Robert's Reviews > Sword of the Archon

Sword of the Archon by D.P. Prior
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's review
Apr 17, 2012

really liked it
Read from April 17 to June 11, 2012

Shader: Cadman's Gambit is a well written (what i would term 'Hard Fantasy') book, which takes the reader through the gamut of literary experience. It is a multi-path, multi-POV tale, starting what I think is a trilogy of books surrounding the main protagonist, Deacon Shader. 'Shader', as he is referred to in the novel, is a troubled monk come fighting man who struggles to justify his martial ways given his religious teachings.I find it hard to describe the plot, as it is somewhat convoluted, but ultimately Shader becomes an unwilling participant in a much larger struggle of godly and other-worldly protortions which he is not aware of, even though the very core of his struggle resolves around his own demons and the consequences of his past actions. I found the book hard to get into, with many different characters / idioms / places / lands / powers used by the author. It seems like the reader should already know the history etc, as if it were Book 2 of a series. Added to this is a writing style that, while rich and powerful, seems to throw in big words just for the sake of big words. I do this myself as a writer, and am always asking myself if I have crossed the line between too much 'flashiness' over solid, flowing text. I guess that is where the kindle helps out! Long gone are the days of having dictionary at hand to look up unknown words. Two taps and presto! I learned quite a few new words from the author, so I guess that can't be all bad!
Luckily, when the action really kicks into gear, the narrative shifts from adjective-heavy narration to good, solid prose. The characters all mostly well fleshed out, giving them their own uniqueness and imagery in the reader's mind. The exception (to me) was unfortunately that of the main character, Shader. I did not empathize with him or feel like I knew him very well. Sometimes he seems like a young man, while at other times he seemed old, and the only real imagery I got of his appearance was that he wore a hat and he fought with two weapons. Perhaps the descriptions of him were given in parts where I surged with other descriptions and concepts, but i feel his appearance as well as character and motives could have been fleshed out a bit more. I like how certain characters had their unique personalities and quirks, everything from OCD to cowardice to senility.
The concept of the story is entertaining, and the background inference to different cultures was well done and gave scope to the story. I think I will persist with the series, and look forward to seeing how the story evolves.
Well done D.P Prior.

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06/07/2012 page 234

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