Gen was a bard's apprentice, his nimble hands meant for the lute and his voice for a song. Then the half-mad and completely bored Shadan Khairn invaded Gen's village to winter there and start a war. He shoved a sword in Gen's hands and tormented his body, shaping a bard into a warrior to be killed for sport. As the days of torture pile up like the snow, Gen searches for death. But the day is at hand when the shattered shards of the world will knit together again, and the world's slain god will be reborn. The mighty Ha'Ulrich will be the father, the mysterious Chalaine the mother. In dangerous times the holy couple doesn't need a bard. They need a warrior. And Gen needs a reason to live.
©2014 Brian K. Fuller (P)2015 Podium Publishing
A trilogy. Say it in three. Done.
Good fantasy series begins here (but too many typos in e-book). Told in 3rd person, the writing style is quite decent, despite the poor editing. I also heard the whole series, narrated superbly by Simon Vance. He is my favorite narrator.
Lots of weird names, so below are brief descriptions of the characters in this book, and the setting, but no plot spoilers:
The planet is Ki'Hal. Long ago, this fantastical planet split apart into shards, only accessible via magical portals. The three major shards are also nations: Rhugoth, Tolnor, Aughmere. Planet Ki'Hal has three moons: Trys, Duam, and Myn. Trys is eclipsed. Each moon yields different magical gifts, which can be supposedly used only by skilled mages. The nexus for the power of the moon Trys is a sacred place called Elde Luri Mora. Trys, shown on the cover of each book, is central to the plot.
The main character is an orphan named Gen, a likable bard's apprentice turned warrior, about 19 years old when the series begins. He is apprentice to the wise bard Rafael, in the obscure village of Tell, on the nation-shard of Tolnor.
Gen has a crush on Regina and is best friends with Gant. He despises the Showles family, especially their father Bernard, the despicable village leader.
A mad warlord king from a different nation shard (Aughmere) invades Tolnor, and takes an interest in Gen. His name is Torbrand, the Shadad Khairn, sort of like a tribal warrior Khan, or a sheik. Torbrand seemingly only loves one person, his daughter Mina.
Then there is the Chalaine, of noble birth, beautiful, kind, and brave, but overwhelmed by the prophecies of her divine destiny. She's about 18 years old. Her best friend and handmaiden, Fenna Fairedale, plays a strong supporting role. They live on the nation-shard Rhugoth.
The Chalaine is destined to wed the Chertanne, aka the Ha'Ulrich (ull-rick), aka the blessed one. He is from the nation-shard Aughmere. His father is Torbrand, the Shadad Khairn of Aughmer mentioned above.
Together, the Chalaine and the Chertanne (Ha'Ulrich) are prophetically destined to save the world, through their offspring, as described below:
“And thus we see,” Obelard plodded on, “that in this perfect union of Ha’Ulrich and Chalaine there will be powers unparalleled to heal and destroy— the Chalaine’s healing to counter Mikkik’s destruction, the Ha’Ulrich’s generative powers to counter Mikkik’s malcreative force.” The Prelate paused as if expecting some reaction to his brilliant statement.
The Chelaine's mother Mirelle is called The First Mother. She is also beautiful beyond the norm, but is politically shrewd, ruling in the capital city of Mikmir, on the nation-shard of Rhugoth.
We meet three ancient über-warriors: 1) Samian Birchwood, perhaps the kindest one, he's a woodsman (and Maewen's father), 2) Elberen the archer, a wise and knowledgable elf, speaking the old language, and 3) General Telmerran Fourtower, the boldest (and most reckless) of the three.
Members of the elite Dark Guard protect the Chalaine and the First Mother: Dason, Jaron, Kimdan, Gerand, Volney, Cadaen, etc.
Church clerics: High Pontiff Obelard, Mage-priest Ethris, Padra Athan, Aaron the acolyte, Salem the sailor-turned-pureman, etc. They serve the prophecy, and the Church of the One, the murdered god Elderloth. They strive to defeat the god Mikkik and his army of hideous creatures. They also strive to defeat the ilch (ilk), a humanoid sent by Mikkik to destroy the holy couple and their holy child.
The series also includes a few of the Millim Eri, powerful ancient elves, the last of their kind.
Love these characters, the strong women and the courageous men. Wanted more scenes with the elite warriors from the past -- what there is could have been more vivid. Love the friendships and fun scenes, the esprit-de-corps and camaraderie, the loyalty despite threats. But there are grim dark scenes — bloody death and torturous suffering.
Fantastical elements include mages, elves, demons, giants, Orc-like Uyumaak, gods, soul-eating cravers, etc.
Ends on a cliffhanger, of course.
Excellent narrator, Simon Vance.
Re Audible: I rate A-F based on 10-pt scale (e.g. 90-100 = A = *****). I try not to be too soft on ratings, or needlessly give F's.
A few notes up front to those who might actually be interested in reading this review:
1) Despite a bit of criticism below, I think this is a GREAT story, it had me hooked, and I totally recommend it! …especially if they combine the 4 parts**
2) This review covers the saga as a whole & also differentiates the over-arching story/story concept from the books as end-products.
3) I am purposefully very vague in my examples below to avoid spoilers.
Book 1: A-
Overall Trysmoon Saga: A-
I could basically give The Trysmoon Saga two different “grades”; one for the story idea/story line and one for the book. In general, this is a GREAT story for escaping into an engrossing tale (really what I was looking for—now I can go back to more detailed/slower books). If B.K. Fuller can keep imagining stuff like that, we’ll be hearing about him again for sure!! There are, of course, a few fantasy clichés (e.g. simple farm boy [bard] saves world), but that’s impossible to avoid in this genre. I can honestly say, there was no point at which I got bored or felt like it was more of the same. I think this is an A++ story idea, and a B to B+ execution. The reason I don’t give it an A is that, as a whole, it seems less like an complete epic fantasy and more like a great start to what will become a truly spectacular epic fantasy novel (rivaling other famous fantasy books)… as soon as the publisher* tells the author flesh out some parts more. The writing style is plenty fine for me, and I liked that words weren’t wasted on excessively florid environmental descriptions (good for people with a science background like me). On the flip side, there were many opportunities for much more extensive development of characters, story line, or magic systems—all without making the book drag. There are several characters that probably could’ve had an entire novel devoted solely to their backstory, explaining why they act the way they do (a particular mother and a couple of brothers come to mind). Without that, I think a lot of the secondary characters ended up being kind of flat, or at least FAR less dynamic than they could’ve been. There are some classic one dimensional characters, which really could've been rounded out better (especially minors in book 1). In another example of missed potential in a "minor primary" character, this character apparently does such a dramatic about-face that it doesn’t even make sense—nor does it add layers/complexity to the character. While this apparent reorientation is kind of, partially, sort of elucidated to some extent over the saga, there’s no significant further development or explanation as to WHY this apparent behavioral volte-face is actually in concordance with a personality that, as best as I can deduce from the information gleaned, basically just exemplifies a psychopath (in the true DSM-5 clinical sense)… period… end of character development. I mean, it’s still good, but it’s a MAJOR missed opportunity to create some more complex engrossing characters.
The Audio (A-): Solid. No complaints about production quality. The narration/voice acting by Simon Vance is well done. Some character voices sounded fairly similar, leading me to think that Vance may not have (or utilize) the range of someone like George Newbern, who’s range and character diversity creates a TRULY immersive audiobook. That said, I think diction, pace, tone, etc. were excellent, and I would be totally happy to listen to more books narrated by Vance.
Book 1 = Got me hooked! The best of the series (A-).
Nice stroll through the intro, then ramped up. Only complaint: the secondary characters were pretty 1-dimensional
Books 2 & 3 = good (B). In a multipart story, this is the section to fill in character development (and backstories where needed). That fell short. On the other hand, it’s hard to keep the pacing up in the middle, and books 2 & 3 did a fairly good job with that.
Book 4 = very enjoyable final installment. Bonus points for great idea for the story line, and nice dénouement. Honestly, the resolution and dénouement in this final book account for one of the finest conclusions I've encountered in a while. But, the book is a less than perfect final product because it seemed like it could have been fleshed out more. It kind of seemed a bit rushed to get to the initial climax… like all the nonessential details leading up to that part got jettisoned, which messed with the pace and my perception of time passing. I actually jumped back a bit to make sure I didn’t miss anything. (B+/A-)
**This story is broken into 4 fairly short books. So, I can’t help but ask “being honest, how happy am I, really, about blowing 4 credits on this?” …definitely not disappointed, but it’s good book 1 hooked me first [those !@#$% marketers got me this time].
*Self-published text (an apparently well-done one at that) "complicates" that feedback a bit. I can't help but wonder, "If this were taken to a publisher, would those suggestions have been made?"
Exciting and well done.
There are four books in “The Trysmoon Saga” series. They are one long story. Be prepared to read them all. The four books in order are Ascension, Duty, Hunted, Sacrifice.
5 stars for Ascension. Exciting wonderful journey following Gen an orphan. The evil local magistrate bullies and harms Gen and others. Warlord Khairn comes to town killing many. Khairn forces Gen to learn to fight. There are magical creatures and healers in this world. It reminds me of Lord of the Rings with a little Harry Potter.
4 stars for books 2 and 3, Duty and Hunted. Still very good as they continue Gen’s story.
3 ½ stars - maybe 4 stars for the last book Sacrifice. There were sooo many battles and journeys. The main characters fight, flee and survive one obstacle, then an emergency happens and they are fighting something else. I was getting a little weary of battle after battle. But the overall story and how it ended was worthwhile. The evil god Mikkik was close to destroying all the good in the world. The epilogue was fun and very feel good.
PROLOGUE IN THE 1ST BOOK:
I was confused about when this occurred. I kept thinking it was a section from later in the story. In case someone else is confused, here’s what it is. The prologue occurs at some time prior to the start of the first book - maybe decades. Voss and York are two characters in the prologue. They do not appear in the rest of the story and they are not referred to.
Simon Vance is excellent. And he does females well.
Narrative mode: 3rd person.
This book is captivating, well written and even better narrated. Book starts off depicting a simple life within a village where Gen (a bard apprentice) had simple life full of adolescence challenges including his crush. Author does a great job providing details about the village life in a beautiful way which hooks reader into the book from very start. Things start to move when Shadan (main antagonist) shows up in village to setup camp for the winter. Even though Gen is the main character and protagonist, Shadan turns out to be more interesting character who moves the story forward in earlier part of the book.
Shadan who is known to be the best warrior anywhere, senses talent in Gen, and decide to train Gen as a warrior over the winter. His motivation is to create a warrior that would provide a challenge in an eventual duel. His methods are brutal but affective, and a good part of the book goes into Gen's training.
My view of the book as a classic fantasy is that there is a prophecy about return of a savior who will fight against a clearly evil being. The leader of the world believe in it, and politics and religion is impacted by it. Gen's rise from being a simple bard from an unknown city to a warrior of great skills and renown makes him a relevant character around the people destined to bring the savior the world.
Books unravels the story slowly, and keep reader wanting for more. It is beautifully written book which I throughly enjoyed. I will be reading the next books in series, and highly recommend this book
I think in the top 10 books.
My top two favorite Epic Fantasy genre books are:
Eye of the World
The Name of the Wind
More books I liked very much.
Eye of the Moonrat
The Way of Kings
The Warded Man
A Game of Thrones
Wizard's First Rule
A Crucible of Souls
The Way of Shadows
Jhereg: Vlad Taltos
Foundling: Monster Blood Tattoo
The Godling Chronicles: The Sword of Truth
Circle of Reign
Riddle in Stone
The Blacksmith's Son
The Shadow of the Torturer
Luck in the Shadows
Circle of Reign
Some of these books (above) are for younger ages some are more for adults...
"Ascension" is like "Eye of the World" in that we are cheering for the hero! A honest good guy. We want to see a romance develop (yet none in this book). Bad people, yet not that we hate them yet.
I am a fan of Simon Vance. He is a high quality performer.
Fell asleep listening then finished next day on a road trip. I listened to this on a road trip.
I kept hoping this book would get interesting and really grab my attention, but it only got me about half way there. It was good enough to keep me listening, but it wasn't an engrossing listen by any means. The writing isn't great, the pacing is slow, then fast, and then slow again, and I didn't really find myself caring for the characters. Additionally, I had a hard time suspending disbelief. I read some positive reviews about the book, but this really just wasn't my cup of tea.
Simon Vance did an excellant job. Sometimes I really like his narrating and sometimes I just don't. In this case if it wasn't for his excellent performance I never would have made it through the book.
I enjoyed this story up until the main character goes through his change. After that the characters seemed paper thin and the story unoriginal. Especially the antagonist to the lead. I will not say too much so as not to spoil it for others. I am a fan of Simon Vance and I think he did another great job with this book.
Fast paced interesting story with arguably the best narrator in the business. I listened to the entire audiobook in two sittings. Ends on a cliffhanger, as I suspect the other books in the series will.
Bad news is having to wait for the other three books. Good news is that they're coming out in 3 week intervals.
"Brilliant! A must read!6"
Completely captivating characters and story line. Thoroughly enjoyed the book and narrated brilliantly by Simon Vance. I'm very much looking forward to the next book in the series.
"Not bad, better than a lot of whats out there!"
Taking all four books together, its not bad at all, its not a patch on the 1st law, or Demon Cycle, but its better than a lot thats out there. Only issue is the fact it is split into four books, is it really worth four credits? No! if this was one book, even two then I would have been much happier, as it is, its a bit off a rip off!
Loved this book, half way in to it I just could not stop. 9/10 of me.
book two start tomorrow.
"An engrossing yarn."
An orphan boy with personal charm and the gift of eloquence brings out the best and the worst in the people around him. Love stories like that when there's someone to root for.
"It gets better and better"
Yes, The book starts off slowly but it is engaging and leaves you wanting to find out more about th characters and what is coming. IN the end i could not stop listening
The pace and interest in the book grows and grows throughout
Narration is ok. it adds to the story
I had Not long started on audible, and as I'm not a huge reader was unsure of what interests me but took a risk. Found it was a great start. The narrator was brilliant as spoke in the first and third person not loosing me in the unfolding story to come. I got hooked instantly purchasing all further books before completing the first one. Would recommend it to anyone.
breathtaking world . fast pace with no shortage of action. listened at 1.5 speed perfect
Report Inappropriate Content