Clearwater Dawn

Rated 4.50/5 based on 2 reviews
When his mentor is murdered preventing an assassination attempt, a young palace guard is forced to become protector to a princess, the two reconciling a forbidden passion even as they find themselves caught up in a maelstrom of political intrigue, ancient racial hatred, a society living in mortal fear of sorcery — and a decades-old plot to plunge five nations into genocidal war. More

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About Scott Fitzgerald Gray

Scott Fitzgerald Gray is a specially constructed biogenetic simulacrum built around an array of experimental consciousness-sharing techniques — a product of the finest minds of Canadian science until the grant money ran out. Accidentally set loose during an unauthorized midnight rave at the lab, the S.F. Gray entity is currently at large amongst an unsuspecting populace, where his work as an author, screenwriter, editor, RPG designer, and story editor for feature film keeps him off the streets.

More info on Scott and his work (some of it even occasionally truthful) can be found by reading between the lines at insaneangel.com.

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Reviews

Review by: Ron Graves on July 12, 2011 :
Clearwater Dawn looks to be a first novel by Scott Fitzgerald Gray, as a quick internet search shows some published works in fantasy gaming resource books and this full length novel. Epic Fantasy is a genre that has no end to selection for fans, but it is short on quality, particularly from those looking for new promising writers. Normally what I find from writers publishing their first novels of Epic Fantasy too often fall into the trap of trying to put too much "world" into the pages at the expense of story. They focus too much on showing they have a fantastic new world with intricate politics and multitude of races and creatures but forget to tell a story within that setting that is worth the readers time. Lucky, Clearwater Dawn is not like those other first time efforts. Scott Fitzgerald Gary's debut is as good a read as any in Fantasy that you will find anywhere. At the core a love story set within a story where little is as it seems - like many others - but what sets it apart is the depth of character which brings the reader deeper into the story. However, the reader is always aware from the small bits of information the author slowly reveals as this first story is told that it is clear that Scott Fitzgerald Gray has a world as complex and interesting as any in the Fantasy genre and I look forward to reading as many tales set within that world as he has to tell. This novel will not disappoint you; buy yourself a copy and you will be looking for more when you are done.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: TheAlternative on June 24, 2011 :
Book Review - Exile’s Blade - Book One - Clearwater Dawn by Scott Fitzgerald Gray

Exile’s Blade - Book One – Clearwater Dawn
Scott Fitzgerald Gray
Kindle Edition
Publisher: Insane Angel Studios
Publication Date: May 8, 2011
358 Pages (eBook version)
ASIN: B005007GHA



Due to review commitments I do not get to read as much fantasy as I used to, which is really a shame. As a matter of fact the last true “fantasy” review I did was over a year ago. But, thanks to Clearwater Dawn by Scott Fitzgerald Gray I know that I’ll be picking up more in the near future, especially since this is the first book in a planned series. I recall how much fun Raymond E. Feist’s Magician was the first time I read it. That true joy of finding a well-written, creative, and stirring piece of fantasy fiction is hard to replicate. I remember being spellbound by the depth of the characters, the unique and unusual use of magic, the truly original plot, and the new worlds fully created out of nothing more than the imaginations of the author and his audience. Clearwater Dawn had much the same effect on me and, in my opinion, is every bit as good as the stories of the Riftwar series. I cannot pay more of a compliment to Mr. Gray’s work than to compare it with that classic series. The Riftwar books remain one of my all time favorite fantasy series and one of the few that I’ve read more than once. The Exile’s Blade series will be my next.

Clearwater Dawn falls into that category of near-classic fantasy simply waiting for an audience to find it. Indeed, it’s hard to believe that this book is self-published and selling for only .99 in the Kindle store at Amazon and the Nook store at B&N. The story is clearly written by someone well-versed in the world of fantasy creation and a search of Mr. Gray’s past achievements will confirm that he is a long time author of Dungeons & Dragons manuals, campaigns, and narratives. As luck would have it, that previous experience carries over nicely into this novel. The locations are elaborate but not verbosely so and the characters are both believable and down-to-earth (including the princess who should be haughty but isn’t.) There is murder, and court intrigue, and secrets, and quests, and magic, and secret doors, and arranged marriages, and war and all the things you’d expect to find in a first-class fantasy adventure. With that said, the story is, of course, not perfect and the minor clichéd plot of a noble fugitive is trope-worthy but all-in-all the story is written well enough for that insignificant point to go relatively unnoticed. If you’re anything like me the “what’s going to happen on the next page” factor will have you turning pages furiously and the various character relationships will keep you interested until the very end. This was an enjoyable read and I’m happy to say that I’d recommend it to any and all fantasy fans (no matter age, fealty, or coat-of-arms.)

4 out of 5 stars

The Alternative
Southeast Wisconsin
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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