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
Open Preview

Sword of the Archon (Shader #1)

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  222 Ratings  ·  32 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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog-reviews
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
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: fantasy
Sword of the Archon has now been completely restructured and revised (04/13/2015). This 4th edition has much more action, fewer point of view characters, and fewer location changes. The plot is linear, and less dense.

In its original form, many readers found the first 80 or so pages too dense: there were a lot of point of view characters, lots of place names, and there are some difficulties getting a geographical bearing. Also, the introduction, with Shader as a child, which was meant to make thi
Robert Duperre
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
B.  Barron
Oct 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to B. by: D.P. Prior
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jake Scholl
May 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
This book was admittedly difficult to read, at least, in the beginning.

Shader: Sword of the Archon is a book that doesn't hold back and doesn't spoon feed you details often. When it does, it leaves you even more confused. I began this book not really knowing what to expect. I waded into the pages lost and confused. I left this book wanting so much more.

Sword of the Archon is a tale much like Game of Thrones, telling the story from different characters' perspectives, only the background lore is
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved `The Nameless Dwarf` books & I loved this book even more!!!I will definitely be reading more Shader books. ...more
Timothy Cummings
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A most entertaining read. The characters have depth and purpose. Plot is well thought out and handled with a deft hand
Robert Defrank
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A world to rival China Mieville's.

Prior has constructed one of the most intense and immersive reads I’ve read in a long time, and the first book had me scrambling to put the rest on my ‘must read immediately list.’

The first book has its challenges. We are given no glossary and introduced to a plethora of tongue-twisting names of the various gods, demigods, and figures of myth, and the reader is forced to piece together much of the history in context while the action is going on. Be prepared to u
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
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 29, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
Aug 28, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Disjointed, difficult to follow and boring. Set in a post apocalyptic time, but no real history is given. It's got so many characters that you can't hardly tell what is going on at any time and the names of a few of the major players are so similar (Shadrak/Shader) that you are half way through a chapter before you realize that it's the bad/good guy you are reading about before you realize it and thought you were reading about someone else. I never grew to like any of the characters, some just d ...more
Paul Trembling
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a very rich and original background to this story, blending and Australian Aboriginal mythology into a post-apocalyptic world that has developed it's own theological structures and built an empire on them. The conflicts between the two - and the powers left over from the past - focus round several key artifacts: pieces of a snake statue which may actually be a goddess turned to stone. Some very well-drawn characters are drawn into an increasingly bloody conflict with the stakes being rai ...more
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, e-book
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
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Cadman is arguably one of the best villains out there.
The world setting is very good, very well implemented, the characters are well made, but Cadman is in a whole other level by himself, so the other characters are a bit shadowed by him.
The writing is exceptional, with a very rich vocabulary rarely seen in fantasy books.
This Dark Fantasy deserves a solid 5 stars from me. I do recommend this one. Probably for adults though.
Nov 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
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.
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
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...
Jess Mountifield
Didn't finish thus one. just a bit too dark and gruesome for my tastes.
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Really had to persevere with this one to finishit. It had highs and lows unfortunately despite the written language being a delight to read in context. I won't be finding myself reading the sequel.
Oct 22, 2014 rated it liked it
I found the story a little rough around the edges but overall enjoyable.
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thought the storyline a burst dis jointed. But perhaps will unfold more in the next 2 volumes.
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was very hard to read. there are a lot of really crazy names of people and places which made it hard to keep everything straight. I doubt that I will continue reading the series.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
New edition coming out soon 2 5 Dec 30, 2016 06:41AM  
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 Music Mage (The Ravanmark Saga, #1)
  • The White Tree (The Cycle of Arawn #1)
  • The Eye of Divinity (Knights, #1)
  • A Legacy of Light (The Dragon War, #1)
  • The Sable City (Norothian Cycle, #1)
  • Voice
  • A Soul For Trouble (Soulbearer, #1)
  • Bad Radio (Emergent Earth, #1)
  • The Lady Astronomer
  • The Circle of Sorcerers (Mages of Bloodmyr, #1)
  • Mark of the Dragon Queen
  • Dark Moonlighting (Dark Moonlighting, #1)
  • The Deliverer (The Marenon Chronicles, #1)
  • An Oath of the Blood (Island Shifters, #1)
  • The Sword of Sighs (The Age of the Flame, #1)
  • Requiem (The Eternal Gateway, #1)
D.P. Prior was born in Eastbourne in the south of England, spent a few years in Australia, and now lives in Florida, USA. A former actor, musician, psychiatric nurse, personal trainer, and fiction editor, he now writes full-time.

Prior is a student of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai (Renato Tavares Association), as well as a member of the US All-Round Weight Lifting Association. He has a Bachelo
More about D.P. Prior...

Other Books in the Series

Shader (4 books)
  • Best Laid Plans (Shader, #2)
  • The Unweaving  (Shader, #3)
  • The Archon's Assassin (Shader Book 4)

Share This Book

“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.” 3 likes
“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.” 1 likes
More quotes…