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Elemental: Destiny's Embers Paperback – August 24, 2010

25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Brad Wardell is the President & CEO of Stardock, a Midwestern software company. Mr. Wardell is the lead designer of Elemental: War of Magic and is active in software development, designing and coding many Stardock products.  His other activities include being a Microsoft MVP, blogger, podcaster and featured columnist. Wardell is a graduate of Western Michigan University where he met his wife Debbie Wardell, with whom he has three children.  In his free time he enjoys beekeeping.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 532 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; First Edition edition (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345517865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345517869
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,587,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Miller on November 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that I genuinely hope that my review influences any fence-sitters to take a leap and order this!

I bought this book, not as a tie-in to the game, but because I am a curious and somewhat new reader to the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre of books. Therefore, it was with an open mind that I decided to read Elemental: Destiny's Embers. Imagine my surprise when I found the style of reading easy to follow, the characters engaging, and the plot just complex enough to enjoy without feeling like I needed a glossary of terms beside my bed (Neal Stephenson, take note).

My only criticism with Elemental: Destiny's Embers is that it was clearly written to be part of a series - three, maybe four books? - and although I have searched the internet ether exhaustively, it appears that there MAY NOT BE a sequel or series in the works. Why? Imagine Harry Potter ending after the Sorcerer's Stone, or Hunger Games stopping after, well, the Hunger Games. Or Ender's Game...hold on - that series SHOULD have been nixed after Ender's Game (Mr. Card, shame on you).

So, with that said: Mr. Wardell - please get off of your $%*& and finish the series.

And finally - does anyone other than me want to get their hands (and teeth) on a calivar?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Blake Watson on October 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I actually picked this up because I read a blog entry by Wardell lamenting that people angry at him for something unrelated had dropped some hateful fake reviews here. I don't usually read this kind of book (I don't read much modern literature at all, not a lot of fantasy these days, books centered around the universe of a TV show, movie or game, not at all) but I thought an honest review might help drown out those with an axe to grind.

I think I've played a few turns of the game (years ago), but it didn't grab me. If I have played it, nothing from that experience carried into the book.

My take is that this is a competent freshman effort from Wardell. It is a little clunky at times, to be sure, though not to where I had trouble following what was going on. It starts off feeling very generic, too. You've got demons and demigods and a special stable boy hero and his special princess, and so on. An invading army captures the keep they're in, and they must quest to find an artifact that can stop the villainous demigod.

But for a 500+ page book, it actually goes by pretty fast and pretty smooth. There are a couple of issues that speculative fiction writers must deal with, and I liked some of approaches Wardell used, and others less so. It can be disastrous, for example, to write dialogue in a pseudo-medieval cant ("Dost thou wisheth to pass?"), and Wardell keeps things contemporary. But at the same time, you can end up feeling too modern, a little too casual.

The writing is serviceable. It doesn't really stand out but it gets the job done. At one point, I came to a crashing halt when one of the characters says "The prodigal son returns!" This is a cliché, of course, which ain't great.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By manhunter28 on January 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book! I went into it having already played Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, and didn't expect much having read the very unfavorable reviews on Amazon, but I thought it was very well written, had a good flow and tied in several threads that flow through Fallen Enchantress and other Stardock games. I think this was an excellent venture into "world building" in the Stardock universe.
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14 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Stephen G. Veith on September 21, 2011
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Brad Wardell's first foray into fantasy literature is not without its pitfalls, but certainly brings more to the table than a lot of unsatisfied customers on here would lead you to believe. There's a lot of poorly written fantasy novels out there folks, and this isn't one of them. The plot may be what we've read in a thousand other books, but the characters and universe set it apart. Regardless about how you feel about Elemental: War of Magic, this is a good, quick read to enjoy for a week.
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10 of 19 people found the following review helpful By SITHHUNTER on July 19, 2011
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The book is a great read .Although it starts off a bit slow it really catches up and turns out amazing. Just the way everything falls together at the end is wonderful writing but I do hope there is a sequel because there remain a lot of questions unanswered. Brad has got a magnificent adventure here!
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21 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Coldtony on September 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
I honestly thought Brad Wardell would bring some of his magic to this book. Without a doubt he is one of the most engaging, smartest and analytical bosses in game development. When I heard he was writing a book I thought he would apply these skills to the task. I've been quite disappointed.

In the past I have had to write, for work presentations and my kids' holiday events at the school. I struggle to put two words together, never mind the tens of thousands here. I know I couldn't do it. I couldn't write a book.

The difference between smart men and great men is often measured by their recognition of what they can and can not do. Some smart men grind themselves into obscurity by heaving, futilely, against an insurmountable weight. While great men tackle an easier subject that they know they can conquer.

Brad Wardell has not conquered writing, but it's possible he will! I just don't know why he would bother when he's already a multi-millionaire from his computer business, and quite an arrogant one from time to time.

The story we get here is familiar. It is cookie-cutter familiar. That's not bad, of itself, but it flags a recurring problem.

There isn't a single original idea in the whole piece. If I was thirteen again, my head full of ideas for the most awesome fantasy story ever, I would not have written this tale, because it has been told so many times before.

I didn't hate it, but there is nothing which would ever make me come back to re-vist it. One character, and you know which it is, almost made me add a star above.
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