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Beyond the Summerland (Binding of the Blade #1)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  1,236 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
Joraiem and the young Novaana train in the Summerland to rule Kirthanin and to defend it against the evil schemes of Malek.

The Binding of the Blade is an original fantasy series based in part on prophecy from the book of Isaiah. Book 1, Beyond the Summerland, is where the adventure begins for a band of young Novaana, eager to serve and rule the four regions of the world of
Paperback, 593 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by P & R Publishing (first published May 25th 2004)
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Rebecca There are instances of events, including 'flashing lights' to ward off evil creatures, 'slowing down real-time' and seeing through the eyes of other…moreThere are instances of events, including 'flashing lights' to ward off evil creatures, 'slowing down real-time' and seeing through the eyes of other creatures, performed by 'prophets'.

There are also mythical creatures, such as dragons, as well as other creatures specific to this book - the latter created by a demi-god-type-being. (less)
Steven Jones I would say yes. I first read this book when I was 13 or so and have read it multiple times since. There is a sad scene that impacted me a good deal…moreI would say yes. I first read this book when I was 13 or so and have read it multiple times since. There is a sad scene that impacted me a good deal but it was a good kind of impact. (less)

Community Reviews

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Dec 17, 2007 Magma rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: LoTR/Narnia/fantasy fans
It's a wonderful book.
when I first tried to read it I wasn't feeling well and couldn't finish the prologue...
...but when I picked it up again I finished the end of the prologue and it really started to pick up after the prologue.

A warning is there is alot of foreshadowing in the book and it all becomes clear in the last 5-10 pages.
You might hate the very ending....I was sad for the whole next day, but I bought books2&3 and read them and I can tell you that what happened at the end of book1
Keara Edwards
Feb 13, 2017 Keara Edwards rated it really liked it
This book was awesome! But, now I'm depressed because of the ending.
Sep 25, 2008 Amelia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Amelia by: Sariah Bunker
If you get into fantasy, pick this one up and begin the journey of the Binding of the Blade. My sister Sariah got me into this series and I just finished the fifth and final book in the series.
It is written by a Christian author and is the best thing since the Chronicles of Narnia. I love that it isn't sorcery, but the people believe in one God. It is gripping once you get past the slow prologue (so just skim that if you have to and go back later for the info). Definetly recommend.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 12, 2008 Whitney rated it did not like it
That surprise at the ending...just wasn't my kind of surprise. Pooey. But probably it's really a good book - my brothers seem to like it...for some reason. :\
Tamara  Sinnamon
Jun 09, 2014 Tamara Sinnamon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Awesome! A must read for those who love Christian fiction.
Great character development and plot twists. It was a slow read, but definitely worth it in the end.
Electric Bubbles
Jun 12, 2014 Electric Bubbles rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
How am I supposed to get through my to-read list when I keep re-reading old favorites?????
Bob Hayton
Dec 17, 2009 Bob Hayton rated it it was amazing
Faerie tales and adventure stories have long held our imagination. Tales of far off lands with exotic beauty, of hair-raising dangers and evil warlords, of bravery and skill in the face of overwhelming odds -- such tales awaken our spiritual thirst for meaning and fulfillment in life. We've been blessed with fantasy authors steeped in a Christian worldview, great men such as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis have bequeathed a rich heritage of inspiring tales that Christians can embrace. Others have ...more
Excellent. I've read the entire series twice over and this is still my favorite of the five novels. It packs an intricate storyline and brilliant, solidly developed characters. Graham really does a good job of developing the setting, too—it has a very broad, epic feel. And talk about a shocking ending to the first book! Although it frustrated me emotionally, and a little disappointment lingered throughout the following books, I think it made for a good plot device to compel the reader to finish ...more
Jarvis "Mclovin"
Apr 26, 2009 Jarvis "Mclovin" rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 14, 2012 David rated it really liked it
The Prologue - in the nature of a prequel ages prior to the main story - was confusing, especially since the end of the prequel is given first and it is hard to tell when the author is jumping back and forth in time.

However, the main part of the story was much more engaging. The character's are mostly young people (say 16 to 21?) which which would probably define the target audience, however it would be good for adults who want a clean and positive fantasy story. There are also dragons, bears, a
Jan 15, 2011 Kim rated it it was ok
Oops! This is NOT the book I was supposed to read for the Mana book club. That was Summerland by Chabon. No wonder it wasn't the light hearted story I had expected when Kit talked about it. My bad!

This was quite violent, too boring for the first 250 pages, and a tiny bit more interesting the last 500 pages. Nevermind the ending rather much sucked. And it's supposed to be a trilogy? I won't be reading further.
Denae Christine
May 26, 2008 Denae Christine rated it liked it
Shelves: epic-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Calvin Edwards
Dec 22, 2016 Calvin Edwards rated it really liked it
I really liked this book!Can't wait to read the next one!I was very surprised at the end though!
Wayne S.
Jul 27, 2013 Wayne S. rated it it was amazing
Twenty two year old Joraiem Andira lives with his father Monias, mother Elsora, seventeen year old sister Kyril, and twelve year old brother Brenim near the village of Dal Harat in Suthanin, one of the four regions of Kirthanin. Kirthanin had been created by Allfather and was originally ruled over by the twelve Titans, but one of them named Malek rebelled and fled to the Forbidden Isle. The Novaana are the noble families of Kirthanin who oppose him. Twice Malek has tried to conquer Kirthanin, an ...more
Jan 24, 2013 Laure rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
The Binding of the Blade series consists of five books and delivers a complex story set in a vivid fantasy world. Not only that, all five novels have already been published, so they can all be read with hardly a breath or potty break. This obsessive reading is certainly not required (or recommended), but to have the option is bliss. I read all the novels of the series one after the other: Beyond the Summerland, Bringer of Storms, Shadow in the Deep, Father of Dragons, and All My Holy Mountain.

Steve Hemmeke
Oct 21, 2013 Steve Hemmeke rated it really liked it

Written for middle school age from a Christian worldview, Graham mimics Tolkien in creating a fantasy world. Unity among men and other races against the bad guy is essential to victory.

This is the first of five, and I've only read this one, yet. They are lengthy and a bit wordy. Universe creation, character development, and plot motion are tricky to pull off all at once, and Graham leans toward the second. This creates the needed suspense of plot action, but there isn't much hinting a
Aug 31, 2013 Michelle rated it liked it
3.5/5. The world-building and storytelling in this book were phenomenal. Also, the author does a reasonable job of developing the characters (though some more than others) and I cared about what happened to them, and I was fully immersed in their world.

However I couldn't rate this higher for the following reasons:

* The women are for the most part weak, powerless, underdeveloped, and useless. They're objects of affection for the men.
* To the above point, this book is male-dominated. Allfather (
Aaron Kline
Aug 27, 2008 Aaron Kline rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 18, 2013 Luke rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this one. Good pacing as it never got boring. A few different viewpoints that were switched between. A high adventure, with moderate depth. The lead-in mini chapter seems adequate for setting some of the stage of ancient history, but it was rather a disconcerting jump to find that it had been a _long_ time in the past, with not much reason given for the "close-up".

The only thing that somewhat got to me , and I consider this barely more than nit-picking, is what I would call "the ivory
Sep 06, 2012 Summer rated it really liked it
I thought this book was great! It was kind of like an old timey feel, not a lot of technology which i like in a fantasy book.
Joraiem was a good main character although i felt like he could fall in love with anyone, very suddenly but i get as a fellow writer (obviously not a famous one though) that it is sometimes hard to build romance.
He spent half his time avoiding you-know-who (people that have read) just to all of a sudden realize that he loves her?? Confusing. Anyway good plot and good fig
Camilla Sofia
Feb 25, 2014 Camilla Sofia rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
"Beyond the Summerland" is a work of beauty and innovation. L.B. Graham's strength is his characters, who are real and flawed and live and breathe and are multi-faceted. But Graham's world never seems to link with his character: he seems to be imitating Tolkien's Middle Earth but filling it with characters that act and speak like modern Americans. One other beef I had was that I constantly had to refer to his pronunciation guide to pronounce his characters' bizarre names (Benjiah? Joraiem? Pedra ...more
Apr 07, 2010 MarsianMan rated it really liked it
The story of a young man's (Jorieam) journey to Summerland where the youths are supposed to attend a gathering that occurs every 7 years. It is to create a bond and trust between his people that transcends boundaries.

On the way he runs into a prophet, Valzaan, who hints to him that he might also be a prophet. The gathering gets side tracked as their are forced to go investigate the works of a dark and terrible enemy.

I had trouble with getting into this book until I skipped the prologue which is
Jan 05, 2016 Rebecca rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
First off, this book has strong links to the beliefs of the Christian faith, so if that's not your jam, parts may seem a little overwealming - scenes like the characters having a ceremony and praising their god, hoping for the day when the world will be made anew and evil is cast out etc etc. However, for the most part, you can generally put this comparison to the back of your mind and enjoy the story world. The plot is a little weak, with a sudden and unneeded part at the end, but the world bui ...more
Oct 16, 2012 Lydia rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 02, 2012 Bekah rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
4.5 stars. A powerful story that doubtlessly sets the stage for the rest of the series. I really enjoyed it. L. B. Graham is doubtlessly a master story teller, and the way he managed to weave the personal struggles alongside the epic struggle captivated me. There's also a host of wonderful characters that are flawed, lovable, realistic, and absolutely intriguing. My only less than positive comment is, though it was never a complete bore, being the first installment in a series, the story did dra ...more
May 11, 2009 Jordan rated it liked it
This book was very different from most. First of all, we go through the story no matter what happens. The author didn't skip over parts that most authors would skip over- it gave us nearly every detail of their journey. If they took a shower, we knew about it. Ok, I'm overexaggerating... but still, it was a little like this. That contributed to the story though, it was interesting reading a story done like that. And the story itself was sort of predictable- but then the end was still a shock. I ...more
Cathrine Bonham
Feb 09, 2014 Cathrine Bonham rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-met-the-author
Epic! This is a true epic fantasy. Like Eragon and The Lord of the Rings, much of the story is Character development and World building but you don't notice because there is always something happening.

Joraiem is one of the Novanna. Every seven years the new adults of their race meet in the Summerland to essentially learn how to be Novanna. The first half of the book is Joraiem traveling to the Summerland. He meets new friends ect. . .

Even if it feels slow stick it out because when you get to t
Jun 18, 2012 Bradley rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
A slow crawl of a series. The mystery of the "sear" who appears in every book is not resolved until book 5. Really this could have been 2 books. A back story is told slowly, snippets here and there, based on a passing reference in Isaiah: 11:9 and 56:11. Not really believable. A prophecy is to be fulfilled. There is no real transformation of characters. Our hero who is extremely good, dies in the first book. The descriptions of the characters and their surroundings are not that captivating. All ...more
Adam Thompson
Feb 23, 2013 Adam Thompson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Binding Of The Blade is my favorite fantasy series. Yes, I like this series even more than CS Lewis or Tolkien.

The characters are good and the action exciting, but what I love most is the rich, beautiful Christian allegory.

Beyond the Summerland is an excellent start to this series. By the end, I wanted to be Joraiem, I wanted to marry Wylla, and I definitely wanted to visit Sulare. Although the last few pages will make you hate the author, it's a integral setup for the rest of the series.
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Binding of the Blade: Why you loved the series! 1 4 Oct 23, 2012 07:39AM  
Binding of the Blade: Why you loved the series! 1 1 Oct 23, 2012 07:39AM  
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L. B. Graham (BA Literature, Wheaton College; MDiv, Covenant Seminary) is chairman of the Bible department and teacher of English and Worldviews at Westminster Christian Academy in St. Louis. He has written several articles in IVP’s Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. He and his wife, Joanne, have two children.
More about L.B. Graham...

Other Books in the Series

Binding of the Blade (5 books)
  • Bringer of Storms (Binding of the Blade #2)
  • Shadow in the Deep (Binding of the Blade #3)
  • Father of Dragons (Binding of the Blade #4)
  • All My Holy Mountain (Binding of the Blade, #5)

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