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A Call to Arms (The Chronicles of Arden, #1)
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A Call to Arms

(The Chronicles of Arden #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  578 ratings  ·  81 reviews
Gibben Nemesio is in trouble.

His parents are dead, his sister is missing, and he's been left the sole provider for his two younger brothers. With a war brewing in the east and no guarantee of surviving another brutal winter, Gib's life is plagued with uncertainty. To make matters worse, he suddenly finds himself uprooted from his home and drafted into the army.

Forced to l
Paperback, 260 pages
Published October 15th 2014 by Sun and Shadow Publishing, LLC.
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Len Evans Jr
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-unlimited
Review to Come
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fast read with wonderful characters you cheer for to the end. I can't wait until the next book is released to find out what happens next!


It was wonderful having a at protagonist in a book. (And ones that don't end as tragically as Lackey's Magic Pawn series) More and more gay characters have appeared in books but they usually appear as the main character's best friend rather than a main character themselves. This book did a wonderful job of acknowledging the struggles faced
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, fantasy, intrigue
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author Have you ever read Mercedes Lackey's Collegium Chronicles? Or maybe Elizabeth Moon's Deeds Of Paksenarrion? If you have, then you know that when I say this book is in a similar vein, you are in for an epic fantasy read with good characters and a lovely, magical and intriguing story. In fact this is such a good read that I didn't put it down more than I really needed to (a visit to the doctor and some shopping :( ) and had just finished it before th ...more
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great story with multidimensional characters. Fascinating read. Good timing. I highly recommend this adventurous coming of age romance with a little boyxboy love added in.
Oct 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fantasy, m-m, ya
2.5 rounded up.

This is a sweet novel, a very, very sweet novel. Too sweet.
I really liked how it started, but at around 50% I must admit I lost interest. The protagonist is just a bit too 'awe shucks', the love interest is just too boring and I was a bit disappointed that they remained 13 and 15 years old throughout the novel.
If they were experiencing first crushes, confusion and tension that would have been fine, but I just couldn't take their declarations of deep love seriously.
Then, almost e
Sean Eblin
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Freaking amazing!

The depth and intrigue and just plan romance shows what struggles we actually have today in a different world and how we can better ourselves I could not put this book down!! I can't wait for the next one!!
This is young adult novel, so don't expect any sex or many romantic moments.
However, closer to the end of the story, there were confessions and a few tender kisses.
I would recommend this for my 13-year olds (that's roughly the age of the characters, anyway) without hesitation.

The Academy in this book houses many professions: military, healing, magic, law... However, there is virtually no magic of any sort in this book, save for a couple of healing episodes.

Despite being true "young adult" nove
Sep 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
Here's the thing--I've read bad fan fiction. I've read bad books. If there are characters worth pulling for and a story that's marginally interesting I can mostly ignore terrible writing and keep reading.

I made a blatant mistake in continuing to read this; it was honestly the biggest waste of my time imaginable. I wanted to like it--the description sounded interesting, it was in a school setting with a variety of characters, and there was surprise!gay. It should have been at least palatable.

Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this book in trade for an honest review.

I was teetering between three and four stars for this one. Ultimately, it was the novelty of having an lgbt fantasy that was NOT insta-porn that bumped it up to a four. In fact, the m/m relationship was very subtle and gradual; it's refreshing to read something that doesn't shove the "omg look how sexy my gay boys are!" trope in my face.

This is an uncomplicated, 'coming of age' fantasy wherein the main character is is forced to leave his home an
Melanie Fontaine
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's not very often I finish a book in a day, but this book grabbed me with childlike wonder. It was as if I was seeing the coming of age story opening up before me.

First of all I want it to be clear that I do no consider this to be an LGBT book even though that is what drew me (and probably made it so interesting and relate-able).

This is a story in a fantasy world of the coming of age of a boy who has lost his parents and looking for his way. It is very medieval with very light magic (as in t
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, read-2016
At thirteen, Gibben Nemesio is in charge of the family farm and the sole provider for his younger brothers while his older sister has joined the army to send at least a bit of money home to the boys - until Gib too is drafted into the army, forced to leave his home and siblings behind, travel to the capital and enroll in the Academy that will turn the farmboy into a soldier. His new life takes some getting used to, but at least Gib quickly makes friends, highborn and lowborn alike, and his new r ...more
I tried downloading a sample of this from Amazon but was not impressed. Plus for some reason I found their names kind of silly. I mean... the main character's name is Gibben and "gibbon" is the name of a family of apes which was all I could think about when his name is mentioned.
Marissa Patterson
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Reminds me of Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series. Enjoyable!
Jan 29, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brace yourselves, this is going to be long. Even for me.

[Note: this review has what you'd probably call spoilers. There really was no way for me to put my thoughts down without getting specific. Since I didn't give away the ending, or any major plot points, I didn't tag anything...but if you think your reading experience will be colored by my opinions, if you're the type to want a totally clean slate when you start a book, then you probably want to move along. The next paragraph and the final th
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
While I agree with many of the complaints being lodged, this was a good story. A solid 4.5 stars, not a full 5 because it was not the greatest book (and it was not the worst - I'll get to that). But I have read books by Mercedes Lackey & Tamora Pierce, and they are not great writers by any stretch of the term; they can create stories, however. The relationship between the two boys is sweet and what it should be for a book that is not quite young adult, but somehow still too mature for middle ...more
Jaime K
Jan 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF at 40%

There are quite a few issues I had with this bfore I got to 40%, and there are some good things too. It's all basically a repeat of what other reviews have stated, from over-repetition, to focusing well on issues like acceptance and political openness.

I didn't like how "otherworldly" some of the talking was and yet they say things like ass and shit. The dialogue is so choppy and inconsistent.

But I drew the mother effing line at having A THIRTEEN YEAR OLD BOY BEING CAT-CALLED BY HIS MA
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Very much young adult. It was pretty immature. The opening on the farm was kinda awful and the plot was a bit unbelievable... but I somehow still enjoyed it. Don't come in expecting hot sex scenes. The romance elements are pretty light. Although there is a bit of tonal confusion between the epic fantasy elements and the romance elements. I don't think I can really recommend this book. It isn't great. But I still kinda want to read more.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful journey that included some of my favourite things: fantasy, adventure, magic, realistic characters, love, and some wonderful platonic friendships often not found in today's literature. Love the world building and imaginative plot. One of my all-time favourites.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, fantasy, m-m, young-adult
2.5 stars.
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m-fantasy
A very interesting book! Wish there was more magic use, but the story kept me engaged. It was definitely more youth oriented than I initially expected but not a bad read overall.
Charley Robson
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for Amazon freebies, though I'm alarmingly picky about them even when I'm not paying for them. But this one got my attention for a number of reasons: it's a shorter book, it's by an author I have not yet heard of, and it's LGBTQ+ - something of a rarity especially in high fantasy, and something I'm always keen to see more of.

A Call To Arms is a sweet, solid, charming little book. In many ways it reminds me of Robin Hobb's Assassin's Apprentice - with a young male protagonist of low
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
I didn't enjoy this book very much. I'm giving it two stars instead of one, because I feel like there is the seed of a decent book in there somewhere, although it really doesn't manage to blossom.

I'm an avid fanfic reader, and I've written it too. It's very easy to accidentally write characters that are too perfect. I've also read a lot of published books with too-perfect characters, and it isn't something that usually bothers me. So I don't throw around the term "Mary Sue," because I don't real
Mary Zemina
I was given a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Well...this book certainly wasn't what I was expecting from the summary. And not in a good way.

The description made the book sound exactly like something I would enjoy--a teenage boy who is solely responsible for his younger siblings gets conscripted into the army and has to train at their academy, and along the way he makes friends and falls in love with his roommate. LGBT-friendly fantasy YA. I was all over that. But then
Love Bytes Reviews
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Heart Review by Dan

Gibben Nemesio has seen better times. His older sister is off serving in the military, and both of his parents are dead. His mother died years before, and then his father was killed by a thief and Gibben (Gib) was left to raise his two brothers. The only problem? Gibben was eleven years old at the time! Now he is thirteen, the age that his society considers you to be an adult. The three boys are really struggling to get by on their farm. The weather has been awful and if t
Linda ~ chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny ~
This is not what I was expecting. This felt like a cross between Harry Potter (age group, framing device of a school year) and the Nightrunner Series by Lynn Flewelling (fantasy realm with students and wizards and such). It didn't have the depth the other two series have, though there's plenty of world-building and a lot of potential for this to grow as the series goes on.
The focus here is on Gibben, a young farmer who's drafted to be a sentinel for the King's Army. Gibben's only thirteen, but
Daniel Mitton
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
(Originally reviewed for Love Bytes Reviews on August 1, 2015 with a copy obtained from Kindle Unlimited. Rated 4.5 out of 5.0 Love Bytes. Re-read in September 2016 to prepare for book three.)

Gibben Nemesio has seen better times. His older sister is off serving in the military, and both of his parents are dead. His mother died years before, and then his father was killed by a thief and Gibben (Gib) was left to raise his two brothers. The only problem? Gibben was eleven years old at the time! Now
Meri Greenleaf
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a little unsure of how to rate this book. On the one hand, the authors are incredibly talented. Their story flowed well,the writing style was fluid, and the dialogue sounded like real dialogue verses some authors who can't quite make their characters sound like people. The characters were interesting (although the antagonists were somewhat flat), the main character was likable and developed, and the love story was adorable. I finished this book in a very short time because I found myself eng ...more
Dorothy Weigand
Mar 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got the book because of a post in a Facebook group. I followed one of the authors not that long ago, because if I see the word "Author" or "Writer" as the page type, I like it. She had posted a link to this book and I got it, not thinking much about besides it being LGBT so of course I'm going to want to read it. I did not expect it to be nearly as good as it is. I'll try not to spoil it.

It follows Gibben Nemesio after he receives a summons from the rulers of Arden that he has to report for tr
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Shiriluna Nott is a 30-something girl born and raised in the northeast. She currently resides in the backwoods of upstate New York with her four dogs and painfully slow internet.

She and fellow author SaJa H. created the world of Arden and its many colorful characters during their teenager years, and have been lost within it's depths ever since. They have over two-hundred original characters, many

Other books in the series

The Chronicles of Arden (3 books)
  • Nightfall (The Chronicles of Arden, #2)
  • Battle Dawn (The Chronicles of Arden, #3)
“Feels cold enough for a hard frost tonight, don’t you think, Gib?” Gibben Nemesio paused in the middle of his labor, brown eyes shifting toward his younger brother, Tayver, who had also ceased his work.” 0 likes
“As the eldest of the three Nemesio boys, worrying was his job. Tayver and Calisto had given up enough of their childhood due to their impoverished and unfortunate circumstances. Protecting them from the distress of adult responsibility was the very least Gib could do—for as long as he could manage anyway.” 0 likes
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