This book started out okay. The narrator does alright- not amazing, but alright. The story itself starts out super interesting, but gradually loses its worth.
The book takes such a long time to get to where it's going, that by the time it finally gets there you don't care anymore. I managed to make myself finish this whole thing, hoping it would pay off. I'm still not sure if it did or not. It set up some potentially cool things, so maybe the sequels pay off, but I'm so worn out by the endless repetitiveness of this book that I don't think I can handle any more.
I really enjoyed listening to this book and look forward to the next book (s) in this series. Always a fan of Mercedes Lackey I expected no less than the entertaining book that I got.
This first book has a dense and satisfying story. Well written so you know that the stories are relevant, each has its own people, tempo and purpose. And as you reach the last "act" all the stories become interwoven as you understand that without the beginnings the end would not have been possible.
I'm starting the next book now!
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.