Gretna, LA, USA | Member Since 2006
If you follow scifi and fantasy writers, you know that David Farland can write, and write well. But...
Is THIS first book in the Golden Queen trilogy more of the same? I am happy to report that it most definitely is just that - An engaging, solid noteworthy first of three books.
This audiobook will capture your imagination, and actually trick you a bit. At first, you'll be completely convinced that it's a fantasy novel. Later, you'll realize that it's actually high scifi. What begins on one world and its diverse peoples and animals (talking bears, for instance), quickly moves to gateways between worlds and human and insect galactic civilizations at war. There are heroes, heroines, anti-heroes, twists, turns, plots, discovery, and ultimately enjoyment.
I found myself easily pulled into this broad, sweeping epic, and when that happens, the author has achieved his or her desire - The reader has been pulled into a world totally designed by the author, and in doing so, suspends reality in lieu of the story.
I liked this audiobook very much, and recommend it highly to you, my fellow Audible listener.
Step forward through the gate, and begin your journey.
If you follow my reviews, you know that I like to roll the dice, to randomly buy a series on a whim, on the luck of the draw. Sometimes, it's a bust.
This time, it's a definite win, but if you go by how the series was created, you'd probably run in the opposite direction.
Here's one for the books: Jim Butcher is well-known for his "Dresden Files" series, created a fantastic fantasy series on a BET. Yep, a bet. Read on.
To quote the Codex Alera Wiki site, "the inspiration for the series came from a bet Jim was challenged to by a member of the Delray Online Writer’s Workshop. The challenger bet that Jim could not write a good story based on a lame idea, and Jim countered that he could do it using two lame ideas of the challenger’s choosing. The “lame” ideas given were “Lost Roman Legion", and “Pokémon”.
It DOES sound lame.
Well, Butcher makes it work. To the nines.
I've finished this first novel, and I'm enjoying this unique story line of humans with Roman similarities binding with elemental furies. Add unique races, backstabbing, politics, military battles, duels and an interwoven story line that pulls it all together, and you get a fantastic story that's simply put, a VERY VERY good listen.
The whole concept of fighting alongside elemental familiars used here is wonderfully executed. It's deep, well-thought magic-based partnership of man and magical creature is a pleasure to experience.
So, what about the writing?
Again, if you follow my reviews, you know that I love ENGAGING fantasy or scifi writing. Anything less won't do. And this is definitely engaging. There's great characters that plot, backstab, challenge, fight for their beliefs, devour their enemies, and celebrate their victories. You're taken on a great romp of a story, and in the end, isn't that what we all want in a good listen?
I know I do, and I so enjoyed this first audiobook in the series, that I bought the entire series. Yep. And I'm not disappointed with the decision.
Who knew that Lost Roman Legions and Pokemon could knock it out of the park?
Home run, Jim. Home run.
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