This is the best fantasy series ever, hands down. I have read the physical books at least 5 times, and I have been awaiting an audiobook since my first time. Ralph Lister does an amazing job with the many, many characters, whose voices are often described in the text, and he reads the story with the drama it deserves. I highly recommend this book, and this audiobook, get both!
I read the print version of this book over 10 years ago. I remember enjoying it, but for various reasons had to read it in bits and pieces and lost track of the story. I decided to come back to it again and am so glad I did. The story is compelling and the narrator helps to make the already intriguing characters come to life. Thoroughly enjoyed this listen! Just waiting for DeadHouse Gates now. How about it Audible?? I hope Ralph Lister is working on it.
When I first read the blurb for this book I thought it was right up my alley. Epic fantasy, complex plot, large cast of characters, intrigue etc, etc. Unfortunately, the book itself did not live up to expectations.
Indeed, the only reason I stuck with this book to the end was due to the large number of reviews saying that it would be worth it.
I've read and enjoyed titles by Jordan, Martin etc, so don't get me wrong I know a complex storyline when I hear it.
There is no doubt that this book is complicated. At the start we are thrown in head first to, what seems on the face of it, the middle of a story. We are introduced to a large number of characters very quickly. We know nothing of their history, allegiances or motivations. Over time things do settle down a bit and by the middle of the book you feel that you are finally getting to grips with things.
Unfortunately the problem is that things just don't develop from there. The story just seems to drift on with no obvious goal. Various gods and mythical characters make cameo appearances, and at times it just feels they were introduced just for the sake of it.
There seems to be several different magic systems in use, but none of them are ever properly explained ... it just seems to happen.
Another significant problem I have with the book is there isn't really one character that you particularly like. Its always difficult to invest time and effort in a book when you don't really care all that much what happens to the protagonists.
Finally, the narrator really doesn't help the book at all. His interpretation of female voices is just awful and he has a habit of fading away at the end of sentences which makes hearing what he is saying quite difficult.
So, all and all, I won't be continuing with this series.
I don't think changing his performance would of made a difference. This book is just very complicate.
This isn't a book where you can listen to while driving, cleaning, or doing other activities. Every sentence is important so if you passively listen, it will confuse you later on. You have to really give it your full attention, or you'll have to keep rewinding it to catch back on.
I have seen this series recommended everywhere and so i thought I might give it a shot.
I completely regret that. I have forced myself through it, because some people have said it gets better, but it really doesn't.
Maybe i'm too used to people like brandon sanderson who build internally consistent worlds and don't rely on the Tolkienesque deus ex-machina school of world building. In this book, everything can happen, everybody is a god, people randomly "shift souls", there are a ton of beings that are multiple millenia old.
The whole world makes no sense, the motivation of the people is completely nonsensical, everybody is magic, but it devolves into a dragon ball z type contest, where the next confrontation is even MORE MAGIC! rinse and repeat.
I'm used to complicated books, I read a ton of fantasy, maybe this isn't a good book as an audiobook (because the narrator constantly sounds out of breath and his constant super emphatic style where everything is super important makes you just annoyed), but I have devoured Anathem by Neal Stephenson as an audiobook and that was far more complex in the topics discussed.
This book on the other hand was basically just magical word salad. And if the character was needed as a plot device in the next chapter a thingamajig kept him alive or not. and then he used a god as a pawn, or not. and then the gods use the mortals as chess pieces except when they don't.
The book is especially bad because I listened to it after words of radiance, which is an absolutely fantastic book.
Love to listen at work
The sheer size of the story and nothing is explained right out. The series is not for a novice.I have read most fantasy epics and this is impressive.
That nothing is simplistic, magic, ghosts, gods,rulers, heros, villians, it is never black amd white. Least interesting is...well his description of types of peoples is tough to remeber at times.
When the Imass race is first introduced. Maybe when Anamando Rake is introduced as well.
The characture named Kroper makes me smile.
There is a lot of plot to process at first but this is a masterful series. Remember dear friends that nothing is as simple as it appears.
I liked he storyline, but the narrator's voice is horrible. I couldn't continue with the book. He accentuates the same word on every sentence. it was so annoying, I had to return the 2nd book even though I had already purchased it in anticipation of the whole series.
Really hard to get into the book at first. I actually listened to it a second time and enjoyed it significantly more
Nothing could have, this is a terrible book I didn't like it at all.
His writing style
Assassins, magic, meddling gods, threat of a powerful tyrant, and intrigue, what more could you want from a epic fantasy?
Be warned this book is long and has a high learning curve. I was about a quarter or third before I could stop wondering if I understood what was happening and start enjoying the story.
It all came together at the end and the last few chapters was exciting and page turning. Despite being part of a long series the story stands well on its own.
There are many characters and politics to track. The main characters are well fleshed out and have their unique voices.
If you don't like books you can't get into right away then stay away from this. If you're patient and okay with a slow increment of reveal and plot advancement then hunker down and start reading.
One problem with the audio book is that the character viewpoint will often change within a chapter and there are no audio cues or even pauses. It can be quite jarring and annoying.