The Gatekeeper's Son


Gold winner, Foreword Reviews' 2014 Book of the Year for Best Fantasy.

Finalist in 2015 Indie Excellence Awards for Best Fantasy

Silver Medalist, 2015 Benjamin Franklin Book Awards; best cover design

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By Hgiardina & Ezvid Wiki Editorial.Tuesday, 26 Mar 2019

11 Enticing Works of Urban Fantasy

They write: "Coming in at #1 is C.R. Fladmark's "The Gatekeeper's Son." San Francisco teen Junya just got the best sixteenth birthday present ever: he's now officially heir to his grandfather's billion-dollar company. But his path to power isn't as clear as he thought it would be, because somebody's out to get his whole family. With his grandfather in the hospital, Junya has to rely on the help of an intriguing Japanese girl who seems to know all about him. Maybe she can explain the reptilian men who keep following him everywhere, and what their plans are for his legacy."


Reviewers say

“…starts off strong and progresses at just the right tempo. Adept world building further enhances the storyline, while skillful character development…creates intriguing, relatable characters…the clear, accessible prose ably depicts not only the various cultures of contemporary San Francisco, but also the magical hidden lands of Japan and the dangerous Mojave Desert.”  - Kirkus Reviews


“…a solid mix of contemporary YA and dark fantasy, melding American and …a new mythology based on Japanese culture - a unique and rather deadly mythology.” –Netgalley review


“…big business intrigue, intense fighting scenes and a dash of Japanese mythology thrown in to give it just the right touch. The plot is fast paced… great read for intrigue and fantasy fans. Once they dive into Junya's world, they won't want to leave.” – Bookworms for Kids


“C.R. Fladmark has put a fresh spin on some classic fantasy elements, blending real-world cultures with a well-imagined parallel universe that combines elements of Eastern philosophy, spirituality, Japanese traditions, martial arts, and hot girls in school uniforms”. –


More Reviews

The adventurous tale of one boy discovering his true destiny.

On his 16th birthday, James Edward Thompson, aka Junya, is literally knocked off his feet after spying a beautiful, mysterious Japanese girl sitting in the park across from his grandfather’s mansion. Soon after, he is once again thrown for a loop when his billionaire grandfather announces that James will be the heir to the family business—a company his grandfather built from scratch and whose success is held as a deep, dark secret. Raised in a Japanese culture in the heart of San Francisco, James is used to his mother’s little quirks, from her ninjalike skills in the dojo to her uncanny ability to always know what he’s thinking. But when company insiders threaten his life, James realizes that his grandfather isn’t the only one with something to hide. As the truth begins to unravel, James isn’t sure whom to trust, and with the help of the mysterious girl in the park, he learns about strange worlds he never knew existed and power he never knew he had. Fladmark’s freshman offering starts off strong and progresses at just the right tempo. Adept worldbuilding further enhances the storyline, while skillful character development—aside from an occasional hiccup in terms of voice and personality—creates intriguing, relatable characters with a variety of ages, abilities, and social stations. Additionally, the clear, accessible prose ably depicts not only the various cultures of contemporary San Francisco, but also the magical hidden lands of Japan and the dangerous Mojave Desert.

Filled with magic, mayhem, and intrigue, Fladmark’s series is off to a solid start.

 --Kirkus Reviews

5 out of 5 stars

What a tense novel! There's big business intrigue, intense fighting scenes and a dash of Japanese mythology thrown in to give it just the right touch.

Although this is marked for the young adult audience, the plot is complex enough to grasp adult readers as well. Junya has just been marked as heir to a billion dollar company, but with it, he's getting more than he bargained for. The company has enemies who plan on bringing it down - strong ones. But this isn't his main concern. A mysterious Japanese girl who keeps popping up (and can fight better than any normal ninja) is already keeping Junya's hands full...not to mention the strange things that are happening to him. Suddenly, he can sense things and a power is growing inside of him.

The characters are very well done - serious and driven, but they let a little bit of the light side of life sneak in every now and then. The problems thrown at Junya are sometimes more than he can handle, despite his own growing strength. Even his oncoming powers aren't something he really embraces at first, and the reader gets to discover and questions things along with him. This made him sympathetic and easy to cheer for.

The plot is fast paced and well weaved. I really enjoyed the more mature feel of the business world in this; the author never talks down to the reader. The little spice of Japanese culture really adds a nice touch, and it's clear that the author knows what he's talking about. It weaves in so naturally.

Summed up, this is a great read for intrigue and fantasy fans. Once they dive into Junya's world, they won't want to leave.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.​

Dr. S. Drecker,

5 out of 5 stars

Awesome read! This book kept me intrigued from the moment I turned the first page. Love the Japanese culture mixed in with American society as it adds more depth. (Also, this provides me with the opportunity to learn more about other cultures.)
Cannot wait for the next book to be published. I need to know what happens next!


Derek Southworth,


5 out of 5 stars

I chose a Five Star rating because this is one of the few books of this genre that I have wanted to and did read in one sitting.
Enjoyed the characters and the fight between good and evil. The author gave them a real life feel as they made the same difficult decisions that we make every day.
Looking forward to reading the sequel.


Mike Todd,


5 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyed this book. Unfortunately I gobbled it up in 2 days, now I want more.


Bradley Davis,


5 out of 5 stars

A very good book.I REALY could not put it down.It's a fine one.
Keep it going in the next one.

Michael Bechtol,


5 out of 5 stars

"Brilliant read and a very good story, looking forward to hopefully many more books in the series."


S. Ashe, Amazon.UK


5 out of 5 stars

"This book far exceeded my expectations, I enjoyed it from the first page and found it hard to put down and finished it in a day. The characters were interesting and the author managed to create empathy between the reader and the characters. Set within the US and Japan, with a parallel worlds, that just worked. I will not divulge the story because this is not yet released, but let me just say I cannot wait for the second book in this series there is so much more to learn about these worlds and characters. Thank you for the opportunity to read this."  


Susan, reviewer



5 out of 5 stars

"I really liked this book, it kept me entertained the entire time and the whole mystery of what was happening in Junya's life kept me guessing.This is a really cool book that i felt had a lot of similarities to Manga etc. and if this ever got turned into a manga or anime i would watch/read that.
Overall i liked the writing style and didn't bore me at all, liked the characters and i will definitely be reading the rest of the series as they came out.
I recommend this to any one that has even the smallest amount of interest in Japanese culture and mythos."


Brendan, reviewer



3 out of 5 stars

"I really enjoyed this book - the plot was intriguing, the pacing was perfect, and the way everything fits together is wonderful. The mix between San Francisco, Japan, and a parallel world was neatly done, and enough detail was given that reading about places I've never been to wasn't jarring.

I did find, however, that as much as I wanted to know what happened next (to the point where I devoured this book in one sitting), I didn't feel a huge connection to any of the characters. They're all well-written, likeable people, but there was something missing to make me cheer for them - that may change as the series progresses, 200 pages isn't much after all.

In all, I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone that likes young adult/urban fantasy, and I'll be reading the rest of the series as it's released."


Belle McQuattie, reviewer


5 out of 5 stars

This book had me hooked from the first chapter until the end! I liked the writing style as it was very descriptive and easy to get lost in. There were twists and turns at every corner and yet I feel like I learned more about Japanese culture along with the importance of being in tune with nature and our senses. I can't wait for the second one!


Carlee Wiebe,


4 out of 5 stars

"A good story with some magic and karate. well worth reading."





4 out of 5 stars

"I saw a new book with an unknown author (very nice cover work and good teaser blurb) pop up on the kindle new book list. It resonated nicely for me. I bought it and just started reading it 20 minutes ago. I can already tell this is gonna' be a very cool and fun book. Stopped and wrote this review. Go buy it guys, its gonna' rock. I may change my review to 5 stars by the time I finish it this morning. And, no, I'm not a friend of the author or something. I might buy him a beer though if he writes some more like this one. Get to work dude, I expect your next book out by this weekend before I have to report back to duty next Monday."




4 out of 5 stars

Pretty good, especially if you like fantasy based around Japanese culture. It had a good pace to it and kept me interested through the book. I would read the sequel to this one.


Kristin Bowker, reviewer


4 out of 5 stars

Very good book. I am looking forward to the next one!


J.C. Farley,


5 out of 5 stars

Great book! I'm exited to find out the direction the aurho goes with the series.


James Akers,


3 out of 5 stars

THE GATEKEEPER’S SON is a fast-paced coming of age story. Junya has just turned sixteen and named heir to his grandfather’s vast corporation. As he’s learning the ropes, he is read into the fact someone is trying to destroy everything his grandfather built. He has also discovered he has some peculiar abilities about which he was never told. THE GATEKEEPER’S SON is a vivid fantasy novel with both well-developed characters and world-building. Junya’s a very likeable and relatable character and the reader gets to discover the new world which opens before his eyes along with him. Junya’s innate sense of morality helps him greatly during his journey and it was nice to see this sense mature. The strong women in Junya’s life also made a big impact on Junya and I’m glad to see them given their due. THE GATEKEEPER’S SON will appeal to those with an interest in Japanese culture, both the real and the fantastic.


Star @ The Bibliophlic Book Blog "-Star",

The Fallen Gatekeepers


Finalist NIEA 2018 Awards  for Best Fantasy!

Reviewers say

"In this YA (urban) fantasy sequel to The Gatekeeper's Son (2014), Fladmark's heroes must meet the increasing threat of the reptilian Evil Ones... Teenage yearning is at the core of this sequel ("I ran my hand over her stomach, taut with muscle yet still soft") ... Action fans won't be disappointed, though, as the heroes train a youthful army to battle the Evil Ones. Shoko's late-stage epiphany sets up a potentially calamity-filled next installment." - Kirkus Reviews

“C.R. Fladmark … managed to take everything I enjoyed about The Gatekeeper’s Son and expanded upon it. The story was well written and engaging enough that I was unable to put it down once I had started reading it. It was one of those books where I had to know what was going to happen next at the end of every chapter. If I had to choose one thing that I thought really stood out about this book it would be how much Junya and his friends have grown as characters. The characters were my favorite part of the last book and I thought Fladmark did a great job delving deeper into the characters and expanding upon them.”

– Shane Jardine, The Arched Doorway

 “The world building the author had done was incredible [and] made me want to be a part of the book.”

– Oz Mikhail, Ozzy the Book Reviewer

 “The second book takes everything from book one and multiplies it. More action, romance …, locations and powers. … About the only way I wouldn't [read the next book in the series] would be if the Gatekeepers themselves were trying to stop me.”

– Michael Bates, Goodreads