The Order of the Four Sons: Book I

Rated 4.57/5 based on 7 reviews
Two ancient, magical sects, the Order of the Four Sons of Horus and Starry Wisdom, battle for possession of a powerful artifact known as the Staff of Solomon. More

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About Lauren Scharhag

Lauren Scharhag is the author of thirteen books, including Languages, First and Last (Cyberwit Press) and Requiem for a Robot Dog (Cajun Mutt Press). Her work has appeared in over 100 literary venues around the world. Recent honors include the Seamus Burns Creative Writing Prize and two Best of the Net nominations. She lives in Kansas City, MO.

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About the Series: The Order of the Four Sons Series
For centuries, two ancient, magical sects, the Order of the Four Sons of Horus and Starry Wisdom, have battled for possession of a powerful artifact known as the Staff of Solomon. Whoever has possession of the staff can open doors to other dimensions—or rip open the very fabric of existence.

Also in Series: The Order of the Four Sons Series

Also by Lauren Scharhag

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Isaac Kishpaugh reviewed on Oct. 29, 2013

I greatly enjoyed the book. It has very clever writing, fleshed out characters, and a gripping story. It perfectly blends elements from sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and adventure. The best part of the story is how real it all feels. No matter how fantastical and surreal it can get, it always feels very plausible. The writers really did their research to intertwine bits and pieces of history to add to the believability of the world. The story is told from varying perspectives, but it always easy to tell what setting is and who is narrating due to the unique forms of writing for each character and setting that makes them highly recognizable. All the characters feel like real people you come to know over the course of their journey, and you want to see them make it out of it all alive. Over all, The Order of The Four Sons is an excellent book, with an intriguing story that will certainly leave you wanting more.
(review of free book)
Paige Reiring reviewed on Sep. 29, 2013

When you look at the cover of The Order of the Four Sons, you probably think you’re about to dive into some ancient Egyptian, high fantasy epic with mummies and gods and goddesses and a lot of cats.

Well, you’re not.

It becomes pretty obvious when you read the summary, but neither the summary nor the cover give the potential reader a good grasp on what this book is about.

So let me help you out.

O4S is a sassy, dark novel about a ragtag team of people who are tasked with saving the world from some seriously evil shit. There are a bunch of historical references and characters, most of which are used very well, including Frank and Jesse James and Jack the Ripper. The book is written in third person omniscient, which can honestly get obnoxious and clunky sometimes as you jump around from character to character. The cast, however, is very lively, and the authors obviously know their characters very well. One drawback to this is that the characters also have a lot of names, one in particular being referred to as “J.D.”, “the Colonel,” and “Garnett,” which is sometimes confusing.

Let me say one thing: the first chapter is fucking awesome. I was so pumped. I was so freaking pumped to read this book. And then exposition happened. A lot of exposition. The first half of the book just dragged on and on and on. It was especially painful when I saw the obvious different writing styles of the two authors for the first few chapters, and I found one to be significantly better than the other. They eventually find their groove by, you guessed it, halfway through the novel, because that’s when it gets good.

The last half of the novel is so awesome, I can’t even describe it. While the world is somewhat confusing and there is obviously some information missing, I didn’t care. The historical tie-ins are fantastic, and I found myself craving more background chapters from Elizabeth and Katarina, the story’s villains. Honestly, I could read a whole book just about the two of them. I would read a whole book between just the two of them.

If you can get past the dragging first half of this book, you are in for a pretty great book, and a good start to the beginning of a series.
(review of free book)
Maria Carr reviewed on Sep. 1, 2013

This book was a really exciting read. It has a lot of action, yet it keeps you thinking. It was really hard to put down. I liked that this book included Excelsior Springs, MO, which is very close to where I live. This book wove in historical facts and real people with wonderful, likeable characters. At the end of the book, I felt like I knew Kate, JD and the others personally, and I liked them all very much. It was a new experience for me to feel so personally involved with the characters.
(review of free book)
Gloria Piper reviewed on Aug. 1, 2013

An occult thriller.

From the title, I visualized a quasi-medieval fantasy of four brothers, like knights, riding forth to engage the enemy. The Order, instead, is an organization of many men and women of various talents and expertise whose teams, aided by the gods, fight to contain The Thing that brought evil to the world.

Some readers don’t like prologues, but I was immediately caught up and found the book hard to put down. The prologue tells how evil appeared and gave rise to the Starry Wisdom, worshipers of this evil. Priests founded the Order of the Four Sons to fight the Starry Wisdom.

The adventure begins in a shroud of mystery that grips the reader, like a Dan Brown religious thriller. Someone cries out for help.

In the softness of time we see the evil’s effects, down to the present. Children disappear and so do teams of the Order of the Four Sons. As the crisis grows, we get a lot of names thrown at us, but most of these resolve into unique characters with memorable personalities—a retired marine, a burnt out ex detective, an old man, two technology geeks, and a trainee of unknown but surprising talents. Garnette, Murphy, Doug, Cecil, Bill, and Kate comprise the last team to be formed, incomplete and ill prepared. And we love them, for the writers manage them like a master. Without delving into character backgrounds, we quickly sense that they are solidly human. And we delight in their witty exchanges, a gallows humor that helps them maintain a mental balance throughout the demonic warfare.

They battle Lady Bathory, more monster than lady, and her cohorts, who seek a magic wand that will stabilize a gate between worlds so she can expand her territory. The team of the Order must find the wand first. The quest becomes a spiritual treasure hunt as one clue leads to another.

Much of the writing is impeccable, but questions arise, not all of which are answered to the reader’s satisfaction. Sure, I can figure out some. But I suspect that some answers won’t be forthcoming in Book Two. For example, a federal organization called MJ-12 gets involved, and I’m wondering, Who are these guys? Why are they attacking the team? Also, more names than necessary are mentioned. The characters have more than one name; some have several. Ordinarily this caused the reader no problem, but I suffered some confusion, particularly over who the Blood Lady is and belatedly realized she is imprisoned in a bubble.

The story ends in a cliff hanger. Questions dangle. We can expect answers to most in Book Two of the series. But not all—and that’s what bothers me. In essence the Oracle tells us to stay tuned for the further adventures of our team. The read is entertaining, so grab your next copy.
(review of free book)
J.C. Wing reviewed on July 30, 2013

The opening pages of this novel promise the reader an engaging story…but they ought to hold on because they have no idea just how much is in store for them.

This was a very entertaining read for me. There is a little bit of everything in this novel from Egyptian mythology to tales of the old West; from the supernatural of ghosts and demons to Hungarian royalty and modern day law enforcement and military. It’s impossible to sum up this book easily and that’s one the biggest reasons why I enjoyed it so much. There was so much going on, the plot of the story skipping back and forth through time and place and highlighting many different characters. The authors deserve praise for the brilliant construction of their tale. They wound through the telling of this intricate story seamlessly and, although there was a lot to keep track of, I found it not only easy to remember who was who and what was what but I was enormously entertained and intrigued throughout.

There are many different elements at play here in the first installment of this new series. Suspense, fear and humor are intermingled quite well within the plot and I thoroughly enjoyed the play between the characters. Each one of them was well defined and personable. There is mystery, murder, action and history all at once and in abundance in this novel. Because of this and the well-crafted cliff hanger that ends the first book, I am eagerly carving out some time in the very near future to read the second and third books as well.
(review of free book)
A Fox reviewed on June 24, 2013

I received a free copy of this book for review.

There is something for every reader in this book. It was filled with action and adventure and the supernatural. At times, the novel reminded me of a mix of Indiana Jones and Stargate and, at other times, like supernatural stories of demons and ghosts.

The characters were each distinct and there were many characters from different groups. At first, I didn't think I could keep track of them all, but each character developed his own persona as the book progressed and after a while it wasn't necessary to be told who was talking, from the natural-born leader, the Colonel, to the practical and knowledgeable policeman Murphy to the inexperienced novice Kate. This was true of the main group. Then, there were the baddies and the FBI. Some characters also had other names or variations on their names. Some sections were a little confusing and had to be re-read.

The quest of finding a piece of the staff of Solomon was similar to finding clues in a good mystery novel. After reaching each one, the reader was anxious to read more. I found myself thinking about the story each time I laid the book down until I picked it up again, mostly trying to keep the characters and timeline straight.

Different stories were weaved throughout the book from different times and different people as the story unfolded. Some sections of the story took place in a castle in the 16th century and others in the wild west with Frank and Jesse James while others were in modern times with a storyline of ritual killings. This presented no problem because the first paragraph provided enough clues that the reader knew who it was and what was going on, with the headings of the segment of the story being prefaced by the date. This was used as a mechanism to mete out all the information in spurts throughout the book, a way of showing how everything within the novel developed through time to the present day. It was a good technique and kept the reader from being overloaded with information.

I prefer novels to have a definite conclusion, but this book is intended to be the first in a series and left the reader at a point where he or she wants to read the next book and the next or however many more there are until the story ends. As I said, if you like action and adventure, magic, ghosts, demons, quests and serials, you will enjoy this book.
(review of free book)
Patrick Roberts reviewed on June 2, 2013

This was a great read. I read it back when it first came out and just finished re-reading this and Book II because I hear Book III is about to come out.

Book I was difficult to put down due to the always coming at you nature of the story. It was like following a special ops team from the Council of Watchers in Buffy. There's a pretty big cast of characters, which I like. My favorite so far is definitely Cecil, just because he's a nice guy. I'm always a fan of nice-guy characters. After him, I'd have to say my favorite is Murphy because he's the funniest, a wisecracking cop. But none of the characters are stereotypes. I've never read a series quite like this before. The villains are figures from history like Elizabeth Bathory, but the authors made her come alive. I really liked all of her chapters.

The humor played right into the action seamlessly. It leaves you on a cliffhanger that makes you want to pick up the next one.
(review of free book)

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