WHAT A MAGICAL WORLD! This book introduces one of the best fantasy series ever written. Like most first books of a larger series, it spends part of the time introducing the world and the characters. But the story builds as the adventure begins and any fan of fantasy or adventure will love this series.
I loved all magical places. I fell in love with Adrina, Emel, Xith, Vilmos, Seth, and others. I loved hating Eravane, the dark lord, and King Jarom. I was fascinated by the many twists and turns especially the wolmerel encounters.
Because of the way the books continue, I recommend getting the first one and the second one together to start. When you finish these there are amazing journeys and adventures ahead in books 3 and 4.
Overall, an amazing start to great series! Plus this is the only series I have read or listened to twice, and I'm already eager to go back and start all over again.
Two thumbs up for The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches!!! It's a great story and I liked it, but it is only the begining of the story. Robert Stanek is a gifted storyteller, and his characters are well developed and likable, even the minor characters each have details and distinct personalities.
The author has my attention and I'll look for his books from now on. The audible version of this story was one of the best performances I've listened to up to now. I don't know how anyone could claim otherwise and that leads me to another point: how disappointed I am in the reviewers who keep giving this book low marks. Do they think I'm going to run over and listen to Eragon or something? NEWSFLASH, I already listened to Eragon thought it was okay but not special and I won't be listening to Eldest EVER no matter how many 1-star reviews Eragonites write of my favorite authors books. The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches has so much more going for it than Eragon or Narnia. It is epic in scope, more detailed and better than Narnia, and approaches the majest of Lord of the Rings.
With an excellent story with the excellent reading, it was hard to stop listening. I was always eager to get back to the story. Plus it's not as predictable as most authors which helped the excitement even more. I would recommend all four books and suggest it as a must for anyone that enjoys good stories.
I began listening to this title so I could pass it down to my daughter (14) and son (11), and was so intruiged by the story I kept listening all the way to the end. I'm a long-time fantasy and sci-fi fan, and this book grabbed me right from the start with its refreshing approach. Good narration builds on marvelous writing to engage you completely. Mr. Stanek has a true gift allowing us to see his magical world and our own in a new light. This book has just about everything you could want in a book: adventure, magic, mystery. If you choose to listen to my opinion and listen to this, I do recommend you go ahead and get the second at the same time, as this first one continues directly to the second and I was left wishing I had already got the second one. Overall, this is a surprisingly fun fantasy with writing that is fresh and original. This isn't a Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings wantabee, but it is as good. It is the story of a fantastic world going through a great change and it is the story of the people caught in that change. The three main characters are Adrina, Vilmos, and Seth, and the story is told from the point of view of each in turn.
Although I've listened to many audiobooks, I've never been much of an audiobook fan because most of the narrators read soooooooooo slow. Thanks to a narrator who reads at more normal rate, this book and its sequels changed my opinion on audio books and I'm now a big fan.
As for the author, the author has a unique style that at once pulls the listener into the story and lets the listener see, feel and hear everything the characters see, feel and hear. Unlike most books, the author doesn't waste several chapters introducing the main characters. Instead he quickly introduces each of the three main characters in successive scenes in the first chapter and the story keeps moving from there.
The story and the world it introduces are something I really liked. How could anyone not feel something for the sad princess, the young mage, and the naive warrior? They form the core of a wonderful cast.
If there was ever a series of books that deserves to be head of the class, this is it. The mystery and action mixed into the story are as strong as the fantasy elements. I agree with the many reviewers who said this book goes together with the second one. The series is four books in all, and as others have said each book gets better and better from here.
My only question is where's the movie? Very highly recommended.
Robert Stanek is a genius without question. His storytelling is captivating, imaginative and simply very entertaining. Good narrarating that shows character and personality.
If you get the set, this is one you may want to burn, definately does have high replay value. I plan on listening to it again in a few months myself. It gets all five stars from me, thoroughly enjoyed it.
"The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches" is fantastic. The story is fast-paced and well written. Like another reviewer said, you might as well just download the whole series because as soon as you reach the end of one book you will want to start on the next. Pretty well read too.
I read these books as they came out on Audible. The first novel by itself is just okay, taken together though they are a masterpiece of modern fantasy writing. Stanek has created a vast and colorful world that is far removed from Tolkien. There have been many good fantasy novels or groups of novels but most are in some way a Tolkien descendent. Stanek's books are powerful and original. The characters are wonderfully portrayed, and the plot lines though complex are easy to follow.
I read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi, and I can promise you that this series of books is among the best. Be sure to listen to the books in order. This tale takes place in a land known as the "Kingdoms." The history of these kingdoms is expertly blended into the plot, so that you effortlessly become emersed into the world. It feels as if this land, with its people, traditions, and history is as real as our own.
In the audio version, the narrator does a wonderful job of giving voice to the vivid characters. The plot has numerous twists and turns. I gave up trying to predict what would happen, and decided to just enjoy the ride.
If you enjoy fantasy, this is a must read. Even if you usually don't like fantasy, you may very enjoy this one. I sure did.
What more can you ask for? First off, the narrator is perfect. An oustanding voice. Second, the book itself is fascinating. Even people who don't usually like fantasy will like this. Robert Stanek has wrriten a beautiful guide to a whole new world that is interesting as much for the characters as the setting. It gets all five stars from me, thoroughly enjoyed it.