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Child of the Sword, Book 1 of The Gods Within [Kindle Edition]

J. L. Doty
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.99
Kindle Price: $4.99
You Save: $8.00 (62%)

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Book Description

Semifinalist in The Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Book Awards

Rat is no ordinary thief. A feral, filthy and malnourished child; he haunts the streets of the medieval city Anistigh and survives on what he can steal. When he tries to steal a purse and bungles it, a mob wants to cut off his hand as punishment, so to save himself he slips into a convenient shadow to hide. Rat thinks it's just another warm and comfortable shadow cast by the sun, but a clan wizard sees him create the shadow with his magic, an instinctive act of which Rat is unaware. Rat's magic is subtle, but potentially quite powerful, so he is adopted into the greatest of the Lesser Clans, adopted into a family, and given the name Morgin.

Morgin quickly grows into manhood and the clan teaches him wizardry and sorcery and swordsmanship. Having survived the streets of Anistigh, Morgin is inclined to avoid conflict, would be content to remain on the sidelines in the ever present clan rivalries. But as a clansman he inherits the enemies of the clan, and his shadowmagic proves to be a powerful weapon. As the ancestral conflict between the Greater and Lesser Clans once again leads to war, not even the clans realize that their petty little war is spawned by the primeval battle between the righteous gods of the Celestial Plane and the fallen gods of the Nether Plane. For it is upon the Mortal Plane, with mortal lives, and mortal pain and suffering and death; it is upon the Mortal Plane that the gods meet and fight their wars.

Editorial Reviews


"...a magical world of witches, wizards and war in this high-energy first installment of an epic-fantasy series...A fine fantasy novel that will provide readers with a good weekend escape from reality" -- Kirkus Reviews

Kindle Book Review
Editor's Pick week of 8/5/2013
Semifinalist in The Kindle Book Review's 2013 Best Indie Book Awards

From the Author

7/27/2013: Manuscript for The Heart of the Sands, book 3 of The Gods Within is complete. Now it goes to editing and proofreading, then formatting for publication.  Should be available late September or early October.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1450 KB
  • Print Length: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Telemachus Press, LLC; 2014.12.21 edition (December 15, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0091RV9GM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,091 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little refinement would move this to 4 stars September 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book but kept finding myself moved out of the narrative as I asked myself "is this credible?" I don't mean 'realistic' as I know this is a fantasy. I mean emotionally credible. Particularly when the protagonist swings between being self-aware and insightful and incredibly emotionally stupid. I give this 4 stars for the fantasy setting and the overall plot premise but 2 stars for character development and authenticity. With more refinement in character development, this would have been a better book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hmm September 16, 2012
By Bryce
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I liked this book overall. Morgin is a fairly interesting character who like so many main characters makes several dumb decisions. So i liked the characters and the setting for the most part is simple and easily understood. The magic is not very well defined but you can get how it works for the most part. The thing is im not sure im going to get the next book, why?

It mainly centers on the beginning and the end. The start of the book and alot of in between pieces are time skipped. While most of these parts make sense a few left questions and frustrations. The end brings with it a change in reality for Morgin and that is the thing that i find most...desconcerting? So while i do not know if i will continue the series i can recommend this book and let you see for yourself. On a side note something that really bugged me is it seesm the people in this world have 6 fingers, and i can see no real reason for it.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good writing, depressing book November 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I liked the writing in the book, and it kept me engaged. The protagonist seemed likeable, however he did some things that just didn't make much sense as far as the character was portrayed, and those things really killed the story for me. I read the whole book, but mostly cause I wanted to see if things ever got better for the main character. It seemed like nothing ever went right for the protagonist, even when he was successful in things, the way his success was portrayed made me feel like he wasn't doing it, but rather he was just being used to do it, if that makes sense. It's possible the author was going for that impression. If so, he succeeded, but it's not something that is interesting or fun to read for me. Finally the author did a good job of adding lots of mysterious plot points and information to the world, then explained basically nothing. I kind of wanted to give it less then 3 stars, except it was engaging and well enough written, and some people enjoy the kinds of angst and frustration this book brought out. Some more detailed spoilery comments below


As said I commented above, nothing goes right for Morgin. He ends up married to the girl he's interested in, and while her comment at the betrothal was very hurtful, he proceeded to treat her horribly for years. Not only does this seem out of character for an otherwise pleasant enough young man, it just adds to the frustration generated by the book. The situation gets exacerbated by what happens with Velso and Rhianne. Then near the end once he finds out the truth, it seems like he tries a couple times to make things up, but mostly appears to let it just turn more rotten. I can accept these kind of scenarios to generate tension in the story as long as they last at most few days or a week.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing read all in all December 5, 2012
By Belleal
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I first started reading this book in the Amazon preview it seemed nice enough to make me buy it for my Kindle. After I read some more pages however, I began to realize that this won't be a quality read and it certainly proved that way. To give the author some credit, the story is interesting and captivating enough, and it kept me reading even after I realized I won't be getting sufficient satisfaction as a whole.

There are simply too many flaws in the narrative. The characters (especially the main protagonist) have murky personalities at best and way too often act and speak inconsistently with their character sheets (if you allow me that D&D reference). Some situations were simply ridiculous and extremely unlikely if we summarized all the facts we had on the table so far. It is clear that the author pursued unexpected twists and turns in the plot, but achieved them at the heavy price of credibility and consistency of the characters themselves. I could not really define for myself who the characters really were, what borders would fit their personalities, and how would they act in a normally predictable situation. As a result I could not really believe the story... and reading such books is all about belief, isn't it?

All in all I would not recommend this book and I only give it 3 stars, because there actually is some good potential in the author. Maybe if the book had gone through several very serious reviews and had had put in it few more months of hard work, then the result would have been drastically different (for the better). But right now as it is it simply does not live up to the heavy competition.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shadow Magic September 15, 2012
By Mike
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Shadows are typically scary places where nightmares lurk. Rat, the main character, finds shadows to be a source of comfort and protection within the concealment offered by shadows. This is an interesting twist on traditional fantasy assumptions. Story opens with Rat, the homeless city boy, being discovered hiding in the shadows by a magician clansman. This meeting leads Rat on a journey to discover magic and meet clan rivalries, intrigues and warfare. Rat has a destiny which he is, mostly reluctantly, forced to find. Overall, an action and suspense packed fantasy which I enjoyed.

Parts of the story were confusing to follow as the overall nature of the conflict is unclear as well as the roles of some characters. Many of Rat's family relationships were dysfunctional with only minor progress in addressing those issues. Considering that this is the first book in a series, this is a fine mechanism to build interest in the next novel. I expect that the next book will better clarify the conflict and the character roles.

Child of the Sword is the first book in The Gods Within series. Author's website indicates that this series will be a trilogy and that the next novel, The SteelMaster of Indwallin, should be released in December 2012.

No significant editing issues were noted. The Child of the Sword is 7,322 Kindle locations long - including a short excerpt for the next novel. Standard length "paperback" novels seem to run in the 4,500 to 7,000 plus Kindle location range. Long novels can range from 15,000 to 20,000 plus Kindle locations.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 4 months ago by Christian Paul G. Damian
4.0 out of 5 stars Uneven character development but I liked it.
Interesting start to a series but it is a full book in its own. Uneven character development but I liked it.
Published 5 months ago by Eric D. Albright
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor writing, irrelvant details and a cliched story make for a...
I read 3/4 of this book before realizing that I was dreading picking it up, and giving up on it. The protagonist is simply not-likeable. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Dan
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 6 months ago by Thos StoneChaser
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read
I couldn't put the book down. Would definitely recommend this to anybody who likes fantasy. Hopefully the next in the series is as good.
Published 6 months ago by dossed
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
Story flowed well. Characters were believable and well developed. Would recommend this to any avid reader over the age of 10.
Published 8 months ago by Rhonda
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprise
I was not expecting this book to capture me the way it did. I must say I'm pleased I got my money's worth. Read more
Published 12 months ago by 4n4th3m4
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings
This book was a bit too dark and depressing for me, but the writing wasn't horrible. Maybe other people will find this book more to their liking. Read more
Published 13 months ago by E.E.
5.0 out of 5 stars Child of the Sword
This book surprised me and I was unable to put it down until I finished it. It has complex characters, hidden secrets, and suspense. Read more
Published 13 months ago by drellison
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy Lovers Should Check This Series Out!
I was swept up in this series by this first book. What a great story. Doty has created a world where many things are possible and you do not want to come back.
Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Jim was born in Seattle, but he's lived most of his life in California, though he did live on the east coast and in Europe for a while. From a very early age he made up stories in his head, but he never considered writing. In his family you went to college, got a degree in something useful and got a real job. So he got a Ph.D. in optical engineering, and went to work as a research scientist. But he was still making up those stories in his head, so he wrote the first draft of A Choice of Treasons, and as he says, "It was 250,000 words of pure, unmitigated crap. It was terrible: poorly written, poorly plotted, shallow characters that no reader could come to care about. It was the hardest decision I ever made, but I literally threw it away and turned to other projects." He spent more than a year writing the first draft of Child of the Sword. Then he went back to A Choice of Treasons and started again, from scratch, a complete rewrite from the get-go. He worked on it for several years before releasing it, and also spent some years putting Child of the Sword through a number of rewrites to insure quality.

Science has always been a passion of Jim's, but writing is an addiction. He's finished four books now, with four more that are in various stages of completion. The SteelMaster of Indwallin, book 2 in The Gods Within, should be released quite soon, and Still Not Dead Enough, book 2 in The Dead Among Us, is scheduled for a March 2013 release.

Jim has a big pet peeve regarding lasers as weapons in science fiction. He spent decades working in the laser and electro-optics industry, even did some research on laser weapons in the 80's. And when writers use a laser as a weapon in a story, they invariably get it wrong, usually by violating some basic law of physics.

Jim intends to keep on writing and producing more stories, but no laser weapons.

Jim is a proud member of the Genre Underground.

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