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The Origin Key

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In the third century, the Persian Empire was a world power whose influence stretched from China to Europe. The king and his sons maintained peace with a powerful army—until the day a horde of screaming vandals attacked the king.

Pursuing a criminal known as the Viper, Prince Rasteem becomes suspicious when the Persian army easily conquers Dodrazeb. Princess Laneffri is desperate to expel the Persian invaders from her kingdom and she will stop at nothing to protect its secrets—especially the Origin Key. Is Dodrazeb hiding the Viper or something even more dangerous? When Rasteem learns what the Origin Key can do, he must find a way to make the princess an ally to save both their kingdoms from annihilation.

334 pages, ebook

Published July 30, 2016

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S.D. McPhail

5 books429 followers

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Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews
Profile Image for Debbie Eyre.
4,012 reviews60 followers
July 31, 2019
This is a great read, a fab mix of fantasy and history that is well written and stunning! With Amazing descriptive writing you will find yourself lost in this world full of adventure and storyline twists and mystery!

Profile Image for Jeff Miller.
1,110 reviews169 followers
July 24, 2016
Feels like a historical fantasy with a touch of Lost Horizons.

I found it entertaining as a culture clash with both sides suspicious of the other. There is a lot going on involving legends and prophecies. The plotting and the characters pull the concept off in this start of a series.
Profile Image for Saundra Wright.
1,813 reviews5 followers
March 23, 2018
After a brutal attack leaves their father fighting for his life, two Pesian princes seek vengeance marching an army great distances to a hidden city searching for the Viper, the man responsible for the attack. Thinking to find the Viper, King of this city, in residence, they attack with vicious force only to be met with small resistance. The older brother's rage is held in check by the influence of Rasteem, the younger prince. As he learns more of the peaceful inhabitants of the city, Rasteem is amazed and his doubts grow that it's king can be the Viper. Filled with all the war and bloodshed of its'age, this tale is also filled to the brim with adventure and magic! The hidden city brings to mind survivors of Atlantis with all the wonders that entails. Everything the city holds and all within it are far advanced for their time. They seek to peacefully spread knowledge throughout the world without endagering themselves. If you are looking for grand adventure, look no further! This is definitely the book for you! I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
11.5k reviews51 followers
March 31, 2018
they had ruled in peace until the king's army was attacked. his son suspects something is up so he goes out to find out.what is going on a criminal needs to be pursed and he will find out what is going on. will they get to the truth? see what will happen as you follow the story

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Sarah Fox.
291 reviews6 followers
January 15, 2022
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Where do I begin? This book is filled with prophecy and adventure. There are kings, princes, princesses, warriors, armies, Persians, the mysterious Viper, and object called the Origin Key. The more I read it the more I enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Jenae (Jeni).
453 reviews7 followers
April 5, 2018
This was an interesting book. It started a little different than I thought it would, but it got better as the book went on. I would recommend giving this one a chance.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Author 7 books568 followers
May 2, 2018
A fun read full of political intrigue, action, and twists. The characters are lively, the setting is exotic, and the author weaves in a rich backstory. Looking forward to reading what S.D. has in store with her next book!
Profile Image for Shae Perkins.
30 reviews4 followers
April 4, 2018
Wonderful read! If you love times of armor & swords with kings and a princess this is the one for you.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Barb VanderWel.
1,814 reviews25 followers
May 4, 2018
I love this & I can't wait for more.
I will be also leaving a review on Goodreads @ Amazon.
And letting everyone know about it.
So i gave it a 5 Stars.
Profile Image for Tristen Kozinski.
Author 6 books14 followers
December 1, 2016
This is the second of three books I received for free in return for a review.

On the whole, the Origin Key was fairly enjoyable with its unusual Persian setting and a distinct main protagonist who is at once temperamental and controlled. As the conqueror of a city-state, he constantly threatens aggression upon his new subjects but rarely follows through, which adds an interesting dynamic to the story and a substantial amount of tension.
I found the prose a little weak, but not egregiously so, and the romance didn't feel authentic. One moment the two character's hate each other then he saves (enraging feminists all over the world) and suddenly they're all dove eyes. Mostly it feels like the romance was just tacked on without much thought of attention really devoted to it. These are both small qualms, though.
My biggest problem is that this reads much like a novelized version of the Prince of Persia movie they released a few years back, especially the first three chapters. The Persian Empire invades a secluded city-state on a false pretense (in the movie it that's the city-state is trading arms to their foes in the books it's that the king of this city-state tried to assassinate the Persian monarch) only to gradually realized they were deceived. Both cities have secrets buried underneath and threats of world-ending power. It only really bad for the first three chapters and after those the similarities are minimal but they are present.
Profile Image for S.D. McPhail.
Author 5 books429 followers
February 10, 2017
"A smart, thrilling mix of history and fantasy. S.D. McPhail is definitely an author to watch."
- Brian Niemeier, Campbell-nominated author of Souldancer

"Treasures of Dodrazeb: The Origin Key is a stunning debut novel. McPhail's creation is packed with tension and excitement, from the political machinations of the empire to the almost Atlantean history of Dodrazeb and mythical Anutupi. The imagery is enchanting, but the adventure is mesmerizing."
- Ashley Chappell-Peeples, author of Of War and Taters and the Dreams of Chaos series
Profile Image for Laura.
32 reviews
January 27, 2017
Forget that my mother is the author--I would give the same review if she was a total stranger. This book was well-crafted storytelling, and it was refreshing to have such a unique time and setting. Not many authors have tackled third-century Persia, especially in a sword-and-science fiction narrative, but she did a lot of research and applied it to world building a fictional place in a real setting.

I had the pleasure of reading several versions of this prior to the final copy that was published, and it only got better each time. I'm looking forward to her next installment!
Profile Image for Laura.
3 reviews
October 18, 2016
This was a terrific first novel. I enjoyed the mix of historical fantasy and science fiction. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews

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