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Rebel Elements (Seals of the Duelists Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Jasmine Giacomo
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

Bayan’s life is busy but rewarding as he trains to take over his father’s successful farm, until the day his elemental magic manifests. Philo, a eunuch of the Waarden Empire, must follow the law and send Bayan to the distant Duelist Academy to hone his skills—where the empire will claim him as its own property for life.
Before Bayan can reach the Academy campus, he and Philo are attacked by bandits who leave behind a mysterious item. While Philo tracks down its true importance through ancient archives and noble manors, Bayan struggles to fit in at the Academy, where his anger at his situation gets him into as much trouble as his outlander appearance. Worse, his rage poisons his magic, tainting it.
To complicate matters further, an assassin’s strike leads Bayan and Philo to uncover a mysterious, deadly plot whose successful outcome would change the world as they know it. Bayan must choose between his new life as a duelist and the power of his own rage. Who will he save?

Books In This Series (3 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews


    #6 in Hot New Releases for Epic Fantasy, March 2013 --

    #12 in Hot New Releases for Coming of Age, March 2013 --

    Giacomo paints a rich world with depth and a storyteller's gift of imagery. The book is a fantasy with a fully fleshed-out world and magic system, populated with memorable characters. -- kboards

    ...the basic plot is set against the backdrop of a sprawling, ancient empire with a less-than-stellar record when it comes to absorbing other cultures. Social rank and perception, old grievances, outdated traditions, and unspoken rules all affect the way Bayan fits (or fails to fit) into his new role as a servant-for-life to an emperor he's never acknowledged. -- IndieView excellent epic fantasy with several storylines coming together in a richly woven tapestry. The writing is smooth, the plot interesting and fast-flowing, the world varied and fascinating and the characters have depth and are well-developed.  I was compelled to keep turning the pages to see what would happen next. I look forward to the next book in the series. -- I'm A Voracious Reader

    Bayan has to burn away far more imperfections in the fires of his will than anyone else, and he forges himself into a force to be reckoned with. And still, even he doesn't know where his loyalties lie. -- Red Reader Reviews

    Jasmine Giacomo has envisaged a fantasy world that brings together diverse nations, with a rich history and a clever magic system... The settings are evoked so beautifully that they immediately become realised in the mind's eye. -- TrollKing

    From the Author

    Look for the other books in this complete trilogy: Traitor Savant and Prodigal Steelwielder.

    Product Details

    • File Size: 1766 KB
    • Print Length: 363 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    • Publisher: Cazar Fiction (February 26, 2013)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00BM74TIE
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Lending: Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,422 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
    •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

    Customer Reviews

    4.2 out of 5 stars
    4.2 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Well written and interesting fantasy~ April 4, 2013
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Rebel Elements is an extremely well- written fantasy novel about the studied use of harnessed magic in an other-world setting. In this story, all magical adepts are conscripted to learn and harness their powers under tutored and government approved conditions, within a kingdom of conquered lands and political strife.
    Our protagonist, Bayan, is virtually kidnapped from his family and homeland where he will serve his emperor as a magical adept, or live out the rest of his life as a potionner- a menial and dis-respected cast-off. Eventually, Bayan will make friends and find his place in this new world in which he finds himself, although, through-out much of the book, the reader wonders if Bayan will ever get over being angry long enough to adjust-

    Positives- As stated before, this is a beautifully written novel. There were no grammar issues, the formatting was flawless, the sentence structuring was superb, and a great deal of attention was paid to nice details like- glossaries, maps, and descriptions designed to help the reader get a feel for this vast, magical world.
    The dialogue was also spot-on. This was quite a feat as the large cast of characters all had different dialects, social mores, and individual belief systems- Well done!

    Negatives- As always, I state both sides of what I read (and feel) in the books I review... This was a good book, there is no doubt about that. So good, in fact, I may pick up the rest of the continuing series as it presents itself. However, there were a couple of flaws-
    First- both Bayan, and the girl Kiwani, have deep anger issues... this is a good thing within the context of the story-line, (strong emotions make for stronger magical constructs!
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good and solid YA fantasy August 13, 2013
    By Nick S
    Format:Kindle Edition
    I read a lot of YA fantasy. This one does right what others do wrong so frequently.

    The world is detailed, the characters three-dimensional. The premise is somewhat traditional (wizard school! arena battles!), yet the perspective is fresh, and the plot is engaging and fast-paced. You read the book, totally immersed in the clear and easy story of the main character, Bayan, and yet every detail that comes up is not a simple decoration. Every detail fits in the complex world of Waarden Empire, every character is a person, every decision matters. In my opinion this is what makes great fantasy.

    Inspired by the Roman and Chinese empires, the world presents many interesting social situations and explores questions of patriotism, culture, progress, government, economics. The author clearly knows her history. And economics. And her martial arts! The characters pose questions themselves, I was very glad to see young orphans making their own decisions and living with consequences! No bearded mages leading everyone by the rope here (Secret mastermind is present :D).

    The plot and dramatic structure is fully present in book one. I look forward to the next one not because I was left with a cliffhanger, but because I thoroughly enjoyed this story, I liked the characters and I can't wait to see more of them and their world.

    Do read.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh and original new fantasy work. August 8, 2013
    By Chris H
    Format:Kindle Edition
    I finished this book just now in case any one reading this is wondering if this book is worth your time. I enjoyed it a great deal and it's one of those cases where after finishing it, I was very disappointed not to have the next in the series to read immediately. In some respects it's a familiar story of a young man who has to leave home and undergo training after finding out he has abilities most do not. But it's original, fresh and well written. The characters all seem well developed and three dimensional. The main character Bayan isn't perfect but is likable and grows to become a kick ass hero.

    I enjoyed the system of magic here which involves a lot of physical training, so no soft mages in robes here. I hate writers who don't have some sort of organizing system to the magic of their worlds and especially where casting magic doesn't seem to involve any effort or cost to the mage. Jasmine Giacomo created a system where there are rules and limitations as well as physical cost to her magic which to me makes for a much, much more enjoyable read.

    The only complaint I have is that the rest of the series isn't available right now.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent epic fantasy April 26, 2013
    Format:Kindle Edition
    Bayan lives in a remote part of the world, his country of Balanganam having been only recently added to the ever growing Empire. When a surveyor comes to the Bayan's city of Pangusay, all Bayan wants is for the surveyor to move on before he discovers that Bayan is hiding his emerging magic. Bayan has his life planned out and it doesn't include being a Skycaller. Unfortunately, when he meets the surveyor, a eunuch named Philo, his magic runs wild creating a huge crater. Oops. However, Philo says that Bayan is not a Skycaller and that under the laws of the Empire he will be required to go to the Duelist Academy where he will be indentured to the Empire for the rest of his life. Need I say that Bayan is not pleased with this plan? But to the Duelist Academy he goes where he is poles apart in so many ways to the other duelists and his magic appears different than anyone else's. Life just isn't going as planned for Bayan. Will he ever fit in?

    This is an excellent epic fantasy with several storylines coming together in a richly woven tapestry. The writing is smooth, the plot interesting and fast-flowing, the world varied and fascinating and the characters have depth and are well-developed. I was compelled to keep turning the pages to see what would happen next. I look forward to the next book in the series. In the meantime, I'm going to let my twelve-year-old read this and tell me what he thinks. He loves books with characters that use magic and he reads so much that I'm running out of recommendations for him.

    *Book source ~ Many thanks to Red Adept for providing me with a review copy. Please see disclaimer page on my blog.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    1.0 out of 5 stars Badly worded dialogue and a character with no spunk.
    This main character just up and leaves his life to be taken as a virtual slave by the empire, with no complaining, and by reading the other reviews he fights for the empire without... Read more
    Published 5 months ago by Daniel E. Vickerman
    4.0 out of 5 stars interesting concept
    Liked the book, had an avatar meets gladiator feel to it. Didn't like the mass amounts of castration mentioned in the book, but I'm a guy, so my opinion could be biased. Read more
    Published 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great plot!
    I bought this book because i was strapped for cash and needed something to read. I didn't imagine the thought provoking and dynamic story that i was going to get. Read more
    Published on May 16, 2013 by Amazon Customer
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good start
    The story took a little bit to get into, but that happens when the author is creating a whole new world with a magic system not used before. Read more
    Published on April 6, 2013 by Crow
    5.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading.
    I don't know where that one reviewer got that 1 star rating from, unless he was drunk or on drugs when he read the book. Read more
    Published on April 1, 2013 by A nerd
    4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating
    Solid read but found it lacking in a way. Protagonist are faced with a solid conflict and they all come into power in their own way wether through struggle or determination. Read more
    Published on March 29, 2013 by Raven Righter
    5.0 out of 5 stars What a ride!
    Well written thoroughly gripping plot pulled me in until I had finished the story. Looking forward to the next book. To the author, well done. I loved it. Read more
    Published on March 28, 2013 by A. Kokan
    5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome beginning to a series of what I believe will only get better
    This book was really good. The pace of the book was fluent but not to fast, it was very informative as well. Read more
    Published on March 24, 2013 by Kindle Customer
    5.0 out of 5 stars good read
    I enjoyed this book, has great fantasy elements and I'm really excited for the next book to see where this series is headed.
    Published on March 19, 2013 by Lachlan G. Butler
    Search Customer Reviews

    More About the Author

    Jasmine Giacomo writes from Washington State, where she lives with her husband, two children, and a Bichon Frisé named Eddie. She graduated last millennium with a degree in English Literature from a college built atop a volcano.

    Though she's been writing since the age of four, she also enjoys geocaching, history, science and games, and holds a black belt in Danzan Ryu Jujitsu. She particularly enjoys reading and writing fight scenes.

    Her current writing project is book three in the Seals of the Duelists. Look for Prodigal Steelwielder in late 2014. Learn more at

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