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 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.
I went into this book after reading glowing praise from other readers whose opinions I respect and was utterly disappointed. There are so many characters in the first 2 hrs that even though the narrator (who by the way was brilliant) did a great job of creating unique voices for each even he couldnt save it from being a jumbled mess. I listen to audio books like most people while commuting or working out and for me this book was just to hard to follow. I listen to be entertained not to have to rewind and listen again to see if I had the right character doing the right thing. Sorry its just my opinion and Im clearly in the minority but for me it was just to much to try to keep up with.
Not if the style is the same
Everything He was fantastic!
I would have stuck with maybe 10 characters instead of 40 in the first 5 chapters.
I was so gung ho about this series I bought the 2 books following this one and am ever so thankful to Audible that they let me return them.Lesson learned I wont be doing that again.
I'm 24 hours into it and still don't know what's going on or why and I don't care about any character or plot line. People die but are still alive. Wounded but healed but wounded but sort of healed miraculously or sometimes not. Big and mean but impotent. Small and fragile but impotent. But sometimes not. Everyone is against everyone else, or not, sometimes. Yeah, it's like that. There isn't any focus. The writing jumps from one seemingly irrelevant place to another relevant place with no known relevance.
Lister has an incredible array of voices and moves easily from one to another. He is a great reader.
I'm done with this series.
The story is enormous. It eclipses virtually every other work in the high fantasy genera.
The diverse cast of characters yields an atmosphere unlike any other book I have ever read.
These characters could not be better performed. Ralph Lister's style, pace, and huge library of voices is truly incredible.
If you have any love for high fantasy, just click buy.
Yes, only for a friend looking for a book to listen to but not someone who wanted a book with a good story.
Yes, but after this one I would only gravitate towards his books if I just wanted something to listen to in the car.
Ralph Lister's performance was solid and he portrayed all the characters well. He ability to change from Demi-God to lowly farm hand was impressive.
Yes but only because the story took so long to come together. The book starts in the middle almost, dropping you in the middle of a very integral conflict. Making you piece together puzzle of what happened. I was forced to listen twice to a few chapters after the fact to make sure I did not miss a characters name or position. It may be reader error but I am not a fan of a book where you are forced to deal with a lack of meaningful prologue.
The series is supposed to be better after the first book because the characters continue. You learn to enjoy the Captain and Whiskey Jack but it takes the book. Which is probably how they would be in real life: you don't enjoy their company but then you start to appreciate the gruff.