Like the previous reviewer, I couldn't start listening once I started. I responded to the depth and honesty of many of the characters and found myself laughing out loud, groaning in consternation, and shouting at one character or another. Thom, the main character, is certainly likable, but also certainly flawed. I found myself frustrated with him and his actions (or inaction!) more than once throughout the narrative--like a good friend who just keeps making mistakes. The fantasy world of this novel is fun, with many somewhat darker connections to our own world. For me, the fantasy took a backseat to the excellent development of a whole stable of characters, as well as the heartfelt romantic element. This novel is fun, intelligent and meaningful without being cloying or overly concerned with pushing an agenda. The writing style is honest and straightforward with some whimsical touches. I am eagerly awaiting a sequel!
I haven't been this excited by a new (to me) series in years! The author does an excellent job writing nuanced characters with realistic motivations. He also creates a vivid, interesting world, while simultaneously keeping the action and the storyline moving. This is one of those books that makes you laugh out loud, exclaim in surprise, and want to find out what happens next. I am a fan of other epic fantasy authors--Robert Jordan, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Terry Goodkind, George R.R. Martin, etc., and this series is right up there with their best. The narration is excellent as well, and helps immerse you in the world of the story. Very highly recommended--6 stars!
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