Sword of the Archon (Shader, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Sword of the Archon (Shader #1)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  55 ratings  ·  16 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...more
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
252nd out of 2,274 books — 3,170 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
356th out of 1,141 books — 1,452 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 578)
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...more
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...more
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’...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...
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
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
Divya marked it as to-read
Sep 19, 2014
Daniel Ace
Daniel Ace is currently reading it
Sep 18, 2014
Johnny Du
Johnny Du marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2014
Melissa Prentiss
Melissa Prentiss marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2014
Christy marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2014
Susie added it
Sep 18, 2014
bookworm80 marked it as to-read
Sep 17, 2014
Breanne marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2014
Andrea marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2014
Amanda Rusher
Amanda Rusher marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2014
Cheryl is currently reading it
Sep 15, 2014
Dave marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2014
Jeff marked it as to-read
Sep 14, 2014
Russel Grundy
Russel Grundy marked it as to-read
Sep 13, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 19 20 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Indie Book Club: May Fantasy BotM: Cadman's Gambit 35 27 May 23, 2012 03:30AM  
  • An Oath of the Blood (Island Shifters, #1)
  • Defender (Sanctuary, #1)
  • Assassin's Curse (The Witch Stone Prophecy, #1)
  • Night of Wolves (The Paladins, #1)
  • Mark of the Dragon Queen
  • Dawning (Black Earth, #1)
  • Jade
  • Insurrection (Bakkian Chronicles, #2)
  • A Legacy of Light
  • The Sable City (Norothian Cycle, #1)
  • The White Tree
  • The Sword of Sighs (The Age of the Flame, #1)
  • My Soul to Keep (Rise of the Fallen, #1)
  • Dark Moonlighting (Dark Moonlighting, #1)
  • Cameron's Law (Adelheid, #1)
  • Dead of Winter: The Rift Book II
  • The Assassins' Village
  • The Eye of Divinity (Knights, #1)
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
More about D.P. Prior...
The Nameless Dwarf The Ant-Man of Malfen (Chronicles of the Nameless Dwarf, #1) The Nameless Dwarf Omnibus (Chronicles of the Nameless Dwarf, #1-3) The Axe of the Dwarf Lords (Chronicles of the Nameless Dwarf, #2) 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…