I thought the story was painfully slow, and written for a prepubescent child. I've listened to 5 of 22.5 hrs and it hasn't gotten any better.
The main character is reportedly a 17 year old boy, but acts like he is still 10-13. The descriptions are verbose but childlike.
Listening to him drone on and on about his boring chores, doesn't make for a very exciting or intriguing book.
After purchasing works by Sanderson, Jordan, Glen Cook, Sergey Lukyanenko, or Brooks's Shannara series this was very disappointing.
I tried, gave it 4 hours.. twice. Just something about listening to someone complain about how boring their life is for 4 hours, makes the story... well, boring!!!!
I listened to this and couldn't get into it, I tried a second time and gave it 4 hours. I can't imagine how this story could get worse. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone at all. I don't understand the 4 star rating because the story just isn't good.
I may have enjoyed this book when I was 13. The characters are described in hackneyed terms and resemble a child's conception of a "bad guy" or a "bored child with talent." Also, this narrator would make me dislike even the finest book -- she reads far more slowly than this material deserves, and her style is that of a condescending teacher reading to a kindergarten class. Maybe it gets better after the first few hours, but I will (thankfully) never know.
This story is truely uneventful. I almost can't bare the thought of listening to another chapter. The annoying way the authors would discribe the most unimportant details at the worst possible time made this book so frustrating. Ahhhh! Why did I waste so much time? Plus, NOTHING happened. I have read more eventful chapters in a fairy tale. This book was selfish, drawn, and and soooo pointless. The main character was a 17 year old boy who whined and droned on about his little girlness. Don't waste your time. You WILL be sorely dissapointed!
I listened to the whole book and liked the story overall. It was fairly predictable however and seemed more like entry level fantasy. After reading Jordan, Martin and Sanderson this was a little disappointing.
Lackey and Mallory had some good ideas woven into the plot and there was lots of action but I found the inconsistency annoying. For example, in the beginning they say Kellen would get into fights with street kids. Then later when someone grabs his arm he's shocked because he's never been manhandled in his life and it hurt.
I will probably listen to the rest of the series because I don't like leaving a story in the middle. I hope the next two will improve.
Pains me to give Susan Erickson (narrator) a bad mark. She wasn't really that bad but the story and character development was so bad! This guy couldn't make up his mind to save his life! He was a huge wimp! 2nd guessing every single emotion or thought that he had AT GREAT LENGTH! This book could have been cut down by over 1/3 and it would not be missed. I listened to the end because it has such a good rating! Who gave it 4 stars? NOT ME!
Bibliovore! I prefer science fiction and fantasy but I can get sucked into teen literature as well as a good mystery.
I have read her books for years. Years! I love this series so far. I am listening my way through book 2. My only complaint is the narrator. She has a slow, meticulous style that made it hard to listen to at first. I felt like leaning in hoping that she wouldn't forget to speak the next word. I actually caught myself holding my breath once. I changed the speed to 1.25X speed and that fixed that. She has enough subtle inflection to distinguish the characters and a wonderfully modulated voice but the speed, oh the speed!
I enjoyed this whole series, well thought out and consistent magic system, different races all have their own customs and histories. There are some things that bothered me, but not enough to really take away from the story line, the relative power and magics of the good and evil races seemed unbalanced. As underpowered as the good races seemed to be, it seems as if the evil races could have easily overrun the good races, and the people that could have balanced that feeling did not seem to have relevant roles in order to actually prevent that from happening; but it all works out ok somehow any way. There are way too many evil minion races that seem way overpowered to also have such great numbers to not have just overrun the good forces they came up against, and yet somehow even though they seem to constantly overwhelm; they are not as devastating as they should have been for the numbers and relative power they did have. The dragon was not as powerful as I would have hoped -I liked how the bond and magic worked for the dragon and its bonded mage- but I would have expected it to be fierce and dangerous even when it did lose its ability to use magic. The dragon should have dominated the lessor creatures it came up against easily, it should have taken bigger and tougher foes to keep it occupied and effectively neutralize it during battles.
All the things that bothered me were very minor compared to the richness of the story and the great character development, so this is still a definite must read for any one that likes fantasy.
When I first began listening to this series I wasn't sure I liked it .... It's a good story line that is well thought out and overall I was entertained ... but it's not a story that will task or engage the reader / listener much. Doesn't compete with other top notch series.
I ended up purchasing / listening to all 3 books in the series, however I don't believe I'll ever call this one of my favorites.
1- Overall few surprises or ah ha! moments ... somewhat predictable
2- Character development seems rushed pretty much across the board
3- Narration took some getting used do ... I couldn't decide if it is the way the book is written or the narrators style but I often felt as if I was sitting in a 2nd grade class
This story focuses on a 17 year old boy with the mind of a 12 year old. I have never before caught myself rolling my eyes so often from a book. A minimum of the first 20 hours of this novel focuses on the main character complaining about how bad his life is as the son of the arch-marge of his city: it's too confining, he has too many comforts, he has to be served dinner in silver platters full of scrumptious foods and eat alone while his father is still at work and he has to go to school and learn high magic while other kids get to toil in the fields. I wanted somebody to slap some sense and maturity into him - or at least just make him stop whining. The beginning is slow and irritating. The book improves some during the last 10 hours through new scenery, new magic and some standard action - but not by much.
The characters lack any depth - they are either purely good or purely evil. There are no unexpected twists or surprises. It is juvenile and standard.
Unlike other reviewers, I like the author - one of the first female authors I've come across who is good. She is good at varying her voice and adding intonation.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, I love fantasy series and have read several dozen. I'll finish this series off because I hate ending short series part-way through. I'm just crossing my fingers the authors and the book's characters improve with time.