Its getting harder and harder to find a fantasy series that's not geared towards pre-teens. I'm happy to say this is one such series. The story is great the narration superb and this is just book 1. I highly recommend it.
The authors mastery of the English language is impressive. The prose was beautiful. Unfortunately the story meandered and was highly symbolic in places. It reminded me of a Salvador Dali painting-dreamlike in quality with a lot of symbolism. I'd say that Erikson is not a very good storyteller but a wonderful poet.
Ralph Lister is a great Narrator. I don't think that I could have gotten through the novel without him.
This book has a huge cast, a complex and unfamiliar magic system, and a vast, old, mind boggling world. While I will normally listen to my books at 2x - 3x speed I had to slow this one down to 1X and even then pause some times to try and catch up to what was going on. Even then I spent the first half of the book feeling fairly confused and, to be honest, not particularly attached to any of the characters. So, if you are willing to commit to a book, I think this one can be a real gem, but unlike a lot of other books out there, I found this one to take effort. By the last half of the book I only found myself occasionally trying to remember, for example, who Toc the Younger was.
I expect that I'm going to go back and listen to this again, just so I can pick up on everything I missed the first time around. I'm not sure I would be willing do this with every book I read or listen to, but every once and a while a book that completely alters what I've come to expect out of a fantasy novel is probably a good thing.
I found the writing style hard to get used to at first, but towards the end of the book I found myself really into the story. I would definitely recommend the book but say that you have to stick through at least the first book to get used to it and the second book to get into the story.
I wish I had seen David's review (09-21-13) before I picked up this title. It sums up my sentiments very well. I also agree with another review which pointed out that there is not enough of a break between scenes/chapters to let the listener know there has been a transition. Other than this flaw, the narration was very good.
I must confess that I am a bit challenged in keeping track of names/characters, so I can't fault the book on its complexity. However, the lack of action and suspense was perhaps even a bigger issue for me. Had there been regular fight scenes and close calls, I might have made it through to the end. As it was, scene after scene with dialog between characters who were almost as confused as I was became very tedious.
If you enjoy multitudes of characters and factions with much scheming, then this book is for you. If you prefer forming a sense of connection with a smaller group of characters in a faster paced story with action, then I recommend passing on this series.
The story in my opinion could have been set up better it takes a while to understand all the players I almost turned off twice to skip it and mark it up as a lost cause. I am glad u kept going as once I began to put the pieces together the story got better and better . I am now looking forward to the next book I. The series
Some of the parts are great, but I had to seriously concentrate to get the story. This is the first time this has happened for me, so then I blame the author.
I've read the book and just wanted a refresher as I work though the series via paper. I had no intention of re-buying the whole series on audible, but this performance knocked my socks off and all I'm thinking is I hope the same guy did the rest of the series because I want to hear his take on some of my other favorite characters later on!
I liked the book but it wasn't until close to the end that I figured out what was going on. The book switched to different scenes without notice and I often had to back up the audio and really concentrate on what the narrator said to understand that he was reading about different characters in a different setting.
In spite of a great narration, this is one of those books that needs to be read instead of listened. It's simply too large, with too many characters, and too many subplots, to be easily consumed in the audiobook format. I'm going to get the kindle version and re-read it, to see if I want to continue with this series or not.
I have some other problems with the book, but I'm going to hold off on those feelings until I've read the kindle version. I may feel differently after reading the book with my own eyes. For now I'll just say, buy the paper or kindle version. Not the audiobook.