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Publisher's Summary

We share this planet with another intelligent race. They communicate fluently, have a society, a culture. They live in harmony with their world, but it is a harmony that is being torn apart by man’s careless acts. Dolphin Way is set in this world. 

The actors are the dolphins, as they try to make sense of a changing Ocean. Dolphin culture evolved over millions of years so that they could remain perfectly attuned with their world, Ocean. Unlike man, they have created an almost utopian society without feeling the need to manipulate their environment, collect possessions, or wage war. But the growing pressure of man’s activities becomes intolerable, and in frustration, one faction seeks an aggressive new path. They make a shocking departure from the Way — the ancient philosophy that has guided them so well through the millennia. 

Sky, a male dolphin close to becoming an Initiate in the Way, unwillingly finds himself caught up in the violent consequences. To save the lives of his closest friends, he will have to risk the worst punishment his clan can inflict and must decide between the two females who challenge everything he believes in.   

The book is aimed at adult readers but will appeal to young adults too. Although it is a work of fiction, the author has based the story on the real lives and capabilities of these amazing creatures.

©2011 Mark Caney (P)2020 Mark Caney

What listeners say about Dolphin Way: Rise of the Guardians

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  • Matthew Holton
  • 06-16-20

Fantastic listen!

As a scuba diver, I am drawn to anything ocean related, having a couple of friends recommend this book to me I have to say, they aren’t wrong. The book is absolutely fantastic! A must for any ocean lover. If there’s another book I will 100% be purchasing it!

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  • PJM
  • 06-14-20

Beautifully written and narrated. Highly recommend

Dolphin Way is a compelling story which has many layers and can be re-read and enjoyed again and again- each time, I have read or listened to it, new insights or levels have been revealed.. The author's knowledge of the ocean, which is evident, is beautifully portrayed. There is a fantastic website to support this book with a lot of additional information and it certainly enhanced my enjoyment of the book. The story and the characters are very well depicted and the plot does twist and turn which held my interest until the very end. The beautiful writing and narration made it a pleasure to listen to - I particularly appreciate the short verses at the beginning of each chapter which make this book magical. Although the ecological message about the ocean is a serious matter, it is subtle and is never too dark. It does illustrate how humans can learn a lot from the way dolphins live lightly in their environment without causing any harm.

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  • M
  • 06-14-20

A superbly crafted and multi-layered story

This is a superbly crafted and multi-layered novel, with the result that it has a wide readership appeal. In this superb audiobook, author Mark Caney, who is an experienced diver, describes the intelligence and society of dolphins and how man’s destruction of their environment is affecting them.

On one level it is a beautiful story of life under the sea as seen through the eyes of bottle-nosed dolphins, with Touches the Sky as the main protagonist. Challenges are caused by events we know only too well: global warming, food scarcity, overexploitation of resources, greed, and corruption. The younger generation are questioning the ways of their elders. There are choices to be made, choices in the face of danger and in the face of changing times. Choices with personal and moral consequences, choices all face in daily life. How does one adapt to changing circumstances yet retain the values of old? Is this possible at all? All the while the tale of dolphins that eat, play and love in their colourful underwater world enchants us and keeps us spellbound.
Yet there is much more to it, as the discerning reader will immediately and delightedly discover for himself. Mark Caney has created an entire world for us to explore- and he succeeds in making it real. There are legends, laws, taboos, myths, ancient writings, music, traditional gatherings, mating rituals, birth and death customs, and well-crafted ‘characters’ galore. The reader will very soon realise that what happens beneath the waves very much echoes what happens in the world that we as humans know. This one is a keeper, make no mistake.

As you read, the dolphins in the book become real, as real as you and I, and the choices that they have to make are the choices we all face. We see the individual’s role in the ‘modern’ family (yes, there are orphans here too), and his role in the community, society, relationships to other ‘nationalities/ species and the relationships with entire ecosystem which forms this world. The oceanic day-to-day life mirrors our own and the concerns are all too familiar: food security, environmental health, personal relationships, education, tradition and culture, societal norms...
Each chapter is headed by a quote from ancient dolphin origin. These quotes not only provide a rich sense of history but are also an integral part of what unfolds, teasing us, warning us, instructing us. Thus chapter one already states "Beware the tool makers. Once they have tasted the power to change, they will not cease until all is changed. There will be no balance, no harmony, no beauty, when the tools are at last laid aside." As with many in the position of power in our human world, those who are most dangerous in this aquatic world are called the “The Guardians” in an ironic choice of terms that immediately kindled recognition in my mind.

The dolphins have to challenge customs and beliefs which have outlived their validity, all the while retaining respect for the spirit which gave rise to that custom, suggesting that the spirit can be honoured, but the custom changed for the greater good of all. Silent Waters, the ‘Prime Mother’ raises this issue: “I am not suggesting deviation {...} but we must listen to these new ideas and consider the spirit of the Way as well as the histories. The Way did not spring into being instantly.”

In a time where ‘custom and practice’ and ‘traditional methods’ are often held up as excuses for atrocities in our human world this simple truth holds the answer: traditions can die out or change, but respect for the culture that caused the tradition to be born can be shown in other, meaningful ways. There are many such truths in the book, but we are never preached at: it is there for the taking should you so see it and so choose.

In the final analysis, it is not a book of doom, as it brims with understanding, humour, insight and wisdom for young and old. When it may seem as though paradise is lost, there is much that can be regained. This is a book to read over and over: for yourself, and to your children.
Touches The Sky, Silent Waters, Deneb Rising, Cloud Passing, Wakes Softly, Fades Into Dusk, Muddy River Mouth, Green Wave Falling, Venus In Mist, Rain Ending and all the others are all fully developed, totally distinct characters- some are funny, some are wise, some are young, some are old, some are ignorant, some are arrogant, some are spiritual, some are greedy and bad, but all are real, and each one contributes to make this tale so believable.

The underwater world is painted in bright, sweeping strokes of colour and light as seen through the eyes of the dolphins themselves: we see what they see, and it is an enchanting yet realistic world that any diver will recognise and appreciate, and all will want to explore.

The book and the dolphins of the Dune Coast Clan stay with you; I truly hope that this will turn into a long series - it is brilliant!

The author, PADI Executive Mark Caney, has a ‘Dolphin Way’ blog at www.dolphin-way.com that will intrigue those who have read the book or are interested in doing so as well as those who are just interested in dolphins.

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