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Ice Forged (The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Gail Z. Martin
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Hachette Book Group
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Book Description

Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine "Mick" McFadden has spent the last six years in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment. But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists.

Now, as the world's magic runs wild, McFadden and the people of Velant must fight to survive and decide their fate ...

From Gail Z. Martin, author of the beloved series THE CHRONICLES OF THE NECROMANCER and THE FALLEN KINGS CYCLE, comes a new fantasy adventure for the ages.

Welcome to the end of the world.
Welcome to the beginning of THE ASCENDANT KINGDOMS SAGA.

Editorial Reviews


" The immediate action in this story pulls the reader in... And with more than a few unexpected twists, this easy-to-follow storyline will leave the reader completely surprised and ready for the next book in the saga." (RT Book Reviews on Ice Forged )

"There's plenty of action and plot embroidery, and the pages turn easily." (Kirkus on Ice Forged )

"Well written and full of action, this grabs the reader on the first page and refuses to let go until the very last page." (RT Book Reviews on The Sworn )

"[Martin] launches herself into the adventure with whole-hearted passion." (SFX on The Summoner )

"With creepy ghosts, nefarious undead, magic, plenty of intrigue, and even a little romance, high fantasy fans shouldn't miss this series." ( on Dark Haven )

About the Author

Gail Z. Martin discovered her passion for SF, fantasy and ghost stories in elementary school. The first story she wrote - at age five - was about a vampire. Her favorite TV show as a preschooler was Dark Shadows. At age 14 she decided to become a writer. She enjoys attending SF/Fantasy conventions, Renaissance fairs and living history sites. She is married, and has three children, a Himalayan cat and a golden retriever.

Product Details

  • File Size: 800 KB
  • Print Length: 583 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (January 8, 2013)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008AS86QY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,393 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Different Sort of Fantasy January 8, 2013
REVIEW SUMMARY: A different sort of fantasy adventure.

MY RATING: 3.5 stars

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Condemned to a penal colony for killing his father, Blaine McFadden has learned to survive in a hostile environment. When the magic runs wild the world descends into chaos, Blaine and his friends must fight to decide their fate.

PROS: Not your average fantasy, Blaine makes for a good protagonist, strong imagery.

CONS: Unappealing change of direction, weak supporting cast, very weak ending.

BOTTOM LINE: Starts out with the swagger of a disaster/post-apocalyptic/fantasy hybrid but undergoes an unappealing change of course at the 2/3 mark and ends with a whimper.

I've been meaning to get around to reading Gail Z. Martin's The Chronicles of a Necromancer for some time. It's just one of those things, ya know? Too many good books on the market, not enough time. Well it might be a while before I get around to reading The Chronicles of a Necromancer but that's okay because Ice Forged marks the start of a new series, The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga. With Ice Forged, Martin answers the question, "What happens to a society dependent on magic when the magic vanishes."

"Is it worse to be abandoned by the gods, or to think that there never were gods to begin with."

Blaine McFadden kills his father in a fit of righteous rage. Rather than beheaded he is sent to the penal colony of Velant in the bitter cold of Edgeland. Death would have been the kinder sentence. If the harsh conditions don't kill the inmates, the twisted magic of the warden-mages just might. When ships stop coming from the mainland, the colony faces a six month long night cycle deprived of the necessary supplies.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Full disclosure: I received an ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

This was an interesting book. The premise and settings were beautifully described, the main characters were interesting and sympathetic, but the story failed on pacing.

In spurts this book is both really, really interesting...and then boring. For the vast majority of the book the pacing isn't too much of a problem. I noticed it, but it wasn't hugely distracting the by far the majority of it was interesting and fairly consistent in pace. However, it's in the last couple hundred pages that things start to slow down significantly.

It's not that nothing relevant is happening. Things are relevant, I'm sure, but they don't seem to be moving the story along. You get used to a fairly fast-paced story and then all the sudden the book slows way, way down.

Personally, I got bored. I kept waiting for the pace to pick back up and it didn't. The last quarter of this book just utterly crawled along. I found myself repeatedly looking to see how many pages I had until it was done, which is never a good sign.

I did finish the book. The ending was...a bit of a let-down, to be honest. At least it wasn't a godawful cliffhanger. There was resolution, but not much of it. The entire thing the characters had been pushing towards for the second half of the book just sort of fizzled and left me scratching my head. My first thought was 'well, that was certainly anticlimactic'.

All in all, it's not a bad book, just not a particularly spectacular one either. It doesn't have anything to really set it apart in a field full of epic fantasy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book August 5, 2013
Condemned for murdering his father, and sent to distant, icy Dondareth, Blaine McFadden's life seemed to be over. Worse, with the war going badly, the home country has less ability and desire to supply its hellish penal colony. And when the magic mysteriously fails, it soon becomes apparent that something has gone terribly, terribly wrong. Now, it is up to Blaine to undertake a perilous journey, and put things right...if he can keep himself alive that is!

Overall, I found this to be a good book. I liked the interesting setting of Dondareth, and wish that more of the book had occurred there. In certain ways I think that the author skimped on that part of the book, using it mostly as a launching pad for true tale she wants to tell, the story of what happens on the mainland.

I setting of the story (mostly Dondareth) was quite interesting, and I did like the story of Blaine and what happened to him. It's a very interesting take on sword-and-sorcery, without resorting to elves and dwarves. The vampire angle is OK, though their keeping their magic did damage the story some.

So, let me just say that while I did not like everything about this book, I did enjoy it, and was very glad that I read it. Now, I am just waiting for the sequel to come out - and I hope I don't have to wait long!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little generic March 31, 2013
Hmmm, this was okay but I wasn't blown away.
Lord and heir is exiled to frozen wasteland because he kills his rather nasty father. While he is away the kingdom is at war and it goes badly with much loss of life and the apparent loss of magic. In this world many people have 'minor' magic that helps them in their everyday lives and of course some have 'big' magic, mages and so on.

Anyway our hero returns to his war torn homeland with a group of trusted friends to see if he can bring the magic back. They return to the usual battle between good and evil, but luckily some vampires are there to help...

Although this is easy reading (and I liked the idea of people with a touch of magic to help their beer brew or their bread to bake) our hero and his chums were far too perfect and lacked depth. While the story skipped along nicely our heroic Lord was just too clean and perfect and that took some of the tension and depth of the story away. Having said that, despite a slightly slow start, by the end there is a real pace to this. Now that everything is set, I will probably pick up the next one (since this comes to a very abrupt end), but I hope the author gives more depth to her characters.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth your time
I read to about page 300 and couldn't force myself to finish. The overarching story held promise but never developed depth. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Jennifer_NY
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
I loved the book. I would have given it a 5 if it weren't for some of the vocab. Some of the words are a little uncommon and I had to look them up. Otherwise a very good book
Published 3 months ago by Mariah
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your typical adventure... surprises abound :)
I'm only half way in and I'm completely hooked. The depth of the characters, the layout of the world, and the way she drops little clues here and there about what's coming is... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Calandra Usher
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful new,old world
This book is well written and the author takes you to a new/old world. The characters are believable and a little flawed. Read more
Published 6 months ago by arty
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read
I'm not a big fan of vampires novels or series but this had me hooked from the beginning and I can't wait for more. Enjoy my fellow readers.
Published 8 months ago by atlissb
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good Read
Published 9 months ago by Thos StoneChaser
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid start.
When Blaine finds out what his father has done to his sister, its a step too far. He runs out and looses his temper. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Natalie @ Book Lovers Life
3.0 out of 5 stars Ho hum
Not Ms. Martin's best work. It is readable. The plot is workable, although I have never been a fan of vampire stories. Read more
Published 11 months ago by PRS
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy, vampire
Blaine is banished from the kingdom to a frozen prison for killing his father who was abusing his sister. Read more
Published 11 months ago by AMK
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More About the Author

Gail Z. Martin is the author of Ice Forged, Reign of Ash and the upcoming War of Shadows (2015) in the Ascendant Kingdoms Series, as well as Deadly Curiosities, a new urban fantasy series and Iron and Blood, a new steampunk series co-authored with Larry N. Martin.

Gail is also the author of The Chronicles of the Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven and Dark Lady's Chosen) and The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn: Book One in The Fallen Kings Cycle and Book Two, The Dread.) Gail has two ongoing short story series on ebook, the Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures and the Deadly Curiosities Adventures, with more stories added monthly.

Gail's work also appears in a growing number of anthologies. For details, please see the 'Anthologies' page on her website.

Gail also writes the Thrifty Author's Guide series (Launching Your Book Without Losing Your Mind, Selling and Promoting Your Book Online, and Social Media and Virtual Apps for Authors) on book promotion for authors.

And Gail writes The 30 Day Results Guide series on Internet marketing: 30 Days to Social Media Success,30 Days to Online Marketing and PR and 30 Days to Virtual Productivity Success.

For fiction book updates, tour information and contact details, visit Gail is also the host of the Ghost in the Machine Fantasy Podcast (, and you can find her on Facebook as Gail Martin and as The Winter Kingdoms and on Twitter @GailZMartin. She co-hosts the Disquieting Visions blog on paranormal fiction at

You can find Gail's non-fiction web site at, and visit her and blog at

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