The Warden Threat
Volume One of Defying Fate
Prince Donald, the idealistic third son of the king of Westgrove, believes he may be the only one able to protect his country from an invasion spearheaded by an ancient and massive magical stone warrior known as the Warden of Mystic Defiance. Donald, unfortunately, is woefully unprepared. His only real understanding of such things comes from his reading of adventure stories. When he finds an ancient scroll he believes may allow him to take control of the mysterious Warden, he eagerly takes on the task. He dreams of saving the kingdom and becoming a hero like those in his epic adventure stories. To his dismay, his quest turns out to be nothing like he imagined. He finds the stories in his library seriously understate the complexities and hardships involved. He also soon realizes that the real world can be much more confusing than fictional ones, and the hero is not necessarily predestined to save the day.
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Reviews & Comments:
- “It passed my 5-star test, which means I would pick it up and read it again…. I loved the characters…. This book pokes fun at just about everything. Not only at your typical fantasy adventure story, but it also takes on subjects such as religion, politics, and racism. The humor is smart and subtle, mainly by using exaggerated stereotypes…. There are not enough books like this one. If you are looking for something entertaining, funny, and just plain different you should check this one out. ~ Review by wilovebooks http://wilovebooks.blogspot.com/2012/04/review-warden-threat-by-dl-morrese.html
- “This is a well written and produced book, the humour is gentle but satisfying and rich in satire. The characters are great and nicely defined; they are consistent but can grow and change with the story. In fact I think it’s the characters that make this story so enjoyable…. So if you fancy a decent read and good laugh, and want something different to the usual science fiction and fantasy you’ll find out there, then I recommend you have a read of this doozy of a book.” ~ Review by Craig P. Kelly http://www.craigpkelly.co.uk/2012/04/book-review-warden-threat-by-dl-morrese.html
- “one of the best self-published things I’ve ever read.” ~ Tweet from @ViolanteAuthor 23 March 2012
- “enough smiles and insights to please both young adults and discerning adults … A very entertaining read.” ~ Review by more4math on Amazon
- THE WARDEN THREAT is a lighthearted epic fantasy parody with a science fiction twist that kept me engaged and entertained from page one…the story is humorous and fun … It was fun to combine both the science fiction and fantasy tropes in the story.” ~ Review by Enter the Portal on Amazon
- “it’s laugh-out-loud funny…the grammar is refreshingly precise and the vocabulary, well, scrumptious” The characters are believable and well-rounded…the whole book is filled with little gems… Usually, when I am reviewing a book for my site, I highlight and make little notes as I go, so that I’ll have a lot to say. In this case, I was too busy reading it; I literally read the entire thing straight through in one sitting. ~ Review by Maria T. Violante “Write, Read, Review” on Amazon
- “shows the influence of Terry Pratchett in style and current events in the overall plot. The book is easy to read, but hardly simplistic…Occasionally laugh out loud funny, this book is definitely worth picking up.” ~ Review by M. A. Goethe “Margaret” on Amazon
- “a complex tale about adventure…filled with dry, ironic humor that adds to the sense of growing up and finding depth in the world…interesting characters, and a realistically broad country…The tone of the book is funny, but not giggly or “LOL” funny. Irony is thick. Silly and stupid things happen, but they have too much purpose and truth to really cut up about. The thinking stops the laughing” ~ Review by Kate Policani on Compulsively Writing Reviews
- “I enjoyed the lighthearted tone of this novel, as well as the relationship between Donald, Muce, and Kwestor. … My favorite element was the development of Donald’s character as he undergoes the hero’s journey – I look forward to seeing what other adventures he will face with his friends.” ~ Review by P.H.C. Marchesi on Goodreads
- I was pleasantly surprised that this book completely strays away from the fixed format, and instead I was treated to a light hearted and humorous story. This was a fun departure. ~ Review by Heidi at Rainy Day Ramblings http://rainydayramblings.typepad.com/rainydayramblings/2012/05/guest-post-with-dl-morrese-giveaway-and-review-.html
- This is a well written book with a point beneath the humour. Greed is a great motivator, religion can become a method of indoctrination, rumour and mistrust can create wars, and fear and ignorance are a lethal combination.
This book looks deceptively simple, but there is a lot more to it than first meets the eye. It’s a skilfully executed work by a talented author with a unique voice. I recommend it to all who enjoy parody of either the fantasy or political kind. Perfect for cynics. ~ Tahlia Newland for Awesome Indies posted on Amazon
- This is a fun read with a great underlying message that can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages. … I was able to call to mind several different movies I’d seen and books I read for a mental picture and yet The Warden Threat (Defying Fate, Book 1) stood out on its own. I kept picturing Donald as the Cary Elwes character in The Princess Bride (20th Anniversary Edition). C.S. Lewis’ writing style was also called to mind while reading. ~ Review by Rabid Readers http://www.rabidreaders.com/2012/09/28/the-warden-threat-by-d-l-morrese/
Questions and Answers about this book:
You have described this as an “counter-fantasy.” What do you mean by that?
Fantasy is a very popular genre and long has been. Stories containing fantastic creatures and magic have been with us since people first set pen to paper–or styluses to clay tablets, as the case might be. Even before this, I can imagine Paleolithic peoples huddled around their fires at night telling tales with dragons, demons, vampires, werewolves, miracles, magic wands, and spells. What makes books from Beowulf to Harry Potter works of fantasy is that these things turn out to be real. The Warden tales turn this around. Most people in the Warden’s fictional world believe in magic, but magic works no better there than it does in ours. I think this makes the stories more realistic, in a sense. The protagonists possess no special magical abilities or artifacts the antagonists do not. They must try to prevail using only what we normal, mundane humans have – wits, intelligence, perseverance, and bravery.
Why did you decide to write a story that defies normal genres? Why not write a traditional fantasy or science fiction tale?
There are already many traditional fantasy and science fiction books available. I wanted to do something different. My conscious desire was to mix humor and perspective altering aspects of books like Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy with cool tech like that in Asimov’s Robot books and the philosophical insights and social satire that fills Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. I also wanted to do this while keeping the book humorous, positive, and lighthearted. There do not seem to be many books like this, and I thought there should be. I know I would like to read them.
There are multiple themes and storylines in this book. Can you tell us about them?
I’d be happy to. The overall theme in this story is about questioning assumptions. Donald must, his father must, and so must Nash, although his tale develops more in the second book.
On one level, this is a ‘coming of age’ tale, with Prince Donald as the young man doing the growing. When the story begins, Donald is a sheltered young man who has led a very privileged life. He is not unintelligent, but he has never been challenged before. Unlike many, he realizes this and wants to discover new things. He also wants to find out what kind of person he is. He starts out quite naive, but with experience and the input from his overly cynical guide, he begins to examine some of his assumptions and becomes less likely to jump to conclusions. He also learns that fate is not determining his destiny, his own actions are.
The second major storyline is the deception perpetrated by the king’s Chief Adviser. He truly sees Gotrox as a threat but not, as he claims, because they wish to invade Westgrove but because they have resources he believes his country must control. He knows others will not see this as sufficient reason to secure those resources using military force, so he carefully constructs a scenario that will justify a Westgrovian invasion of Gotrox.
The third storyline involves the now defunct project by the Galactic Organic Development Corporation to produce organic foods and handmade crafts for their intergalactic market. G.O.D. Corp. is the reason there are humans on this planet. The project was terminated after several millennia because the people here discovered writing and began developing technology. Once these things happened, the corporation could no longer guarantee product ‘purity.’ Several of the androids assigned to the project chose to retire on the planet, and the central computer that managed it was abandoned. This aspect of the story explores how the central computer and one of the androids adapt to this change and how they go about finding a new purpose in life.
Where did you get the idea for this story?
I got the idea for this book and the sequel, The Warden War, several years ago during the U.S. military buildup that eventually led to the invasion of Iraq. I was working for the U.S. Army at the time as a logistics manager, so this topic was constantly on my mind. Possibly as a subconscious effort to make the subject less disturbing, I recast some of the essential elements in my mind as a work of fiction and asked the “what if” question that is the basis for all speculative fiction. What if Iraq’s rumored Weapons of Mass Destruction were not the imminent threat they were said to be? What if there were other reasons and unstated motivations for an invasion? What if there were people behind the scenes trying to make sure war would break out, and what if someone discovered this? Obviously, The Warden Threat is not about the invasion of Iraq, but this did seem like a very interesting plot for a fictional story, so I came home one evening after work and wrote a synopsis. After that, I worked on it during my rare moments of “free” time until I completed the first drafts of both this book and the sequel in early in 2011. I gave a bow to this inspiration in choosing the name of the threat–the Warden of Mystic Defiance (WMD).
Further information on themes, symbolism, and quotes from the book can be found on Shelfari (by Amazon.com).