Starry Night Sky with Bow

Dawn of Wonder


Have you ever wished you could capture a moment, but not just the moment, the feeling that made the moment what it was?

Dawn of Wonder was written to be an epic adventure and a far-reaching tale of mystery and love, but I wanted it to be more than that, I wanted to capture something I couldn’t quite define.

At first I thought it was atmosphere I was after – that wrap-around feeling that causes you to lose yourself within a story. As I wrote, I began to realise that, yes, it was that, but it was also more than that. It was something more engaging than atmosphere, more real than imagination that I was searching for. When I finally found it, I also found the title of the book.

Wonder and fantasy have much to do with each other. The fantasy genre, especially epic fantasy, opens a secret door to discovery on so many levels, from exploring the histories, hopes and motives of people to braving the shadows of lost and forbidden realms. One of the greatest things this genre has taught me is how to rekindle that sense of wonder. I might not actually be running my hand over the crumbling stone of ancient fortress walls, but I really am spellbound as I consider the possibilities behind the towering barrier. And I may not actually be standing in the forbidden shadows of the great northern forest, but there’s a prickle at the back of my neck none the less as leaves begin whispering to each other. In my imagination I experience all the emotions of life as well as the tingling of wonder – a voice returning from childhood like a lost friend, a voice roused from years of sleep.


(Above: The mystery in the Drumly forest)

Writing this book was a magical journey for me. It is my hope that readers will be taken on a similar journey and that Dawn of Wonder will be found a worthy contribution to the epic fantasy bookshelf.


(Above: The mountain fortress of Kultûhm)

Many Pairs of Eyes

It’s really difficult to spot the typos in our own writing, no matter how many revisions we do. As an English teacher, I’d pick up the errors in something I was marking almost without trying. When I review my own work, I’ll look at a sentence like “They jumped onto wagon” and my brain inserts the missing word without telling me. The trouble is that the correct sentence is in the back of my thoughts, and what my eyes are reporting is only a guide – I’m reading as much from the memory of what it should be as by sight. This is why I depend on many sets of eyes to spot the little typo-beasties that slip under my scrutiny.

The beta readers are all listed in the back of the book, but as people mail me to point out mistakes they’ve noticed, I’ll add them here. I am enormously grateful for those mails, so for the sharp eyes and the time taken to contact me, many thanks to:

Chris Dax, Jeff Thompson, Vernon Mitchell, Roy Miller, Bill Inman, Spencer Johnson, Glen Chung, Kiki Leon and Brenton Gabeler.

Reviews of Dawn of Wonder

“This is one of the best novels I’ve read all year. Readers will know what it’s like to be transported to a magical, compelling world within a book.” Five stars.
San Francisco Book Review.Full review

“An excellent fantasy coming of age story. Each of the characters is filled out with a range of emotions and actions. Similarly, their interactions with one another are filled with amusement and feeling. Renshaw’s world building and character development are just incredible. There were many times during the listen that I actually laughed out loud! It is definitely a long book, but it lets the reader soak in every part of it with all the detail. The plot is dynamic and there are many highs and lows for Aedan and his companions, which keep it from getting boring with its length. I actually wanted it to keep going! The end is satisfyingly set up for the next novel, which I’m really looking forward to.”
Audiobook Reviewer Full review

“I can’t describe the plot of Dawn of Wonder because it is very much its own story.  It’s the kind of story where you say “I think I’ll give this a try for three paragraphs and then move on if it doesn’t work out” only to find yourself unable to put it down even for your doctor’s appointment. It’s worth at least a look.  If it’s not for you, set it aside.  (That’s what I told myself.  Two days later I came up for air and have hardly stopped raving the book’s praises since.) I flat out love this book.”
Book in the Bag Full Review

“Renshaw’s talent for building unique worlds and characters, and simply letting them loose to face their circumstances, is on full display. Dawn of Wonder’s crisp flow coupled with constant plot and character development in a fascinating world will draw readers in for a wonderful reading experience.”
Recommended – The US Review of Books. Full review

“Mr. Renshaw’s writing is simply astounding. His elegant, poetic prose turned a very good story with themes that touched my heart into one that is wondrous. One of the finest fantasy novels I’ve read in the past few years, period.”
Davis Ashura, Award winning author of A Warrior’s Path. Full review

Dawn of Wonder foregoes ‘quick and saccharine’ for the satisfying choice of ‘long and compelling’, building the details of a vast production. I can’t wait for Book Two. If this first story is any indicator, it will be along the lines of a Robert Jordan ‘Wheel of Time’ epic series.”
D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review. Full review (scroll down)

335 thoughts on “Dawn of Wonder

  1. Arcane Clark

    I don’t know what to say. I have never felt so inspired and awe struck while listening to a book (audible). Dawn of Wonder combined with the great narrator sealed everything together for me. It’s a coming of age story. That I recently discovered I enjoy.

    It touches on everything I love. Aeden the main character. Is full of flaws and doubts. He is curious and nosy to a fault. He makes a ton of mistakes. And has been through bad event after bad event. What draws me to him is how he never gives up. And he goes with instinct combined with logic.

    The progression is beautiful. So is everyone of Aiden’s friends. It’s hard not to make this sound like an ad. But it’s true – this book has broken the levels of fantasy and adventure.

    End note; I don’t care if you take another 3-4 years before you come out with book 2. Nor do I care if you mention tomorrow that the book will be delayed a long time. Take your time and write the adventure you had in mind. No matter how long I will still read it. Something to be just as good as book one. The one mistake you can do now is rush future projects. I 100% support you !

  2. Josh Panther

    I really enjoyed your book. I read almost exclusively in this genre and have lately been very tired of repetitive themes, the supernatural abilities of the main (usually very young) character overpowering insurmountable odds because he is just better at everything than men who have been training for years longer than he has been alive. Aedan was a very flawed character. He couldn’t do everything by himself, and when pressed sometimes couldn’t do anything at all. It made the character and the storytelling that much more real, much more willing to invest in. The scenes of friendship, wisdom from the teachers, and even the senses of dread and loneliness were all masterfully done and spoke to me deeply. Looking forward to Book 2, keep up the great work!

  3. Mengle Library

    I was wondering if this series was going to get more adult-rated as it continues–like a Patrick Rothfus book. The library tries to classify books like this as either science fiction or young adult, and I’m not sure how to catalog it without knowing how the series will continue. What would you recommend?

    1. Renshaw Team

      Hi Mengle. If by adult-rated you mean explicit, then no. Jonathan places great importance on writing as cleanly as possible. That said, the series could most accurately placed in the Fantasy category under the Science Fiction & Fantasy catalog. Hope this helps!

  4. Ralph Ayala

    Just finished the book. Great read. Hard to put down.

    spoiler alert!
    Always had the feeling Kalry was still alive. Didn’t realize the next book wasn’t finished. Can’t wait to read the adventure to save her
  5. James Bowen

    Where can I acquire a hardcover copy of Dawn of Wonder? I would love to get a personal copy of the book. However I prefer hardcovers and there does not seem to be one in existence for your book.

    1. Renshaw Team

      Hi James. Unfortunately, there is no hardcover for the book as of yet, but it is something we are currently looking into. Apologies for the disappointment.

  6. Kevin

    “Dawn of Wonder” was my company when flying (which I usually do now like), sitting in front of wonderful and breathtaking waterfools (seeing me sitting in front of one with “Dawn of Wonder” in my hands on the pic, by the way), it brought be home safe again, kept being read while I was shaping and writing my own book and well – I was sitting in the (almost) silence of the evening sun, finishing the last pages and such a wonderful feeling that this is a gem in my shelf of books. I could write so much more, but maybe it’s enough to say: This book tells me “Go on, you’ll do it”. Thank you so much.

  7. Wynelle

    Just finished today. If I had known that book 2 was not yet released and book 1 would be so absolutely enthralling, I would NOT have started 1. The pain of the wait is such a sweet and impatient ache! Now to search for something to distract my thoughts from Aiden and his quest. If there is a mailing list to alert for the next release….I want on it!

    1. Renshaw Team

      Hey Arden. The best place to keep track of the writing of book 2 is the progress bar on the site. Also be sure to read about the second book here. Additionally, add yourself to the mailing list and we will notify you of book 2 release. 🙂

  8. Norella

    You have many fans and they are well deserved! I have read hundreds of books of all types but I would put yours in my top favorites! Don’t keep us waiting too long for book two!

    Norella wright

  9. Janos

    Dear Jonathan!

    I’ve read so much good about your work! I do look forward to read your novel, but I would prefer the translation as I’m Hungarian.

    May I know whether a tranlation to Hungarian is being planned or shall I start the Dawn of Wonder in English? 🙂

    Thank you for your time!



  10. Jesse S.

    In the words of my father “Take your time and do it right.” I love your approach to writing. All my favorite series took forever to complete. Thank you for the world you have created. I look forward, patiently, for more.

  11. Trung Nguyen

    I read almost all of Brandon Sanderson’s books and was beginning to think it’d be so hard to find more captivating fantasy books, then I found this book. It’s amazing how well structured the story line is! I’m not done with the book yet but I deeply care about the characters. There’s romance and tragedy, unobtainable romance too. Something missing from previous books I’ve read which I found here, a sense of genuineness.

  12. Steve Lechner

    Wait…..there’s NOT a second book yet? Or a third?
    I’ve been on vacation this week on the coast of Maine and unfortunately have been ignoring my wife and children most of the week to read this. I’m a big fan of Robert Jordan, Tolkien, and many other epic series, and this one hooked me right from the start.
    Eagerly awaiting book two……hope its not two more years!

  13. Kerby Kiehl

    40+ years of reading fantasy and this is by far one of the most complete, original, fulfilling openings to a series I have ever read…thank you

  14. Eric Hunter

    This book is absolutely incredible. Never before have I been so emersed in a fantasy world. So many emotions flowed through me throughout and even brought me to tears at quite a few different points. You are an amazing author and I can’t wait to read the next one.

  15. Eric Bailey

    I loved this book. I’m really tired of books where one bad thing happens (at best) to the main character and suddenly they’re super or else they quickly become a master at everything, w no effort. I really like how complex you made Aedan. He has his faults and you learn why. Plus, he’s not the greatest at everything. You make us understand why he is so good some things. I can’t wait for the next book, but at the same time I don’t want it to be rushed (catch 22). All the characters are also complex. I’m a little interested in Malik, who is not really a bad guy, just a jerk (so far). I wonder if he’ll evolve or remain a minor foil.

  16. John Irby

    Out of all the books i have read over the years, I have to say that this is my favorite one. I rarely read a book twice, and since reading the awakening every book I’ve read since has been to kill time waiting for the sequel. This is my favorite book of all time, and if I could I’d give it ten stars (yes it’s that good!!!). I’m about to reread book 1 for the third time, hopefully when I’m done book two will be available .

  17. Josh Phillips

    I really regret purchasing and listening to this audio book…. because now I have to wait gods know how long before I can continue the tale.

    I like to listen to multiple books in a series one after another. Though there have been more than few times that I have only been able to listen to one book in the series. Though this is now among the 2 other series I cannot wait for the next book.

  18. Eric Byers

    I loved this book. I’ve read it 3 times and the attention to detail is quite spectacular. I cannot wait for the next book and sincerely hope it will release on audible under the same narrator. I will be sorely depressed if not. As a truck driver I listen to audio books regularly, as I drive longer hours I can really devour books quite quickly. I finished this one in 2 days and it left me hungry for more.

    I know it’s hard to put a release date on a writer and even harder for audio versions but…I’ll ask what everyone else is asking. When? When? WHEN?!

    I think I’ve found a new favorite author in Mr. Renshaw and I will be purchasing everything he produces in audio formats.

    P.s . Please keep Tim Gerald as your narrator. Please!

  19. Ross Bateup

    Great Book great reading or i should say listening. have laughed and felt their feeling it. It going to hard to wait until next book 🙂 but will well worth the wait. Loved to get out of my world and into Aidan’s

  20. James Mounce

    Great work man. Very solid characters and writing. I enjoy the action sequences. As a lifelong martial artist I love a good face crushing blow haha.


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