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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sword of Kings - A Gem of a Plot
I read a lot, or used to rather. With a house full of kids reading time is scarce, which means I'm more finicky about what I read. The sample piece for Sword of Kings sold me completely. I wanted to know more so I bought it and I'm glad I did. I read various genres, but have a soft spot for fantasy and this story takes place within the fantasy realm. It is a short story...
Published on March 17, 2012 by Woelf

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A short fantasy story of self-sacrifice
"Sword of Kings" is a medieval fantasy short story by author Matthew Iden. The tale follows a young king named Andreas whose fading health begins to interfere with his ability to rule. As Andreas continues to weaken he's barely able to lift the symbol of his rule, the Sword of Kings which has been passed down from generation to generation. Along with his brother Jon at...
Published on August 27, 2012 by Media Man


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sword of Kings - A Gem of a Plot, March 17, 2012
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This review is from: Sword of Kings (Kindle Edition)
I read a lot, or used to rather. With a house full of kids reading time is scarce, which means I'm more finicky about what I read. The sample piece for Sword of Kings sold me completely. I wanted to know more so I bought it and I'm glad I did. I read various genres, but have a soft spot for fantasy and this story takes place within the fantasy realm. It is a short story and the blurb pretty much says enough of what the story is about, so I don't need to repeat it here. Suffice to say, it doesn't say all and hides a gem of a plot, and the magic, so to speak, is in the reading of it. The reader is presented with a plot that incorporates both magic and mystery. The writer chose a subtle approach to using magic in his world, and given the overall plot and stunner of an ending, it was a brilliant decision and works well.

The characters are well hued, given the limitation on time, and the bits of backstory were well crafted into the story's structure without sacrificing pace. I loved the dialogue and thought it appropriate and very much native to the world where Sword of Kings take place. The writer's technical writing ability is superb and his use of imagery transports you to the world he created. In fantasy that is important.

For me this was a stunning story. It reminded me of the fantasy tales of old, and has that same substance that will ensure its longevity for future generations. I don't want to say too much for fear of spoiling it for anyone who wants to read it, but I can say this: This is my first Amazon review. In fact, this is my first review ever and it was prompted by Sword of Kings. I suppose that must say something.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A short fantasy story of self-sacrifice, August 27, 2012
By 
Media Man (Minneapolis, MN USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Sword of Kings (Kindle Edition)
"Sword of Kings" is a medieval fantasy short story by author Matthew Iden. The tale follows a young king named Andreas whose fading health begins to interfere with his ability to rule. As Andreas continues to weaken he's barely able to lift the symbol of his rule, the Sword of Kings which has been passed down from generation to generation. Along with his brother Jon at his side they seek to unravel the mystery of King Andreas' failing health in an effort to save himself and his kingdom. Here are my thoughts on Sword of Kings;

Pros

+ Well written with an interesting premise.

+ Author provides detailed story notes at the end of the tale explaining his inspiration. I wish more authors did this.

+ Twist ending.

Cons <Contains SPOILERS>

- No real action to speak of. I would have liked to have seen more regarding the conflict with Andreas and the sword.

- I found the ending predictable but others may not.

- A bit slow for a short story.

"Sword of Kings" was an entertaining fantasy short. Although, the tale itself is a bit slow it should please most readers of the genre. I predicted this one before it ended but perhaps it's because I've read too many of Moorcock's "Elric" stories. But, as with all of the stories by Matthew Iden I've read so far it's the ending that often makes them memorable. "Sword of Kings" is no exception.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Sword of Kings"... an interesting medieval tale... 4 1/2 Stars, August 9, 2012
This review is from: Sword of Kings (Kindle Edition)
"Sword of Kings" is a short fantasy story from author Matthew Iden. This Kindle book was a 218 Kb download (approx. 20 printed pages) and sold for $0.99 at the time of writing this review.

Spoilers (general theme)

One day, King Andreas has unexpectedly found that the symbol of his power, the sword of his ancestors, is dying... and with it, his abiltiy to govern and rule. Investigations of some old tomes indicated that maybe the rituals used to sanctify the king and his sword at the time of his coronation were improperly done. Thus the tale unfolds...

End Spoilers

Some thoughts on "Sword of Kings"...

1.) a short medieval tale that is well written and skillfully told.

2.) it held my interest through to the very end. I thought the pace and timing was spot on.

3.) the author has a definitive flare for description of people, places and things without bordering into the realm of 'fill'.

4.) a bit of a surprise ending that caught me off guard. Nonetheless an interesting twist, The author discusses some of the ramifications of the ending in his 'Story Notes' at the end of the tale.

Conclusion:
A tale what held my attention from beginning to end. There was no real 'action' in this tale but yet it was very enjoyable because of the mystery and intrigue it generated.

4 1/2 Stars.

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sword with a soul!, March 11, 2013
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This review is from: Sword of Kings (Kindle Edition)
Very well written short story; can read in about half an hour. Iden's writing style makes any subject intense and riveting. His talent for pushing words around on the page is phenomenal. I love his sharp, succinct style and imagery. This fantasy medieval tale focuses on a sword with a soul and what a king must sacrifice to lead his kingdom with a powerful symbol of strength and victory. One part I loved was when the king laments the sword's slow death and says he would gladly give up anything to make the sword live. His wise adviser tells him that sacrifice isn't something that is ever easy or gladly given. Great short story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow., December 30, 2012
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This review is from: Sword of Kings (Kindle Edition)
For being so short it brought up so many feelings and curiosities. I think this is a great idea of how swords in stories get their power. I will be recommending this to all I know :D
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An iconic power through the ages, August 26, 2012
This review is from: Sword of Kings (Kindle Edition)
A great story illustrating the sacrifices we make for power and the costs of holding it. The Sword of Kings, though in the fantasy genre, offers lessons in the weight we place on symbols and their importance throughout history. The setting is classic medieval fantasy where kings rule and symbols play a vital role in maintaining the authority to rule. Magic in this world is an indigent partner who requires our devout observance to its needs. The people here lose their way in following old traditions and must make amends to set things right.

Iden gives us a well-written fantasy/mystery that grabs your attention from the outset and leads you to a zinger of an ending. This is the first of his work I've read but it won't be the last. His ability to meld imagery into well- crafted characters and plot are on par with some of my favorite fantasy writers (Brooks, Sanderson). This is a fantasy reader's delight - a marvelous short story with novel potential. Well-edited, the only downside for me was that I really wanted more - a well-earned 4.7 stars.

Tom Clementson (Kindle Book Review)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable Fantasy Short, June 26, 2012
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This review is from: Sword of Kings (Kindle Edition)
This short fantasy story is a fast, fun and thought provoking story. It examines the nature of swords as symbols and the power of symbols. An interesting, but necessarily small, cast of characters are challenged to understand the myths behind their symbols in order to preserve the cohesion of the realm which relies on their symbols and myths. This short story can be read in about 15 minutes but it is a very worthwhile and captivating 15 minutes (or so).

No major editing or writing issues were noted. Sword of Kings is 249 Kindle locations long excluding story notes and excerpts for other stories. Standard length novels seem to run in the 4,500 to 7,000 plus Kindle location range. Longer books, such as books in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, can range from 15,000 to 20,000 plus Kindle locations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true pleasure., June 26, 2012
By 
Amanda Reznick (Ann Arbor, MI United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sword of Kings (Kindle Edition)
Wow. Tightly crafted to give us a glimpse of the characters and develop the story in such a short space. I would love more, more, more of this but, it has brought back to me the pleasure of the short story done well.

Ready to read Assassin...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a nice surprise!, June 26, 2012
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This review is from: Sword of Kings (Kindle Edition)
I just finished reviewing Iden's "Assassin", and really said what I had to say about both stories there. This is a terrific, well-structured read with a good - and foreseeable and natural in hindsight - twist at the end. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Short, solid but rather obvious, April 19, 2014
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This review is from: Sword of Kings (Kindle Edition)
At 4000 words, we're in the short story class here and as part of a collection I'm not sure it would stand out. It is well written, in a quickly sketched but believable world. Maybe I've read too much fantasy, but I saw the ending coming far too soon. It's still worth a read -- at 4000 words, what have you got to lose?
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Sword of Kings
Sword of Kings by Matthew Iden
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