Just a note of caution: definitely a "mature" adult read, with a fair amount of inappropriate scenes and language. Rated "R."
Maybe this is a result of it being a translation, but I found the writing style occasionally tedious; the annoying overuse of similes, especially references to animals, was just very repetitive and annoying (paraphrase--"he held the bread in his hand like a small kitten clutched to his chest"). But it is definitely interesting to read fantasy from a Russian author; the background "flavor" was slightly different from the English medievalism of most fantasy (but still mostly operated in cliches)
The premise is interesting--a consummately popular, suave, utterly self-absorbed noble's life is ruined when his rash actions lead to tragic consequences. Yet despite his culpability, Egert still feels no remorse, until an encounter with a mysterious stranger leaves him cursed, with all his bravery destroyed before an overwhelming and constant surge of cowardice. His life in ruins, he flees the city and travels through the world as an outcast. Egert goes from a character supreme and off-putting self confidence to a sniveling and off-putting character with no ability to action or free will. If you can drag yourself through that third (or more) of the book, his slow journey into maturity and self-knowledge begins to get interesting.
The other main character is the girl he has hurt through his actions, Toria. She wavers between hatred, disgust, and a slow growing understanding that, while despicable, Egert is still a human being. There are some interesting developments from a Christian redemptive perspective, but then the story has to go and disintegrate back to the gutters of taverns and bodice-ripping.
There were definitely a few plot turns that surprised me, but mostly you read to see if Egert can come to terms with his past and gain mature perspective. It was really interesting as an OCD person to read this story, because some of the ways Egert copes with his constant debilitating fear are defensive "rituals," making his curse surprising similar to to OCD.
I found out halfway through that this is the second in a series (trilogy?) and it doesn't look like the others have been translated into English. That made me worried about a lack of resolution, but those worries were unfounded. Yes, it ends rather abruptly, but it definitely had a complete plot arc and a conclusion that wrapped up the story.
At the bottom, but I've gone though some amazing books before and after this.
The ending was pretty satisfying.
I have not, but he's a great narrator.
The reader brought the story to life
Can't compare it to any other book I've heard as of yet.
I would definitely listen it again, because the story has the kind of character where the reader thinks that they will discover more in the story the more they read/listen to it. The Scar also has a great moral to it and is brought across amazingly.
I love how there is magic in the story but it doesn't compete with the characters and the overal story.
It was interesting in how the story was told. The first part of the book was slow, however I understand why it was needed. The second half of the book got me hooked. The reading was done very well.
I'm generally a patient reader (or listener) but I've stopped and restarted this book three times and still have only made it half way. It's more of an allegory than a novel, and forgoes real character development in favor of stock characters (the unloving father, the beautiful maiden, the tavern wench, the ink-stained student, the brash city guards) who fit into the author's morality tale. There's nothing subtle about the story and I just don't care anymore about the protagonist's lapse into cowardice and his (I assume) eventual redemption. Boring, boring, boring.
Relistening to Towers of Midnight from Wheel of Time series while I waiting for the final book in that series.
Waiting for book 3 of the Warded Man series
Waiting for book 2 of Theft of Sword (Raira Series)
Waiting for book 3 of Shadow Prowler series
I'm sure this is a story of redemption but its hard to listen to the main character live like craven coward for so much of the book. I know its the curse but I was looking for more story on his transformation from cocky charlaton to humble quiet warrior. Its hard to enjoy a book about a cowardly man that's afraid of even his shadow. I probably won't finish the book unless really bored.
A main character who wasn't totally despicable. A coherent, interesting story would have been nice as well.
Where to begin? The first fourth of the book introduced the thoroughly unlikeable lead character, at length and in depth. The lead character is physically brave and morally shallow. It's as if the authors simply went down a checklist of despicable behavior.
The middle of the book details his 180 change to a physical coward. He cowers at everything. He becomes even less likeable, if that's possible.
The Lash is mentioned but completely unconnected to anything in the rest of the story.
Perhaps something was lost in translation.
A Sci Fi junkie who occasionally goes slumming to read other literature.
The Scar seemed a little one dimensional to me. I liked the first part of the book a little past the point that he meets the Wanderer (for the action), and I liked the ending. But, the middle was a bit directionless and agonizing.
Enjoy the adventure
A wealthy, young, military officer uses his position and opportunities to harm others because he enjoys the attention and knows punishment is unlikely. Like most bullies, he goes one step too far, receives justice and is cursed by overwhelming fear.
This book contains hours of graphic cowardice. OK, the man is a groveling, crying, diaper wearing grown man who cannot be pitied. But, it felt unjust to punish me with chapter after chapter on the details of the man’s fears. At one point, I almost deleted the book and moved on.
Now that it’s finally over, I’m glad I had the stamina to listen to the entire book.