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Posted October 11, 2011
Cadman's Gambit by D.P. Prior is the first book in the Shader series. Taking place about 1000 years in Earth's future only the general landscape of the planet remains unchanged. The story is woven in a complex arc that unwraps itself layer by layer to grant you a fuller understanding of who the characters are and what has happened to the world.
Deacon is the hero, a man of the church, who struggles with his own identity. One who believes in peace, but is himself capable of great violence to protect his beliefs.
Cadman is a predator who is afraid of being revealed for what he truly is. Hiding behind an illusory mask loathing the idea of what he has become, but unable to let go of his existence.
Sektis Gandaw an otherwordly figure ruled by logic and technology. He wants to be able to return to the world and take what he sees as his rightful place at the top of it. Unable to take direct physical action he uses his tools to have his agents seek out something that can change everything.
There are many more characters that we are treated to a surprising amount of insight about. This book doesn't just have a few well formed characters and a cast of cardboard cutouts to fill the space and advance the plot. Each person has their own motivations for their actions and the majority of them are easy to understand.
This book requires a fair amount of attention to detail to understand all of the different philosophies and political ideologies that the different regions follow. Understanding them is important to really being able to submerge yourself in the complex state of the world. This book is highly recommended for people who enjoy complete characters, complex worlds, and intriguing plot lines. In other words if you like fantasy give the book a shot.
Review copy provided by the author.
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Posted December 16, 2011
Cadman's Gambit is a gripping fantasy novel set about 1000 years in Earth's future where technology has been suppressed but magic and trans-dimensional science wield strong influence. Privileged to be a beta reader for this book, I found Cadman's Gambit a pure pleasure from start to finish. From the outset, Prior captures the reader's imagination with the rich presentation and description of other-worldly Sektis Gandaw and his quest for the hidden pieces of the Ain Gana artifact before expertly switching gears to reveal the swordsman hero, Deacon Shader, doing what he does best--sword fighting. Prior masterfully leads you into this mysterious new world, steeped in intrigue and danger, quickly immersing you the story. Once you start you lose yourself completely in the illusion--a sign of real brilliance and talent!
Having read a couple of Prior's previous novellas (Thanatos, Antman), I was already a fan. As always, his writing communicates an immediacy and intensity that instantly draws you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat with action and tension up through to the climactic (and shocking) conclusion. Moreover, unlike Thanatos and Antman, Cadman's Gambit is literally brimming with character development--from the gritty, embittered Shadrac to the deliciously devilish Cadman. Each new personality (even the supporting ones) is not only completely believable (who doesn't know someone like the conniving and egocentric Justin or the salacious, self-serving Lalia?) but also wonderfully flawed (from Cadman's hilarious obsessions to Shader's dark demons) just like real people. This makes it very easy to relate to the characters, even when they do horrific and incomprehensible things (like Gaston does early on) that would usually turn you completely against them. It takes real skill to accomplish this but Prior does it almost effortlessly.
The cliff-hanger ending does leave you wanting more but the sequel, Best Laid Plans, is already out. So there's no need to wait!
Great work Prior! Bravo!
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Posted October 21, 2011
"If you liked Abercrombie's trilogy I think you'll like this." - R. Nicholson
"This is the best full-length self-published fantasy I've yet to read." - Rex Jameson
"This author has mad talent and will grip each new reader and take them on a journey into the unknown Abyss, leaving you hungry for more. I can't wait to read the next one." - Readers Favorite
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Posted January 15, 2012
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