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The Sword and the Dragon

(The Wardstone Trilogy #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,898 ratings  ·  194 reviews
When the Royal Wizard of Westland poisons the king so that his puppet prince can take the throne and start a continental war, a young squire is forced to run for his life carrying the powerful sword that his dying monarch burdened him with from the death bed.

Two brothers find a magic ring and start on paths to becoming the most powerful sort of enemies, while an evil young
ebook, 522 pages
Published July 24th 2010
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3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,898 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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May 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre-fantasy
FBC Review published for the original edition of this novel that launched Mr. Mathias

INTRODUCTION: Several weeks ago I wanted to find some new independent books to read - I did some posts about the ones reviewed by me and Mihir in 2010 - and I spent an hour or two checking Smashwords sff books: blurb, first page and then random pages from the excerpt if interested.

Out of maybe 50 novels I looked at, The Sword and the Dragon was the only one that intrigued me since despite the traditional soundin
Jul 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: A death row inmate, but only because it would make time seem to move more slowly.
Shelves: lost-interest
Amazon suggested this based on a Dalglish book I downloaded. Gave it a try, got a few chapters in, and got bored. Just really kind of meh. Nothing grabbed my attention, nothing really stood out. Despite the stellar reviews, I'd file this one with Eragon. Same treatment of standard fantasy tropes. Don't know if I'd call it bad, but it definitely bored me to the point of not wanting to read farther, so take that as you will.

The opening scene is lackluster, at best, and just kind of jumps around, c
Sheri Hoff
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be highly entertaining and engaging. MR Mathias’s The Sword and the Dragon, the first in the Wardstone trilogy delivers action, adventure, and an exciting world of dragons, elves, wizards, mystical creatures, kings, battles, ancient pacts, and quests… the story unfolds in a familiar plot of villains and heroes, yet is so full of twists and turns that it kept my attention and pulled me into the characters and the story.
The action starts immediately and doesn’t let up.

I real
Tracey Alley
Sep 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finally finished this mammoth novel and was not at all disappointed. M.R. Mathias is a fabulous new talent that I'll be watching closely in the future. His writing is tight, his characters unique and believable and I would highly recommend him to anyone who wants to sink into a good fantasy saga.
Bill Tillman
An intricate plot, two brothers going in opposite directions with life and death struggles at every turn. A book you will hate to put down before you come to the end. With a promise of one or two more to follow.
Erin Danzer
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first heard about this book, it was compared to T.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. Once I started reading, I saw the comparisons. There is a ring of power in both, a ring that can do evil things. There is a quest of many people. There is a map at the beginning of the book (because all good fantasy novels have a map). There are funny, hard to pronounce names.

That's where the comparisons stop.

I fell into this novel and though I'm only 200 pages into it, I can't put it down. Its cha
Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Big time fun - "all cliches and all fresh" epic fantasy - if that makes sense.

FBC Review below:

INTRODUCTION: Several weeks ago I wanted to find some new independent books to read - I did some posts about the ones reviewed by me and Mihir in 2010 - and I spent an hour or two checking Smashwords sff books: blurb, first page and then random pages from the excerpt if interested.

Out of maybe 50 novels I looked at, The Sword and the Dragon was the only one that intrigued me since despite the traditio
Anna del C. Dye
Jan 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by:
Review for
The author uses an old concept and used many other tales ideas to compose this book. The chapters leave you hanging and you always want to keep reading to see what will happen next.
The story is of a people that possess the knowledge of the whereabouts of the biggest bird’s nest in the land. Thus they are the only ones that can collect eggs from them. They have rules to how many eggs they can take from each nest and also to protect the birds from other predators.
Arthur Levine
Feb 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Sword and the Dragon

This epic fantasy is wonderfully written with exquisite detail that makes you believe the characters are real. From Hyden the archer and his brother Gerard to the elves to the Dying King Balton’s faithful squire Mikahl, set on a journey to deliver the magical sword Ironspike to a giant, all the actions of these characters jump off the pages of a plot with so many sub plots that the reader is kept enthralled and on the edge of his or her seat wondering what will happen nex
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. I wouldn’t have even glanced at it (yet another generic fantasy novel) if it wasn’t a self-published work, which says something about the author — that and the fact that he started writing in prison to escape insanity. I mean, you gotta give this kind of determination a chance.

There’s a lot of good things inside «The Sword and the Dragon»: the main characters are very likable and more tridimensional than usual — their interaction *feels* real, something a lot o
Matthew Crowe
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I found this book to be nothing special over the standard fantasy books that are out there. It is better than some but also worse than some. I could take it or leave it. I will continue with the series because I have already read the first book. It follows the standard fantasy template of good vs. evil. There was a twist in here that made it a little better. But still it is the same typical fantasy story that is rehashed all the time. I am not saying that is bad because obviously it is a formula ...more
Terry Elderman
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I don’t care what some of the haters said. I liked it and enjoyed reading it. Is this book perfect? No, but I have yet to read a book that doesn’t have flaws. As long as the flaws aren’t too big and screw with the story who cares. This book in my opinion doesn’t have that type of flaw.

The book is long and does start slow in fact it was a little tedious. You have to have patience it gets really good. I like the fact that there are boatloads of characters. It kept it interesting and engaging. They
Jan 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
Writing: 1
Story: 0
Satisfaction: 1

I guess the title should have given me my first clue but I have a soft spot for indie fantasy writers so why not.

Think of every fantasy trope possible, try to link them all together, then add in as much excessive detail and inner thought processes as possible, and you would have this book. Here's an example of the first: there's a magic ring that this kid finds. He starts to get paranoid that people want to take it from him. Familiar? And then there's a sword tha
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Mathias' fantasy fiction novel would make an exciting comic book series or video game that both teens and adults alike will find hard to put down. Although it's quite lengthy, debut books normally in a series try to confess and disclose as much information as possible to draw the readers in, and the author executed it perfectly and with ease. Reminiscent to The Lightning Thief and Harry Potter at times, this novel have potential to reach many readers of all ages and keep them more than intereste ...more
Elizabeth (Stuffed Shelves)
It's always so bittersweet to start a long book with characters that are so easy to get attached to. On one hand I feel a sense of achievement and excitement that I finished this book, while I'm sad I have nothing left to read about the characters I spent so much time reading about. There are characters you'll love to hate, and there are others who fit the brave and loyal hero role, perfectly.

This is your very definition of an epic fantasy! There's so much action with amazingly described battle
C.C. Cole
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After plowing through “The Sword and the Dragon” by ace author M.R. Mathias, I was swept in along with the rest of the masses of his fans into his world of post-Tolkien non-Martin medieval dark fantasy. Though this book has the elements of role-playing games, there is a story there, and not a simple one, but is a good one. There’s action, a love interest, magical rings, a magic sword, an evil wizard, and last, but not least, a dragon. Ah, and don’t forget the eggs! Literally. This book is great, ...more
C Davis
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I think this is a great story. There are brothers who turn into enemies, evil wizards and a plethora of magical beings. They all come together to make the perfect story. I liked this book from the first chapter. It engaged me and started me on this incredible ride.
All the characters were extremely well developed down to the most minor one. There are a lot of characters but that just made the story better in my opinion. They all added something to the story in some way. Shaella was more evil tha
Cliff Ball
Aug 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
When I started reading this novel, and saw it was 700 pages, I was thinking it would suffer from burn out somewhere in the middle. Boy, was I wrong! The novel has a steady flow throughout, and the descriptions of various scenes throughout the novel are imaginative. The story is told from the points of view of quite a few different characters, from the good guys to the bad guys, and a couple of their animal friends. It has elements from every fantasy novel out there, including the classic tragic ...more
Oct 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog-reviews
The Sword and the Dragon by M.R. Mathias is the first book in The Wardstone Trilogy. The story centers around the brothers Gerard and Hyden two young men of the Skyler clan. The clan is famous for being the only people who know the location to harvest the eggs of a certain hawkling that they sell for very high prices during trade fairs. This year with Hyden being the clans greatest hope for a win over the elves in the annual archery competition he is forbidden to undertake the dangerous climb to ...more
Elizabeth Ehlen
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Hyden is annoyed that he doesn’t get to make the climb this year, but all the Elders are counting on him to win the archery tournament. When his brother comes back with more than enough for him, he doesn’t think twice about letting his brother keep the bauble he found, even though technically his brother was on his climb. When they visit the fortune teller’s tent, neither Hyden nor Gerard can believe her prediction, even when it starts to come true. Hyden thus sets out on a journey to become Hyd ...more
DeAnna Knippling
Jan 22, 2012 rated it liked it
The beginning of this book is very nice--lots of action, decent characters, even interesting POV character shifts, which are hard for me to get involved in. However, the author doesn't keep it up; once you get past the first 100 pages in this 500+-page book, the action shifts to a lot of summaries of action--instead of getting to see what the characters see and feel what the characters feel, we get a summary of all but a few things, which isn't nearly as satisfying. I felt like the author should ...more
This was a good fantasy for those of you who like the type of sword and sorcery, dragon, magic and demon type of books. This is one of the best that I've read in a while. This is the first in the trilogy. One king is poisoned, leaving an important kingdom in disarray, while an evil wizard has plans to take over the entire known human world through the King's son, the Prince. All is not lost, as the King's magic sword and his by-blow son have been sent on a quest to find out who they are, and to ...more
Dec 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, fantasy, maps
"No good, reasonable or honorable man would want to have the responsibility of ruling over others."
Almost four stars.

Something of a struggle to rate it so low because the story itself is great. A complex, multi-threaded skein of high fantasy with the requisite humans, elves, dragons, wizards, etc. In addition many flawed characters--not-so-good good folks, and not-so-bad bad folks--make for pleasurable reading. Satisfying conclusion while bridging to the next volume of the series. Good job.

So wh
Patrick Rixon
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
There are a lot of good things inside this book. All the characters are likable even Pael and Shaella have some likability. A lot of the action scenes have a gritty quality and are vibrant. They are extremely well written. I thought he did a very good job on those. The other parts of the book were somewhat disappointing. They did not have the same quality as the fight scenes.

A lot of the characters take too much space in the story only to be killed off in a few pages. The characters confused me
Reg Shell
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Memorable Fantasy Book.

I have read and enjoyed several of M.R. Mathias's books and this one, The Sword and the Dragon (The Wardstone Trilogy book 1) is equally as well written.
For any reader who likes a good fantasy book, you will not do any better than to follow this author.

As the name states, this is the first book of a trilogy, and I am looking forward to reading the other two in the series.
There are many memorable scenes in this story. The characters are numerous and varied, but all are be
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-again
A king is poisoned. His squire sent on a dangerous and secret mission. Two brothers find themselves the keepers of two special talismans-a ring and a special bird. These events, though they seem unrelated, will set forth a chain of events that will change the lives of people everywhere.

The Sword and the Dragon is true fantasy. Kings, wizards, dragons, epic battles, magic; you name it this book has it.
M.R. Mathias brings his world to life very vividly. You see it all perfectly in your head as you
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely wonderful fantasy novel! I haven’t read fantasy books for years and I’m thrilled to have read this one. I was completely enthralled from the first page to the last. This story has everything a fantasy world needs: elves and giants, humans and dragons, demons and fairies, and lots and lots of magic. The storyline is complex but not overwhelming and none of it feels forced. I found the main characters to be well developed individuals. Hyden and Mikahl especially impressed me ...more
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, blog
'The Sword and the Dragon' is an adventurous epic fantasy that does not disappoint. M. R. Mathias has created a fantasy world filled with complex and intriguing characters, and a plot that never slows down. There is much to enjoy with plenty of fantastic creatures, including dragons, and world building that will make you feel like you are a part of the story.

Mikahl was my favourite character, as a true, determined, and brave hero who doesn't sway from his path, and who shines under the author's
Julie Baswell
Jul 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Upon King Balton’s untimely death, Mikahl was tasked with delivering a message and the king’s magical sword to the King of the Giants. Along his journey he aligns with an elf, and a couple of others, and form a lasting bond to the end.

I was emotionally drained by the time I finished this story. I had so much invested in the characters that I felt their pain too. Be forewarned, this is a very long story. But it was well worth the read. I didn't like that it left the fate unknown for some, but I c
Brian Rathbone
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In The Sword and the Dragon, M.R. Mathias paints a richly imagined world with bold, ambitious strokes. This is a complex fantasy adventure filled with a rich cast of characters and multiple distinct story lines. Fans of George R. R. Martin and Raymond Fiest will enjoy The Wardstone Trilogy.
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The jewel you see glowing in the ring in my authors photo isn't really a jewel at all. It is the crystallized tear of a real dragon. In my novel "The Royal Dragoneers" you might find the moment where this wonderfully magical tear drop fell from a green dragons eye and hardened on its way down to land in a mess of troll corpses that the dragon was laying on.

My grandfather died before I was born, bu

Other books in the series

The Wardstone Trilogy (3 books)
  • Kings, Queens, Heroes, & Fools (The Wardstone Trilogy, #2)
  • The Wizard and the Warlord (The Wardstone Trilogy, #3)
“Just because it isn't perfect, doesn't mean it isn't awesome.” 59 likes
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