In the Realm of Mist and Mercy by Susan A. Howard is an engaging allegory about the Catholic life for middle-grade or older readers. Waljan is the hero of this tale, an orphan boy found in the woods by Haden as an infant after his parents had given him up in order to follow Asmodeus in the “dark and brooding land of Mortania.” Haden is aging and feels he can no longer provide for Waljan so he sends him to live with Mrs. Pruitt. There, he learns how to read, but he is also tormented by Mrs. Pruitt’s twin sons, Caddock and Tyre.
Setting off to escape, he discovers Castle Mount. Only those who die may climb its walls. He also meets Sir Moriel , a Knight of Abidan, the Realm of Mist and Mercy, who owns a sword called Paraclete. He tells Waljan that he has been called to be part of the Realm, but he must be trained to be a knight. He also will face a most difficult test.
In the Realm of Mist and Mercy is full of adventure and will appeal especially, although certainly not exclusively, to boys. The accompanying lesson plans offer a guide for utilizing this book at home or in a classroom. Howard ties the thematic lessons to scripture and excerpts from the Catechism. There are discussion questions, reflections, and prayers for each chapter.