This book is quite a bit more than just a nod at Tolkien. Almost every fantasy element in this story is based upon LOTR.
While an OK story, it really struggles at points.
The reading of the book was fine. Not the best I have ever heard, but not terrible either.
The story itself is what I did not care for. Far too much "carrot and stick". I'm all for a good mystery or fantasy that builds on itself but this story seems to depend quite alot on "fantasy vocab". The author introduces a new name/concept and then tries desperately to keep the reader involved as he slowly unravels the definition of that new name/concept.
Some people really like that kind of storytelling. It's not my thing. I'm after a well written tale, not something that tries to hook me in and then string me along with fantasy terminology.
Aside from that the story seems some what forced in several areas. The author obviously knows how to write, but in some spots it just doesn't seem to flow very well.
Finally, this is not a book for the younger crowd. There are some very dark areas that are not child friendly.
The first book in the series is by far the best. This story should stand alone without the rest of the series. Also, the narrator does a magnificent job of telling this story. You could not have picked a better artist to tell this tale.
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