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Gideon's Dawn [Paperback]
by Michael D. Warden

The Inherited Lands were a place of legend--a mystic realm in a world rich in miracles. From here, Life flowed to the four corners of creation. Or so it once was, before High Lord Gideon used a Word of Desolation that Abaddon had taught him, unleashing a corrupting perversion. Two thousand years later, another Gideon has appeared. No one knows where he came from or how he arrived. But they know he has power. This is no ordinary sojourner, they whisper. This may be the answer to ancient prophecies of doom and deliverance. Or he may just be Gideon Dawning, a graduate student from Texas, in over his head in a world beyond time. . . .

Volume 1 of The Pearlsong Refounding

Barbour Books (March 2003). Trade paperback. 512 pages.

Author Web Site(s): http://www.michaelwarden.com/

Author Interview: See the April 17, 2004 Edenstar interview with Michael D. Warden.

Check out reviews at Amazon.com of Gideon's Dawn.

See the review at ChristianFictionReview.com.

Edenstar Review:
Gideon Dawning is a graduate assistant in geology, investigating earthquakes in Colorado when a chasm opens beneath him. He awakens in a strange world known to the inhabitants as the Inherited Lands, where savage Guardians kill and destroy by the power of the spoken word. Gideon exhibits some mysterious powers of his own, which lead the rebel forces opposing the evil Council to claim Gideon as their prophesied Kinsman-Redeemer. He resists the title and role of deliverer, but joins the rebels in fleeing the Guardiansí path of destruction.

At the rebelsí hidden fortress of Wordhaven, Gideon learns more of the other language of power, one that heals and restores. Gideon must choose whether to join the Wordhaveners in a quest to recover the lost Book of Deiílo, a sacred tome containing knowledge of the words of power. But before his choice is final, Council members ambush and capture him. Against overpowering odds, a small band of rebels sets out on the long-desired mission to locate the Book of Deiílo -- and in the process to rescue Gideon before itís too late.

Gideonís Dawn uses vivid visual imagery that is a delight to read. Author Michael Warden paints a portrait of the Inherited Lands that is epic in scope and rich in details of history and geography -- it even includes a glossary at the end of the book. The imaginative descriptions provide much food for thought, as they illustrate the power of words and other spiritual principles in a literal way. The lessons are subtle, not preachy, and serve as an undercurrent to what is a very good story with strong, well-defined characters.

Comparisons to Tolkien are almost inevitable with a book of this nature, since itís aimed at fans of fantasy and Lord of the Rings. While the depth of historical and geographical detail is reminiscent of Middle-earth, Gideonís Dawn differs in its psychological emphasis. Even while Gideon grapples with his role in this new world, he struggles to come to grips with childhood sexual abuse. Though somewhat unusual for a fantasy novel, Warden handles the issue sensitively.

My greatest difficulty with Gideonís Dawn was in a way that resembled the individual books of Lord of the Rings: It ended suddenly, with promise of more to come, but many threads of the narrative remain unresolved. The ending felt anticlimactic.

Still, Gideonís Dawn is compelling story, and if my biggest complaint is that it ended too soon, I suppose thatís a good sign. Book 2, according to the authorís web site, is titled The Waymaker, with an expected release date in Spring 2004. My verdict on Gideonís Dawn? Highly recommended.

Reviewed August 13, 2003 for Edenstar by Cheryl Bader.

Product Code: 1678
ISBN: 1586607251

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