The narrator ( Lister) did a fantastic job modulating his voice to give each character their own voice
Kruppe is best
Absolutely! This book will need two listens at least. It is very involved and I agree with the other reviewers that wrote that this book is not for the feint of heart. It is obviously a large story and this first book is a bit confusing, though not as hard to follow as I thought it would be. Due to being a bit confusing I decided to rate the story 4 stars.
Having said that, I will say that this author is one hell of a writer. His writing skills are up there with the best fantasy writers out there (in my opinion). I place him in the company of George RR Martin, Robin Hobb, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, and Patrick Rothfuss. I knew within the first 10 minutes of listening to his prose that I was in good hands and even though his story was a bit convoluted in places, when I did get a little lost, I didn't really mind because what was being said was still very entertaining and by the end of the book it all came together.
I was extremely excited to hear that the story only gets better from this point on and that there are 10 books or so to look forward to! AUDIBLE and Mr. Erikson, would you please get your act together and get these books out in audio format! I am so looking forward to the rest of this series of books! I know that I will probably have to read these books now, because I don't think I can wait for the audiobooks versions to come out, but I know that it would be incredibly enjoyable and add an extra dimension to my enjoyment, if I could "hear" these books!
I really loved Ralph Lister's narration. This is my first time hearing him and I felt that he was a perfect choice for this book. He made every character stand out and I never was confused about who was saying what. He did an excellent job and deserves 5 stars for his performance.
What a great series. This is just the first and they get better from there. I was soooo happy to finally see this in audio form.
If you like epic stories with awesome characters you should like this one. I can hardly wait for Chain of Dogs.
This book series is on my top 10 list. Be careful though as the books are very complex and take some effort to appreciate. Think I started on book one three times before I finally got through to it and it was only around book three that I really started understanding what a gem these books are.
The books are read very good. There is a nice distinction between the characters (which is impressive considering how many they are). I would give it a 4.5 if there was an option for it only because I might not agree with some of the voice/character pairings.
Erikson starts his stories as if you already know the characters and the world they live in. There is no context setting and you spend the first third of the book just trying to figure out what is going on and who is who. It is really not until you are half way through the story that you can really follow all of the characters and you begin to see how the story is coming together. You would think that would make for a bad review, but the story is absolutely brilliant. Events follow one after another in an unpredictable but very realistic manner. The world he creates is immense. And as you approach the end of the book you are left to wonder how he could have written such a brilliant story. It’s dark, it’s realistic, it’s funny….it is a great fantasy read!
This series is characterized by superior writing, excellent plot and character building, and consistently exuberant world-building. Ralph Lister performs in a professional manner that extracts simplicity and emotionality from complex story-telling. I sincerely hope Audible releases the remainder of this series that regularly appears on top-ten lists of Fantasy/Sci-Fi series.
It's as good as all the positive reviews suggest.
And unlike another remarkably skilled fantasy author, Steven Erikson has completed his grand saga. You actually get to see how it ends... how the author penned the final page.. not how HBO finished it because the author got fat, rich, lazy, and had a heart attack.
Written for adults, this book has rich and deep characters. The world is complex and weaves an interesting network of layered machinations upon machinations.
However, given the great maturity in writing style and characters I kept waiting for a more meaningful and develop story arc. Instead it felt like every event and conflict resolved through deus ex machina---which may have been the point, but it left me wanting a story line to get invested in. I may listen to the second book, but I'm not highly motivated to do so as I don't really care what will happen to these characters (that may also have been the point).
I love fantasy, and I like listening to complicated and dry things. Honestly, I found this book kind of a slog, and I can't decide whether I'll tune in for book two.
Interesting, well drawn world. Unique and compelling use of the supernatural. Tons of promise in the relationship between deities and mortals. Potentially interesting story. Really comes alive in the third act, and by the end I completely believed that a lot of the foreshadowing and hinting will bear interesting fruit in future books. A few characters were well drawn and interesting (loved Kruppe, like Tool).
I don't believe the society at all. It feels like an excuse to house various fantasy tropes.
I don't believe the motivations of any of the characters, seen or unseen. The author doesn't seem to know how to write for deep emotions, or how to realistically grow relationships among characters. Sometimes, bam, they're in love. Sometimes, bam, they're angry at each other. Bam, angst that we're supposed to relate to somehow. It's just out of the blue more often than not.
Often, characters simply deduce things they could not possibly know to advance the plot. This could just be me missing things, but I feel like the book doesn't always take the time to explain things when it should. For example, we hear the word "Otataral" as an adjective for several hours before anyone tells us it's a special mineral. Took me forever to figure out that a Jaghut Tyrant was not a Jaghut that happened to be a tyrant. Is a hound bad? What's a finnest? What's a Bridge Burner, and why do I care? What's a Tiste Andii? Could we spend a little time on how warrens work, and what a path is? Things like that. Robs many scenes of drama until you can piece together what's what. Some of this stuff would be easier if you could read what was capitalized.
Writing is sometimes suspect.
On the reader side:
One major problem here. The book shifts from character to character without headings. Instead, there's an extra line between paragraphs marking the end and beginning of a character perspective. The reader does not pause at all at these transitions (in fact, he goes a little faster), and so it's easy to miss them.
Separately, sometimes, I think the reader is unsure of what the character is feeling when it talks. I don't think he pulls off "Sorry" for this reason.
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!