The Resurrection of Deacon Shader: Book One of The Deceptions of the Demiurgos, by Derek Prior. $1.99 at Smashwords.com. Also available for Kindle.
Summary: “The Sun Stone, inscrutable, ineffable, impossibly ancient, was entrusted to the shaman Huntsman until the day of the Reckoning when it unleashed the power of nightmare to destroy a civilisation. Deacon Shader, monk, knight, and spurned lover, enters the drama of the Sun Stone and unwittingly wields a power beyond belief. His deepest conflicts hold the key to the survival of creation itself.”
Score: 4.999/5 !!!
The Resurrection of Deacon Shader‘s setting is Earth, a few thousand years in the future, after magic has been released on the world by Huntsman, a Dreamer shaman. A few relics from the present day like handguns, flashlights, and street lamps still exist, but technology has regressed, and for all intents and purposes it’s unrecognizable as the Earth of today. It’s possible for people to become immortal, aided by talismans or dark magic, but not without side effects. Human nature, however, has not changed one bit, and no character in this story is as he or she first seems. A prominent theme is Christianity and Catholicism in particular. The Catholic church is still around, even after Huntsman’s hat trick, though its members are mostly shunned or persecuted. Politics have an effect on this, also. Deacon Shader’s conflicting feelings about what it means to be a Christian and how his actions fit with his own ideal form an important component of the story.
This novel is full of conflict. Each character has inner conflict, and conflict between characters and groups is the norm rather than the exception. Everyone is working on his or her own mercurial agenda. Idiocy, which irks me whenever and wherever I encounter it, is completely missing from this book. All the characters are intelligent, their actions and personalities are believable, and they do their best, which makes the bad things that happen to them that much worse.
Deacon Shader’s epic story and the world created by the author are elegant and polished. They are rich and varied, touching, maddening, and addicting.
The only thing I think this book is missing is a map. A map might be hard to view on an ebook reader, but if it were online, it might be downloaded and put on the reader as a photograph. Not until about three-quarters of the way through the book did I feel even a little comfortable with the geography of Resurrection. I was more than able to follow the story and remember who hailed from where without much trouble but details like the distance between places had to take a back seat to that info.
The Bottom Line: Buy it! If you like fantasy, or if you don’t know if you like fantasy but you know you like a book you can really get engrossed in and feel sad when you finish reading it, you won’t be disappointed by The Resurrection of Deacon Shader. Overall, highly recommended.