
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More About Anthony J. Mirarchi
Anthony J. Mirarchi is a chemist. He lives in Titusville, Pennsylvania.
Reviews - What do customers think about Cristo's Chronicles: Book One: The King's Challenge (Cristo's Chronicles)?
From J. Kaye's Book Blog Jun 7, 2008
Anthony J. Mirarchi has written an adventure `teen lit' series called Cristo's Chronicles. It is set on the island of Adolphia, in the Bronze Age, where the inhabitants do not have a counting nor writing system, nor currency or standards of weights. The sorcerers of the time were proto-scientists. It's a great, fast paced, adventure, learning series for grades 4 through 8.
For me, THE KING'S CHALLENGE was intriguing. How do you create a calendar without a writing system or even the names of numbers? It highlighted how much we take for granted some very basic systems our civilization is based on, namely math and writing. I can't tell you how old Cristo and Grigor are; there are no numbers in the book! However, they are pre-puberty, so 9 thru 12 would be the age group. Mirarchi did an outstanding job in showing how to count without even the names of numbers.
Outstanding! Dec 10, 2007
It is refreshing to experience a novel designed for a young (and not so young!) intelligent reader. This book should be required reading at a middle school or grade school level. It provokes original thought, and takes the reader through a process of deduction. The cerebral nature of the book is such a refreshing change from the current mind numbing era of comic books and video games. This is a book that I would one day like to read along with my children. I look forward to the the author's next challenge: Book Two.
Great book for a young reading who likes science Oct 12, 2007
The really fascinating thing about this book is that the hero Cristo does not discover a new magic item or go on a quest to kill a dragon, but instead learns new scientific principles and uses them to discover previously unknown things about the world. The main adversary wants the knowledge that Cristo possesses and that is where the adventure begins.
This book is great because it incorporates a clever new concept and does not use the same old formula. The author has obviously thought a lot about what it is like to live in the bronze age without written words or even knowing how to count. Imagine trying to tell a story when you can't even tell the reader how old the characters are, or how many sheep are in the flock. This book is a clever combination of adventure and learning which should stimulate many young readers and get them interested in science.
The King's Challenge Aug 26, 2007
THE KING'S CHALLENGE is a story of teamwork and courage that enlightens readers to the merits of determination and loyalty. A fine message in any day or age!
It was refreshing to see the adults in the story giving Cristo's ideas and opinions their full consideration. Readers should be able to connect with how Cristo feels throughout the challenges he faces.
At first, I was a little concerned with the time setting but found I enjoyed the story immensely. I think a blend of the near fantasy with the reality of the Bronze Age would appeal to every young reader. The two were interwoven with great craftsmanship and in a manner I believe readers will find very interesting.
Courtesy of Teens Read Too Aug 22, 2007
Before the reign of King Adolphus, the Island of Adolphia was a bunch of disconnected, warring kingdoms. King Adolphus brought everyone together, renamed the island, and since then it has been a (mostly) peaceful place. Without constant wars and death the people, with the King's encouragement, are free to pursue knowledge.
At this time in history, there is no written language, no numbering system, no system of measurement, and no currency. Information has been passed down through family members by word of mouth. And jealously guarded. King Adololphus hopes to change that. He holds a council with all of the neighboring Dukes and Lords. He challenges them to learn, and to share their information with each other. Their first task is to find a way to account for the amount of daylight and the passing of the seasons. You see, there is no hour, day, month, or year. There is no way of knowing how much time remains before the sun sets, or how long before the cold season comes. Time merely passes.
Cristo, a young ward of the king, is very excited by the ideas he has heard, and wishes to begin immediately. He pesters Lord Allard, the King's most trusted wise man, to allow him to help with this project, while devising his own, as well. If the theories Lord Allard and Cristo have are correct, then their separate experiments should confirm each other.
Duke Nextor was forced into the truce that exists on the island. He is eager to be the first to find the information, and use it against Adolphus. He puts his wise man, Boltair, to the task. Boltair has no interest in the ideas, and no clue where to start. He sends Grigor to spy on Allard and Cristo, and report back to him.
Lord Allard and Cristo face a daunting task on many levels. A spy in their midst just may mean the failure of both experiments.
This book was fascinating! We take counting and money and time a bit for granted. It's always been there, so we don't question where the concepts came from. This is a great look at how some parts might have come about. The more I think about how strange it would be to not to be able to account for time, and how hard it would be to figure out how to start, the more impressed I am by this book! Additionally, it's a good story, with interesting characters. It's definitely worth the read!