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The Boy and the Peddler of Death (The Tale of Onora #1)
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The Boy and the Peddler of Death

(The Tale of Onora #1)

1.53  ·  Rating details ·  589 ratings  ·  130 reviews
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?

At the core of this tale is a love story that spans a lifetime, wrapped in a gritty, epic, real man's fantasy that anyone can sink his or her teeth into. It is a beacon of truth in an enslaved world suffering from moral relativism and willful ignorance in the presence of Knowledge.

Paperback, 107 pages
Published April 7th 2014 by Createspace
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Andrew Lawston I think it's completely ethical. The idea that you can divorce the artist from their art is a convenient lie that we tend to use to cling on to works…moreI think it's completely ethical. The idea that you can divorce the artist from their art is a convenient lie that we tend to use to cling on to works we've enjoyed, even after discovering the creator had very whiffy feet of clay. I hate to Godwin it, but you probably wouldn't give Mein Kampf a 5 star review, after all. Many people are now boycotting Orson Scott Card's books due to his views on homosexuality. I wouldn't feel great about buying or recommending Marion Zimmer Bradley novels given what we've learned since her death. That Hugos thing is still rumbling on and I don't want to get bogged down in it, but yeah, the Hugos thing. A few writers I won't be reading as a result of that.

A book is a glimpse of the world filtered through the author's perception. Even the least of Sir Terry Pratchett's novels dripped with the man's wit and humanity. Every page of Tolkien's remarkable Lord of the Rings epic was created as a direct result of his unique academic pursuits, and life experiences. This book, judging by the reviews, demonstrates much of the same bizarre tone that Dylan employed in the (now-deleted) comments.

Do the books we write say anything about us as people? Of course not, they're made up. They say nothing. But we chose to make them up, and that often says everything.

The book and the writer are one, like the land and the king in Excalibur. And when a writer goes so spectacularly (and indeed entertainingly) off course, that has a very real effect on how their work is perceived. It's absolutely ethical to take those incredible outbursts into account when reviewing the work, because Dylan made the comments in the public domain.

Reviews aren't for writers, they're for readers. And readers will take issue with some kinds of reviews. Personally, I take issue with the transparent "friends and family and quite possibly Dylan himself" 91 glowing reviews for this book, far more than the 19 negative reviews pointing out that the writer has behaved very badly. But already I can see that others take a very different view. There's never a consensus on these matters. This is the internet, there's probably already a Facebook group claiming the whole episode is a CIA plot to discredit Dylan so he can't reveal the truth behind 9/11.

And that's fine, readers will see a body of wildly diverse reviews, and make up their own mind about the book, and also about the individual reviewers. Bottom line, you can review a book however you want, and indeed you can respond to a review however you want, but you can't post mad rants on the internet and pretend it has no bearing on how people are going to perceive your work.(less)
Figgy I agree with both previous posters that:

a) you don't have to have read the entirety of a book to know that it's bad.
b) 100 pages doesn't take long to…more
I agree with both previous posters that:

a) you don't have to have read the entirety of a book to know that it's bad.
b) 100 pages doesn't take long to get through

But I have to address another point in your "question".

As soon as the author started attacking the reviewer on her review, as soon as HE brought it to a public place, the chance of this ever being a private matter was forfeit.

People who replied to him were well within their rights to support and stand up for another reviewer, because this man was saying that ANY reviewer who would ever write a one star review is immoral and EVIL.

He attacked the reviewer, yes, but he also attacked all reviewers by saying they had no right to their freedom of speech, and that they should worship him.

Without one star reviews, the five star novels wouldn't shine even half as brightly and, somewhere along the way, everything is going to be ranked.

Everyone can't be at the top of the rankings, that's not how rankings work. And readers have every right to say they didn't like something.

Pointing out issues does not make one immoral, evil, or stupid. (less)

Community Reviews

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Cait S
Jun 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
This was unnecessarily wordy and pretentious. I just did not enjoy it at all. Which makes me sad because the summary says it's for fans of Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and World of Warcraft. Aka three of my favorite things. So how did I loathe this so entirely from page one? I don't know.
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After just having finished the book, I really have to say that this was not what I expected.

I feel like this is nothing more than the author trying to sell his philosophical ideas by using a fantasy world as a wrapper. This is not what I expected from a book labeled as High Fantasy.

The character development to me felt shallow. I never really felt attached to any one character. Everything was presented as a long string of historical events that gets washed down with a heavy swig of the authors
Jun 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Incoherent mess of outdated tropes. Imagine a science-fiction novel where the protagonist had to equip power armor to fight insect monsters or fly space fighters against an evil empire.

Dylan Saccoccio mixed together some fantasy novels and video games, added a bit of pretentious language, and now sells it as "for fans of...".

No, but just because I am a fan of A doesnt mean I read everything with the lowest common denominator.
Ashley Dougherty
Jun 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
I saw the author's reaction to a low review go viral, and after reading his comments, thought that maybe the book wouldn't be half bad and the reviewer was being too harsh on him.

I got two pages into the preview.

First of all, a foreword OR a prologue. Both is overkill. But considering the author's tendency towards the sesquipedalian, I presume overkill would be a recurring theme.

If a reader needs to take a breath in the middle of reading one of your sentences aloud; then Mr. Saccoccio -- you
Deborah Markus
Jun 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
No one ever starts a fight.

Whether it's a street brawl or a war, both sides always insist they're defending against an aggressor who (figuratively or literally) threw the first punch.

Considering that no one in the world ever plays anything but reluctant defense, you'd think this planet would be a heck of a lot more peaceful than it currently is. But as you've no doubt noticed, when we're not ducking and covering on an actual battlefield, we're engaging in heated wars of words on the home front.

Jun 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Really, really awful. How anyone could think this drivel was worth wasting their time on is beyond me. Like most positive reviews for this book, I am an aquaintance of the author's, got it as a gift, and really tried to like it. Alas, unlike the others, I did not find it within me to lie for a friend. Dylan, if you're reading this, for everyone's good, find a form of employment that requires little literacy, and no creativity at all. And for God's sake stop boring everyone to death with your ...more
Jun 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book is awful. How bad? Well, I got the book free via Kindle Unlimited, but I still think I deserve some sort of refund for the time wasted on it.

People, learn from my folly. Avoid this book.
Jun 06, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, just wow. Obviously I tried reading this after the hype on the review page, and I'm sorry, but I didn't like it. Not the story, but the writing. This is a series, right? Cool down. You don't need to expound your worldview right out of the gate. Either write a coherent book of philosophy or fiction--remember the 50 pages or so in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, when Galt gives his speech on the radio? 95% of readers skip that entire section, whether or not you believe they're better off for it, ...more
Prashant Verma
Jun 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: my enemies
Shelves: abandoned
Too few pages, very loquacious and pretentious, overused cliches and not worth the time or money.

This piece of writing is a crude mixture of overused tropes, cliches, worn out one dimensional characters, and a plotl that is as predictable as death and taxes. The author tries too hard to appeal to fans of fantasy movies and games by employing every cliche from the usual repertoire of said movies and books in a very child-like fashion. But in the end too much words and pretentious writing messes
Mike Hunt
Jun 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: meh
Since my first review sadly got deleted, I have to add another. I got this for free via Kindle Unlimited and managed to read it all the way through. It took me longer than a book this size should have taken because it is so wordy and written so poorly that you start to mentally drift away from the book and realize you sort of just skimmed the last three paragraphs - so you go back and read them, only to find it didn't really matter anyway. I know my time hasn't been well-spent when I feel like ...more
Jun 07, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can’t bring myself to even say this book is okay(2 stars). I really didn’t like it at all. I got it through kindle unlimited so thankfully all I wasted was time. Incoming giant review. There was just so much I hated I have to get it all out there.

Let’s start with the part labeled “Foreword”. It’s a bunch of wishy washy garbage like “To you, that you may awaken to understand that the whole universe is a dance of energy, and that energy is God, and that energy is you.” And ends with “So this is
G. Brown
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I have ever read in my life. It has everything I want in a book. It has pages and most of those pages have words on them. Furthermore, the words form into sentences and you can read from one sentence to the next and it eventually forms a sort of story, if you will. My eyes got a little tired because it turns out there is quite a bit of reading involved. The other aspect is the turning of pages. At one point, my hands started to cramp up because I was gripping the book so ...more
Brand Gamblin
Jun 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: masochists
This book makes me feel better about myself as an author. No matter how bad my writing is, I know I'll never be THIS bad.

I first found out about this book when the author turned a single review into a damning train wreck. Once I saw the wreckage, I decided to take his advice and read the sample. I'm so glad I did. It's almost worth buying the thing, just so I can look it up every time I'm feeling bad about myself.

I'm not going to go deep into what's wrong with it. You've seen the same thing
Chloe ♥︎
Jun 07, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
After reading the spectacular comment thread about this book yesterday, I decided I would try reading the sample (the book DID have a lot of 4 and 5 star reviews, and I'm an avid fantasy reader). I thought if it snagged me, I might even purchase the whole book.

I have to say, my single star seems completely justified now.

1) The preface is at least partially plaigirized from a speech available on Youtube.

2) The graphic depiction of violence (there's a florid description of eyeballs leaving
Nickel Penny
Jun 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to Nickel by: Amazon
Shelves: bad-authors
This is a terribly written book whose prose is the purplest I've ever seen. The style of writing is terrible and takes forever to wade through. It is not remotely in the same vein as Game of Thrones or Harry Potter beyond being labeled as fantasy. If you're expecting any sort of high fantasy epic adventuring, you'll be sorely disappointed. I do not understand why it is compared to those works. It has none of the depth, characterization or story development that mark a good story. It's merely the ...more
Gregory Oakhill
Jun 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Incredibly tortured prose, uninspired characters and a predictable plot. Give this one a miss.
♡Karlyn P♡
Jun 07, 2015 marked it as books-i-wont-support
Going to pass on this one. Per Cait's review, it was quite helpful

Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}

If you don't get the reference, this gif is from the song by En Vogue called "Never Gonna Get it (My Lovin')". So this book is never gonna get my love.
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Just too obviously derivative; overwritten. With a good editor and humility this author might write something I'd want to read, because he's not without virtues.

So didn't download whole, as felt I'd be disappointed and the effort of thinking oneself into this world wouldn't be rewarded.
Jun 11, 2015 marked it as to-avoid
Shelves: fantasy
Q: Do you have empathy?
A: Sometimes.

Q: Do you know what it's like to make something for a living?
A: Maybe.

Q: Are you human?
A: I think so.

Q: Or do you just look at other people like they're automatons that you can slander as though your actions don't manifest consequences?
A: Huh?

So, in order to avoid suppressing the consciousness of humanity, I won't be reading this book.
Jun 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
I didn't read this book, because I'm a smart man who doesn't need to read books about wizards or whatever. It looks HELLA dumb ya'll do yrselves a favor read a cool book, like La Jalousie by international playboy Alain Robbe-Grillet
Jun 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: z-dnf
DNF 22%
Jun 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Derivative, way too wordy, boring.
Lanie (Lanies Book Thoughts)
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book definitely reminds me of the Hobbit story, but instead of the focus on Bilbo its focused on Thorin. Just less orc an gobliny, if you will. I did enjoy it, I thought it was well written and very creative. For a fantasy it was well paced as your being drawn into the story. As with most fantasy novels your going to have a lot of unusual terms and names, which does add to the story, so if your looking for a Bob or a Brittney, your not gonna find it.

The Tale of Onora starts out introducing
Jun 11, 2015 marked it as to-read
Shelves: never-picking-up
After the attack the author made on a one star review I warrant this book not worth my time. I find some indie authors are just so hurt over every little thing. Even one small rating tears their whole world apart which is ridiculous. You can not expect everyone to love your writing/work/art. Sorry the world does not work like that. And until you accept that you will never be anything more than a mad indie author hovering over your goodreads reviews getting angry at your readers.
T.W. Barton
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not much of a fantasy reader although I love watching them. Game Of Thrones, Lord Of The Rings, Harry Potter, awesome but the book sometimes get complicated to follow.

In this case it was the opposite (although the imagery here would make a great movie or series) I saw the book shout-out on Twitter and decided to look it up. When I did I was intrigued by the cover and book description. Seeing the almost unanimous 5 star reviews made this an easy purchase.

The author clearly has a command of
Katelyn Townsend
Jun 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
Awful book. Characters are poorly constructed and very flat. The book itself is pretentious and far too wordy. The author seems to be trying to convey a GRR Martin persona with regards to the style he's chosen but this book doesn't have the ability to pull it off. All the pomp and nothing to back it up. Disappointing.
Scott Clemons
Jun 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: just-no
Usually, I try not to judge a book that I've never read without at least giving it a chance. But here, I feel perfectly fine not bothering with it. If the author's reaction to people not liking his work is any indicator - and this certainly would not be the first time I've seen an author who enjoys thesaurus-thumping and spouting off faux-philosophical trite rather than put any effort into the actual story get pissy over a review they didn't like - then his work will be equally as poor quality, ...more
Jun 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
I did not like it when I read it last year (formulaic, simplistic, sophomoric writing, abysmal editing). I love the genre, and have been a devotee of sci-sci/fantasy since the 1960s. I had intended to let sleeping dogs lie and not write a review. But after reading the public polemic that the author levied against a reader (Cait) for daring to share her opinion, let me just say this, save your money. The author deserves neither your time nor your money. Maybe he will mature, grow a thicker skin, ...more
To be honest I find this book very difficult to rate and review, all because it was written by a very dear friend of mine. I’ve never reviewed for someone I know personally before and I was terrified to start reading because god forbid what if I hated it. Either way it wouldn’t change how incredibly proud of Dylan I am and what he’s accomplished. I know a little of what all went into the writing of this story and what he wants to see happen moving forward. All I can say is congratulations my ...more
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Dylan Saccoccio grew up in Boston, MA and Providence, Rhode Island before moving to Manhattan at eighteen years old to pursue his career as an actor. He grew up playing every sport, fishing, sailing, and breaking rules. He's been writing for as long as he's been acting, and playing guitar for twelve years in the style of John Frusciante and Jimi Hendrix. He moved to Los Angeles at twenty years old ...more

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The Tale of Onora (2 books)
  • The Girl with the Solar Eyes (The Tale of Onora #2)
“Truth is relative,” the man replied. “Our minds have a tendency to remember things only the way in which they happened to us, the way they made us feel. It results in us inadvertently lying about what we experienced” 1 likes
“Have the courage to do what’s right when everyone else just runs away, for the distance between you and your dreams is merely action. Never hope. Hope will lead you nowhere. The greatest lesson I learned was that those who reach for their dreams walk in stardust.” 1 likes
More quotes…