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Bret M Funk

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Path of Glory (Boundary's Fall, 1)
by Bret M Funk   

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Publisher:  Tyrannosaurus Press ISBN-10:  097188191X Type: 


Copyright:  May 1 2002

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Tyrannosaurus Press
Tyrannosaurus Press - Path of Glory Page

Path of Glory, book one of Boundary's Fall, chronicles the adventures of Jeran and Dahr, two young men who discover that the Boundary –- a centuries-old magical barrier raised to imprison an evil wizard-- is weakening. Forced into the role of heroes, the boys must race across the land of Madryn to warn their king. They are pursued by Tylor Durange, exiled Prince of Ra Tachan and one of the Darklord’s servants. If they succeed, Jeran and Dahr will face an even greater mission: reforging the Alliance of the Four Races, disbanded since the end of the MageWar. If they fail, the Darklord will reign supreme.

The Boundary.

The greatest feat of magic in the history of Madryn. An impenetrable barrier raised to imprison the Darklord Lorthas. Its construction brought an end to the long and bloody MageWar.

Nearly a millennium has passed since the Boundary's creation, and its power is fading. Now, the Four Races are fighting amongst themselves; their once-proud alliance is little more than a distant memory. Old enemies have resurfaced, and new ones lurk in the shadows, eager to use the chaos to their advantage.

The truth is known by only two: Jeran, an orphan raised by his uncle; and Dahr, an outcast hiding from his past. Haunted by the knowledge of the Darklord’s weakening prison, and pursued by Tylor Durange, exiled Prince of Ra Tachan, the boys race across Madryn, desperate to warn their king of the Boundary's fall. Along the way, they face innumberable dangers and legendary villains, long thought vanquished.

Yet their greatest threat may come, not from the Darklord, but from the secrets they try so hard to keep from themselves.

Autographed copies and special discounts are available for Authorsden visitors and members. For information on ordering your own copy of Path of Glory, visit or e-mail
“We name this path ‘Glory,’ for with truth and honor as our allies, and our Races united in harmony, we have no choice but to lead Madryn into a glorious future.”

– From Library Journal
"An epic fantasy that combines a vivid back-history with strong characterization to produce a memorable tale that belongs in most fantasy collections."

– From Midwest Book Review
"An entertaining epic and a deftly written saga of hope, determination, and courage.

– From SFRevu
"Path of Glory is a captivating tale in which you follow Jeran and his close friends on their journey from boys, to men, and ultimately to leaders of men. The voice is fresh and the story is one that keeps you involved. I would recommend Funk’s work, and look forward to the next installment."

– From Scifantastic Magazine
"Path of Glory marks a good start to what should be a great career for Funk."

– From Baryon Magazine
"Epic fantasy in the tradition of The Lord of the Rings and the Shannara series."

Professional Reviews

A Classic Work By A New Author
Path of Glory, by Bret M. Funk, has all the clichés: reclusive Elves, powerful magicians, and long-forgotten evil in a pre-industrial society. But if you thought the classic fantasy novel had nothing left to offer, think again. Told mainly from the intimate perspective of two intriguing, three-dimensional characters, Funk puts a realistic and thought-provoking spin on the typical sword-and-sorcery tale. This first book in the Boundary's Fall series combines modern prose and sensibilities with the epic storylines of Tolkienesque fantasy.

The story follows Jeran, a farm boy living with his retired-military uncle, and Dahr, an escaped slave whom Jeran's family befriends and unofficially adopts. When two former warlords escape from a magical prison, Jeran and Dahr find themselves saddled with the duty of reporting the news to the king. They are aided by two Magi, who help Jeran discover his illustrious family roots and his own magical abilities.

Jeran's ambivalence regarding his magical "gift" is one of many double-edged topics in Path of Glory, and adds a degree of thought and relevance that few fantasy writers even consider. Magi are responsible for most of the civilization's greatest accomplishments, yet they are resented for their power and have been hunted nearly to extinction. The mysterious Elves, while revered as wise and nearly immortal, have both helped humanity and enslaved them at various times in their history. The king of Jeran's land must cope with bickering politicians and taxes before he can worry about the decay of a millennia-old magical Boundary. Not many fantasy novels discuss the economic disadvantages of tariffs, but Funk avoids Star Trek preachiness by introducing questions, not answers, and leaving the reader to draw his own conclusions.

In fact, just as with real bureaucracy, years pass before the various countries and races gear up for the impending war reported by Jeran and Dahr. The story rejoins the boys, now young men, as they embark on a diplomatic mission to the Elves--the first Elf-human encounter in over a hundred years. The friendship is shared by a third, the young prince Martyn, who hasn't quite figured out the balance between authority and responsibility. The journey along the title Path serves as a test of strength and loyalty, especially when Dahr is forced to choose between his sworn duty and his lifelong hatred of slavery. The book ends just as the party enters the Elves' domain, leaving the rest of the story maddeningly untold until the next installment is published.

This novel is definitely a character-centered work; events unfold in an episodic fashion, but the main storyline barely gets beyond setup in this first entry of the series. Instead, we experience the characters' everyday life. Dahr's knack with animals and Martyn's addiction to flirtation are demonstrated in numerous character-building scenes. The writing is not nearly as concise as one expects; scenes can exist simply for atmosphere and entertainment, but the witty dialogue among Jeran, Martyn, and Dahr keeps boredom from setting in. The writing style wavers somewhat between archaic formalism and modern slang, but taken as a whole it's a fast read and doesn't get bogged down in purple prose. The whole novel has a warmth to it that is atypical of story-driven fantasy and SF; characters don't just exist to fill a plot point, they have their good and bad points that grow on you over time. The strength of Funk's writing is his ability to evoke sympathy for the characters; you are drawn in to their struggles without really noticing, and putting the book down becomes more difficult each time.

However, there's more to Path of Glory than guilty pleasure. The author has obviously taken great pains to weave a history of his world, and the tales of warriors and noble sacrifices will satiate even the most hard-core fantasy reader. The descriptions of controlling and using magic are creative and evocative on their own, but the passages truly come alive in the context of Jeran's experiences. The bond between the reader and the characters heightens the drama of every situation, holding the reader's interest throughout every extraordinary revelation.

Path of Glory makes the classic fantasy approachable for every reader, even those turned off by fantasy series in the past. I'd recommend it for anyone interested in seeing down-to-earth characters coping with larger-than-life events.

A Entertaining Epic and Deftly-Written Saga
Book One of Bret M. Funk's Boundary's Fall series, Path of Glory is a high fantasy about Jeran (an orphan raised by his uncle on a farm near the Boundary) and Dahr (an outcast hiding from his past), two men who find that they must brave a perilous and uncertain journey in order to warn their king of an impending darkness, as the boundary that has sealed the imprisoned Darklord gradually weakens. The four major races of the world, once in alliance, are now squabbling, and new enemies seek to exacerbate the chaos to their own ends and benefits. Path of Glory is an entertaining epic and a deftly written saga of hope, determination, and courage.

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Reader Reviews for "Path of Glory (Boundary's Fall, 1)"

Reviewed by Jenna Baret 6/4/2008
I thought it was a great book and well written. I was worried that when I would like the story less when Darh and Jerran grew up, but Bret M. Funk made the book every bit as, even more enjoyable than the begining. These books are full of Mystery and Fantasy. Adventure, and magic!

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