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(Tales of the Verin Empire #1)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The alternate cover edition of this book can be found here.

To the north sits Thyesten, the ancient Lich King of Gedlund. He has banished death, and for countless centuries ruled a land where ghosts, vampires, and other wicked undead keep men in feudal servitude. Elsewhere in the world, human civilization has flourished, and with rifle and iron rail, the power of the Elves
Kindle Edition, 638 pages
Published December 5th 2014 by Amazon Digital Services
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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Richard Nell
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall 7.8
A big, flintlock epic with guns and goblins, ancient empires, and cannon blasting the walking dead. In many ways I felt immersed in a world much like the Warhammer universe, with the (British) Empire of man battling vampire counts and greenskins. This is a good thing, and basically I just really enjoyed it.

High-fantasy flintlock, with immaculate moustaches, ancient elven empires, and men with guns marching to glorious, imperial victory! Well, hopefully. At least
Tammen Gilmot is a young educated man that joined the army as a common soldier. Tam's goal is to see the world and get experience to write a book, but he quickly realizes he likely made a mistake. Tam is heading to dangerous Gedlund, a land where the Lich King rules the living, the dead, and things more frightening than both.

Gedlund truly was not what I was expecting when I first picked up the book. It wasn't until around 33% before anything felt fantasy like. Prior to that there were fights wi
Jennifer (bunnyreads)
Tammen Gilmon is a scholarly young man with goals to make a career out of his writings- in particular, travelogues. Unable to afford travelling, he hopes to help jumpstart his career and travel, by joining the army.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t go to some of the more mundane destinations he expects and for his first time out, he is sent into the thick of things holding the line against Goblins. Which is how he ended up under Captain Valdemar Hoskaaner’s command and subsequently on his way to Gedlund
Jason Aycock

Black powder weapons, railroads, steamships, spear chucking goblins, zombies, vampire lords, lightning giants and magic.

That was a list, not a sentence, but did it get your attention?

In Gedlund, William Ray takes blackpowder fantasy and merges it with sword and sorcery. What he produced is a war story set in a fantasy world that seems almost real. You know, except for the goblins and vampires and whatnot. So let's get to it...


"Thanks to rifle and iron rail, humanity now flourishes after cent
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would have liked to see some deeper characterization but this is otherwise an assured start to a series (according to the author's note subsequent novels will deal with two of the supporting characters). The titular Gedlund reminded me a bit of the Ravenloft setting. ...more
This was a very enjoyable read overall! Great military/flintlock fantasy with an earnest, likable protagonist and with a few deeper comments to make on history, the military structure, imperialism, sexism, and politics, which I very much enjoyed. Those points were not the central focus of the story, but I think the story was enriched by their presence. I liked that there were a few times I had to pause to look up words (and I consider myself well-read with a broad vocabulary), but this didn't ha ...more
Gedlund is a novel that is unlike most high fantasy novels I've read. This is, mostly, a great thing. Gedlund has revolvers and other type of guns which was incorporated nicely throughout the novel and battle scenes. The Everlords, which come later in the book, are members of the undead and I thought "Oh, this is going to be so out of place" but the author did a good job of incorporating vampires and other types of undead monsters and making them unique.

Tammen is a new soldier and it was great t
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full review is here, on my blog.

Wow, this book had a really great start. I dunno what I was expecting here, but it certainly wasn’t me reading into the wee hours with sore eyes because I couldn’t put this beast down until I was nearly a quarter of the way through it.

This story follows Tammen, a young, educated, not-quite-noble man who has just joined the army. This is the sort of action that gets you disinherited, as ‘taking the Queen’s Coin’ is seen as below his station. He shows up for duty i
Catherine Griffin
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
This satisfyingly hefty fantasy pits Victorian-style military might against a Dark Lord and his undead legions.

The basic premise here is that the human nation of Verin has abandoned magic in favour of steam trains, constitutional monarchy, Imperialism, and handlebar moustaches. Huzzah!

Young Tam, being poor, over-educated, and naive, joins the army as a foot soldier (in order to see the world) and is posted to the colonies, where the goblins are revolting. But before long, the army’s off to conqu
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found it easy to empathize with the main character, Tam, as he struggled to find his place in his ever changing circumstances and surroundings. Overall the world and the characters are very well imagined and the action is non-stop. While the story may take place in a mythical place and the foes are not always human, I felt the battles to be incredibly realistic and imagine they give a good account of a soldier’s point of view in 19th century warfare.
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read for fantasy lovers! With William Ray's masterful writing, you will quickly be immersed in the magical world of Verin. You will identify with Tammen, the main character, and be mystified by the easy going yet powerful Statue Man come to life. Ray's characters have both depth and dimension. He does an amazing job of weaving clues throughout the book that point towards the dramatic finale. Action abounds in the book as human technology is pitted against goblins, magic, ghost and ...more
Ramona Marc
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gedlund is the first tale of the Verin Empire about a journey through the mind of a young soldier who attempts to handle his daily life by defending the Empire’s frontier.

He goes through many stages of struggle and survival with his comrades, which lead him to find himself and identify with his duty.
Tam's narrative voice is very pleasant. He is serious at times and also resourceful in critical situations.

The action is continuous so it keeps your curiosity alive during the whole story. Also, the
Adrian Marc
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really had the pleasure of reading this book.
Besides the rich and fulfilling visuals described by the author, the book is also filled with trilling action and hidden symbolism.
Another nice thing about the book is that we can see the events though the eyes of multiple evolving characters, constructed in a way that emphasis psychological struggles and difficult choices, that left us wonder where is the line between good and bad.
I feel like whatever you like: compelling action, epic storytelli
Melisa Graham
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I recommend this book to anyone who loves the fantasy genre. I look forward to more tales from the Verin Empire and to learning more about its mythology and history.
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a fabulous debut novel of fantasy, excitement, intrigue...I was riveted from the first chapter. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, but especially to lovers of this genre.
Christopher Dudley
A Great Industrial Fantasy Tale

Gedlund, the first novel by William Ray, starts out in the mud, and builds the world for you from there up. We start out following the adventures of Tammen Gilmot, an educated young man who enlists in the army in the war effort, in short, to see the world firsthand. Despite the initial motif we see of a mid-19th-century technological level, we are thrown into the hectic front-line against a faceless horde of hostile goblins, letting us know up front that this is no
Phil Parker
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is more than a fantasy story. Gedlund opens with an army fighting a guerrilla war against goblins but don’t let that deceive you. If you are a history lover, like me, you’ll appreciate the attention to detail that permeates the military world building in this story.
We see events through the eyes of a young man, Tam, who encounters battle and all the horrors that go with it within minutes of arriving at his camp. He’s hopelessly naïve, slow to assimilate what’s happening and stumbles throug
Nov 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very interesting initially and my first thought was that I was going to love it. As the story moved on though, it seemed to lack some fundamental cohesion that kept you really interested in the characters. I decided that I felt the characters had a lack of depth, there didn't seem to be the normal amount of human emotion you would get from people in these type of situations. I thought the prose and style of writing were good and that the flow of the story kept it interesting on a s ...more
Scott Sammons
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Remarkably good!

This is a book worthy of reading more than once. I have read Tom Sawyer around nine times, The Hobbit at least six, The Good Earth, perhaps seven...I will know better after a second reading whether this Steam/Fantasy has risen to the level of perennial review or is just a good book that I was in a great mood to read when I found it. Either way it is very well done and I will heartily recommend it to anyone who enjoys steampunk or middle-earthish fantasy. I am following the autho
Victor Salinas
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Awesome !!!

This beautifully written book with new ideas that work very well with the story line and goes beyond anything I've read in a long time.The attention to detail is a breathtaking experience and the weaving of story lines is impressive !The author is brilliant in the pacing of the story and the world the author wrote around the main characters are interesting and informative that made me not want to put the book down till it was finished .This book is worth the money and time to read but
Coralyn Umber
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like stories that grab the reader and places you in the thick of things from page 1, this is a good one. At first you ask yourself the question of who is this character but through the interesting headers in each chapter, you develop a much fuller sense of who Tam is. Tam is easy to identify with as his initial choices, which go against his family's wishes in order to pursue his dream, are what puts him in his predicament in the first chapter. However, it doesn't turn out as he expected. ...more
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
** I stopped reading this book at 55% of the way through so this review is based on the first half of the book only **

This is not a bad book. Not even close to being bad. But it just didn't work for me. I'm a slow reader so I have to be ruthless when it comes to choosing what I read and with this one I decided it wasn't worth the time to finish. If this had been a shorter story, it would have been better. The problem was, it's not a short book, and yet I didn't feel like the story was particular
Derek Denney
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Kindle Unlimited ...: Gedlund by William Ray 1 8 Jan 15, 2018 07:51AM  
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William Ray is the author of Gedlund, named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2016, as well as The Great Restoration and other forthcoming tales within the Verin Empire setting.

Originally from North Carolina, he currently lives in Reston, VA with his wife and dogs. A graduate of Ithaca College, and Wake Forest's School of Law, he has worked in television, retail, patent prosecution, trademark law a

Other books in the series

Tales of the Verin Empire (2 books)
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