ONCE WE WERE KINGS

ONCE WE WERE KINGS

4.2 80
by Ian Alexander, Joshua Graham
     
 

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*Winner of the 2012 International Book Award
*Award-Winning Finalist in the SciFi/Fantasy category of The USA "Best Books 2011" Awards
*Award-Winning Finalist in the Young Adult Fiction category of The USA "Best Books 2011" Awards
*Award Winner in the 2011 Forward National Literature Awards in the Teen/Young Adult category

Two kingdoms, five

Overview

*Winner of the 2012 International Book Award
*Award-Winning Finalist in the SciFi/Fantasy category of The USA "Best Books 2011" Awards
*Award-Winning Finalist in the Young Adult Fiction category of The USA "Best Books 2011" Awards
*Award Winner in the 2011 Forward National Literature Awards in the Teen/Young Adult category

Two kingdoms, five centuries, one destiny.

In a world where the Sojourners, a nearly extinct race with preternatural abilities struggle to preserve their faith and heritage, destiny thrusts two youths from opposing nations into the heart of a centuries-old conflict.

Render, an orphan from the outskirts of the culturally enlightened Kingdom of Valdshire Tor, escapes slavery and seeks the truth about his true identity only to discover a web of conspiracies. This quest leads to the revelation of his uncanny ability to wield the destructive forces of nature.

Ahndien, sole survivor of a heinous raid on her peaceful village in the Eastern Kingdom of Tian Kuo, embarks on a journey to find her father, now a captive of Torian troops. What she uncovers surpasses anything she can imagine as she masters the ability to manipulate fire.

Guided by shape-shifting spirits, Render and Ahndien's fates collide when first they meet as mortal enemies. However, to save their people from annihilation, they must unite both kingdoms against a terrifying enemy that threatens to destroy both realms.

But how can a young slave and a peasant bring sworn enemies of half a millennium together?

ONCE WE WERE KINGS: The first book in a saga of destiny and redemption, in a world of dying hope.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon Bestselling Author - Michael Bellomo
...a page-turning epic fantasy adventure..."
"...right out of the Golden Age of fantasy..."
"...elements of Tolkien...the Belgariad, the 'Adept' trilogy by Piers Anthony, and a healthy dollop of C.S. Lewis' Narnia Chronicles."
"...Ian Alexander provides a spark, a momentum often absent in other epic fantasies."
"...Compulsively readable..."
The Top Shelf Book Reviews - The Top Shelf
"...an epic fantasy tale of pure delight..."
"Joshua Graham transitions from writing suspense and thrillers to the fantasy realm as Ian Alexander with flying colors."
"...invokes awe in the reader that I've only felt with J.R.R. Tolkien, David Eddings and before them both, C.S. Lewis."
"..a page turner with a very driven plot...
"What doesn't this book have? Magic, shape
author of DROWNING and the award-winning BOBBYS DINER series - Susan Wingate
"Ian Alexander's ONCE WE WERE KINGS sets new standards for epic fantasy."
"ONCE WE WERE KINGS transcends the qualities found in such great works as "The Chronicles of Narnia" to "The Lord of the Rings".
"... a true master of the written word."
"...a thoroughly magical story filled with memorable characters, danger, hope,inspiration and romance."
Life In Review
"...an amazing adventure..."
"...a fast-paced, action-packed adventure that hooked me from the start and kept me glued to the pages until the very end."
"...incredible action, adventure and characters..."
"...The characters practically leap off the page, they are so vivid and real! "
"... rich symbolism with a great message..."
"...values and a m
The Top Shelf
“…an epic fantasy tale of pure delight…”
“Joshua Graham transitions from writing suspense and thrillers to the fantasy realm as Ian Alexander with flying colors.”
“…invokes awe in the reader that I’ve only felt with J.R.R. Tolkien, David Eddings and before them both, C.S. Lewis.”
“..a page turner with a very driven plot…
“What doesn’t this book have? Magic, shape
Life in Review
“…an amazing adventure…”
“…a fast-paced, action-packed adventure that hooked me from the start and kept me glued to the pages until the very end.”
“…incredible action, adventure and characters…”
“…The characters practically leap off the page, they are so vivid and real! “
“… rich symbolism with a great message…”
“…values and a m

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940012451347
Publisher:
Dawn Treader Publications
Publication date:
07/27/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
490
Sales rank:
586,923
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Writing Epic Fantasy as Ian Alexander, Joshua Graham, winner of the 2011 International Book Awards, is the author of numerous bestselling titles, including his Barnes & Noble #1 bestselling legal thriller BEYOND JUSTICE, which was listed on Suspense Magazine's Best of 2010, along with titles by Scott Turrow, Ted Dekker, Steven James and Brad Thor.

Visit the official Ian Alexander website at www.ianalex.com
On Twitter: @Ian Alex77
On Facebook:

Customer Reviews

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Once we were Kings 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 80 reviews.
KBP More than 1 year ago
"Once We Were Kings" by bestselling author, Joshua Graham ("Beyond Justice") writing as Ian Alexander, is the stunning story of a civilization searching for its identity - both tangible and spiritual. Yet, within this well worn framework, Alexander weaves a tale as rousing and inspiring as any book in modern fiction. Without tipping anyone off to the intricacies of the detailed plot, suffice it to say that this novel will quickly take it's deserved place alongside such classics as "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "Game of Thrones" - yet it stands on its own as a truly original vision. I am honored to have discovered this epic at its beginning. A word of warning: DO NOT start reading this late in the day unless you plan on staying up until the wee hours of the morning. Enjoy the ride!
readaholic-nana More than 1 year ago
Once We Were Kings by Ian Alexander (Joshua Graham) hooks the reader from the very beginning and never lets go. This extremely well written fantasy will be appealing to readers from middle school through adults. Once we Were king is an extremely moving story of a people who show that faith can not be denied or destroyed by non-believers. That faith will always exist in the hearts of individuals regardless of oppression. The main characters in this books are believable and will captivate the reader. Once you start the book clear your calendar as you won't be able to put it down. I read it from start to finish in about 12 hours. The second book of the trilogy can not be written soon enough. ONCE WE WERE KINGS is destined to reach the top of the charts.
RhodesReview More than 1 year ago
This story reminded me in many ways of the Narnia books. The characters of Ahndien and Render are well developed, and likeable. Other characters such as Mooregaard are pretty dispicable. The plot follows an epic quest of discovery. Discovery for both Render and Ahndien who each must discover their destinies. There were many pleasant surprises, and some sadness as can be expected of novels such as this. The author did a good job of creating mix between fantasy and the spiritual aspects of our world. This book is definitely aimed at the Young Adult, or Older Teen Market. While there was no strong language that I recall, there were scenes that were very intense and may not be for young readers. I look forward with great anticipation to see what occurs next with some of the characters from this, and definitely recommend it, especially to those who are fans of novels such as Narnia. You won't be disappointed.
susanwingate More than 1 year ago
"Ian Alexander's ONCE WE WERE KINGS sets a new standard for the epic fantasy. ONCE WE WERE KINGS transcends the qualities found in such great works as "The Chronicles of Narnia" to "The Lord of the Rings". Alexander stands alone as a true master of the written word. ONCE WE WERE KINGS is a thoroughly magical story filled with memorable characters, danger, hope, inspiration and romance. Alexander's ONCE WE WERE KINGS should sit on the highest shelf of your library. A sparkling story that will leave the reader breathless and wanting more." - Susan Wingate (author of DROWNING and the award-winning BOBBY'S DINER series)
Dorinda More than 1 year ago
I'm typically not a big fan of the fantasy genre, but I've read Joshua Graham's book, Beyond Justice, and know how well of a writer he is. This is a pretty big novel, but because Ian/Joshua writes with such fluidity, it allows you to focus on the characters. He gives great character backgrounds, so you can see how each character evolves throughout the story. I also enjoy how he makes each chapter fairly short, so you can decide to read a group of chapters or just one at a time and always have a good sense as to where you are in the book, especially important for a novel of this size. I look forward to seeing possible sequels to this book as I feel there is great potential for further adventures. Well done!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE this book!!! I was looking for something appropriate for my daughter and happily discovered Once We Were Kings. This is an epic tale of loss, redemption, and faith. The book isn't just for kids but for all ages. The writing is beautiful and so imaginative! Ian Alexander created an amazing world full of mystery and wonder. Magic, flying, shape-shifting accompany a story based on love. I absolutely adored the noble characters and loathed their vile enemies. I really felt I was right there with them through their heart breaks and joys. There were so many times I found myself anxiously perched on the edge of my seat trying to read faster. Needless to say, it was impossible to put down LOL! I will definitely look for more books from Ian Alexander in the future!!!
MeteorFlower More than 1 year ago
Once We Were Kings, is an epic fantasy tale of pure delight as we follow the story of two young people from warring kingdoms. When they first meet, it's as mortal enemies but they find that there's an even greater evil threatening both realms and that to defeat it, they must join together. But how can a slave and a peasant bring sworn enemies of half a millennium together? Joshua Graham transitions from writing suspense and thrillers to the fantasy realm as Ian Alexander with flying colors. Once We Were Kings invokes awe in the reader that I've only felt with J.R.R. Tolkien, David Eddings and before them both, C.S. Lewis. The story is a page turner with a very driven plot and the Christian overtones feel like they're there to spark religious conversation, much like Philip Pullman did with his His Dark Materials trilogy. What doesn't this book have? Magic, shapeshifters, powerful deities and characters that you love and love to hate, all of this will stay with you long after you've gotten to the end and leave you wanting more. This is one of those books that you cannot miss in 2011 if you're a fantasy lover. Thank you to Ian Alexander for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review.
la_reviewer2005 More than 1 year ago
Ian Alexander (aka the bestselling thriller author Joshua Graham) delivers a page-turning epic fantasy adventure for his entry into a new genre. The world of Valhandra has been divided between two rival kingdoms for millennia. The only 'glue' that the two have in common are the mysterious, magical race of 'Sojourners', who've been wiped out in wars from long ago. Two protagonists emerge, on opposite sides of the world: Render, a slave boy with a past that portends a future greater than he could dream of, and Anhdien, a Tianese girl who suffers a horrible tragedy that sends her on a lonely quest. Once We Were Kings feels right out of the Golden Age of fantasy as it sweeps the reader along the twin tales of Ahndien and Render, following their paths as their destinies must inexorably intertwine. There's elements of Tolkien, the Star Wars saga, the Belgariad, the 'Adept' trilogy by Piers Anthony, and a healthy dollop of C.S. Lewis' Narnia Chronicles. Most of the ground that the book covers has been plowed before by other classics of the genre. Yet Ian Alexander provides a spark, a momentum often absent in other epic fantasies. Compulsively readable, 'Kings' is an admirable debut novel.
ReviewsByMolly More than 1 year ago
First off, let me say, that I am NOT a big fan of fantasy novels. Oh, I'll read them from time to time, but they are not my first choice in genre so most I end up not finishing or not liking that well. There have been, occasionally, a few that I do enjoy if they are extremely well written. That being said, this novel by Ian Alexander (who happens to have a twin by the name of Joshua Graham-who is an INCREDIBLE author(he wrote BEYOND JUSTICE), btw), is one that I must confess I really enjoyed. I sat down to read it on Monday night, and had it finished by Tuesday evening. It was just THAT good! The characters were striking and the plot line gripping enough to hold my attention. While it is a fantasy novel, it doesn't truly read as a fantasy novel. Now, that I have that out of the way, I'll get on with my review. Ahndien and Render are truly amazing characters. They were complex and created with passion for their roles. The lessons that they take the reader on through the actions and twists in this epic novel, are awesome. From good verses evil to romance and finding oneself, this was filled to overflowing with something for every reader! I was gripped by the way the characters flowed with the story and adventure. This is the type of book that I would want my kids reading when they get old enough. It's truly amazing to see a writer so talented that they can write in multiple genres. Not many can do that and still earn praises for both genres from me. Ian Alexander, aka Joshua Graham, can do just that. This book is so deserving of more than 5 stars! It is a book that young and old readers alike will enjoy. You'll be captured and thrown into the middle of the action, helping the characters all along the way. When you reach the end, you'll say good bye, but it's a novel that won't soon be forgotten! If you are new to fantasy novels, start with Ian Alexander's ONCE WE WERE KINGS. You'll be a fan for life of the work of an incredibly talented, FANTABULOUS author! And, while your at it, you could check out his evil twin brother's (Joshua Graham) work, BEYOND JUSTICE.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I have ever read! It is right up there with The Chronicles of Narnia and A Wrinkle in Time! I would definitely recommend for a summer reading list for teens, but it is equally great for adults!
A_Squared More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Despite the length it was a quick read that kept you engrossed in the story and trying to figure out how all the characters were connected. There was a lot of great action behind a subtle romance and a timeless message of hope and finding one's true destiny and purpose. I would recommend this book to those who like the Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. It's a nice intermediate of those two series filled with the rich history of an imaginary world that mirrors that of Lord of the Rings. But it also has an easy going writing style of C.S. Lewis that has you imagining the story being told from someone who has actually seen the wondrous events described in the story. Again awesome book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great read. I would recommend this book.
Ms_Joy_Evans More than 1 year ago
This book is categorized for Young Adults, but even as a parent of elementary and middle schoolers, I really enjoyed this book. The criticism about it's religious allegory is a clear indication of that reviewers' prejudice based on his/her own subjective sensibilities. I found Mr. Graham's spiritual parallels similar to Tolkien's and C.S. Lewis', which in this day and age are refreshing, frankly. What makes this book stand out from other epic fantasy novels is the thriller/suspense-like pacing. I suppose this is natural, considering the author has won numerous awards and bestseller placing for his legal thriller "Beyond Justice." While some may find this somewhat different from the languishing, sprawling prose of many fantasy books, I found that it made for an exciting and fast read. Switching points of view in rapid succession is something that James Patterson and other thriller writers employ. Why not do it in fantasy? It worked will in "Once We Were Kings." I found it interesting that one critic here said that all the positive reviews were "plants." I found that remark somewhat insulting to me and all those who happened to independently think differently from that one critic (as though anyone who disagreed with him had to be a fake, and could not legitimately have had an opinion that differed from his/hers.) This is an unfortunate indictment of that reviewer's critical thinking abitlity and instantly discredits his review. Could it be that there really are those who think this book is worthy of a 5-star review? "Once We Were Kings" is a great step into the fantasy genre for Joshua Graham, writing as Ian Alexander. The book's blurb says, "the first book in a series" so I hope to see more books in the future.
KristyJewel More than 1 year ago
This was definitely a great book. I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys a great fantasy! It was slightly predictable but none the less it was a gripping and entertaining read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
paula-ps More than 1 year ago
TOTALLY  LOVED this epic novel by Ian Alexander (Joshua Graham). It's one of the few books in my life that I'll REread b/c I read it at such a fast-pace. It kept me gripped until the very end. Bravo, Joshua!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love eragon, narnia, pecy jackson so this book is my type of book. Ps my favorate books are rick roden's
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the story line and it was extra special when he threw in scripture- thank you ,Looking forward to more stories
LadyUni More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this story. the characters are fresh and exciting and the story moves at a good pace and keeps your attention. I look forward to reading more in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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lgh50 More than 1 year ago
Really a great book, a must read!