Gift of the Shaper: Book One of the HIGHGLADE Series

Gift of the Shaper: Book One of the HIGHGLADE Series

by D. L. Jennings


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Armies will clash, and even gods will die...

For thousands of years, the Breaker of the Dawn has been locked away in the ethereal plane of the Otherworld. Now, a young blacksmith's apprentice finds himself trapped in a war between the noble Athrani, a subset of humanity gifted with the ability to transmute matter, and the malevolent and powerful Khyth, who seek to free the ancient god from his prison.

When his father, Olson, is kidnapped, Thornton Woods and his childhood friend, Miera, must leave their small village of Highglade to find him. On their way, they are joined by Ynara and Kethras, cat-like humanoids called Kienari, who use their skills as hunter/trackers to follow Olson's trail. When it comes to light that one among them possesses the key to the Breaker's release, Thornton and his friends must defy the might of the Khyth as armies on both sides collide in pursuit of the ultimate prize.

Gift of the Shaper chronicles the epic struggle between the existing forces of good and evil, with both sides vying for control of the key that unlocks the Otherworld. The very powers of creation and destruction hang in the balance, and only a heroic effort by Thornton and Miera, backed by the power of the Athrani, can possibly stop the Khyth from unleashing ruin - and the Breaker - upon their world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781948080071
Publisher: Indigo River Publishing
Publication date: 02/07/2018
Pages: 458
Sales rank: 1,154,573
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.02(d)

About the Author

D. L. Jennings is a thirteen-year active duty veteran of the United States Air Force, serving under the Air Force Special Operations Command. In 2005, he earned his associate degree after graduating at the top of his Korean class at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California, and earning the Korean Consul General award for excellence.

He is a graduate of Bellevue University in Nebraska, earning a bachelor of science degree in security management in 2008. He finished writing his debut novel, Gift of the Shaper while serving on his ninth combat tour. He has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as several countries in Africa. When he is not reading or writing epic fantasy, he enjoys traveling, listening to '90s punk, and watching Ohio State football.

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Gift of the Shaper: Book One of the HIGHGLADE Series 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Reader_Views More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Skyler Boudreau for Reader Views (11/18) “Gift of the Shaper” is the first in an epic fantasy series following the struggle between two different magical orders as they fight for control of a key that will grant them access to the mysterious Otherworld, where they draw their magic from. Author D. L. Jennings makes excellent use of the multiple narrators in this debut novel. Each one adds a fresh flavor to the narrative, keeping readers actively engaged with their individual plotlines. By the end of the novel, Jennings has skillfully woven them all together in a single, spectacular battle. Some narrators came off much stronger than others. There were times when the main character, a young blacksmith named Thorton Woods, seemed like more of a side character. While his early chapters are interesting, by the last third of the novel it seemed that his plot line had wrapped up. With the exception of providing a starting point for the main plot, I felt that his character could have been explored at a deeper level. Readers don’t learn much about him after his initial introduction until a plot twist near the end. “Gift of the Shaper” is more plot-driven than character-driven, but for me there were a few missed opportunities for character development, particularly with Thorton and the antagonists, that could have served the story well. One of the strongest elements of “Gift of the Shaper” is the magic system. This novel is fast-paced and action-packed, something that is only accentuated by the abilities the characters possess. Two brands of magic are put face to face during this adventure: Shaping and Breaking. Shaping is the power to transmute matter into different forms and is practiced by an ancient race called the Athrani. Breaking is similar but has some limitations the latter doesn’t. It’s used as a weapon of the antagonists; a race called the Khyth who warred with the Athrani long before “Gift of the Shaper” takes place. When both sides clash, it’s interesting to see how each style of magic interacts with the other. “Gift of the Shaper” is a fun, entertaining debut novel that ends with a bang. With such a strong start, the rest of D. L. Jennings’ first series will definitely be something to look out for!
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
In a small village nestled in the forest, Thornton Woods and his father Olson lived an uneventful life working as blacksmiths. Over the years his father had taught Thornton everything he knew about working with steel and fire. Even though he was still not yet at the level of skill of his father, Thornton was still given a very special hammer that previously belonged to his father, and he treasured it highly. Besides his father, Thornton’s closest friend was Miera, who harvested and sold flowers. At a young age Miera had lost both her parents, and Thornton had never known his mother, so these two shared a special bond. Along with Olson, they became their own close-knit family to fill in the gaps. So when Thornton’s father asked him to deliver some chains to the nearby village of Lusk, it was no surprise that he asked Miera if she wanted to travel with him. When they arrived at Lusk, Miera went off to set up her flower stand, while Thornton went to deliver the chains he and his father built. However, the place he had been told to find looks desolate and abandoned, but when he pushes open the door he finds a hooded figure there. Startled by this strange being, Thornton quickly unloads the chains, wanting to put distance between him and this disturbing place. After being paid for the chains he quickly goes to find Miera, but cannot shake the feeling that something is wrong, and they are not safe staying there. Thornton’s fears are confirmed when after spotting Miera in the distance he notices a group of rough looking men surrounding her. As one of the men lunges to attack her, Thornton throws himself forward to protect her, and then remembers he has his hammer. With all his might he swings and connects with one of the attackers, throwing him back several feet. A surge of energy is suddenly running through Thornton’s arm, as he tries to wield the sudden power his hammer seems to have, but before he gets another chance to swing the hammer, the attackers leave. Knowing for certain they are now not safe in Lusk, Miera and Thornton pack everything up to begin their journey home... This is an exceptional story, which grabbed my attention from the beginning and held it until the very end. The characters and creatures created by author D.L. Jennings are wonderfully thought-out, and unforgettable. The stage is set early for an exciting adventure, as within the first few chapters I could tell that this was writing I would stay up into the late hours of the night reading. In addition, the evil characters in this story are ones who made me shrink back as I read about them, and in order to have an intriguing fantasy adventure story an unnerving villain is key, and D. L. Jennings definitely delivers on that. Quill says: There was not a point in this book where I wanted to stop reading, as every page was full of heart-pounding adventure, danger, and intrigue!
WCBoutwell More than 1 year ago
Confession: Fantasy is not my forte. After Lord of the Rings, I kinda got out of the habit. The Gift has much the same feel as LOTR without any of the Orc/Elf/Ent/Dwarf / Hobbit characters. Jennings has created a cogent new universe with characters that are novel, not only in their physical habitus but their emotional makeup. The story is riveting and the unfolding of a new world even more fascinating. The viewpoint shifts from protagonists to antagonists; you get into everyone's head at one time or another. I was delighted and hooked by the narrative, and the characters, my favorite being the catlike Kienari who see in infrared and, while their skills are not "magical," Jennings embues them with wisdom and wit. I will definitely have to start looking at fantasy again and DL Jennings in particular.
Amys_Bookshelf_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Intriguing Gift of the Shaper was a very interesting fantasy slash mythical book, as it has a feel of Greek mythology. The characters were very well developed and had a great depth to them. This was full of adventure and twists. The plot was smooth and just the right pace, so much that you would want to read quickly but then slow down to savor the story. There was the right balance of light versus darkness within the story. I look forward to reading more by this new author.