Fantasy, Reality, Reviews and Drama Lessons from Gordon A. Long
Products: fantasy books, social commentary, ebooks, humor, reviews, and short stories. 
Self-publishing services: editing, proof-reading, graphic art, formatting, and promoting e books or traditional books. 
Drama: for teachers of spoken language, drama, and second languages improving classroom skills and resources.

   Home      The Challenge
Are We Stupid? Blog admits "Why Canadians Fear Bernie Sanders"
Renaissance Writer reviews a whole genre, the "To Hell with Convention" Book.
Indies Unlimited Post "Find and Replace: the Writer's Best Friend”
YouTube Video "Out of Mischief Trailer"
YouTube Video "On the Road in Southeast Asia" the vibrant street life of the bustling cities of Cambodia and Vietnam.
YouTube Video  "The Rhyme of the Swiftsure Mariner"  For any sailor who ever had a race where the wind just wouldn't cooperate.
YouTube Video  "To The Ends of Argentina"   Travel to Iguassu Falls and Cape Horn


Why Are People So Stupid?

 eBook $2.99

A Sword Called…Kitten?

 eBook: $1.99 

Soft Cover: $14.95


Drama Materials

Expressive Poetry Performance

   Student Handbook

   Teacher Guide

The Dramatic Classroom Blog

Latest post: Get the "Amateur" off the Board of Directors

Interesting Contacts

Cas Peace -  Novelist, Editor
Kaz Augustin  -  Sandalpress
Yvonne Hertzberger  - Fantasy Writer 

The Indie View - Indie Book Reviews from Around the Web

Anachronism Pictures

Including the award-winning mechanical squid,"Septopus"


The Surrey Intergenerational Theatre Troupe

The Vaudevillians

 B. C's. #1 Seniors Entertainment Troupe




“The Challenge” is the first volume in the “Circle of Conspiracy” trilogy and the fourth book in Cas Peace’s sweeping “Artesans of Albia” cycle. Positioned in the middle of this epic, it does a good job of holding its unique place in the notable hierarchy, although it is not a stand-alone novel.
This book is on a smaller scale than earlier novels of the series. No sweeping battle scenes and dramatic duels here; much of the conflict takes place in whispered rumour, innuendo and political machinations. The battleground is mostly the human heart. Bribery, envy, and coercion are the order of the day, and the challenge for the heroes is to come out victorious at the end without compromising their virtue or stooping to the depths the villains are happy to inhabit.

This author does an excellent job of creating scenes wherein characters are forced or lured into situations that require them to act contrary to their better natures. Clever turns of phrase and false impressions create the sand that causes the cogs of human interaction to grind to a halt. And into the cracks that result, the evil and ambition insinuate their greasy fingers.

This book, like others in the series, has a complex plotline involving treachery and intrigue at several levels. It also contains a good helping of fine swordplay and medium-scale military action, all described in exciting detail.

I do have one concern about this novel that may or may not bother other readers. I think the heroine is too strong. Oh, certainly she is a well-rounded, empathetic character who makes her share of mistakes, but in general, she is simply held in too high esteem by all the others in the story. This makes it very difficult for the other characters to hold up their part of the story arc. Dissention between positive characters is one of the necessary conflicts in a well-written novel. If one character is too good, then in order for there to be conflict, the other guys have to be idiots. And I like the other characters far too much to want to be told that.

Maybe by book four I’ve just been pulled into the story too far and I’m taking sides, but this volume leaves me with some very pressing unanswered questions. I hope my curiosity will be satisfied in the next book in the series, “The Challenge.” So as not to keep you in suspense too long, I will be reviewing that novel next week.

Recommended for Epic Fantasy and Romance readers. Four stars out of five











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Murder and Mendelssohn
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Drawing Conclusions
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The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon
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The Commons Book 1

The Journeyman
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At War With Satan
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Phobos: Mayan Fear
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Linton Robinson

The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald

You Can't Get There From Here
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Psychic Warrior
T. D. McKinnon

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Butterman (Time Travel) Inc.
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Winter Fire
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Canadian Pie
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Bertie Plays the Blues
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Miss Timmins' School for Girls
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Peter Cawdron

The Twelve Rooms of the Nile
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The Importance of Being Seven
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Book I of The Glaring Chronicles

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Eye Candy
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