The Rhyme of the Golden Aegis

Rated 4.67/5 based on 7 reviews
On the world of Calopa, magic and steam-driven science share an uneasy balance. When a mysterious child is discovered by a simple airship crew, that balance, and their lives, are put in peril. Past horrors and new conspiracies threaten, and through it all one prize is sought above all others: the answer to the riddle known as "The Rhyme of the Golden Aegis". More
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Words: 148,100
Language: English
ISBN: 9781301826919
About Xero Reynolds

Xero is a writer, artist, voice actor, musician, and general purveyor of non-sequitur whimsy.

Xero Reynolds was born at the dawn of the day-glow apocalypse that was the 80’s, and has collected an impressive set of skills that have otherwise been rendered outmoded due to the advent of apps, or just the byproduct of the progression of society into the modern age wherein nobody accepts “duelist” as an adequate skill on a resume.

However, in a fit of what can arguably equally be described as “determination” or “masochism”, Xero has spent his time and energy creating things that he earnestly believes that someone out there is crazy enough to enjoy for over a decade. You may have seen his illustration work around (Playstation Magazine (PSM), Blizzard, Bohemian Trash Studios to name a few), or perhaps his webcomics (Swordwaltzer, Nine Shot Sonata to name a few more), or you might have pirated his music (Produced as Xero Reynolds, Xerjester, and Xerj because lists are fun). For those more inclined to recent events, or stricken with a tragic case of crippling long-term memory loss for which he shares his condolences, you might have been introduced to Xero’s writing through his first novel, The Rhyme of the Golden Aegis, or the adherent Tales of Calopa novellas he’s since completed.

Xero currently resides in Houston, Texas with his wife. He is currently held captive by his domineering imagination and strict reluctance to experience the spatial distortion/shrieking pocket dimension of terror you commonly refer to as “outside”. He has written this in third person in an attempt to offset his more boring aspects, like his love of tea and couch-forts.

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Review by: Petter Wellbring on Feb. 26, 2015 :
It's not often that I find authors that write books that I easily pick up and very reluctantly put down. The Rhyme of the Golden Aegis by Xero Reynolds is one such book. I highly recommend it to any one that is lucky enough to come across it.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Z3X0 on Oct. 29, 2013 :
Excellent work as always Xero. Read the whole thing in one weekend, kept reading dozens of pages after I should have stopped in a sitting, and I am anxiously awaiting the next release.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Joshi Freville on July 15, 2013 :
Setting aside any nit picking that can be done by people with more patience than I (typos, pacing, etc.), and considering that I really don't get jazzed about steampunk - I loved it! I am well and fully invested in the fate of the characters and cannot wait to see where they fly next.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Alyssa Anderson on July 03, 2013 :
I have to agree that an editor is needed, but that did not at all detract from the story or characters. Not my usual genre, but my attention was kept and I enjoyed reading. Definitely looking forward to the next one!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Kandy Sewell on June 12, 2013 :
This book is TERRIFIC! A well developed story that will grab your attention from page one and fly you all the way to the end. The story is accompanied by excellent maps so you can visualize the world you've been drawn into. Buy it and enjoy the ride. I'm waiting for the next two impatiently.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sara McCaffrey on June 11, 2013 : (no rating)
Wow I loved the concept at birth and after reading this book I can hardly wait for the next two books. A must read.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: ahleon on June 09, 2013 :
The Rhyme of the Golden Aegis opens with an aerial battle between the combined fleets of the Azure Admiralty and the infamous super-dreadnought "The Golden Aegis", platform of a series of mass atrocities inflicted on the world by its creator, the mad genius Absalohm. Not to spoil anything, but the Admiralty Armada is hopelessly outgunned. The opening is super-strong (I bought the book immediately after Westland figured out the fleet admiral's plan to destroy the Aegis), and throughout the story the airship battles are highlights.

The story then jumps ahead in time, taking up the story of Baen Harlan, brother to an officer serving under the Admiralty Captain whose POV opened the novel. Baen is a Mal Reynolds type figure on a Serenity type boat--a man with an angsty past doing everything he can to keep his ship and crew together.

Although the novel wouldn't show strongly in a direct comparison to Firefly, I still enjoyed the interactions between the various crew members as they grappled with the implications of the hunted boy Jack on board the Silverhearth. The world-building is solid, and the dynamics of the Sha Mercantile, the Admiralty, and the Corsair Fleet, provide interesting terrain for Bael & company to navigate.

The villain is one creepy bastard and he holds all the cards: wealth, ships, information, and hired guns. The heroes, meanwhile, are trying to scrape by in a beat-up airship two generations out of date, with half a tank of gas and only vague idea of where they should try to run next. This sounds like it should be a set-up for an exciting story, and it is.

Cons: the novel felt like it needed the loving hand of an editor to trim it down a bit--scenes usually ran long, and a couple, such as the tale of the unfortunate former-prisoner Jacob Hadrick, could have been dispensed with entirely. Aegis is also desperately in need of copy-editing--not unusual for a self-published book, but still a pity.

Much of what doesn't work in this novel could be remedied with support from a publisher. I will cross my fingers that Rhyme finds an audience and we can look forward to a nicely-edited Book Two. I will be on the lookout for it. A possi, Av esseh!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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