Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sword of the Archon (Shader, #1)” as Want to Read:
Sword of the Archon (Shader, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Sword of the Archon (Shader #1)

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  88 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Deacon Shader has dreamt of the Sword of the Archon since a child, and now, as a veteran warrior, he is finally within reach of winning the holy blade in a tournament at the heart of the Templum's empire.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, plague breaks out in the streets of Sarum, and a horde of undead rises from the sacred burial mounds of the Dreamers.

Prompted b
Paperback, 366 pages
Published July 18th 2011 by Createspace (first published August 12th 2010)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sword of the Archon, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sword of the Archon

Angelfall by Susan EeBeautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuireThe Vampire Hunter's Daughter by Jennifer Malone WrightEmber by Madison DanielBirthright by Willow Cross
Best Independent Novels
259th out of 2,343 books — 3,274 voters
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienA Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Five Star Fantasy Books
367th out of 1,222 books — 1,510 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 732)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Wendell Adams
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews

Sword of the Archon (Shader #1) by D.P. Prior is one of the best self-published fantasy that I’ve stumbled upon. Not to say that it is perfect, because nothing is ever without flaws. It is, however, a dynamic work of genre bending scifi, fantasy and horror that immediately brings to mind Stephen King’s seminal work: The Gunslinger, with its post-apocalyptic world, mysterious ruins of an advanced civilization, its mystical elements, and a main character
B Throwsnaill
Cadman's Gambit is an epic tale which follows the exploits of a hero (Deacon Shader) and a villain (Dr. Cadman). Both characters are significant point of view characters, and share the P.O.V. about equally. As I started reading, I struggled to grasp the terminology that was employed. The world(s) in which the story takes place are rich and lovingly detailed, but at times it felt like I was starting a series at Book Two rather than Book One. And I am simply not very good at tracking a lot of new ...more
Finally!!! Authors are writing books for people who are literate and have brains and vocabularies. This book is so entirely fabulous that I couldn't add it to my favorites list fast enough. I don't see what all the whinging was about in the other reviews. The vocabulary isn't overly extensive and you don't need a character list to keep track of everyone. From the reviews I expected a cast of thousands and dense, rare vocabulary, not to mention confusion for at least the first 50 pages if not the ...more
Cadman's Gambit by D.P. Prior is the first book in the Shader series. Taking place about 1000 years in Earth's future only the general landscape of the planet remains unchanged. The story is woven in a complex arc that unwraps itself layer by layer to grant you a fuller understanding of who the characters are and what has happened to the world.

Deacon is the hero, a man of the church, who struggles with his own identity. One who believes in peace, but is himself capable of great violence to prot
D.P. Prior
Sep 16, 2012 D.P. Prior rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: fantasy
The exiled scientist Sektis Gandaw has searched for thousands of years for the artifact he needs to unweave all creation. When he finally detects a trace of its power, he sends his flesh-eating minions to claim it.

Pitted against him is the holy knight, Deacon Shader, veteran of the wars against the undead armies of the Liche Lord, and prepared for this task since the day he was born. The only problem is, Shader is done with fighting, and desires only a life of quiet contemplation. At least that’
Robert Duperre
Rating: 5 out of 5

Oh, how much I love the melding of genres. To mix and match different aspects of specific literary tropes and use them to tell a truly original and captivating tale can be a wonderful thing to experience, when executed correctly. It then becomes nothing but a story, allowing the reader to concentrate on the strength of the tale being told rather than if they followed all the requisite “rules” ascribed to said genre – ala, in the case of fantasy, the use of magic, mystical beast
Rex Jameson
This is the best full-length self-published fantasy I've yet to read. Not because it's perfect, but because it's bold and very well executed (though I do have some issues to bring up later).

If you're looking for a light read, you may be in for a frustrating venture. Luckily, I am not particularly fond of light reading and enjoy a book that was purposefully constructed to make me ponder about deeper themes. I may not completely agree with the perspectives or the seeming lessons on the search for
I won this book as a first reads on Goodreads. I was intrigued by the blurb and when the book actually arrived I was excited to get started. It took a little for me to get into it, not because it wasn't interesting, but because there were so many new terms and people. I had a hard time keeping track of everyone and their locations. The more I read, the more I enjoyed and by the end, I didn't get quite so lost and I found the maps incredibly useful.

At times I felt like there was a bit too much p
I enjoyed this book far more than expected. I plan on reading the next two to complete the trilogy. The author has done a good job creating a post-apocalyptic world which remembers technology but magic has also appeared. The male characters are quite strongly portrayed and of the two female characters of note: One is rather one dimensional, the other, the "nun" is far more compelling and seems to fit better. I could be that the other female character will be developed more in the next books.

I en
Ryan Zimmerman Carstairs
Feb 04, 2012 Ryan Zimmerman Carstairs rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ryan Zimmerman by: D.P. Prior
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jake Scholl
NOTE: If you’re a squeamish reader avoid this book. If you’re a fan of George R.R Martin books and like watching “Braveheart”, you’ll love this book.

When searching Amazon for eBooks I am very careful. Especially when it comes to Fantasy & Sci-fi.

When I see a five star review, I take it with a grain of salt. Mainly because sometimes that reviewer is a friend of the writer. Or in some cases, it’s actually the writer that wrote the review.

Also I’m very skeptical with eBooks on bestseller list
Timothy Cummings
This book was just plain fabulous, well crafted characters presented in a well crafted story, that blends genres flawlessly. A tale written for adults who appreciate good writting
I bought thi as a Kindle book.
Shader, the Sword of the Archon begins well with the introduction of the title character who fights in a contest for the Sword noted in the title.
Then for the next hundred or more pages, that is it for action as the plot unfolds...slowly, very slowly. Furthermore, things get weird. With a nod to OZ, the great Southern Hemisphere nation, a story unfolds of some sort of death cult- or something- that gives birth of the undead ( yes, I know a contradiction in terms) am
I loved `The Nameless Dwarf` books & I loved this book even more!!!I will definitely be reading more Shader books.
The first in D.P. Prior's 'Shader' series, this is a self-published fantasy that is set upon a future Earth following a post-apocalyptic event in which magic has returned.

While I'm not usually averse to a bit of fantasy every now and then, I have to say: I found this one to be hard going. Despite a promising start, I found it to become somewhat overblown and drawn out and just not that engaging: I never really connected with any of the characters or the situations they faced.

There were times, e
Gerald Black
A most entertaining read. The characters have depth and purpose. Plot is well thought out and handled with a deft hand
Shader: Cadman's Gambit is a well written (what i would term 'Hard Fantasy') book, which takes the reader through the gamut of literary experience. It is a multi-path, multi-POV tale, starting what I think is a trilogy of books surrounding the main protagonist, Deacon Shader. 'Shader', as he is referred to in the novel, is a troubled monk come fighting man who struggles to justify his martial ways given his religious teachings.I find it hard to describe the plot, as it is somewhat convoluted, bu ...more
Stephanie Cook
It was readable, but not one I'd read again. Overly complicated storyline. I had such high hopes for this book and some of it was great, but other parts REALLY need work. One of the huge issues I had was with the female characters. They were useless really. They were incredibly objectified. They were portrayed as possessions which is annoying. They other thing was that when there was a problem, such as when Rhiannon was raped and had to face her attacker again, all she ever did was freeze up. I ...more
This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at by express permission of this reviewer

For the rest of this review, please visit:
I found the story a little rough around the edges but overall enjoyable.
Had to give up on this as it jumped all over the place and was difficult to track. looking at other reviews patience is rewarded later on but this was feeling more of a chore than a pleasure to slug through.
Perhaps I've been over-indulging on fantasy books recently, but this didn't do it for me. The world felt a little too close to home with religions and war, Britannia, and the grim realities gave too dark a reading for me...
Kathy marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2015
Chris marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2015
Sheri Cunningham
Sheri Cunningham marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2015
April Sadowski
April Sadowski marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2015
Catherine marked it as to-read
Jan 28, 2015
Jjcannone marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 24 25 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Indie Book Club: May Fantasy BotM: Cadman's Gambit 35 27 May 23, 2012 03:30AM  
  • The Dark Citadel (The Dark Citadel, #1)
  • Defender (Sanctuary, #1)
  • The White Tree
  • The Sable City (Norothian Cycle, #1)
  • The Eye of Divinity (Knights, #1)
  • Altdorf (The Forest Knights, #1)
  • Sword Bearer (Return of the Dragons, #1)
  • Gateway to Nifleheim (Harbinger of Doom, #1)
  • The God King (Heirs of the Fallen, #1)
  • A Soul For Trouble (Soulbearer, #1)
  • Silas
  • City of Blaze (The Fireblade Array, #1)
  • The Sword of Sighs (The Age of the Flame, #1)
  • The Deliverer (The Marenon Chronicles #1)
  • Dark Moonlighting (Dark Moonlighting, #1)
  • The Wizard of Time (Wizard of Time, #1)
  • Regent (The Balance of Power, #1; World of Godsland, #4)
  • Chasing Vegas
I was born and bred in the South of England. I trained in mental health before reading drama, classics, and medieval history at UWA. I went on to postgraduate studies in Antonin Artaud and the Theatre of Cruelty, and Theology.

I have worked in the theatre as an actor and technician. I've been a musician (performing with Sergeant Sunshine), a personal trainer, and a playwright.

I currently work full-
More about D.P. Prior...

Other Books in the Series

Shader (3 books)
  • Best Laid Plans (Shader, #2)
  • The Unweaving
The Nameless Dwarf The Ant-Man of Malfen: The Chronicles of the Nameless Dwarf (First Chronicle) The Axe of the Dwarf Lords (Chronicles of the Nameless Dwarf, #2) The Nameless Dwarf Omnibus (Chronicles of the Nameless Dwarf, #1-3) The Scout and the Serpent (Chronicles of the Nameless Dwarf, #3)

Share This Book

“Mom reeled away from the chair as if she’d been slapped. Deacon was up in a flash, letting the sword clank to the tiles as he clung to her skirt. Aristodeus raised his palms, and for a moment he looked genuinely sorry. “They will accept him, Gralia, but not until he’s turned thirteen, and not unless he’s proficient with a blade and fluent in Aeternam.” Mom’s breaths came in great heaves. She shut her eyes for a few seconds, her lips working silently over a prayer. She planted a kiss on Deacon’s head and sighed. “Six years, then.” Aristodeus nodded. “Six more years. He’ll be well on his way to manhood by then, Gralia, and I’m sure the last thing you and Jarl will want is a teenager on your hands.” Mom blinked back tears, and she shuddered as she drew in another breath. Deacon knew what she was doing: offering it all up to Nous in reparation for her sins and those of the whole world. Aristodeus stooped to pick up the sword and hand it back to Deacon.” 0 likes
“The idea had always struck Shader as bizarre: entrusting the governance of a country to the whims of an uneducated mob. No sense in it. No continuity. Not to mention that a canny would-be tyrant could easily hoodwink the masses into electing him. It was one small step from freedom to dictatorship.” 0 likes
More quotes…