Review: Once We Were Kings – Ian Alexander


Publisher: Dawn Treader Press (March 1, 2011)

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A young slave boy Render is taken in by a King and raised as a warror against a race or group of people known as Sojourners. He embarks on the mythical hero’s quest of self discovery

Ahndien is a young girl, and the only survivor of her village. Every indication is that her father survived the attack. She sets out to find him and herself.

Ahndien is Tianese and Render is Torian. There two sides are opposed to each other, but is it possible that other forces are manipulating them behind the scenes.


Ahndien – A Young woman discovering latent talents within herself.
Render – A young slave boy who is seeking his destiny.


This story reminded me in many ways of the Narnia books. The characters of Ahndien and Render are well developed, and likeable. Other characters such as Mooregaard are pretty dispicable. The plot follows an epic quest of discovery. Discovery for both Render and Ahndien who each must discover their destinies.

Writing under the Pen name of Ian Alexander, Joshua Graham delivers a very pleasing fantasy epic. There are times when the story seems to parallel some of our own socio-political climates, in regards to terrorism, racial and cultural biases, religious biases, etc. The conflict between the Tianese, the Torians and The Sojourners was very accurately portrayed. Mr. Alexander does a good job of showing that the views we are raised with regarding others, may not always be how they truly are, that we are affected by our own cultures biases, beliefs, and what we hold dear.

There were many pleasant surprises, and some sadness as can be expected of novels such as this. The author did a good job of creating mix between fantasy and the spiritual aspects of our world.

This book is definitely aimed at the Young Adult, or Older Teen Market. While there was no strong language that I recall, there were scenes that were very intense and may not be for young readers.

I look forward with great anticipation to see what occurs next with some of the characters from this, and definitely recommend it, especially to those who are fans of novels such as Narnia. You won’t be disappointed.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Ian Alexander for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

4 Responses to “Review: Once We Were Kings – Ian Alexander”

  1. Ian Alexander Says:

    Thank you for the review and opportunity to be featured here! I hope everyone will give this book a try, as it will appeal to readers of all ages–even those who have not previously been fans of fantasy books.

    To receive a free 20 chapter sample please visit my official website ( and request your copy via the CONTACT button on the upper right corner of the page. All requests will automatically enter you for a chance to win an autographed hardcover edition of ONCE WE WERE KINGS after it’s release!

    Ian Alexander
    Twitter: @IanAlex77

  2. April Says:

    Great review! I thought this was an amazing story and I can’t wait for everyone to get their hands on a copy!

  3. Rhodes Review - Review Section Says:

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  4. glenda briscoe Says:

    This one sounds like a book I would want to read!