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Frozen Prospects (The Guadel Chronicles Volume 1) Paperback – January 6, 2011
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About the Author
Dean started reading seriously in the second grade due to a competition and has spent most of the subsequent three decades lost in other people's worlds. After reading several local libraries more or less dry of sci-fi and fantasy, he started spending more time wandering around worlds of his own creation to avoid the boredom of the 'real' world. Things worsened, or improved depending on your point of view, when he first started experimenting with writing while finishing up his accounting degree. These days Dean has a wonderful wife and two lovely daughters to keep him rather more grounded, but the idea of bringing others along with him as he meets interesting new people in universes nobody else has ever seen tends to drag him back to his computer on a fairly regular basis.
Top customer reviews
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I'm not sure how this book had so many positive ratings. It was utterly boring.
We are thrown into a world of darkness. NOTHING is explained to us. The author uses strange references to mark things like government, passage of time, which are wholly and utterly unfamiliar to us, expecting us to accept that we didn't understand anything about that last phrase or sentence, so we should just move on. The hero/anti-hero is a cave-dwelling "dark" boy with absolutely no personality. We know he harbors a deep secret in his miserable life as the bullied underdog. That's about it. He has nothing else to recommend him except his connection to darkness in a dark world. He has no inner thoughts of note. He has no epiphanies. He has no character.
When I concluded this was a world of mage-polygamists, who use magic with the help of magical stones, with a fractured society of capital rule over independent village-states, with "Guadel" who travel the frozen tundras in the service of the capital to find and recruit other young mages, I had no desire to read further.
The names of people and places are entirely distracting. While I don't expect characters in a foreign, magical universe to be named "Tom" or "Harry" I also don't want to be puzzling over how I'm supposed to pronounce something for minutes on end. Why the apostrophes? Why does every name and place sound the same? (Va'del, Guadel, something-el) Only Jasmin has the most decent sounding name and she is the only one with some semblance of personality. Maybe there's a correlation... Give an exotic name to a flat character to make him/her interesting.
When I realized I could be doing something, ANYTHING, more exciting than reading this book, (i.e. learning how to darn socks, sewing a button, pulling weeds, cleaning, doing laundry, listening to a lecture on recent changes in the law) I realized that if I put this book down I'd never pick it up again. Couldn't get past the first 8 chapters before deleting it from my Kindle. Haven't looked back.
There are people, the Guadel, who patrol the trails between the villages to protect them from bandits and dangerous creatures. They act as traveling judges and also go to the villages to test young men for an ability to let women magic users join with them mentally.
The Gaudel who come to Va'del's village find that he has an uncommonly strong ability to link. He goes with them to train in martial skills and the law while they sponsor him until he takes the oaths to become a Gaudel. They become the family he has missed having. Then they are killed by bandits and he is orphaned again. With the hope that he will still be able to become a Gaudel he continues on to the capital where his sponsors' branch live. The people there think that he was responsible for his sponsors being killed and treat him harshly. He is again feeling depressed almost to suicide when he makes a new friend in Jain, a young teenage girl. She is studying magic and the law and is a kind, intelligent person. They study together and come to care very much for each other.
The Gaudel are under attack and their numbers are lower than is usual. Their Council members are stressed by infighting and the need to discover a way to stop the bandits. The creatures that are attacking people are also increasing in numbers. All this contributes to the attitudes of the adults Va'del and Jain have to depend on.
The need to supplement their guards and magic users in the villages has the Council send the oldest and most skilled students out onto the trails with the few and oldest Gaudel.
Va'del and Jein are sent with a woman, Cindy, and her husband. When ambushed by bandits Jain is kidnapped and it is up to Va'del and Cindy to save her, but first they have to save themselves.
I really liked this story better the second time I read it. It is worth a second look.
This "world" is like an ice age where humans live underground for survival. And the only way to survive is to have multiple villages or underground cities in various locations and levels. Although there is some mystical and sci-fi elements to this story, the main point is that mages are the women. A girl with mage abilities is trained up to strengthen her ability. She has the ability to link and enhance her male super warrior as one of their wives to endorse survival. The Guadel is the name given to those super warriors. Each village has a Headman who is like their mayor. Instead of the normal means of growing crops with soil, mages or the women use gems and precious stones filled with magic to heat and do other amazing things.
With that said:
Frozen Prospects takes us on a journey with Va'dal, an unloved, unwanted and ridiculed orphan. But this teenager has hope that he does have a chance of a real life if he just be patient. Only it takes the visit of I'rone and his wives to sweep Va'dal up into another way of life. This family plans to sponsor Va'dal to become a Guadal candidate only bad things keep happening.
Most recent customer reviews
Can't wait to read the second book in the series now!!