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Beyond the Summerland

(Binding of the Blade #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,459 ratings  ·  88 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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Jmsms would say a cautious yes. there is a controversial ending that shows/evidences human depravity and the toxic effect of jealousy and uncontrolled rage.…morewould say a cautious yes. there is a controversial ending that shows/evidences human depravity and the toxic effect of jealousy and uncontrolled rage. The ending impacts multiple characters in a profound way and has to be understood in the context of the rest of the series, which should be read as well. The ending, while controversial, was needed to advance the story.(less)
Rebecca Panks There are instances of events, including 'flashing lights' to ward off evil creatures, 'slowing down real-time' and seeing through the eyes of other c…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)

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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  1,459 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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Dec 17, 2007 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 was
Keara Edwards
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was awesome! But, now I'm depressed because of the ending.
Sep 25, 2008 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.
Alexa Hope
Mar 31, 2020 rated it liked it
This book gripped me at times, but lost my attention more than once. I will definitely consider reading the next one in the series though. I understand the worldbuilding well, and I enjoy the spirit of the book and story. Just the pacing and the character building would cause me to drift.
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
Sep 12, 2008 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 rated it it was amazing
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 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 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
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Well, okay, I ended up taking way too long to finish this book, a Christian fiction fantasy. I’m not sure I can give it a fair rating, except I suppose it dragged in a few places for me, then really picked up at the end (dragons always help!). Also had a big gut punch ending. I’ve read some interesting things about the sequel, I may give it a shot.
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 31, 2013 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 (
Jarvis "Mclovin"
Apr 26, 2009 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 14, 2012 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 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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Calvin Edwards
Dec 22, 2016 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!
Chris Tomlinson
May 08, 2017 rated it liked it
There are many things this book gets right but a few things it gets wrong. Beyond The Summerland by L.B. Graham is many things. It's a fantasy, it's a romance novel, it's an adventure story and it's a rescue mission. All these different elements may be distracting to a reader, while it jumps from genre to genre but L.B. Graham combines them so well that each story builds on the next and the end result is a story with amazing continuity. Everything in the book has a purpose and the reader is req ...more
May 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Beyond the Summerland reminded me a fair bit of the style of LOTR, but just a little easy to read. I liked the whole concept of this book. It was very cool and enthralling, as it features things such as fire breathing dragons, magicial prophets, as well as the ability to gaze through the vision of a windhover (okay that IS cool). It was a very climactic story too. So, there were definitely elements of it which I loved, but there were actually a few things which put me off this book a little...

Kathryn Wilmotte
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars.

There are some genuinely interesting settings, characters, and scenes in Beyond the Summerland. Unfortunately, they are surrounded by pages and pages of unnecessary description and dull dialogue (a good editor might have shaved off about 200 pages).

And while the characters are decently compelling, I find myself far more interested in the characters of the prologue and the backstory, characters who make questionable choices for interesting reasons. Our main hero Joraiem is ok, but blan
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Christian fantasy readers, Tolkien fans, C.S. Lewis fans
Shelves: favorites
One of my favorite Christian fantasy novels: epic, not preachy, with a well-developed world and well-rounded characters. As a huge fan of Tolkien and Lewis, Beyond the Summerland has a special place in my heart. My mom bought it for me when I was a teenager. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down.
Beyond the Summerland is emotionally moving, with memorable characters and wonderful Christian themes. Yes, the ending is undeniably sad. However, this book inspired me to keep on writing when I
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
So I was reading this one to my 8 year old. He seemed to enjoy it, but there were definitely parts that were a bit much. For instance, (view spoiler) Also, there was a lot of wordage devoted to young adult (late teens to early twenties) romance. Nothing even vaguely inappropriate, but didn't really keep the interest of my 8 yo son.

The series is a total of 5 bo
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I revisited this old friend of a series this year and devoured it. I love the complex world and characters that Graham has created. I also found that although the books are big, I raced through them. To me it never feels like the detail is without purpose - it paints a gorgeous picture in your head. I would love to visit Kirthanin myself! The characters are all very likeable, real and messy, and there are some really unexpected twists throughout the series.
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: clean
It was an interesting story, but not the best writing. The ending is kind of a cliffhanger, but I don't know that I enjoyed the book enough to finish the series. Also, the author arbitrarily decided that a span is six feet, which is kind of confusing when the rest of us say that a span is about nine inches.
Kitiara trueflight green
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
loved it except for the end its courageous uplifting and exciting
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Since I have a granddaughter named Sulare, I thought I had better re-read BOTB!
Giovanni Red
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Somewhat poor writing and weak plot, but not a bad story.
Devin Smith
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Christian themes with some interesting worldbuilding.
Kira Schneider
Great books for young teen boys and girls.

Christians, this series is like Narnia.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Kirthanin is enjoying a time of peace, though Malek, Master of the Forge and betrayer of old, controls Agia Muldonai, the Holy Mountain. Malek’s servants are growing bolder and venturing farther from their mountain stronghold, and the fragility of Kirthanin’s peace is growing ever more apparent. Join this adventure of friendship, love, and betrayal. Ride through majestic forests, and sail the forgotten waters. Rest a while in a summer paradise and walk the streets of an ancient and forbidden cit ...more
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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.

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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