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The Sword and the Dragon: (The Wardstone Trilogy Book One) Paperback – July 13, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 600 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Wardstone Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Overall The Sword and the Dragon (A+) is an impressive debut - a traditional fantasy that manages to be fresh. It succeeds in offering a complete reading experience. See the full review here: fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com

--Fantasy Book Critic

Fans of Tolkien and CS Lewis will find much to enjoy to enjoy in M.R. Mathias' debut fantasy novel. This is a big book, with a steady flow throughout. Read this book. Take up your sword and get ready for a hugely enjoyable adventure.

--Book Smart UK

I bought and read this wonderful story. It has so much action and interaction in it, and it never lost my interest. This story will go far and I am really looking forward to the next book in the trilogy. Sep. 04, 2010

--T. Ellis Smashwords Review

I was captivated with this book from the first page. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to support a new author and who likes fantasy novels with lots of graphic action. Full review at: books-treasureortrash.com/

--Books-Treasure or Trash

From the Author

Due to the fact that I couldn't get the map to appear clearly on a smaller screen, the Map of the Mainland Kingdoms is posted for your use at the Wardstone Homepage here: mrmathias.com --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Wardstone Trilogy
  • Paperback: 520 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453862749
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453862742
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (600 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,042,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've just finished reading another one of this author's books, liked it and wanted to see if there's something even more epic available from him. Seems like this is pretty much what I was looking for.
The story's beginnings are deceptively simple:

✔ A guy finds a magic ring.
✔ His brother forms a bond with a very special hatchling bird.
✔ A squire goes on the secret mission for a dying a king.
✔ Evil wizard does mischief for that's what evil wizards do.
✔ Shaella, a beautiful daughter of the wizard, keeps things interesting for the main heroes.
✔ A dragon - present.
✔ The hunt for a magic sword begins.

However, as the narrative progresses, the stories of the main characters intertwine in intricate ways with plenty of conflict, action, and emotions. Throwing in giants, monsters, sorcery, battles and a whole lot of other components, the story keeps you interested as it progresses.

The "world-building" is not presented in overly huge chunks of description and as such, it kept me from getting bored with it. Obviously, there's some description but it's integrated with the action as the story moves forward. I prefer this to the traditional approach.

All the characters are interestingly written and developed without making one of them taking over the story completely so, switching points of view does not make you skip whole sections of the book that showcase other characters so that you get back to the characters you like. I had that problem recently with a well known fantasy series - some of you might guess what I am talking about. Good thing it's not the case here.

The writing is tight and the flow of the story is good, it keeps you moving forward at a steady pace. Overall, a very solid read.

So, my question is - why doesn't this author has a fat publishing contract yet?
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Format: Paperback
I'm conflicted. Part of me is glad I'm done reading because it's so long, but on the other hand, I feel like the characters have become a part of me and I'm sad to see them go. Really sad.

There were so many vivid scenes that are memorable in my mind. It's hard to explain, but when you are reading and you can picture a scene that's happening down to the most extreme detail in your own mind, then I believe you have an excellent piece of fiction in your hands(or on your computer).

The battle scenes are extremely well-written. Appropriate amount of action, gore, and detail. Somehow the book manages to cover every aspect of fantasy without being cheesy in any way. The climactic battle scene is just wow. It captures all the tension and I almost feel as if I'm standing there right next to the fighters.

This is a artfully done character driven novel with extremely deep and dimensional characters either likable or unlikable, but really detailed either way. A lot of the characters I like have died already. This makes me sad.

I read an interview the author did where he said Pael was evil. but likable. I didn't find him to be likable at all. He is grotesquely creepy. Just my observation. This is not a bad thing.

I am in love with Claret. I want a dragon of my very own. And the sword Ironspike feels like it has its very own personality. Strange.

I have heard criticisms on other boards about the lack of editing and grammar mistakes. I didn't find that to be a problem at all. There were a few, yes, but that is to be expected from a self-published novel. I have seen MUCH worse editing than this and I'm glad to say that it didn't detract from the magic of the story at all.

Also, I would like to add a personal thought to this review.
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6 Comments 98 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition
In The Sword and the Dragon, M.R. Mathias paints a richly imagined world with bold, ambitious strokes. This is a complex fantasy adventure filled with a rich cast of characters and multiple distinct story lines. Fans of George R. R. Martin and Raymond Fiest will enjoy The Wardstone Trilogy.

Brian Rathbone, author of Call of the Herald
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think the good reviews for this book are owing to the parts of it that are un-putdownable. Unfortunately, those parts are interleaved with sections of incredible dullness that make the book a chore to get through. I tried very hard to stick with the book to the end but the boring bits ultimately dragged the rest of the book down. When I realised that I'd have to commit not only to these 600 pages but a further two (or is it three now?) books in this writing style I just felt hopelessly overwhelmed. This story just is NOT that good.

I do admire the author's ability to gin up such a high number of strong reviews for his ultimately mediocre book. Had I not come across the story of his meltdown in researching him I may have given the book three stars (rounding up from 2.5, which is what the book is to me.) Instead I'm rounding down. The monetary price for the book may be fair (I paid a dollar) but the price of one's time just isn't at all worth it. Especially when the author is given to abusing negative reviewers in Twitter.

EDITED TO ADD:

If you read the comments to this review you'll see that I'm being strong-armed by Mathias' fans/sockpuppets/whatever into taking the review down. Not only is that not going to happen, I'm dropping it to one star. Honestly, the book isn't the worst. It's a passable book. If these people would just let negative reviews go in one eye and out the other they wouldn't have a problem. But no. They have to gang up on anyone who posts anything less than a glowing review. A normal person would probably just delete the review and move on. I'm not one to be bullied into shutting up about my opinion, however.
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