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Cephrael's Hand Audiobook

Cephrael's Hand: A Pattern of Shadow and Light, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

"All things are composed of patterns...." And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross.

In Alorin...300 years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centuries past earned him a traitor's brand. It is the Adept Vestal Raine D'Lacourte's mission to learn what Bjorn knows in the hope of salvaging his race. But first he'll have to find him....

In the kingdom of Dannym...the young Prince Ean val Lorian faces a tenuous future as the last living heir to the coveted Eagle Throne. When his blood brother is slain during a failed assassination, Ean embarks on a desperate hunt for the man responsible. Yet his advisors have their own agendas, and his quest for vengeance leads him ever deeper into a sinuous plot masterminded by a mysterious and powerful man, the one they call First Lord.

In the Nadori desert...tormented by the missing pieces of his life, a soldier named Trell heads off to uncover the truth of his shadowed past. But when disaster places him in the debt of Wildlings sworn to the First Lord, Trell begins to suspect a deadlier, darker secret motivating them.

©2010 Melissa McPhail (P)2016 Podium Publishing

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (878 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Dason 07-30-16
    Dason 07-30-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is a great book!!!"

    If you don't like large fantasy novels expertly written, then this is not the book for you

    The start is a bit hard to keep up with, because from page-one you hit the ground running, there is so much going on and it keeps its momentum through out the book.

    I had seen an advertisement for this book saying "if you like Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan you will love this book."
    I am always skeptical when people say things like that, but in this case it was true.
    Robert Jordan is dead, Brandon Sanderson completed the wheel of time based off of his notes, (I am a big fan of Brandon Sanderson.) But Melissa McPhail is the closest I have come to experiencing a story that has the feel of The Wheel of Time.

    For many years epic fantasy has been a boys club, ( there have been many woman fantasy writers but none of them had the depth or complexity for me to see them as one of the top fantasy writers)
    I am glad to say this is no longer the case, (in the past for years alone I have gone through about 1000 books, and I have found great female Fiction writers, science fiction writers, but until now I had never found a great female Fantasy author.
    This series deserves its place in the top 10 if not the top five great epic fantasy series out there.

    38 of 41 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Grosch 08-28-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Average overall — good plot, subpar characters"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No, this is a book to listen to while doing something else.


    If you’ve listened to books by Melissa McPhail before, how does this one compare?

    This is the first one.


    What three words best describe Nick Podehl’s voice?

    Not best performance.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    About half way through the novel and I suspect I won't be able to finish it. Here are some of the things that I enjoy about this story. The overall story is interesting and the mysteries behind the plot are compelling. The magic system is unique. This is a long book that gives the buyer a lot of value for the credit. There are a lot of unique species that gives this story a very fantastic aspect, in the most literal sense.

    The worst aspect of the book is the unrealistic interactions between many of the characters. For example, every time the story follows Trell "of the tides" you know several things will happen: he will be complemented about being intelligent and wise by strangers (he does not demonstrate these qualities at any time), he will be called handsome by random strangers, and he will fantasize about having sex with attractive women whom he recently met. He also gets lauded for his military genius but you never hear about any of the details. Yes, we are told that he was instrumental in winning a major battle, but what he did and how it was better than what others could do... who knows. This makes many (most?) of his interactions unrealistic. Trell, a major character, is able to single handedly sink this novel, but there other examples that I won't include in this brief review.

    I did not feel that Nick Podehl was the best narrator for this novel. I've listened to five or six different novels narrated by him and this was the worst. His desert voices are especially grating. I don't think the story is dark or epic enough to have a deep voice like Michael Kramer, maybe Tim Gerard Reynolds. The way Podehl does the voices enhances the ridiculous way that some of the characters interact.

    All in all, not the best and not the worst. For me, believability of characters is more important than fantastic story. I think that if the writing style is improved the next novels will be a real treat to read, but as is this series is for those with extra credits and nothing interesting going on.

    37 of 42 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachael Saad 10-07-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I'm having a hard time following this book"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I'm an avid audible member and have listen to hundreds of books, but for some reason I can’t seem to follow this one. It seems like the book skips around from character to character so fast that it’s difficult to follow the story-line. I’m all for complex but this seemed convoluted to me. Soo sorry but I had to throw this one back and move on to a different book.


    What was most disappointing about Melissa McPhail’s story?

    I could not follow the character's - right when I started to understand and follow along the book switched gears to a different character and you had to start all over again to learn the location, the background and what direction the book is heading.


    What does Nick Podehl bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I love the way Nick can bring a character to life with all the voices he uses. I'm sure they had to make a list of characters and figure out who went where before they could even begin to develop the characters style or persona. He is wonderful!


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Cephrael's Hand?

    Build the story background slower, I felt bombarded by it. Too much to absorb in such a short time with out any reference. Stop hopping between characters, give your reader time to familiarize themselves with the story and who the characters are. I get the idea the author is trying to create mystery, but the way it was presented just added to the confusion. I'm no writer and cant begin to know how difficult it is... Best of luck


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy D. Ginn 10-04-16

    Timothy Ginn

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Character much?"

    Okay, don't get me wrong this is an excellent book. However I caution listen to the first 5-10 chapters twice. There are so many characters and storylines make sure you have them straight then listen on.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin A. Willis Homewood, Illinois 08-20-16
    Kevin A. Willis Homewood, Illinois 08-20-16

    Sci-Fi/Fantasyphile

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    "Cephrael's ?"

    Cephrael's Hand is not a good audiobook. Trel, a main character, awoke 5 years ago without any memories. He finally sets out on a quest in an attempt to learn his roots. Several times in the novel individuals offer to answer his questions. Trel, however, declines. UNBELIEVABLE! The world building is never truly explained. Who are the main protagonist? What are their motivations? What powers or abilities do they posses? There seem to be several levels of demigods? What is the hierarchy?Why do some want to kill humanity? Just saying he/she is malevolent does not answer the question. There seem to be multiple levels of conflict. How do they intertwine?
    After listening to the book, I am more confused than at the beginning. Nick Prodehl does a good job with limited material. Maybe the written novel has some maps, charts, list of the many characters etc that brings more sense to this mishmash. I give up!

    29 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Fort Worth, TX 10-06-16
    Amazon Customer Fort Worth, TX 10-06-16 Member Since 2012

    Valen

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    "A sub-par fantasy."

    This is only for the hardcore epic fantasy enthusiast that is 20 series down and can't figure out what to read next. Cephrael's Hand might hit the spot, but the writing suffers heavily from telling and not showing. The story isn't bad, just overly familiar, with far too many ideas I can trace a straight line back to Wheel of Time.

    The narrator does a great job with the material he is given.

    Full disclosure: I got about 60% through and quit reading, so maybe the ending is worth it? Also, there are great many people that seem to love this book, so maybe it just wasn't my shot of whiskey. (It should have been - I'm nothing if not an epic fantasy enthusiast)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blacky 09-10-16
    Blacky 09-10-16
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    "do it"

    Confusion with the first few hours. Push through 2 find a gem. Overall I'm pleased happy to have found this one

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Harbison 09-08-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Start to a new series"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, anyone that's a fan of the Stormlight series by Brandon Sanderson, or patrick Rothfuss' Name of the Wind series, this is what you want to read next


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Trell. I just enjoyed his parts of the book the most out of the other characters. He wasn't as prevalent in this book but hopefully he has a larger part in the second one.


    What does Nick Podehl bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He reads each character so well and distinctly. If you liked his narration of the Name of the Wind than you'll like this.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is very big. There are a LOT of characters and for some, like Trell, you can go a long time before returning to a character's tale. Just beware of that and pay attention or you'll get a few story-lines mixed up.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-10-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing Storytelling"

    Waited for the audible release as I listen on my way to work. Amazing story, I find myself just sitting in my car not wanting to stop.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael 08-22-16
    michael 08-22-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great story"

    a great read it was a cross between Terry Brooks and Robert Jordan I look forward to the second book

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Mads
    8/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worth it"
    What did you like most about Cephrael's Hand?

    It was a decent story with more or less alright writing. The narration was great.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Cephrael's Hand?

    Most probably the ones with the pirate. That's all you're getting, no spoilers.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    There were quite a few, yet, some of the fight scenes were pretty neat.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Movie 1 of 10 in an epic saga of family, friendship and clumsy attempts at love.


    Any additional comments?

    Be warned... For all it's good points, the writing is lacking in a few key aspects. Among other faults is the authors habit of repeating words. There is a limit to how many times in one sentence I want to hear the phrase "tawny eyes". That limit is once. Once per sentence.
    Other than that, it's good.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • prior.mary
    FARNBOROUGH, United Kingdom
    10/6/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mixed feelings"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Only after warning them that it had weaknesses, however it's not a bad story and is very well narrated.


    Would you recommend Cephrael's Hand to your friends? Why or why not?

    I was happy listening to it as I was doing so in the garden or doing jobs - if I'd sat to listen to it, I should have got very irritated by the writing style and given up.


    Have you listened to any of Nick Podehl’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No, I don't think so but it was the performance that kept me listening.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, not really - found bits of the parts with the pirate amusing though.


    Any additional comments?

    This book really needed a severe editing. Lots of cliches and over-use of adjectives/adverbs, sometimes oddly - weird use of the word 'subtlety' and lots of repetition. An over fondness of elaborate description and names, both of which are pretty unoriginal holds up the narrative. The basic story is quite good but the writing is a bit ponderous. Hence I shan't follow up with the next volume as I don't care enough about the characters to persist with the heavy narration style.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Elizabeth
    10/21/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Looking forward to more!"

    I've been looking for a new book series to listen to and this is has real potential. Fantastic start to this series and great narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mel Berryman
    9/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing"
    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book it was captivating and well written and Nick Podehl's narration was brilliant, one of the best narrators I've had the pleasure of listening to.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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