I'm not sure I'd change anything. I respect the author's voice, I just think that I'm not the ideal audience for this book.
I'd most likely pass. There's nothing here I particularly dislike other than I think it's really intended for a late elementary school audience. His writing just seems to frequently parrot semi-cliched dialogue and characterization that seems too shallow and familiar to capture the imagination of an adult reader.
When listening to this book there was no moment that particularly annoyed me but there also was no moment that I particularly enjoyed. I kept waiting for the point where I would care about the characters but it never really came.
Nearly every character is a fantasy cliche. The ambitious unethical mid-level noble. The mysterious thieves who also have hearts of gold and semi-unwillingly do the right thing. The spoiled Prince who has to grow up. The hooker with a heart of gold. The naive and sheltered but curious monk.
At least so far none of the characters really seem to defy their stereotypes.I guess the telling thing about the book is that despite me wanting to find what is special about it, I found that I could rarely listen for more than 45mins before I would realize that I'm bored and stop.
I think this book will be enjoyed by children but I think it lacks the complexity and intrigue to keep adults that are accustom to the works of George R R Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Tolkien, and the like engaged.
Lastly I'll make a note about the voice acting performance. Again there is nothing about it that I hated but I think that there is a fine line between using sterotypical voices for the sack of clarity and giving the reader something familiar to grasp on to, and having those voices be so cliched that they make already cliched characters even more one dimensional. Tim Reynold seems to periodically cross this line, particularly in the case of the monk character. None of the voices or accents seemed terrible or super cheesy but they also don't really add to the characterizations or sense of setting in the book either.
Overall I've been somewhat critical of the book but I do want to emphasize that for me it is a 2 star book. That said I can definitely see it being more enthusiastically embraced by a younger reader or adults that simply have different tastes.
very enjoyable. somehow seems faster and lighter reading / listening than other Epic Fantasy Books I have read or listen to. perhaps less bogged down in details, but still retains a sense of being well written. the world reminds me more of Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table then some of the more drastically dissimilar worlds created in other fantasy series that I have read. the plot is unique and unpredictable, but the story is not so complex that you can't remember all the different threads that are being woven. recommended.
I really enjoyed this book! The characters are an entertaining pair and the author adds humor throughout.
I also thought the narrator did a good job with the book.
a bit unexpected little different than I thought it would be I like the way that the two main characters cover such a vast variety of personality types nice little twists it does keep your interest the performance by the narrator was fantastic
I absolutely love this book and this series. It's excellent in every way. There performance is great as well. My teenage kids and I have listened to it multiple times. I highly recommend it to everyone.
This story kept my interest the entire way through. As soon as I had finished the story I immediately started it again. Just as good the second time; I loved catching all the little details I overlooked the first listen. The characters truly come to life with the great writing by Michael J Sullivan and performance by Tim Gerard Reynolds.
Friends, enemies, frenemies
I loved Royce. Throughout the book, he surprised me, whether through his actions or attitudes or by the author's revelations about his character. His dialog was also some of my favorite
He was easy to understand and did a decent job at differentiating the different characters.
I laughed and cried in various parts.
While this volume is really good fantasy writing all on its own, it's also proof that all roads lead to Tolkein and that's not a disparagement to the author. We have humans and elves and dwarves and a flying creature. There's a wizard, a hidden heir, and a quest here and there. And while I wouldn't call them a Fellowship, a set of characters does appear over and over no matter what action is taking place. And yet it doesn't feel derivative. I see the bones of Tolkein here, but Sullivan has created a rich and wonderful world where I want to remain for another 26 hours (next volume) at least. Bonus: it's the perfect soundtrack for walking the dog.