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cover art by Anna Steinbauer

Two kingdoms, five centuries, one destiny

In a world where the Sojourners, a nearly extinct race with preternatural abilities struggle to preserve their faith and heritage, destiny thrusts two youths from opposing nations into the heart of a centuries-old conflict.

Render, an orphan from the outskirts of the culturally enlightened Kingdom of Valdshire Tor, escapes slavery and seeks the truth about his true identity only to discover a web of conspiracies.  This quest leads to the revelation of his uncanny ability to wield the destructive forces of nature.

Ahndien, sole survivor of a heinous raid on her peaceful village in the Eastern Kingdom of Tian Kuo, embarks on a journey to find her father, now a captive of Torian troops.  What she uncovers surpasses anything she can imagine as she masters the ability to manipulate fire.

Guided by shape-shifting spirits, Render and Ahndien’s fates collide when first they meet as mortal enemies.  However, to save their people from annihilation, they must unite both kingdoms against a terrifying enemy that threatens to destroy both realms.

But how can a young slave and a peasant bring sworn enemies of half a millennium together?

ONCE WE WERE KINGS: The first book in a saga of destiny and redemption, in a world of dying hope.



Early reviews and endorsements

“…an amazing epic adventure that will take the reader on an unforgettable journey like no other.
“… I was immediately sucked into the story…”
“…absorbing me and surrounding me with amazing imagery, emotion and distinctiveness like none other I had ever read before.”
“…truly poetic.”
“…a generation bridging epic fantasy that is sure to span and hold strong through the test of time as well as our ever changing society and circumstances of readers everywhere.”
“…I often found my heart gripped within sadness, as well as bursting with joy.”
“…action, adventure, intrigue, romance and even shape-shifting spirits.”
“…the ending is the perfect segue into future books.
“A true classic in the making.”
~Cafe of Dreams Book Reviews

“…a page-turning epic fantasy adventure…”
“…right out of the Golden Age of fantasy…”
“…elements of Tolkien…the Belgariad, the ‘Adept’ trilogy by Piers Anthony, and a healthy dollop of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles.”
“…Ian Alexander provides a spark, a momentum often absent in other epic fantasies.”
“…Compulsively readable…”
“…an admirable debut novel.”
~Michael Bellomo, Amazon Bestselling Author

“…an epic fantasy tale of pure delight…”
Joshua Graham transitions from writing suspense and thrillers to the fantasy realm as Ian Alexander with flying colors.”
“…invokes awe in the reader that I’ve only felt with J.R.R. Tolkien, David Eddings and before them both, C.S. Lewis.”
“..a page turner with a very driven plot…
“What doesn’t this book have? Magic, shapeshifters, powerful deities and characters that you love and love to hate…”
“…will stay with you long after you’ve gotten to the end and leave you wanting more.”
“This is one of those books that you cannot miss in 2011 if you’re a fantasy lover.”
~The Top shelf

“…an amazing adventure…”
“…a fast-paced, action-packed adventure that hooked me from the start and kept me glued to the pages until the very end.”
“…incredible action, adventure and characters…”
“…The characters practically leap off the page, they are so vivid and real! “
“… rich symbolism with a great message…”
“…values and a message that you can feel good about…”
“…I would definitely be the first one in line for more Ian Alexander novels!”
~Life in Review

“Ian Alexander’s ONCE WE WERE KINGS sets new standards for epic fantasy.”
“ONCE WE WERE KINGS transcends the qualities found in such great works as “The Chronicles of Narnia” to “The Lord of the Rings”.
“… a true master of the written word.”
“…a thoroughly magical story filled with memorable characters, danger, hope,inspiration and romance.”
“Alexander’s ONCE WE WERE KINGS should sit on the highest shelf of your library.”
“A sparkling story that will leave the reader breathless and wanting more.”
~Susan Wingate, author of DROWNING and the award-winning BOBBY’S DINER series


“…[Ian Alexander] delivers a very pleasing fantasy epic.”
“…seems to parallel some of our own socio-political climates, in regards to terrorism, racial and cultural biases, religious biases…”
“…many pleasant surprises…”
“…definitely recommend it, especially to those who are fans of novels such as Narnia”
“…I look forward with great anticipation to see what occurs next with some of the characters from this [book].”
“…You won’t be disappointed.”
~Rhodes Review