The Sword and the Dragon (The Wardstone Trilogy Book One)
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The Sword and the Dragon (The Wardstone Trilogy #1)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  842 ratings  ·  134 reviews
When the Royal Wizard of Westland poisons the king so that his puppet prince can take the throne and start a continental war, a young squire is forced to run for his life carrying the powerful sword that his dying monarch burdened him with from the death bed.

Two brothers find a magic ring and start on paths to becoming the most powerful sort of enemies, while an evil young...more
Kindle Edition, 522 pages
Published (first published July 24th 2010)
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Jul 19, 2012 Jason rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: A death row inmate, but only because it would make time seem to move more slowly.
Shelves: lost-interest
Amazon suggested this based on a Dalglish book I downloaded. Gave it a try, got a few chapters in, and got bored. Just really kind of meh. Nothing grabbed my attention, nothing really stood out. Despite the stellar reviews, I'd file this one with Eragon. Same treatment of standard fantasy tropes. Don't know if I'd call it bad, but it definitely bored me to the point of not wanting to read farther, so take that as you will.

The opening scene is lackluster, at best, and just kind of jumps around, c...more
FBC Review published for the original edition of this novel that launched Mr. Mathias

INTRODUCTION: Several weeks ago I wanted to find some new independent books to read - I did some posts about the ones reviewed by me and Mihir in 2010 - and I spent an hour or two checking Smashwords sff books: blurb, first page and then random pages from the excerpt if interested.

Out of maybe 50 novels I looked at, The Sword and the Dragon was the only one that intrigued me since despite the traditional soundin...more
I really wanted to like this book. I wouldn’t have even glanced at it (yet another generic fantasy novel) if it wasn’t a self-published work, which says something about the author — that and the fact that he started writing in prison to escape insanity. I mean, you gotta give this kind of determination a chance.

There’s a lot of good things inside «The Sword and the Dragon»: the main characters are very likable and more tridimensional than usual — their interaction *feels* real, something a lot o...more
Tracey Alley
I finally finished this mammoth novel and was not at all disappointed. M.R. Mathias is a fabulous new talent that I'll be watching closely in the future. His writing is tight, his characters unique and believable and I would highly recommend him to anyone who wants to sink into a good fantasy saga.
Erin Danzer
When I first heard about this book, it was compared to T.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. Once I started reading, I saw the comparisons. There is a ring of power in both, a ring that can do evil things. There is a quest of many people. There is a map at the beginning of the book (because all good fantasy novels have a map). There are funny, hard to pronounce names.

That's where the comparisons stop.

I fell into this novel and though I'm only 200 pages into it, I can't put it down. Its cha...more
Bill Tillman
An intricate plot, two brothers going in opposite directions with life and death struggles at every turn. A book you will hate to put down before you come to the end. With a promise of one or two more to follow.
Sheri Hoff
I found this book to be highly entertaining and engaging. MR Mathias’s The Sword and the Dragon, the first in the Wardstone trilogy delivers action, adventure, and an exciting world of dragons, elves, wizards, mystical creatures, kings, battles, ancient pacts, and quests… the story unfolds in a familiar plot of villains and heroes, yet is so full of twists and turns that it kept my attention and pulled me into the characters and the story.
The action starts immediately and doesn’t let up.

I real...more
Big time fun - "all cliches and all fresh" epic fantasy - if that makes sense.

FBC Review below:

INTRODUCTION: Several weeks ago I wanted to find some new independent books to read - I did some posts about the ones reviewed by me and Mihir in 2010 - and I spent an hour or two checking Smashwords sff books: blurb, first page and then random pages from the excerpt if interested.

Out of maybe 50 novels I looked at, The Sword and the Dragon was the only one that intrigued me since despite the traditio...more
"No good, reasonable or honorable man would want to have the responsibility of ruling over others."
Almost four stars.

Something of a struggle to rate it so low because the story itself is great. A complex, multi-threaded skein of high fantasy with the requisite humans, elves, dragons, wizards, etc. In addition many flawed characters--not-so-good good folks, and not-so-bad bad folks--make for pleasurable reading. Satisfying conclusion while bridging to the next volume of the series. Good job.

So wh...more
Arthur Levine
The Sword and the Dragon

This epic fantasy is wonderfully written with exquisite detail that makes you believe the characters are real. From Hyden the archer and his brother Gerard to the elves to the Dying King Balton’s faithful squire Mikahl, set on a journey to deliver the magical sword Ironspike to a giant, all the actions of these characters jump off the pages of a plot with so many sub plots that the reader is kept enthralled and on the edge of his or her seat wondering what will happen nex...more
Deanna Knippling
The beginning of this book is very nice--lots of action, decent characters, even interesting POV character shifts, which are hard for me to get involved in. However, the author doesn't keep it up; once you get past the first 100 pages in this 500+-page book, the action shifts to a lot of summaries of action--instead of getting to see what the characters see and feel what the characters feel, we get a summary of all but a few things, which isn't nearly as satisfying. I felt like the author should...more
Fans of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis will find much to enjoy to enjoy in M.R. Mathias’ debut fantasy novel, The Sword and the Dragon (Book 1 of a trilogy). Starting with a mountain-side harvest of hawk eggs, the reader is then taken on an epic adventure through the Mainland Kingdom, encountering on the trek clansmen, a Lion Lord, lizards, serpents, elves, witches, a giant called Borg, a giantess called Berda, a bald-headed wizard called Pael, monsters and magic, kings and queens, lords and ladies, and...more
Writing: 1
Story: 0
Satisfaction: 1

I guess the title should have given me my first clue but I have a soft spot for indie fantasy writers so why not.

Think of every fantasy trope possible, try to link them all together, then add in as much excessive detail and inner thought processes as possible, and you would have this book. Here's an example of the first: there's a magic ring that this kid finds. He starts to get paranoid that people want to take it from him. Familiar? And then there's a sword tha...more
Paige (TheBookVulture)
Melinda Le Baron
This was a good fantasy for those of you who like the type of sword and sorcery, dragon, magic and demon type of books. This is one of the best that I've read in a while. This is the first in the trilogy. One king is poisoned, leaving an important kingdom in disarray, while an evil wizard has plans to take over the entire known human world through the King's son, the Prince. All is not lost, as the King's magic sword and his by-blow son have been sent on a quest to find out who they are, and to...more
Anna Dye
Jan 30, 2011 Anna Dye rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Anna by:
Review for
The author uses an old concept and used many other tales ideas to compose this book. The chapters leave you hanging and you always want to keep reading to see what will happen next.
The story is of a people that possess the knowledge of the whereabouts of the biggest bird’s nest in the land. Thus they are the only ones that can collect eggs from them. They have rules to how many eggs they can take from each nest and also to protect the birds from other predators.
Matthew Crowe
I found this book to be nothing special over the standard fantasy books that are out there. It is better than some but also worse than some. I could take it or leave it. I will continue with the series because I have already read the first book. It follows the standard fantasy template of good vs. evil. There was a twist in here that made it a little better. But still it is the same typical fantasy story that is rehashed all the time. I am not saying that is bad because obviously it is a formula...more
Graham D
I struggled to get through the first hundred pages or so. I almost gave up on the book. It was slow and there was no action to liven it up. It finally picked up and got better. I am glad I stuck with it. It was a decent book. It is hard to find a book that is so good that you want to rave about it to everybody. Unfortunately this isn’t one of those but it was good.

The story was good but was not exploited to its full potential. He could have put in a little less boring detail and made it easier t...more
Terry Elderman
I don’t care what some of the haters said. I liked it and enjoyed reading it. Is this book perfect? No, but I have yet to read a book that doesn’t have flaws. As long as the flaws aren’t too big and screw with the story who cares. This book in my opinion doesn’t have that type of flaw.

The book is long and does start slow in fact it was a little tedious. You have to have patience it gets really good. I like the fact that there are boatloads of characters. It kept it interesting and engaging. They...more
The Sword and the Dragon by M.R. Mathias is the first book in The Wardstone Trilogy. The story centers around the brothers Gerard and Hyden two young men of the Skyler clan. The clan is famous for being the only people who know the location to harvest the eggs of a certain hawkling that they sell for very high prices during trade fairs. This year with Hyden being the clans greatest hope for a win over the elves in the annual archery competition he is forbidden to undertake the dangerous climb to...more
Alessandro Maggiorotto
oh, boy... where to start?
reading this book was very much like watching the Dungeons & Dragons movie... you really want it to be good, but it really isn't living up to its potential.
1) I read the revised kindle version.
you'd think that would mean it's as good as it's going to get. not so... there were still enough spelling mistakes (and more than that..ancestors and descendants are two different things) for even a non-native English speaker like myself to notice. Another round of editing wou...more
Patrick Rixon
There are a lot of good things inside this book. All the characters are likable even Pael and Shaella have some likability. A lot of the action scenes have a gritty quality and are vibrant. They are extremely well written. I thought he did a very good job on those. The other parts of the book were somewhat disappointing. They did not have the same quality as the fight scenes.

A lot of the characters take too much space in the story only to be killed off in a few pages. The characters confused me...more
C Davis
I think this is a great story. There are brothers who turn into enemies, evil wizards and a plethora of magical beings. They all come together to make the perfect story. I liked this book from the first chapter. It engaged me and started me on this incredible ride.
All the characters were extremely well developed down to the most minor one. There are a lot of characters but that just made the story better in my opinion. They all added something to the story in some way. Shaella was more evil tha...more
C.C. Cole
After plowing through “The Sword and the Dragon” by ace author M.R. Mathias, I was swept in along with the rest of the masses of his fans into his world of post-Tolkien non-Martin medieval dark fantasy. Though this book has the elements of role-playing games, there is a story there, and not a simple one, but is a good one. There’s action, a love interest, magical rings, a magic sword, an evil wizard, and last, but not least, a dragon. Ah, and don’t forget the eggs! Literally. This book is great,...more
Cliff Ball
When I started reading this novel, and saw it was 700 pages, I was thinking it would suffer from burn out somewhere in the middle. Boy, was I wrong! The novel has a steady flow throughout, and the descriptions of various scenes throughout the novel are imaginative. The story is told from the points of view of quite a few different characters, from the good guys to the bad guys, and a couple of their animal friends. It has elements from every fantasy novel out there, including the classic tragic...more
Michael Beas

Wow! The Sword and the Dragon (The Wardstone Trilogy Book One 1) by Author M.R. Mathias are just Epic and Breathtaking in a whole other level.

Look out George Martin there’s a new kid on the block and his name is M.R. Mathias. My love for fantasy book begins and ends here. I absolutely love the mystery and action that comes with this piece of literature. Brothers become adversaries, a wonderful love story flourishes and intertwines as the book develops into a unique and original storyline and plo...more
It was a setup from the start. I saw a trilogy on amazon for 9 dollars. A trilogy mind you! 3 distinct books all with amazing reviews, that I didn't feel the need to go over do to the high average reader rating. I thought that I was set. but what I found was a string of terrible plot points, bad grammar and characters so shitty that they put Mr. Hanky too shame. Let me give you an example, this whole book there playing up this dude, the red wolf or some shit. There all like, the red wolf amazing...more
Christine  W.
I’m a huge fan of sprawling epic fantasy books with complex plots and subplots and this book offers exactly that! It has magic, it has dragons, it has evil wizards and a quest, yet what it also has is a web of complex and interwoven relationships and political undercurrents.

This is a multi point of view story, meaning that there is a large cast of characters through whose eyes the story is told. While this can often get confusing in many other books, the author handled it expertly here. I think...more
Haley B
Jul 05, 2014 Haley B rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy lovers
This is a really great read for anyone who loves fantasy. If you liked The Lord of the Rings trilogy or Eragon, you will probably love this book.

The plot is very intricate but at the same time, it's very tightly written. The action stays pretty constant, so there's no real lull in the story, which is great for readers who love a lot of swordsplay in their fantasy. What I liked most was the world building. Each word, when not dedicated to forwarding the story or to character development, is dedic...more
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The jewel you see glowing in the ring in my authors photo isn't really a jewel at all. It is the crystallized tear of a real dragon. In my novel "The Royal Dragoneers" you might find the moment where this wonderfully magical tear drop fell from a green dragons eye and hardened on its way down to land in a mess of troll corpses that the dragon was laying on.

My grandfather died before I was born, bu...more
More about M.R. Mathias...
The First Dragoneer (The Dragoneers Saga, #0) The Royal Dragoneers (The Dragoneers Saga, #1) Kings, Queens, Heroes, & Fools (The Wardstone Trilogy, #2) Cold Hearted Son of a Witch (The Dragoneers Saga, #2) Through the Wildwood (The Legend of Vanx Malic #1)

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“Just because it isn't perfect, doesn't mean it isn't awesome.” 41 likes
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