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The Sworn (Fallen Kings #1)

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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  1,796 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Summoner-King Martris Drayke must attempt to meet this great threat, gathering an army from a country ravaged by civil war. Tris seeks new allies from among the living - and the dead - as an untested generation of rulers face their first battle. Meanwhile, the legendary Dread are stirring in their burrows after millennia of silence and no one knows what hand wakes them and ...more
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Published February 1st 2011 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Melanie
I read the introduction to this book and thought 'Wow! This could be a book in itself. I wonder why she hasn't written it?' It was then reading the author Q&As in the Extras section and found out that she had: a series of books which had intrigued me, but of which I'd been put off by a number of bad reviews I'd seen. In this section, Martin also says that this is a good place for people who haven't read the first series of books to join the characters.

I have to whole-heartedly disagree with
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Chelsea [Vampire Book Club]
This review was originally posted at Vampire Book Club.

Gail Z. Martin knows how to craft big-scale fantasy. And she includes elements we adore: noble warriors, magic, vampires and werewolves. Martin is well-known for her Chronicles of the Necromancer series, and The Sworn is set as a gateway into that series for new readers.

The Fallen Kings Cycle series is set in the same world as Chronicles of the Necromancer with many of the same characters. The goal for this book was to allow new readers to j
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colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±
3 1/2

This book is marketed as "the beginning of a new adventure set in the world of the Chronicles of the Necromancer". It both is and isn't.

For the ways that it is, we are introduced to a few new characters, threats, and concepts which we haven't seen before. We also see more of the Winter Kingdoms, as the new threat is against the entirety of the Kingdoms as opposed to being internal issues, as the previous books were.

Another way in which this feels like a new adventure is that this book is pr
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MissM
This was a tough one. It hovers between 2.5 - 3 stars for me. I loved the first four books ("The Chronicles of the Necromancer") and this is really just an extension of that. (The author claims you can pick this up and start fresh if you never read the others but man do I disagree! It's really just Necromancer book 5 but with a different series title.) So, on one hand, I was happy to have more of this world. I like the characters and the setting is well worn in after four books.

On the other hand
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Marleen
Copy received from and reviewed for Bookgeeks.

The Winter Kingdoms are a troubled place. A plague and famine scourge the lands, old problems and rivalries are either still around or resurfacing and an invasion is threatening from across the Northern Sea.
Several people in different parts of the kingdoms can feel the danger and are trying to investigate what exactly they are up against, and what they discover is deeply disturbing. Not only does the invasion appear to be headed by a traitor as well
...more
Chris
I am really over this author. 5 books and she still hasn't found another way to talk about someone's hair without using the word "framed". Every word she invented for the universe gets italicized not once, but EVERY SINGLE TIME IT SHOWS UP. It's beyond annoying. I was really hoping she'd mature by now, but she hasn't. And I don't care much about what happens going forward, because so far it's pretty much the exact same arc as the first 4-book series.
Daniel
I really had to force myself to get through this book. The characters are introduced in a prologue that explains the past four books, but there is so much information laid out that it fails at its purpose. In one sense, I like Martin's writing, but in most cases I do not. It gets tiring reading the same italicized names for vampires and werewolves. Nothing here is original. We have a powerful king, a bard, villains who wear black robes and are a cult, a lame magic system, zombies, ghosts, vampir ...more
Amber
This book is as action packed as the previous novels! I loved that the new cycle is giving more insight into the pasts of the kingdoms and showing how much the characters are being forced to change due to circumstances in the plot. An excellent read! I hope the next one is out soon!
Lily
It’s always nice to read epic fantasies like this! The Sworn is very, very long though, and I wouldn't recommend it to readers who like quick paced plot. While very little and major things happened in this book, I still enjoyed the ride, characters, and world building. Aidane’s story was the most interesting to me. I liked her background and all the scenes she had. Berry also caught my interest later on, like when she (view spoiler) I’m looking forward to seeing her ...more
Brandon Zarzyczny
Having read all of Martin's previous book, I welcomed a return to the world she created and it's characters. In an interview at the end of the book, the author says that this book would be a great spot to enter the series, but I disagree with her. While it's true that all of the enemies in this book are new, I think it would be a disservice to not read the previous books. The biggest reason for this is that, other than the very few new characters, none of the main characters evolve or change in ...more
Diana (Offbeat Vagabond)
Review posted here: Offbeat Vagabond

Wow, this was better than I expected. Thanks to Netgalley, I had the pleasure to add this to my iPod. I must say, I have not had the pleasure of reading Gail Z. Martin's first series, Chronicles of the Necromancer, but I see why she is so popular in this genre. It was truly epic with all sort of supernatural beings that made it quite refreshing. I have never come across a series that was an epic fantasy that is full of zombies, demons, vampires, werewolves an
...more
J. Ostrowski
Not my preferred genre but why not try something new, I thought. I like long books. I'm trying hard not to let my disappointment color my view of the genre as a whole. The first installment in this series had a lot of potential. It was all downhill from there.

I have not read any other books by Martin but I got the impression past events mentioned in this book may have occurred in other books? And this is book 1 in the series? If that's not the case, then every time the past was mentioned, it was
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Nikki
I really do love Ms. Martin's books. The world she has created is so... rich that it feels real. Politics make sense in her world (or at least, they seem real. Politics never make sense, especially in reality). Each of the characters she creates are amazingly real- They work for everything they get. They were never handed ANYTHING, and every skill they have had to be honed to become better. That one of my favorite parts of her books, and it's still going strong in this one.

I'm impressed with the
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Lindsay Stares
I have only one quibble with The Sworn, but it's not a small one: it's not nearly as good a jumping-on point for this world as the marketing push would have you believe. If you are in the mood for some good epic fantasy, you might enjoy, as I did, the experience of catching up, but there is serious catching-up to do.

The author has written four previous books set in this world, dealing with most of the same characters. The prologue of The Sworn summarizes these books in a brain-numbing flood of n
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Anna Vc
Another excellent installment to The Chronicles of the Necromancer series. This one is marketed as an offshoot of the series, but the book starts 6 months later after the end of the 4th title in the series. I think you would be able to follow the story if you would pick up the series with this book, but don't miss out on the exciting series leading up to this book.
Cody Gunnels
Sworn is an awesome addition to the winter kingdom books. It is the first of a new series called Forgotton Kings, and not part of Chronicles of the Necromancer. After reading each book, Gail Z. Martin only gets better and better, and I cannot wait for the next in the series,Dread, to come out. I am a little sad though because I will have to wait till next February when it comes out.
Sworn is an excellent book and is written so you do not have to read all the books up to it. It is a series after
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Bri
Took me longer than I thought it would take to get around to reading this. (didn't help that I got distraction half-way through the book).

I liked it, its got all of the elements that I liked from the previous four books, though it did take me about half of the book to really connect with the newly introduced characters. I kept on wanting to read about the others!

While this book may be considered one that can be read apart from the Chronicles of the Necromancer, I wouldn't suggest it. There are e
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Nicola
The Sworn picks up where The Chronicles of the Necromancer left off. Tris and Kiara face concerns over the well being of their infant son. Jonmarc and Carina await the birth of their twin girls, while sheltering refugees from the plague and a new magical threat. Cam returns to Isencroft to help Donalin deal with the lingering threat of the Divisionalists. Tris's cousin Jair and his wife, Talwyn, of the Sworn join the cast of characters as a new threat looms on the horizon.

This book sets the stag
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cacinta
First off, I have never read anything by this author, so I was expecting something fresh. I didn't know she had written previous books set in the same world. And so, I was left wondering what exactly is happening when I started. I read a few chapters, but was unable to connect any of the scenes with each other, and the fight scenes were a lot of mumbo-jumbo.

However, this isn't the first time I've started a series from the middle. A few of them actually ended in my favourites pile.

With this tho
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Grace
Simply couldn't keep reading, I only got through the first 50 pages. The writing style really put me off, and I had no idea who anyone was, not to mention it was very hard to understand the characters as people because exactly what they felt of their personality was not really touched upon. It was just 'this person said this, this person did that'. I have no idea who they are or what they're like, is it so hard to flesh them out a bit first? I understand that this series is a follow on from anot ...more
Chade66
I loved Ice Forged, so when I saw Martin's name on it, I picked it up read it and realized its the first book in a second series. So I started with the Summoner right after. I will hold off on reading the Dread until I catch back up, but I have the first 4 books in hand now and am ready to go.

How did these slip by me?
Benjamin Babeshkin
This is a great book, however, it would be best if the reader also read the other books in this series (Chronicles of the Necromancer). While both series of books stand on their own, this book is really part 5 (and The Dread is part 6) of the Summoner books.

It follows the main characters from the other series, but also adds one new Character "Aidane", and expands on some minor characters from the original books.

I particularly loved Aidane's character, she has a unique occupation, and the chapter
...more
Vicki

The Winter Kingdoms face not only plague and famine, but invaders led by a dark spirit mage who uses blood magic.

Tris Drayke, the Summoner king of Margolan, must find a way to stop them even if it means working with ancient beings known as the Dread. The coming battle may be the end of all things. The kings of the Winter Kingdoms become embroiled in the fight of their lives.

“The Sworn” is the first book in “The Fallen King’s Cycle.” Anyone who’s read Gail’s previous works in “The Chronicles of
...more
Nicole
Plainly and clearly written. The Sworn continues the tale of Martris Drake, King of Margolan and his allies in their continued trials while running a kingdom. The Sworn introduces new characters and new enemies, while continuing the fast pace, plot heavy style of previous books in the series.
Positives: Very detailed world building, political intrigue, history, and culture.
Negatives: The Sworn like Martin's other novels is part of a duet and ends with a terrible cliffhanger. Which won't be resolv
...more
Becky
The Sworn is the first in the new Fallen Kings Cycle, but is a return to the Winter Kingdoms (after the four Chronicles of the Necromancer books). A war is coming to the Kingdoms and an old enemy looks to raise the dead, amongst other things, to defeat the Kingdoms.

An excellent read. I was a little worried because I've not read the Chronicles, but Sworn offers a good starting point for readers new to the Kingdoms, with minimal confusion (the prologue to bring readers up to speed was actually mo
...more
Suzanne
Good start to what will be a darker tale than the Chronicles of the Necromancer series. Beloved characters are back, and new characters are introduced. Love Aidane! Great concept for a character.

My biggest complaint with the book is that it felt like nothing more than one huge set-up for what is to come in future books. Her writing is rich with portents and maneuvering, but in the end, while it seemed like a lot happened, not much happened. The chess pieces have merely been positioned for what i
...more
Kristopher
I loved returning to the world of the Winter Kingdoms. The book was, as usual,
action-packed, filled with mysteries, and of course, sending our favorite characters into more disastrous adventures. I loved meeting the Sworn and learning more about them. The new characters are brilliant, with their own pasts and histories and abilities. Even if you haven't read The Chronicles of the Necromancer, Gail Z. Martin's latest series picks up right after the events in the original books, with new enemies a
...more
Soteris
Gail Z. Martins books go from strength to strength. The Sworn continues to follow the lives of Tris and Jonmarc as a new threat from across the sea threatens the Kingdom. That and a plague that ravages Tris's newly claimed Kingdom make his rule that much more believable as there does not appear to ever be a happy ever after in this continuing story.
Great characters and believeable camaraderie that has been built over the several books make this a deeply engrosing book to read for the lovers of f
...more
Sara
I'd been looking forward to this book for a while and it more than lived up to expectations.

I enjoyed the previous books in the series and this was no different - the characters were just as facsinating and believable as before and their escapades just as thrilling.

It's well written and enjoyable and my only problem was that it ended on such a huge cliffhanger. Everything seems to have gone to hell and I have to wait a year to find out how they're going to sort it out.
Audrey Terry
I read Martin's Chronicles of the Necromancer about a year ago and thoroughly enjoyed them. One thing led to another and I drifted away from the genre. A few days ago I picked this up and began reading...and couldn't stop. The Sworn pulled me right back into the drama of Margolan's politics. I really loved this as an extension of Martin's previous works and I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series.
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All About Fantasy: The Sworn 1 6 May 01, 2013 11:52AM  
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Gail Z. Martin discovered her passion for science fiction, fantasy and ghost stories in elementary school. The first story she wroteat age fivewas about a vampire. Her favorite TV show as a preschooler was Dark Shadows. At age 14, she decided to become a writer. She enjoys attending science fiction/fantasy conventions, Renaissance fairs and living history sites. She is married and has three childr ...more
More about Gail Z. Martin...
The Summoner (Chronicles of the Necromancer, #1) The Blood King (Chronicles of the Necromancer, #2) Dark Haven (Chronicles of the Necromancer, #3) Dark Lady's Chosen (Chronicles of the Necromancer, #4) The Dread (Fallen Kings Cycle, #2)

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