the shadow of the gauntlet

book one of the scargen series


On the eve of his graduation from New Salem High, Thomas Scargen awakens from an all-too-real nightmare depicting his father’s mysterious disappearance. Before the boy can regain his composure and slack back into his familiar world of artifs and hologames, Thomas is torn away from his home and hastily ushered into a secret world of magic. He quickly begins to discover his magical potential and grasp his manifesting abilities, but he lacks perhaps the most important component: control.

Yareli Chula, Spirit Summoner and member of The Council of Mages, has been dispatched to recover the boy and bring him to The Council. There he can find the discipline he needs and the answers he seeks, but getting him there alive will be anything but easy. Yareli is not the only one searching for the Scargen boy.

Along his journey, Thomas will ride atop a teleport dragon, duel a High Demon of the Depths, run with the Lions of Sirati, outfox a spirit ghost, race a vampire, and quote Shakespeare with a whiskey-swilling werewolf—all in the hope of discovering the truth about his father.

This quest will be fraught with darkness and a malevolence far more unyielding than anything Thomas has come across in his fantasy books. Armed with his newly realized powers and his unlikely companions, Thomas Scargen will have to face this pervasive evil without being entirely consumed by The Shadow of the Gauntlet.

scargen: shadow of the gauntlet sample chapter

chapter 1: the midnight meeting

Read a sample chapter from The Shadow of the Gauntlet

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What People Are Saying...

  • Debut author Caracciolo’s sprawling, cleanly written adventure builds a rollicking tale of longing and self-discovery. Caracciolo’s nonstop imaginative display is riveting. His tale zips among feverishly concocted set pieces and lovingly rendered characters. The final showdown, crafted with aplomb, whets appetites for what should be a doubly epic second volume. An impressive magical beginning for the legend of Scargen and his motley crew.

    —Kirkus Reviews

  • The Shadow of the Gauntlet is an action packed, heartwarming, adventure story. Fans of the Harry Potter and Tiger’s Curse series will really enjoy this book. Between the mythology, future gadgets and new friends you’ll meet while reading The Shadow of the Gauntlet, you’ll probably never want to leave the world that Caracciolo has created.

    —Compulsion Reads Endorsed Book

  • The novel covers well worn, well loved territory, but puts a fresh spin on the magic, tech, and fantasy that we’ve all grown up loving.


  • A book that reminds you of that joy you had watching Saturday morning cartoons where the heroes would always save the day in the coolest ways possible . . . trust me on this, you’re going to be happy once that geeky adventurous feeling flows through your veins again.

    —Monica (Book of the Month, July, 2013)

  • If fantasy and science fiction met when they were each young, hot and single; spent the night together and that night resulted in a love child, that love child would be Casey Caracciolo's The Shadow of the Gauntlet.

    —David Wilson (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • Somehow, Caracciolo fuses all of the myths, legends and elements of sci-fi that we all love into a comprehensive and coherent alternate reality.

    —M.L. Dunlap (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • The character likability of Rowling with the humor of Douglas Adams.

    —Shawn Holyfield ( review)

  • Caracciolo cleverly weaves historical fact and cultural mythology into his tale in a way that draws the reader in.

    —Brett (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • Amazing, I didn't expect much of this book, I mean magic and tech, teleporting dragons and robots fighting with spirits, trolls, and mages? it seemed like too much to pull off and still create a good story, but Casey Caracciolo brings it together! This man turned the skeptic into the believer. This is a fantasy epic worthy of any reader's attention.

    —Tentsu (Goodreads 5 Star review)

  • What an imagination! There is suspense and surprise, humor and emotion. Every time I thought I may have something figured out, a new twist was introduced. I kept thinking this will make an awesome movie! I can't wait for the next book!

    —N. Stabilito (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • I am very impressed with the way Casey Caracciolo seamlessly pulled together so many elements of geekdom and still managed to make the book accessible to the normies. I have never been more impressed by a new up and coming author. If you like magic, sci-fi, cyber punk, epic anime-esque battles, or just a little bit of one of these, this book is for you. I'm eagerly awaiting anything Scargen.

    —christophalees (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • It goes beyond a typical fantasy story, causing the reader to think deeper about morals and what really is good and evil. Caracciolo's imagination is something to marvel at as you travel the world with Thomas and his motley, magical, and mythical crew.

    —Clawcoof (Goodreads 5 Star review)

  • What really drew me into this book is the seamless blend of fantasy elements and science fiction tech. The book grabs you from the very beginning and doesn't let go, culminating in a fantastically depicted battle of good and evil. If you are looking for a great read that involves constant action, engaging characters, and teleporting dragons, this is the book for you.

    —Paul Dedik (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • This book is excellent. It has everything you could ever want in a sci-fi/fantasy story. With lovable characters, relatable struggles, and just the right amount of witticism; Shadow is easily one of the better books I've read in a while. I can't wait for the next installment, it's gonna be totally narsh.

    —Abe (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • The balancing act for many modern Fantasy/Sci-Fi writers often comes down to - keeping the familiar flavor that makes the genre relevant for its readers, while also establishing ones own unique mythos. The Shadow of the Gauntlet walks this line perfectly, combining elements of magic, science fiction, and even history for what amounts to a very enjoyable read.

    —LegacyDirector (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • The heroes and villans have a shade of Shakespeare where every choice impacts the web of the world and most characters have both good and evil traits. Book One moves quickly and I cannot wait for Book 2. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    —Dinanand (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • I haven't read a book like this since Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide. Basically, don't come into this book with any pre-conceived notions. Dragons aren't just dragons, spirits aren't spirits, and the characters are not what you'd expect. And I l love the book for it. It's new! It's not your the same old stereotypical fantasy trope.

    —Jason Lotito (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • This book is such an amazing work. As I started reading I was dreading when I had to put it down. The conversations between the characters are so real that you can feel the emotion. I can't wait for more and then more after that. If only I could teleport to when I had book two in my hand I would! Enjoy reading, like I said I'm a huge fan and I'm sure you will be too. NARSH!

    —B. Bishop (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • A creative, unique and imaginative world consisting of all of the myths and legends we grew up with come together in the world Caracciolo creates in this book. I don't see how this read wouldn't touch the heart and capture the imagination of everyone who reads it and I don't see how the completion of a read so enticing wouldn't leave the reader in pure excitement and anticipation for the next volume. Without hesitation, five out of five stars!

    —Joel Nieto (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • It is almost impossible not to be invested in these characters as none are totally black and white, good or bad. They are very real and human. This attention to detail and obvious care for his characters shines through and lends this book an element that many in its genre lack.

    —M.L. Dunlap (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • By far one of the best books I've ever read. The characters are interesting, the story is addictive. I didn't want to put it down. So many great fantasy elements contained in one story, can't wait for the continuation!!

    —JimmyC (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • One of the best I've read in a while. Definitely up there with the Percy Jackson series.

    —Justin ( review)

  • Loved it!!!!! Every Philly comic con we take a gamble on someone unknown. My fiancé liked the tshirt and we decided this book would be this year's gamble. We both really enjoyed it. You get sucked into this world quickly, I didn't want to put the book down. We fought over who's turn it was to be reading it.

    —Jenny Troester (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • Caracciolo's character development was simply phenomenal. This book is a fast read, full of adventure, twists and turns and a few surprises at the end. I often found myself as I read through thinking...'how did he come up with this?' I can't wait for book #2!!!!

    —Kathryn Pearson (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • Shadow blends the best elements of fantasy and science-fiction writing and creates a unique, hybrid fiction that will appeal to myriad readers. It lays the foundation for what promises to be a thrilling ride for everyone who chooses to get on board.

    —David Wilson (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • There are enough twists that you don't get a chance to call the plot predictable. If you like the Harry Potter series and Star Wars, The Shadow of the Gauntlet will be right up your alley.

    —Joe (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • A beautifully paced story. The Shadow of the Gauntlet is a home run. Caracciolo combinines aspects of sword and sorcery with stunning technology set in breathtaking landscapes. Furthermore, every character displays depth and humanity.

    —Mr. A King (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • Let me clue in Hollywood now - Buy the rights to the novel NOW !! Fabulous, creative and all encompassing work. Love it.

    —beverly lawler (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • The concept of the character's powers and abilities made me want to read more and really brought me into the world. I can see this becoming a very popular book.

    —Scarfan (Amazon 5 Star review)

  • Before I was easily a third of the way into your novel I found myself guessing what would come next and found it near impossible to put down, and by halfway through I was trying to slow myself down because I know the second book in your series isn't out yet.

    —Pete Jones ( review)