Day of Mourning

Recently my publisher, Bethany House, sent me notification of the sad news that because The Shadow Within (Book 2 of the Legends of the Guardian King series) and Return of the Guardian King (Book 4 of the series) have not been selling sufficiently they have decided not to keep them on their list of active publications. That’s a bunch of words to say they’ve been declared out of print and BHP will be producing no more copies of them. I’ve asked to have the rights revert to me.  

So if any of you are still waiting to get the Legends Series, or specifically the final book in that series, I suggest you act now before they vanish forever, like What-a-Burger’s A-1 Thick and Hearty burger. (Though I seriously doubt the A-1 is really going to vanish forever.) ((I’ve clearly seen that ad WAAAAY too many times…)  The books are still available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online sites as of today, and I would guess you can still order through local stores, though the strange setups independent booksellers have with distributors makes that literally a guess.  

Books 1 and 3 (The Light of Eidon and Shadow Over Kiriath) apparently continue to sell well enough that they’ve decided to keep publishing them.  

I knew this day would come and suspected it would be sooner rather than later, particularly given our current economy. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Shall we accept good from Him and not adversity as well? He knows what He’s doing and I don’t, and whether the books are in print or not is no obstacle to Him getting them into the hands of those for whom they are written. Maybe they don’t even matter any more and have served whatever purpose He had for them.  

If I step back I still have to marvel that the entire series actually made it to print at all, since there was considerable doubt the initial books would sell well enough to justify putting out the rest. And seeing as Eidon came out in 2003, Shadow Within in 2004… that’s about five years of shelf life in a very transitory and unforgiving industry. Have to be happy about that.  

Plus this last fall, a German publisher contracted to publish all four of the GK books. So it’ll still be out there, even if I won’t be able to read any of the books. 🙂  

In any case, I still have another book to write, which, believe it or not, starting last week I’ve finally the time to get back to. Or maybe I should say, I have another proposal to prepare, since at this point, that’s all I’ve got the go-ahead to do.  



Graveyard photo by Qole Pejorian

0 thoughts on “Day of Mourning

  1. Daniel

    I enjoyed reading the whole series and have told others about your books. I have put off buying “The Enclave” due to the lost of my job. I hope to be able to get it soon. I have gone to the book store several times and held the book in my hands debating if a should buy it then or wait. I hope to get a job soon were I can get back into buy and reading good books.

  2. Peggy

    This is sad news. I just discovered the GK series last summer (2009) and was amazed. Karen, you have a masterpiece here and it WILL be re-published someday….. like so many classics, sometimes they go relatively undiscovered for years, and then they become a sensation. Even before hearing this, I had bought four copies of each book so that each of my children can have a set when they have their own homes. I will buy several more while they are still available now that I know they will be (temporarily 😉 out of print. I devoured them last summer and then began them as a family read-aloud at night (censoring a bit for young ears at times). My family LOVES them!! My youngest daughter ( 10 years old) begs for the next installment and many nights we have stayed up till past 11:00 PM (one of the perks of homeschooling) reading. We are nearly to the end of the final book. And Karen, I promise you, my kids are going to be begging for a fifth book. I am, too. I truly think you were divinely inspired when you wrote these and the theology is powerful. My husband will stop my reading sometimes to discuss some theological insight that we have just come across in the book. I asked our church librarian to get the set and she has. I will be recommending the series in our annual Christmas letter (which I should be writing right now 🙂 The Guardian-King series has landed in my all-time top five books (or series) along with: The Lord of the Rings; Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion Series; Linda Chaikin’s East of the Sun series; Christy by Catherine Marshall; and The Chronicles of Narnia. (Watership Down, Gone with the Wind, and Anne of Green Gables are up there, too, but no threat to the GK series) I also enjoyed Arena and Enclave, but you have an incredible gift at historical fantasy— I put you up with Mr. Tolkien, himself. And I have never done that before with any other author. Keep up the great work. Write lots more books!! Have a Merry Christmas!!!

    1. karenhancock

      Hi Peggy! How cool to know you just found the books this summer and thank you for your VERY kind words about them. I’m honored to have them on your Top Five List. Very encouraging! One thing I’ve found about stories I really love — they seem to stick in the mind, so even if the books are no longer being printed, the characters and events live on in my memory.

  3. mylittlebub

    God has a way of bringing new life out of death. Like the grain of wheat. I too feel sad to hear this. Those books are as old friends and meaningful allies. This makes what Kelli shared today even more piercing.

  4. NonaK

    🙁 So sorry to hear this sad news, Karen. I will be certain to order the entire set for my mom right away! She loved them when I loaned them to her, and I would hate for her to miss the opportunity to own the set.


  5. Sandy Elder

    Karen: I just found you two days ago and already have the first book in my hands and will be starting it later today. I love your blogs and have read almost all of them. I started with Bob Thieme over 40 years ago…even until late last night when reviewing Spiritual Dynamics from 1992, hearing him talk about the word Change. He said, in Lesson 135, that change is a radical word. Stalin used it during the bolshevik revolution. It sounded as if he was referring to the Obamba mantra. It was deja vue all over again. I attended a Bob McLaughlin conference in south Florida some years ago where I made a very fine doctrinal friend. Also, in Tucson, many years ago, I located the place where they reproduced and mailed out our cassettes long long ago. Our group here in Orlando listens on Sundays to Bobby by telephone hook-up.

    Waiting to see Him work through this latest life event of yours will be interesting. Something new? I can’t wait to see what it will be. God has used you in so many extraordinary ways. I’m so happy to “find” you and will continue to be a fan…and looking forward to what is next…BUT…please keep writing these daily thoughts and updates. PS: I sent your website to the lady who takes charge of the Prayer Battalion for the BUDs, (Believers Under Doctrine) and she was so excited because her daughter is looking for an agent for her book. So, please, girls, keep on writing about His Matchless Grace.

    1. karenhancock

      Hi Sandy! You only found the blog two days ago and you’ve already read most of the posts? My, you have been busy! Thanks for taking the time to comment and introduce yourself. I’m always happy to meet another former student of the Colonel. Our Tucson group used to meet in the later facilities for putting out the cassettes (not the barn, which was first). I taught the prep school back among the duplicating machines until we finally got a separate room.

      Interesting about the Colonel’s reference to change as a radical term, but not at all surprising. It’s eerie the way things are unfolding today right before our eyes just as the Bible describes and Colonel Thieme warned. [As for change — I rather like Rush Limbaugh’s take on it: Hoax and Chains. 🙂 ]

      BUDs! That’s PERFECT for the SEAL analogy from Lone Survivor, BUDs being the training they underwent on Coronado Island. Was that designation (Believers Under Doctrine) a deliberate borrow from the SEALS?

      Hope you enjoy the book and thanks for the encouraging words on the blog, too.

    2. Sandy Elder

      Well, as I said, I have the first book…read it straight through with only time for sleep and food. Thank goodness I had already ordered the entire series plus Enclave, so I’m awaiting the next book with great expectations. My mind is constantly filing through the doctrinal referances and application to the experiences of the main characters. It’s a new exercise for me. I’m now fixated on the bossy butinski Lady Clarissa. I can hear Bob right now talking about females who have unhappy marriages or no sense of destiny and how they might begin to interfer in everything around them. Can’t wait for the next book to see how Eidon works in her life. Bobby’s lesson today was I Cor 14:34-35; Eph 5:22-33 with a little bit of Gen 3:16 thrown in. It took me years to figure that one out so I refuse to give up on Clarissa. It just thrills me to see this marvelous truth woven into a fictional story as Christian fiction has not come my way. I love the Christy Series on DVD and watch it again and again. They botched the sequel and that was a bit upsetting. SF is new to me and it took a bit of suspension of disbelief but I got there. I love it.

  6. Alyssa C.

    Awww, so sorry to hear that! We recently completed the series and it is one of my most favorite series. My parents will be sad to hear about this–they are fans of your books as well.

    God bless!

  7. Doug

    That is so sad. My niece turned me on to those books last year and I became slightly obsessed. all my free time was spent reading the books and when I was finished with the last one i suffered from a form of speration anxiety…. 😉

    Thank you so much for writing them, I also hope that they will get published again, but until then know that you have touched my life and countless others.

  8. Loren Warnemuende

    Sorry to hear the news, Karen! It really is here today, gone tomorrow these days, huh? Sometimes I wonder if most people will even take the time to read anything within a few years.Sigh! Thank the Lord He works in all times…. For me, though, the well-written novel, the STORY, helps me learn and grow more than anything. Your books have fit that category for me 🙂 . I’m glad I have the RTOGK series on my shelf (and Arena, and hopefully The Enclave for Christmas!). My husband and I think they’re great and often recommend them.

    ~Loren Warnemuende

    P.S.~Thanks for explaining the “snow” on your blog. I was wondering how that effect was created! Now if you want REAL snow pictures, I can send you some from Michigan!

  9. Trish

    This was posted a while ago but I just have to say that’s crazy the second book was my favourite. Thank you for a great series it really inspired me.

  10. Sandy Elder

    All my books have finally arrived. The last one was #2 this week. I’ve started it and love it, too. I will treasure them as it will be hard to replace them and that is sad for us all. Something new and different is coming for you and I can’t wait to see what it might be. He has already “made a way”.

  11. Katherine

    Dear Karen,

    I’ve been out of blog-reading-land for what seems like 6 months, but have finally managed to get back to it. I also purposely stayed away from reading your blog until I could read Enclave, so as to avoid any spoilers 🙂 Now that I have finished, I am eager to keep up with your blog again. I do find it very encouraging.

    My whole family of four has now individually read all your books (6 so far, right?), and the Eidon series is still our favorite. The girls like the 1st three the best, while my husband liked the 4th one the best! Glad we have our copies safely in our library 🙂 I read the first in California, the 2nd-4th plus Arena in England, and Enclave in Switzerland.

    Can’t wait for your next project to surface, whenever God brings that about. Thanks for listening to Him and using your talents to bless so many of us out here.

    Blessings, Katherine in Zurich, Switzerland

  12. Esther M

    Oh no…..

    We just found this series a few weeks ago and plowed through the first 3 books while nursing colds. I got to the end of #3 last night just after midnight and instead of turning off the light, I got up to check the computer to see when our public library would be able to send me #4. Turns out that they had ordered all 4, but #4 is out of print and no longer available. OH NO!!!

    Ok, if I have to buy the book to give to the library, I’ll do it.

    Imagine my shock to find that the LOWEST price ANYWHERE was in excess of $50.00USD for a used copy. New ones can fetch upwards of $200 !!!! Ack! I wish we had found these sooner.

    I know that e-books are available, but I need the paper in my hands experience of a book.

    Please, everyone, contact Bethany Book and let them know that it makes no sense at all to print #s 1 and 3 of a series. In my mind, a series ought to be available as a whole.


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