A Parallel World, A Parallel Time...The light began to move toward Gideon. Racing, faster and faster, it silently brightened until it filled his whole world. As it neared, he leaned forward and looked into the light to see the power, the immeasurable power, coming to reside in him, coming to be his alone...But as the light came, it changed. What was a distant star took the shape of a flaming sword, emblazoned with pure fire that burned hotter than even the world could bear. And there was something else--Gideon could see more than just a sword. Someone was holding it. Someone more brilliant than the sun--and more terrible. Someone who was coming. For him...
In the style of classic fantasy epics, Warden creates a mystical realm where an ordinary man must confront his fears to comprehend his extraordinary destiny.
"Astounding Imagery..." Michael Warden's gift for creating worlds that leap from the pages of this book underscore one of the central themes of this book: words hold power beyond what most would imagine. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great fantasy novel. I own the first edition, but I'll be picking up this one for the amazing artwork.
"Gideon's Dawn" Gideon's Dawn will unquestionably be compared with The Fellowship of the Ring. This is unfortunate, because it is neither fair to the author nor the reader. Michael Warden has most certainly been inspired by Tolkien. But his imagery is much more lucid and concise, and therefore more interesting. In my mind, his writing is more closely akin to the fictional works of C.S. Lewis. But his story has a much greater sense of realism and urgency; thus, it is more personal, more involving. Make no mistake - Warden is his own writer. He literally transforms a genre - too often trite and cliché - with two qualities the fantasy realm has desperately needed: creativity and truth. The tapestry of images and words are woven so tightly, that Gideon's Dawn is a dynamic experience for the reader. The character development and storyline are well blended, so that neither detracts from the importance of the other. And the 'back story' is quite ingenious, but not without... More > purpose, as it gives the story ever-present, fluid motion. Gideon's Dawn is both captivating and soul-searching. But don't let that description scare you...it is also undeniably thrilling - my heart was literally pounding on more than one occasion! You will not want (or be able) to put this book down!< Less
"A Fantasy and a Hope" Christian fantasy...To some this is an oxymoron. Although Tolkien and Lewis were forerunners in the genre, the church world has often thumbed its nose at the power of myth and fantasy to paint christological themes. Conversely, some Christian fantasists have gone too far with the insertion of biblical ideas and weakened the power of their stories in the process. "Gideon's Dawn" is a welcome addition to the short list. It's greatest strength lies in the main character's weakness. Gideon Dawning is a flawed and cynical man. As he struggles in our own world with questions of family and the past, he proves sympathetic, yet hard to reach. When a mysterious earthquake plunges him from the Colorado mountains into another world, he remains aloof to the hopes foisted upon him. Only as his dark secrets come to light do we fully understand his reluctance to be anything other than a man without a purpose. Gideon is a survivor, plain and simple. Warden... More > succeeds in creating a world both creative and familiar. The depth of his world-making grows as the story moves on, and the glossary in the back of the book is helpful in keeping matters straight. The author's work and the publisher's risk on this novel are well worth it. Although the story has slow patches in the first half, it picks up the pace and leaves us wanting more. The book could've been 50 pages shorter, but the author refuses to settle for stale narrative and tries to give us more, rather than less. Warden sets a new tone. Along with Stephen Lawhead, Kathy Tyers, Randall Ingermanson, and Karen Hancock, the Christian fantasy market continues to expand, and, with the upcoming sequel "Waymaker," we fantasy readers once again have a future and a hope. Much like Gideon Dawning himself.< Less
"Unexpected" I first read Gideon's Dawn as a jaded editor who expected average reading at best. Before I hit page 100, I found myself wrapped up in the story, forgetting that I had intended to be hard on this debut fiction effort from Michael Warden. I found the experience of reading this book to be tragic, beautiful, hopeful, poetic, thought-provoking, and inspiring. Gideon Dawning is a cynical graduate assistant who is miraculously transported - no, birthed through the earth itself - into an alternate universe where words don't simply have power, they ARE power. And in this alternate place, young Gideon find that he holds the power of the word - which makes him an immediate target and sends him on a journey to discover his extraordinary fate. Filled with stunning imagery and emotional impact, Gideon's Dawn offers a remarkable spiritual allegory for those who are looking for that kind of thing. For those who aren't, it delivers a layered, seamlessly plotted fantasy... More > peopled with real characters who love, believe, hate, hurt, and generally make you care very much about what will, or won't, happen to them. Michael Warden's imagination rings true in Gideon's Dawn. Read it at risk of caring a little more about literature, about life, and about art when you are done. PS. It's a flipping good story too.< Less
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