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The Stonegate Sword

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Author: Harry James Fox

Published: February 12th 2015 by Foxware Publishing LLC (first published February 6th 2015)

Format: Paperback , 458 pages

Isbn: 9781633153325

Language: English


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Do you love historical fiction, knights in armor and romance? How about a tale with all of these set in future North America? Escape to a passionate world of danger, love, war and redemption -- the world of Stonegate. The Old Empire is gone But tales still tell of marvels from long ago-flying machines and devices run by the power of lightning. Now grass grows in the Do you love historical fiction, knights in armor and romance? How about a tale with all of these set in future North America? Escape to a passionate world of danger, love, war and redemption -- the world of Stonegate. The Old Empire is gone But tales still tell of marvels from long ago-flying machines and devices run by the power of lightning. Now grass grows in the streets and rusted hulks are all that remain of the proud machines. A new time of troubles now threatens. The free towns of the rugged mountains and plains are in the path of conquest. The Prophet's armies are coming, filled with hatred and armed with terrible, rediscovered weapons. Donald of Fisher, outcast and alone, is in the path of the march, searching for Rachel, who has been captured by the Raiders-minions of the Prophet. But how can he find and rescue one small captive in a wilderness teeming with enemies? And even if he succeeds, should he wield his sword beside the tiny band of defenders? Is Donald to become yet another victim, or is he, just possibly, the deliverer promised in prophecy? What can one person do in the face of a war that will shape the future of a continent?

30 review for The Stonegate Sword

  1. 5 out of 5

    Samuel David

    I enjoyed this one. Unusual premise, and quite different. Looking forward to number 2.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Engellmann

    The Stonegate Sword is an action/adventure fantasy novel with an original setting. It’s about the future, but not the usual kind of dystopian. It’s medieval, but with the flair of technology and machinery that we know today. It’s a unique mix of ideas that I haven’t seen anywhere yet, and it’s just right for this story. The main character goes through a transformation from a bookworm to a warrior, and it’s not just about knowing how to use a sword, but about learning more about himself and formin The Stonegate Sword is an action/adventure fantasy novel with an original setting. It’s about the future, but not the usual kind of dystopian. It’s medieval, but with the flair of technology and machinery that we know today. It’s a unique mix of ideas that I haven’t seen anywhere yet, and it’s just right for this story. The main character goes through a transformation from a bookworm to a warrior, and it’s not just about knowing how to use a sword, but about learning more about himself and forming his beliefs. The setting adds to this theme by giving us an example of what the mankind could become, thrown back into the past with all knowledge lost, and the glory of our time no more than a memory and occasional glimpse of ancient ruins. It’s a lot more interesting than the usual medieval fantasy, and it adds depth to the big picture. It’s also a Christian novel, but the religious part is done very nicely, without shoving it into the reader’s face or preaching. Of course, there’s also a romance story (it’s obvious from the cover), but I liked the fact that the storyline wasn’t focused on that. It’s just a trigger for the main character’s adventure. The pace is relaxed, but the author’s creativity with his world keeps you reading, and the protagonist’s change is realistic and natural. There’s a number of minor characters, and I liked the fact that I wasn’t overloaded with unnecessary information about them, as they’re only in the book as travel companions, and unless I’ll need that information later, I don’t see a reason to go deeper. I also have to mention the realism of the battle scenes – I like it when they have the right level of darkness to them, but without the gore, which is really unnecessary in most books. Overall, it’s a great read for fans of epic fantasy tales with a religious/military flair to them. *I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review

  3. 4 out of 5

    Harry Fox

    As the author, I naturally am going to give a good rating for the book. Readers might be interested in knowing that the book was an award-winning finalist in the 2015 International Book Awards.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Derek Bailey

    It is not often that I can describe a full-length book in a single word. Throughout my entire adventure within the Stonegate Sword’s digital pages (I read it as an eBook), the one word that continually resounded in my brain was “charming.” This is simply one of the most enchanting tales that I have read in a very long time. It brings me back to books like FINGAL’S QUEST, RED HUGH PRINCE OF DONEGAL, and THE HITTITE WARRIOR which is one of the highest compliments I can pay to a book. But what is T It is not often that I can describe a full-length book in a single word. Throughout my entire adventure within the Stonegate Sword’s digital pages (I read it as an eBook), the one word that continually resounded in my brain was “charming.” This is simply one of the most enchanting tales that I have read in a very long time. It brings me back to books like FINGAL’S QUEST, RED HUGH PRINCE OF DONEGAL, and THE HITTITE WARRIOR which is one of the highest compliments I can pay to a book. But what is The Stonegate Sword? That, it turns out is a little harder to put into words. VISION/CONCEPT: Not quite Fantasy, not exactly Christian Lit, not precisely a conventional post-apocalypse story, and not actually historical fiction. So what does that leave The Stonegate Sword with? A lot, actually, because it is truly all of these things at once. Imagine a story written like a historical fiction piece, yet set into mankind’s distant future. It’s a sort of post-post-apocalypse where the end of the world as we know it has already come and gone and now society exists in a manner similar to how it did during medieval times. While that might sound like an odd concept, it actually makes a lot of sense in that there is a ton of knowledge simply lost to the world which effectively resets things to a certain extent. What makes this really cool is all of the references to the “ancients” who are really just people that exist in a world like the one we live in today. Artifacts such as guns and ammunition can still be found in short supply and these pieces of “ancient” technology prove to be something of high value in a world that has reverted to Dark Age weaponry. MAIN CHARACTER(S): The story follows a man named Donald who is something of a typical fantasy hero. He is a lore-man or someone who studies ancient times. He finds himself thrown into a situation where he must become more than a mere scholar of old books. In typical fashion, he trains, gets a little better, eventually messes up, and then sets off to right his wrongs. While his developmental arch might be somewhat formulaic, he is still an immensely enjoyable character to follow and please rest assured that he is no Mary-Sue. No, Donald is a flawed individual who desperately wants to do right and simply isn’t sure of himself a lot of the time. I found myself connecting with him very deeply and genuinely caring about what happened to him. Occasionally the perspective will also switch over to follow Phillip, who is superficially a far more interesting character than Donald, however our limited time with him prevents him from becoming much more than a standout supporting character in a tale where we get to know Donald so intimately. MINOR CHARACTERS: This brings me to one of the story’s shortcomings – the side characters. Donald is as good of a main character as anyone could hope for, but a lot of the people who accompany him are far less developed. Characters like Samuel, Abel, Robert, Grey John, and some of the characters that are involved early on are big contributors to the plot and offer some of the more distinct personalities to be found along the way. I wouldn’t say that I got to know all their deep secrets or understand them in the same way that I understood Donald, but they were certainly enjoyable travel companions. The fact that not everyone is really explored in depth does feel truer to how such an adventure would go in real life – after all we do not really get to know most of the people we encounter in our lives, but rather a select few. Realistic though this may be, because the adventure follows the familiar arch of a hero as well as lays out the story in the classic grand adventure format, I felt as though I wanted to know more of the people in this world. Given that this is such a lengthy narrative there is a certain desire that I could not help but have to get to know each any every character that the story introduced. While these were not bad characters by any means, I just wanted to know more of them on a deeper level. Had this not been such a long book, I think this shortcoming would have been less pronounced, but because I did spend so much time with it, there was a certain pressure for the novel’s many characters to connect with me in a special way and a number of them just failed to do so. Adding to my criticism of the cast is the way that the female portion of it comes off in this story. To be clear, the representations are not demeaning, nor are they sexist, they just feel a little weak. There are a variety of female characters that enter into the story, but none of them really contribute very much. A lot of them are damselized a bit which I find to be an overused plot device. Rachel and Lady Lilith offer glimpses at stronger female personalities, but we never really don’t get enough face time to really flesh out their potential. As a male writer, I understand that it can be tough to write a compelling female character that doesn’t fall into some tropes. These women feel like they were pulled straight from the Dark Ages which is a shame, considering that the futuristic setting offered a chance to veer away from that style of character. It’s not high fantasy, so there was no need for an ultra-powerful goddess-like lady, but there really should have been at least one that stood out as a more prominent force within the story. I have nothing against a boys’ adventure, it is just the fact that so many women are introduced and all of them offer so little that bugged me in this case. RELIGION: I mentioned before that this is part Christian Literature. The author is really quite transparent about this fact since every chapter begins with a verse (or verses) from scripture (The Bible) and the subheadings of each chapter are little images of a cross. If this is one particular aspect that does not seem overly thrilling to you, I would strongly urge you to put those concerns aside. For full disclosure’s sake, I happen to be a practicing Catholic, so this element was and enjoyable part of the journey for me. That said, I am also not appreciative of fiction that is more concerned with praising God than it is with telling a good story. As an avid read and writer, my first concern is always going to be whether or not the narrative is compelling (I enjoy stories with messages, but hate messages that attempt to masquerade as stories). God is a presence here, but His role feels very grounded. In fact, the entire representation of faith and spirituality in this world was one of the easiest pieces to connect with for me because of how genuine it is and how well it speaks to how a life of faith actually is in the real world. Not all the characters live lives of faith which allows for some interesting dialogue and between the lines thought on the topic. At the end of the story, you as the reader could very easily believe that God had nothing to do with anything that happened, but if you are a person who believes in a higher power, then you can certainly see how His hand touches the lives of the people within the story. It’s a masterful balancing act that the author performs that is inspiring where it needs to be without ever coming off as preachy or self-righteous. WORLD BUILDING/EVENTS: In case it wasn’t clear in my initial synopsis, I love the world that the author constructs for us. It is filled with distinct regions which have some laws, beliefs, and customs unique to them, while others are shared with the rest of this reimagined version of the world. It is also quite smart that the real-world places are renamed since the very dynamic of the world is drastically different than what we are used to and it would have been odd for places to be called by their actual names. This is, as I mentioned before, a very long story. While I prefer shorter works, I found that I enjoyed just sticking around in this world for a bit. The progression is paced in such a way that I never really felt especially motivated to race toward the end. Instead, I just wanted to casually follow the flow of wherever the narrative wanted to take me and there was something rather magical about that type of a ride. Just like the portrayal of religion, the battle sequences are also depicted in a very grounded way. Those that enjoy the fantasy genre for over the top, epic battles with swords and magic flying all over the place will probably feel a little cheated if they go in expecting this sort of action, but I personally liked the slower type of warfare that is shown in this story. It is drawn out in such a way that I could imagine a real medieval-style battle playing out – with lots of planning and precise military maneuvers that kind of reminded me of classic war movies. This is the type of story that you don’t want to get to the end of – but in a good way. CONCLUSION: The STONEGATE SWORD was an immensely enjoyable read for me. I had no real expectations going in other than to indulge in a long fantasy adventure and I got exactly that, plus a couple of things I was not expecting. I wasn’t totally satisfied with all of the personalities in the story which did make parts of it drag a little for me since I didn’t feel as invested in the fates of certain characters. Despite this, Donald was an incredibly engaging lead and the high points of the book greatly overshadowed the low ones. There is a religious component that some might be keen to turn their noses up to, but unless you are actively atheistic, I see no reason why this piece would bother you in any way or distract from the wonderful and inventive story being told. It’s not a flawless adventure, but it’s definitely one that will stick with me for a long while.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Philip Dodd

    As an adventure story on an epic scale, I enjoyed reading The Stonegate Sword by Harry James Fox. I liked the skill he showed in his attention to detail in describing landscapes, buildings and people, as much as to the weather and food on the plate. His is an unusual, curious story. Its title made me think it was going to be an adventure about knights and magical beings in a Medieval fantasy land. Instead, it proved to be very much an adventurous tale, set in a North American landscape, familiar As an adventure story on an epic scale, I enjoyed reading The Stonegate Sword by Harry James Fox. I liked the skill he showed in his attention to detail in describing landscapes, buildings and people, as much as to the weather and food on the plate. His is an unusual, curious story. Its title made me think it was going to be an adventure about knights and magical beings in a Medieval fantasy land. Instead, it proved to be very much an adventurous tale, set in a North American landscape, familiar to me from a number of cowboy films I have seen on the cinema and television screen, which led to epic battle scenes, which were well thought out and described. One part of the story reminded me of an episode in the Medieval English poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Indeed, the way the characters address each other, the manners they have, and the walled towns and fortresses they live in, are more a mirror of Medieval Europe than the modern world. I liked reading the quotes from The Bible and the Christian message which was at the root of the tale. It was good that its hero, Don, is not perfect, makes mistakes, and seemed therefore truly human, I thought. The Stonegate Sword is an unusual adventure story, which has depth to it, told with great authority and descriptive powers, and which was to me a pleasure to read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sunshine Somerville

    This book has a very original mix of genres. At first, it absolutely feels like medieval historical fiction. Then there are references to “The Old Empire” and scenes with fallen cities and you realize that this is actually a post-apocalyptic/dystopian future world. That made me think, “Huh, interesting,” because I’ve never seen that before. The characters of Philip, Don, Robert, etc. are pretty likeable. Don, as the main character, is given special attention and has the most fleshed out history This book has a very original mix of genres. At first, it absolutely feels like medieval historical fiction. Then there are references to “The Old Empire” and scenes with fallen cities and you realize that this is actually a post-apocalyptic/dystopian future world. That made me think, “Huh, interesting,” because I’ve never seen that before. The characters of Philip, Don, Robert, etc. are pretty likeable. Don, as the main character, is given special attention and has the most fleshed out history as a lore man – which is a cool thing to have in this kind of future – who also becomes an accomplished soldier. As a reader, I sympathized with young Philip immediately, though you then kind of wait around to figure out how these characters are going to come together. Through these two men’s eyes, we learn a lot about this fallen world. I will say, however, that the women in this book are incredibly flat. Rachel is a “fair maiden” to a tee, but I didn’t care about her at all. The other rescued girls are shallow, scared damsels in distress who serve no other purpose. Then there’s the lady who’s a wicked seductress, which was just weird. Deborah, as an alternative love-interest, is a bit more dimensional, but her leading attribute is literally quoted to be that she is “like a woman with a man’s personality.” …I don’t even know what to say to that. As for plot, I definitely enjoyed the first half best because it was more character-driven and gave us the kind of journey where we learned about this world. The second half become battle after battle after battle, which wouldn’t be a bad thing except that it seemed like this book could've been split in two considering the way the storyline shifts so drastically. Also, the farther I got into the book, the more this medieval future didn’t make sense. It WAS cool that they were able to use the Old Empire’s weapons, but why would everything revert to medieval times just because modern technology died? Yes, you’d use horses. Yes, you’d find farming important again. But castles and calling people “lords” and women wearing dresses all the time – why would we revert that far? I was nervous about the bad guys being in the camp of “The Prophet,” with the good guys often being Christian. But, fortunately there’s a disclaimer at the end saying this religion isn’t intended to reflect any religion now but rather the “corruption and perversion of some 21st Century beliefs.” THAT I’m okay with because the religious tensions in this story add a believable layer to the story. If you're up for a long adventure story with horses and swords and nicely written descriptions, go for it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lana Kortchik

    I am not a big fantasy fan but I have enjoyed the Stonegate Sword very much. First of all, it was beautifully written. The author has a wonderful writing style, with every word pulling you into the story. The characters are three-dimensional, relatable and realistic. And finally, I enjoyed it because I was fascinated by the premise. The novel is set in the future when our civilisation is nothing but a distant memory. There is nothing left but ruins of old buildings and roads. Our knowledge is lo I am not a big fantasy fan but I have enjoyed the Stonegate Sword very much. First of all, it was beautifully written. The author has a wonderful writing style, with every word pulling you into the story. The characters are three-dimensional, relatable and realistic. And finally, I enjoyed it because I was fascinated by the premise. The novel is set in the future when our civilisation is nothing but a distant memory. There is nothing left but ruins of old buildings and roads. Our knowledge is lost too, and the humanity has regressed to medieval times. Where there were once cities, there are now farms and small towns hidden behind thick walls. Where there were trains and cars and transatlantic ships, there are once again horse and carriage. I found the descriptions of medieval warfare fascinating - swords, spears, staff, shields, bow and arrows - what more can one want? The book is filled with awesome fight scenes. There are references to the ancients (us!) throughout the book. Although our technological advances have been lost, the faint rumour still remains - in legends and folklore. This book has everything - romance, war, friendship and a fascinating world that you want to know every detail about. Page after page, we follow the main character on his quest to learn about himself and the world around him. There are many intertwining story lines and the attention to detail is superb. If you enjoy fantasy stories filled with adventure and suspense, this novel is for you.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Allyson Abbott

    I was greatly surprised by this book. Due to the cover I was expecting a medieval romance, but was pleasantly amazed to discover a story that appeared to be set in the future, but had medieval traits. It was far removed from a romance as well. It was a story about learning. Learning your own strengths and beliefs. Helping and supporting others. The stories of Donald and Philip do come together eventually, although I found that Philips story was a little vague at times and I still not sure of its I was greatly surprised by this book. Due to the cover I was expecting a medieval romance, but was pleasantly amazed to discover a story that appeared to be set in the future, but had medieval traits. It was far removed from a romance as well. It was a story about learning. Learning your own strengths and beliefs. Helping and supporting others. The stories of Donald and Philip do come together eventually, although I found that Philips story was a little vague at times and I still not sure of its importance, apart from a coming of age tale. This is not normally the sort of book that I read, but got so caught up in the plot that I would have finished it in one long day of reading had my battery not lost power. A well crafted tale. Highly recommend.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Stock

    This was a gem of a book, from the beautiful, almost poetic, writing to the brilliantly crafted battle scenes. I followed Dom's physical and emotional journey with interest. Like other reviewers have said, this is not your usual Dystopian novel. Set in the future where there is only stories of the 'ancients' and little more than ruins to show that our time ever existed, this is a fantastic novel that draws you in and keeps you entertained until the end but with a medieval twist. The love story b This was a gem of a book, from the beautiful, almost poetic, writing to the brilliantly crafted battle scenes. I followed Dom's physical and emotional journey with interest. Like other reviewers have said, this is not your usual Dystopian novel. Set in the future where there is only stories of the 'ancients' and little more than ruins to show that our time ever existed, this is a fantastic novel that draws you in and keeps you entertained until the end but with a medieval twist. The love story between Don and Rachael wasn't overdone at all and I became invested in their relationship. The author has managed to write a convincing world with interesting, believable characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone.

  10. 5 out of 5

    David Bergsland

    This very enjoyable book is challenging to categorize [as many of the new christian books are these days]. It is definitely Christian. It is a futuristic medieval-style of fantasy which is neither apocalyptic nor dystopian, yet American society has been destroyed in an un-defined disaster. As Mr. Fox says in the Afterword: "The tale of Stonegate takes place a bit more than a century in the future after the collapse of civilization in North America." Now I could quibble about how far things could h This very enjoyable book is challenging to categorize [as many of the new christian books are these days]. It is definitely Christian. It is a futuristic medieval-style of fantasy which is neither apocalyptic nor dystopian, yet American society has been destroyed in an un-defined disaster. As Mr. Fox says in the Afterword: "The tale of Stonegate takes place a bit more than a century in the future after the collapse of civilization in North America." Now I could quibble about how far things could have fallen in a mere 100 years or so. That this is theoretically possible is beyond doubt as the Jewish calendar gives us a possible 224 years before it reaches 6000. Now I believe we are much closer than that, but no one knows the day nor the hour. We are just commanded to be ready. This issue is not touched upon in the book. It is simply an enjoyable futuristic medieval fantasy into which I was immersed within a page or two. This book is a very fun ride It basically a coming-of-age tale of dire straits and war within a strangely feudal and some what democratic system which remains after the collapse. It centers around the area in the south-central Colorado Rockies where the Christians fled to survive during the collapse. The hero is not a believer and comes from Stonegate, where religion is not mentioned and Christians are for sure hidden and or killed. The enemy of all is the Prophet and his minions. They are evils and have some religious characteristics, but they are mainly into conquering all. It takes Don, the main character, quite a while to be transformed from a scholar [lore-man] to a warrior. He meets a girl he’s smitten with. She’s kidnapped and he goes to save her. In the midst of that he meets a believer who rubs him the wrong way—though she’s obviously taken with him. Eventually, the tale is primarily a military one, culturally. Once the boys (there are two of them) have arrived in the Haven, the story turns to warfare almost exclusively. There’s not a lot of gory detail and the battle and campaigns are well-done. Much of the suspense comes from how much of the old technology can be made ready for use. There’s not much left of that. There are many twists, and the action is compelling. Spiritually, it’s definitely Christian However, it’s well done though definitely not in your face. There are no dramatic conversions and no spiritual power demonstrated, so that makes it mainline, but I have to give it nearly four stars.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joe Jackson

    The Stonegate Sword is a tale of a redemption, of the rise of our hero, Donald, who later falls, and must spend the rest of the story rising above the shame of that fall. With elements of war and romance, Fox weaves a fine tale of gains and losses, gently guided by undertones of faith that, despite the Biblical quotes that grace the title of each chapter, never come across as beating the reader over the head. The Christian themes reminded me a lot of "The Book of Eli," where faith is the driving The Stonegate Sword is a tale of a redemption, of the rise of our hero, Donald, who later falls, and must spend the rest of the story rising above the shame of that fall. With elements of war and romance, Fox weaves a fine tale of gains and losses, gently guided by undertones of faith that, despite the Biblical quotes that grace the title of each chapter, never come across as beating the reader over the head. The Christian themes reminded me a lot of "The Book of Eli," where faith is the driving force between those who want to use it for good and those who want to use it for evil, and I think it makes the book a success with regard to being considered Christian fiction. The writing is well constructed, at times becoming nearly poetic in its beauty as Fox describes his obviously cherished homeland of Colorado. One can almost see the Rocky Mountains and smell the cleanness of the air as he describes each new area in detail. At times, that detail gets away from him a bit, and he tends to get a little over-descriptive regarding minutiae, but overall, it doesn't detract from the story too much. Readers will do well to refer to the map from time to time, as directions can get confusing because of how specifically they're laid out in context or dialogue. Fox's military background also lends itself well to the story, evidenced by a flair for describing military tactics and maneuvers, even in a less technological time. He also seems to have a great love of horses, and it shows through in the detail and in the way the characters themselves regard their faithful mounts. The one thing that confuses me with this book is the tags it's under on Amazon. It's listed as a Romance/Dystopian, but I find that neither of these is really accurate. It may just be that the book was difficult to classify under the available Amazon tags, but though Donald's relationship with Rachel forms a sort of "Dear John" background somewhat akin to the movie Windtalkers, it's not really what the book is about for the vast majority. All in all, an intriguing read, and one I'd recommend to anyone who likes the finer details of war without the gore and extreme descriptions of violence. Fox presents war as something that is at times unavoidable, and yet not something to be enjoyed, even in victory.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Aly

    This was a very different book. I like the idea very much. I liked the Christian-oriented thriller in the pages. People in this book retreated to a medieval mindset and travel by horses and wagons instead of what we use today cars, planes, and trains. I was captivated through out this book. * I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

  13. 4 out of 5

    Inishowen Cailín

    The Stonegate Sword would not be my typical reading choice but the blurb grabbed my attention and I thought I would try something new and I'm glad I did. The story is set in the future where civilisation has reverted to a more medieval setting as evidenced in their lack of technology and feudal society. There is a subtle Christian theme running through the book. But it is essentially a coming of age story as Donald, a young man more accustomed to book learning, is thrust upon a battle strewn path The Stonegate Sword would not be my typical reading choice but the blurb grabbed my attention and I thought I would try something new and I'm glad I did. The story is set in the future where civilisation has reverted to a more medieval setting as evidenced in their lack of technology and feudal society. There is a subtle Christian theme running through the book. But it is essentially a coming of age story as Donald, a young man more accustomed to book learning, is thrust upon a battle strewn path in search of his beloved Rachel. Donald has one adventure after another and goes through many ups and downs in his quest to rescue Rachel. The pace is quite gentle and I found myself relaxing into the story rather than reading it at breakneck speed. I enjoyed reading the vivid descriptions of the natural landscape. The battle scenes were particularly well written and engrossing. I was intrigued by the notion that civilisation has lost all its advancements in technology and are relying on what can be learned from surviving texts. It provokes the reader to think about how this came about and how people would survive a catastrophe of this sort. Unfortunately for women in this new age they seem to have lost their voice; having no more status than being a man's wife, daughter, something to fight over or rescue. With the lack of religious institutions to keep women down I'm not sure this would be a realistic development. I would have liked to see some female characters taking a leading role in society and being a force to be reckoned with in their own right. The Stonegate Sword is well worth a read and I recommend it to anyone who likes a good adventure story.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Austin

    “If you want peace, prepare for war.” This story alternates through the perspectives of Philip, a young farm boy arriving home from school to witness his parents being assaulted by corrupt tax collectors, then flips to the story of Donald Fisher, a survivor of an ambush who is now being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Both men find themselves in crippling situations at the mercy of the law. At some point, the alternating perspectives stop and only focus on Don. (The reader almost seems to fo “If you want peace, prepare for war.” This story alternates through the perspectives of Philip, a young farm boy arriving home from school to witness his parents being assaulted by corrupt tax collectors, then flips to the story of Donald Fisher, a survivor of an ambush who is now being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Both men find themselves in crippling situations at the mercy of the law. At some point, the alternating perspectives stop and only focus on Don. (The reader almost seems to forget about Philip entirely.) I’m not disappointed with Don’s story, but it almost seemed like Philip was nothing more than an afterthought. I imagine he will come in to play later on in the story, but for the first half of the book, he doesn’t seem to serve a purpose. Going back to Donald of Fisher, we watch as he slowly transforms from a cowardly lore-man (who doesn’t seem to know much about the world’s history to have such a title... It always seems that his colleagues are reminding him of old fables…) to a strong warrior of the Red Axe army. What was enjoyable about this book was the fact that Donald lived in a world full of war, deceit, treachery and lies yet in every dire situation, he seemed to find a loyal companion which brought him both aide and hope. However, this is not my preferred genre of book and no matter how hard I tried; I just could not get into it. I decided to abandon the book after 52%, but I still give the author three stars as the writing was perfect and I am sure many fans of Games of Thrones would enjoy this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    C.D. Gorri

    Great book! I really enjoyed reading this truly epic tale! I loved the entire setting, the battle between good and evil taking place sometime in the future in a post-apocalyptic North America. The author is wonderful at setting a scene and his use of descriptive language transports the reader to where the action is taking place. Donald is the hero of the story and like many good heroes he is flawed, but we overlook these flaws or rather we accept them because of his overwhelming desire to do good. Great book! I really enjoyed reading this truly epic tale! I loved the entire setting, the battle between good and evil taking place sometime in the future in a post-apocalyptic North America. The author is wonderful at setting a scene and his use of descriptive language transports the reader to where the action is taking place. Donald is the hero of the story and like many good heroes he is flawed, but we overlook these flaws or rather we accept them because of his overwhelming desire to do good. I love that he is basically a bookworm, a keeper of histories and knowledge, but he is forced out into the world. He makes mistakes, he trains, he fails, he does better. He is a character I had sympathy for and even empathized with many times during the book. I was raised Roman Catholic so I loved the whole inflection of Christianity in this book. Not every character is a believer and if you are not Christian do not let this aspect of the book change your mind about reading it. Harry Fox did a wonderful job bringing religion into his fantasy without preaching or overdoing it. It's a lot more difficult than you think to find a good balance and he does so beautifully. Bravo! There are several interesting minor characters that we come across in this tale. Some are funny, others not so much, but overall very interesting and unique. This is one of the most unique books I have read in a long while. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys long epic fantasies. 5 well deserved stars!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Penny Harmon

    This is not my normal genre to read, but I can honestly say that The Stonegate Sword drew me in from the moment I started reading. Fox definitely has a way with words and his descriptions are almost poetic. The story is set in the future, after the world crumbles down. Fox was extremely well in developing both the characters and the plot. The story contains something for just about everyone: engaging battles using medieval weapons, historical fiction, and a little bit of romance to make things i This is not my normal genre to read, but I can honestly say that The Stonegate Sword drew me in from the moment I started reading. Fox definitely has a way with words and his descriptions are almost poetic. The story is set in the future, after the world crumbles down. Fox was extremely well in developing both the characters and the plot. The story contains something for just about everyone: engaging battles using medieval weapons, historical fiction, and a little bit of romance to make things interesting. Sadly, in many books of this genre, I find the writing to be dull and enough to put you to sleep. Fox has a way with words that is both entertaining and interesting. While I did find there were times that the descriptions were overdone, they do keep you going. The plot of the story veers off to include sub plots that are followed up with in the book…you are not left hanging, wondering what happened and if the author forgot what he wrote. This author is very detailed and follows through for the reader. All in all, I would have to say that this book is memorable and not one that you will set to the side and forget about. For this reason, you can be guaranteed that I will be reading more books from Harry James Fox.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marina Spirova

    “The Stonegate Sword” by Harry James Fox is one great example of a good fantasy book. I first fell in love with this specific type of fantasy when I read Tolkien. Don’t get me wrong the two books are far from similar. Fox’s book is amazing in the way it mingles together the ways people had lived in the Middle Ages and the unforeseen future. This book has everything I wanted to find inside: it has love, adventure, personal struggle and happy moments and bitter tears. It’s a book that can teach yo “The Stonegate Sword” by Harry James Fox is one great example of a good fantasy book. I first fell in love with this specific type of fantasy when I read Tolkien. Don’t get me wrong the two books are far from similar. Fox’s book is amazing in the way it mingles together the ways people had lived in the Middle Ages and the unforeseen future. This book has everything I wanted to find inside: it has love, adventure, personal struggle and happy moments and bitter tears. It’s a book that can teach you if you read well between the lines. This book poses questions that many of us have asked ourselves, such as: how can the almighty God allow so much suffering? This book is asking people to meet the consequences of their actions and to proud of that. For me this is a book of bravery and many lessons. It’s a book that made me ask for more.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Allyson Abbott

    I was greatly surprised by this book. Due to the cover I was expecting a medieval romance, but was pleasantly amazed to discover a story that appeared to be set in the future, but had medieval traits. It was far removed from a romance as well. It was a story about learning. Learning your own strengths and beliefs. Helping and supporting others. The stories of Donald and Philip do come together eventually, although I found that Philips story was a little vague at times and I still not sure of its I was greatly surprised by this book. Due to the cover I was expecting a medieval romance, but was pleasantly amazed to discover a story that appeared to be set in the future, but had medieval traits. It was far removed from a romance as well. It was a story about learning. Learning your own strengths and beliefs. Helping and supporting others. The stories of Donald and Philip do come together eventually, although I found that Philips story was a little vague at times and I still not sure of its importance, apart from a coming of age tale. This is not normally the sort of book that I read, but got so caught up in the plot that I would have finished it in one long day of reading had my battery not lost power. A well crafted tale. Highly recommend.

  19. 5 out of 5

    R.M. Gilmour

    The medieval times have returned as the world rebuilds itself, in this wonderful post-apocalyptic Christian-military adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and loved being a part of this world. Harry James Fox provides beautifully detailed descriptions of the settings and characters, as he builds our hero Don from a soft and simple man of knowledge and learning, to a courageous battle-hardened war hero. I loved every step through his trials and heartache as he grew into a man, respected and The medieval times have returned as the world rebuilds itself, in this wonderful post-apocalyptic Christian-military adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and loved being a part of this world. Harry James Fox provides beautifully detailed descriptions of the settings and characters, as he builds our hero Don from a soft and simple man of knowledge and learning, to a courageous battle-hardened war hero. I loved every step through his trials and heartache as he grew into a man, respected and revered by all, and his discovery of something greater than himself. I was sad to reach the end of this book; I wanted to keep on reading, and I hope book two is out soon.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne

    Thank you to Goodreads and Mr Fox for this signed copy which I won on a Goodreads giveaway. I was pleasantly surprised by this book...I'm not a dystopian fan...but this book isn't "another" world tale. It's our world....but, with a great twist. For those who romanticize about living back in the days when....this is a great read. In fact I hated having to leave it at home while on an overseas holiday...(weight restrictions didn't allow my copy to make the trip with me)...but I made short work of Thank you to Goodreads and Mr Fox for this signed copy which I won on a Goodreads giveaway. I was pleasantly surprised by this book...I'm not a dystopian fan...but this book isn't "another" world tale. It's our world....but, with a great twist. For those who romanticize about living back in the days when....this is a great read. In fact I hated having to leave it at home while on an overseas holiday...(weight restrictions didn't allow my copy to make the trip with me)...but I made short work of it when I was home again. Loved this book!! Thanks again Mr Fox....my husband is now reading it...too late into the night if his sleepy face is any sign.

  21. 5 out of 5

    John Mathews

    An instant classic and timeless adventure in a future world where you will be brought on an intense journey. Humans have reverted to archaic ways and the fight for survival is prevalent. The writing is clear, crisp, and perfect for an adventure tale. Emotions are raw and passionate in this highly enjoyable read for all ages. Recommended!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Gregory Daily

    This was a great book. It's pretty clear that the author knows something about horses, the Rockies, and story-telling. The idea of a future dark age is unusual, but it worked well for me. I look forward to the second book. In fact, I have started it already.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Byrne

    What would happen if modern civilization crumbles and the world that we know is cast back to surviving in a world similar to medieval times? The Stonegate Sword is a mesmerising, thought-provoking and well-crafted read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I was immediately struck by the beautiful poetic writing that flows from page to page. The phrase, ‘painting a picture with words,’ springs to mind. I could see the countryside, see the ‘spears with keen-edged points flashing in the hard afternoon sun’ a What would happen if modern civilization crumbles and the world that we know is cast back to surviving in a world similar to medieval times? The Stonegate Sword is a mesmerising, thought-provoking and well-crafted read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I was immediately struck by the beautiful poetic writing that flows from page to page. The phrase, ‘painting a picture with words,’ springs to mind. I could see the countryside, see the ‘spears with keen-edged points flashing in the hard afternoon sun’ as they sailed towards their targets. The descriptions of both the characters and the scenery drew me into a world of which I know nothing, the wonderful world of fantasy – or is it possibility? I found this book to be a quite satisfying read and highly recommend it to all who enjoy action-adventure stories and tales of battle and war. The Stonegate Sword by Harry James is more than mere fantasy, it is a well written novel, a story of life which the author describes in such a way that you are living each moment with the main characters of the book, feeling their struggles, pain and other raw emotions which transverse the centuries. My reading list is varied, but this is a new genre to me and I am very glad that such an excellent read is my introduction this category.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    I admit, I judged the book by it's cover - thinking it was going to be maybe a bit awkward (just look at her arm!) run of the mill questy style romance, probably self-published, etc. However! The characters are varied and well developed, the prose is lyrical and descriptive, and the story line involved and well played out - not giving us all the info up front but teasing us pieces to fit together the subtleties of the back story and plot. It does follow a romance quest line, but it's so much more. I admit, I judged the book by it's cover - thinking it was going to be maybe a bit awkward (just look at her arm!) run of the mill questy style romance, probably self-published, etc. However! The characters are varied and well developed, the prose is lyrical and descriptive, and the story line involved and well played out - not giving us all the info up front but teasing us pieces to fit together the subtleties of the back story and plot. It does follow a romance quest line, but it's so much more. I'll be lending this to my teen son as rescuing the maiden is only a small part of the book, it's more of a quest for Don to find out who he is and what he is capable of beyond his sheltered upbringing and the perception of others. The descriptions of the battle tactics and weapons I skipped over a bit, but someone like my son would love all that. At 500 pages it's longer than your average read, but it never felt too long. In fact, I was disappointed to find I was at the end already. Most parts of the story are rounded up and others are left open for the next book - which I will be keeping an eye out for! I received a copy of this book free from Reading Deals in exchange for an honest review, which you got.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Luciana Correa

    The Stonegate Sword is faithful to its title. The story goes around sword battles and good versus evil. The idea of a kind of mystical savior is also there in a very beautiful poem. (The author did that very well) and it made me wait for a kind of revelation that never came. I'm sorry to say The Stonegate Sword caught me by surprise. It wasn't what I was waiting for and it's not good. Please, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the book isn't good, I'm saying that it broke my expectations and it The Stonegate Sword is faithful to its title. The story goes around sword battles and good versus evil. The idea of a kind of mystical savior is also there in a very beautiful poem. (The author did that very well) and it made me wait for a kind of revelation that never came. I'm sorry to say The Stonegate Sword caught me by surprise. It wasn't what I was waiting for and it's not good. Please, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the book isn't good, I'm saying that it broke my expectations and it took me a while to fall into it. It isn't an epic fairy tale and it sounds a little off because the cover and the title calls to that idea. On the other hand, it's a true sword romance because the sword is what you have from the beginning to the end. Descriptions are detailed to exhaustion and because of that, I wouldn't give the book five stars. The plot seems a little unfinished. Some characters disappear without a trace and I'm still thinking Harry is going to continue the story. Am I right? Let's wait and see.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Natasha Murray

    A Magnificent Read The Stonegate Sword is a great book to read and Harry James Fox’s descriptions of all the characters and battles are phenomenal. The fast moving plot, keep the pages turning. You are led to believe that it is medieval times but this is not the case! Donald of Fisher, the main character, is a peaceful man of learning. To remain in Stonegate, he has to receive battle training. A large dark force from the east threatens to invade and it takes all of Don’s wits and nerves to protect A Magnificent Read The Stonegate Sword is a great book to read and Harry James Fox’s descriptions of all the characters and battles are phenomenal. The fast moving plot, keep the pages turning. You are led to believe that it is medieval times but this is not the case! Donald of Fisher, the main character, is a peaceful man of learning. To remain in Stonegate, he has to receive battle training. A large dark force from the east threatens to invade and it takes all of Don’s wits and nerves to protect the free. If you enjoy lots of battles, then this is the book to read. Philip, a young farmer’s son has a curious tale to tell and I was eager to follow his journey. The female characters in this adventure story, Rachel and Deborah I found to be two dimensional. If there is a sequel then it would be good to get their perspectives on events. Harry’s writing is so vivid that at times you feel that you are standing right next to Donald and can see what he sees. I am eager to find out what happens to him and hope that there is a sequel. A highly recommended read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Simcox

    It’s wartime and Donald of Fisher is a loner and outsider. He is looking for Rachel, a girl who has been taken by the Raiders-minions of the Prophet. The Prophet's militaries are equipped with arms and brutal. Being that the rough country is filled with adversaries makes it very difficult for Donald to find Rachel. Donald has to face the fact there is a chance he will become just another victim, but even so, there is a chance he will bring about the assured promise in the prophecy. Filled with C It’s wartime and Donald of Fisher is a loner and outsider. He is looking for Rachel, a girl who has been taken by the Raiders-minions of the Prophet. The Prophet's militaries are equipped with arms and brutal. Being that the rough country is filled with adversaries makes it very difficult for Donald to find Rachel. Donald has to face the fact there is a chance he will become just another victim, but even so, there is a chance he will bring about the assured promise in the prophecy. Filled with Christ-centered undertones, “The Stonegate Sword” is an amazing, thrilling story where the medieval way of life is depicted superbly. Author, Harry James Fox has weaved historical fiction, fantasy and tied it all together with integrity. This is a wonderful read that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Savio Dawson

    This is an interesting book which kind of takes away the normal assumption that as time progresses man progresses and therefore, technology progresses. The story is set in the future, however man has gone back to the days of the bows and arrows. From here on, it is an interesting and gripping story of good winning over evil and how the most unexpected becomes the most celebrated. Kudos to Mr. Harry James Fox for creating a new world with a new world order and a new hero!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Robin Melhuish

    A fantastic world, post apocalyptic and very imaginative. An adventure set against a background of superstition and heroism. Epic tale from someone who knows their weapons and fighting strategy. The characters engage and towards the end I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tawna Armstrong

    OK. I enjoyed this one. Well written and refreshing. Look forward to more from this author

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