The Rhyme of the Golden Aegis (Book 1 of the Archetype Trilogy)

Rated 4.60/5 based on 6 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 Rhyme of the Golden Aegis. More

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About Xero Reynolds

A bipedal whatsit afflicted with creative ADD, Xero Reynolds has applied his ever-scattered attention span to writing, illustration, music, voice acting, and more for the past decade and change. Xero currently spends his time divided between the various fictional worlds that compete for his attention, and the real life he spends with his wife in Colorado. There, if he can be pried away from his creative pursuits, you might find him biking, exploring the foothills of the Rockies, engaging in period fencing, or gleefully pursuing a plethora of proud-to-be-a-geek activities.

You can find out more, and follow along with future work news, at www.xerjester.com.

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The Rhyme of the Golden Aegis Trailer
Trailer for Book one of the Archetype Trilogy

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Reviews

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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