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.
Royce, Haydrian, what a duo. One only caring for the well being of his companion and the job, the other caring for the plight of everyone he meets. This story unfolds with this pair of thieves getting themselves in a deadly pickle from the get go. It's action, adventure, with a cast of colorful characters being woven into a political power web of deceit and murder. Very entertaining for epic fantasy fans, with an excellent narrator bringing the story to life.
As always, Tim Gerard Reynalds gives an exceptional performance! He helps create a character's full personality with his voice. I am always impressed by his performances and the depth of thought he must put into each character.
The book itself is well written as a high fantasy series. Do not expect new races from this series, but all the typical high fantasy races are present. The world is small in this first book, but the characters were the biggest part of the story. There are also references and inside jokes that don't make much sense if you haven't listened to the free prequel volumes, available on audibles as well.
It is a decent time waster, if you like the genre no harm in surrounding yourself with the known themes and tropes.
However the tone of the novel is a bit uneven in the sense that horrible things happen but they are told in a mild way.
The reader is excellent. Actually I think it is better to listen this novel rather than read it.
I recommend but be aware that it is PG13.
Michael Sullivan's artful story telling creates a wonderful world of adventure to escape into. The book is fast paced and leaves you thirsting for more at the end. 10/10 would read/listen to again.
Epic fantasy with a dash of science fiction.
This book came as an utter surprise to me. As you read, you can sort of tell that this is a writer who is just starting to come to his own (read his backstory, it's interesting on its own.), but it is so easy to forgive any mistakes that he makes purely because you fall in love with the characters immediately. Royce and Hadrian are the best duo, and the kind of people you want to imagine being friends with in an alternate life. Indeed, by the time you finish this book you can't help but immediately search for the next one, even if it happens to be one in the morning on a weekday.
I was captivated throughout the entirety of this book. I first listened to The Age of Myth and was amazed by the story and manner of writing. I decided to start this series and have not been disappointed at all! I highly recommend this book.
The narrarator did a fantastic job with this book. There were almost no errors and I felt as though I was actually there. The reading did nothing but enhance the book.