Royce Melborn is a superb thief, his partner; Hadrian Blackwater is a skilled mercenary. They make a profitable living as agents-for-hire to wealthy nobles until someone sets them up to take the blame for the murder of the king. Sentenced to death, the two are saved by an unlikely woman with a simple demand that will change the course of a kingdom, and the foundation of an empire.
©2011 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2012 Recorded Books LLC
Exciting, funny & tearful. Enchanting story and engaging characters. The narration is expertly done and encorages the emagination to flow. I am in love with the whole series and the narator.
"last book, but review of the series"
I am only going to review the last of the trilogy! with and overview of them all! This may be my own personal oddity, or more to the point, that these books fit together so well as one story, how could i split them up.
I have many reactions to books; happy, sad, angry, bored. It is rare i think, this would make such a good movie. But it is one of those that would, but god knows how you would do it!
It is, lacking better words a fun story! characters that are fun and with some depth to then. A story that keeps pulling you along, you want to know how it resolves itself.
yes there are parts you will guess, but you find when you get there you are happy with the result.
"Its not Game.Of Thrones-but I really enjoyed this."
Having complained that the actor narrating the Game of thrones books uses cliched voices and then changed accents/voices mid story GRRRHHH..However Tim Gerard Reynolds is FANTASTIC and consistent. Sullivan's writing is a league or two lower than Martins, but the story follows on to the next two volumes and concludes quite well, but there is an option to re-enter the world after that I believe but i have not done so..yet
only quibble would be that when he write a romantic scene ( twice through out the 3 books) it's excruciating...too long..like a teenager dreaming an encounter, rather that a genuine adult encounter.
I took this on a chance, then bought the two sequels..well that's not the exact word as they are ll one story ..INSTALLMENT...Give it go
"Ok as fantasy goes"
The story is reliable epic fantasy of the newer style - i.e. no wide eyed innocent hero, but a pair of sell-swords out to redeem themselves after a botched job. Enjoyable, trundles along at a decent pace, no unwelcome surprises a la George R R Martin!
The narration is, unfortunately, laboured. Is seems as though the reader is trying to be careful to get all the words right and in the correct order, meaning it sounds pedantic and slow. He also makes some glaring errors with pronunciation which, although amusing at first, began to really annoy me.
Worth a listen if you have a few free credits but don't put it at the top of your wish list.
"Great. Entertaining. Well written and read."
I cant claim to have read the book - but enormously enjoyed the series in the audiobook format. I enjoyable characters, good plot development and narrative arc. Its a great series thats kept me going for many happy hours of listening.
"hit and miss"
New to fantasy books, i enjoyed the start and the occasional humour of the main protagonists. However, in a book this long, i struggled in parts to wait for the next incident. The narrator was sometimes monotonous but some of the voices helped in distinguishing the different characters - a key factor when listening rather than reading a book. Not sure if I am converted to this genre.
I haven't got the print version of this but it's a keeper and so I am looking to buy the books which I rarely do. Audio books serve a different purpose for me in that I listen when I'm doing something else, gardening, cooking, walking etc - so to want to buy the print book means I've really enjoyed it.
The characterization was really excellent and I engaged with them all from the start. It was good to find a well-written female character there too, something this genre seems to have difficulty with. The last book I read had not one female character at all - sigh! I liked the way that I kept being surprised by the unfolding plot, but didn't obsess over what was going to happen or try to second guess it as I enjoyed the here and now so much. Michael J Sullivan seems a little less 'nerdy' and more of a human being than in usual for this type of book and I found it a very pleasant read.
Tim Gerard Reynolds read all the characters really well - I suppose my favorite has to be Hadrian though. The interplay between Royce and Hadrian was great - an interesting relationship.
I was surprised to find plenty to laugh at - some really funny wry one liners in there, I'm not used to that in this sort of book. Nothing to cry at though - this is an easy listen - if you want a cry - try real life! No long, gruesome, blow by blow battle scenes to wince at (or skip read) either - thank goodness!
Ok - I sound a bit fan girly about this book - but this author is a real find and I can't wait to read more of his writing. I'm off on holiday soon and the next volume will be the perfect companion to a Greek beach!
Story – 4/5
I may have been a little too generous with my star rating on this one. It lacks originality, it can be over detailed with description in places and then provides barely anything at all in others and it does feel a bit episodic. Even despite all these issues though, I still found it highly entertaining. Some of the characters are especially likeable and humorous, which I think is this story’s strong point. The young Prince’s character is developed very nicely.
You actually get 2 for 1 when it comes to this story, as it is in fact an omnibus of 2 originally published stories. You will notice the distinct ending of one, and the start of the other when you are listening. The First half/story is definitely the stronger of the 2, and will be the reason I continue with the rest of the series, but the second didn’t continue with the over-arching story enough in my opinion, although it did hint towards it here and there.
I would recommend it to fans of the genre who are looking for a light, entertaining read – but it isn't ground-breaking in my opinion.
Performance – 3.5/5
Tim Gerard Reynolds is a good narrator. He performs the story very well, and the vast majority of the characters have a distinct voice. I did find that they merged a bit during scenes with heavy dialogue, but the story was easy enough to follow and so it didn’t have a negative effect.
This audiobook was clearly copied from the CD version, as you still get the “Change to disk 2” comments through it. I thought this was a bit sloppy from the production company personally – and not something that I have come across before.
Overall – 4/5
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