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Sword of the Archon (Shader #1)

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  229 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
Kindle Edition, 3 edition, 368 pages
Published July 28th 2011 by Homunuculus Books (first published August 12th 2010)
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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
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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)  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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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  
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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, Muay Thai, Boxing, and Weight Lifting. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Drama, and has studied medieval history (focusing on the C
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)
“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
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