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FROM THE AUTHOR:
I first published Raingun in August 2011. At that time, I pledged half of its e-book royalties to a specific 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for scleroderma, the incurable condition that played a major role in the death of my brother-in-law, to whom I dedicated the book. But over the last winter, I found that this pledge ran afoul of several regulations concerning charitable solicitations that apply in several American states. So I had to remove it.
Common sense will tell you, that if you publicly pledge some of a product’s sales to any charity, you have a legal obligation to fulfill that — so you’d better follow through, and be able to prove that you did. However, this sort of pledge can also inconvenience the charity, by putting it at risk for fees or audits.
So I’ve put in a new pledge, one that names no specific organization. Starting with October 2010 royalty statements, I will donate half of this book’s royalties to various organizations dedicated to aiding people who suffer from scleroderma, researching its cause, or search for a cure. The donations will definitely go to more than one organization, and it may not be the same organization every month.
As far as I can tell, this will put me in compliance with all relevant regulations.
I’m publicizing this as a cautionary tale to other independent authors who wish to make charitable contributions through their work: research the organization to which you are donating, keep your promises, and make sure you’re in compliance!
Rick Rivoire is flush with money, women, and prospects. He protects his country as one of the Rainguns, an elite regiment of spellcasting cavalry.
But the national policy drifts further and further into slavery and religious persecution, sparking rebellion. Joining the rebels could land Rick on a prison ship, in slave-irons — or atop the same gallows where he watched his father hang.
The alternative looks no brighter. The status quo imperils Rick’s hard-won self-respect. Supporting tyranny would doom his dream to emulate the valiant swordswoman who braved a den of monsters to rescue the lonely, terrified nine-year-old boy he once was.
Rick can’t stay above the fray forever. He must either defend an aristocracy whose actions disgust him — or risk everything he has.
This is the first book of The Raingun Chronicles. This book contains graphic violence and some explicit sex. It is intended for adults only.
This reviewer gave it five stars!
“Raingun” is an excellent first novel. It follows the protagonist, Rick, through the vital moments of his life, interspersing the main narrative of his joining the Rainguns mage-dragoons regiment with his backstory. As the story expands, so does the world; religions, even those dedicated to “good” gods, are feuding, slavery is rampant, and the excesses and abuses of power of the nobility are sickening. Meanwhile, there is always the threat of bandits, pirates, and necromancers dedicated to the evil gods, while elves attempt to kill off all colonists in the “New World”.
Blackport, the author, got a lot of things right with this novel. The worldbuilding is original; the concept of multiple lives for the humans, the political structures, and the function of newer colonies, away from older world influences, are all well and realistically implemented. In fact, the novel as a whole is highly realistic, which is one of the hardest things to achieve in writing, especially in fantasy. People act like real people, with all the good and bad that that entails. The motivations of the characters is likewise well done; Rick, and his internal drive to be a hero, with all the natural conflict that that causes in a real life, is especially well implemented. Dialogue is smooth and believable, and in general I’m really pleased with the level of immersion we get from the novel. The one warning about the realism level is that this may not be suitable for younger readers; though Blackport (the author) does a good job of avoiding the excesses that others use when attempting “realistic writing”, there is reasonably graphic sex and combat.
The plot was solid and unforced; Blackport does a good job of maintaining overarching themes of character growth and motivation through the various campaigns, battles, trials and tribulations that Rick experiences. I wasn’t hugely pleased with the ending; “Raingun” is clearly the first in a series, and I would have liked for the story to continue a bit longer, maybe reach a bit more of a climax or feel a bit more complete. The magic system could have borne out a more systematic, scientific (if that makes sense for fantasy) explanation, though the lack of such is in keeping with the purported time period and level of intellectual advancement. Those complaints aside, good editing, proofreading, and an organizational style that makes flashbacks palatable (I normally hate flashbacks with a passion) help round out the book.
Overall, a great read, which I would heartily recommend to other fantasy readers. Particularly recommended to fantasy fans who like semi-historical settings. I look forward to the sequel.
Edit: At the time of this review, the sequel is available, though not from clicking the author’s name at the top of this page. The sequel can be found at Resolution (The Raingun Chronicles)
– A Guy