The Living Light fades.
An Ancient Darkness awakens.
The Living Light that sustains Arlethia is dwindling.
An unknown, vicious enemy approaches in stealth from beyond the northern glaciers, a wasteland of ice that spans hundreds of miles. A clandestine brotherhood of assassins, held in check by the Light for millennia, seeks to break their maledictive shackles and unleash their bloodlust upon the world. Those that should stand with Arlethia clothe themselves in betrayal, desiring her secrets for themselves, leaving Arlethia to stand alone.
The rebirthing of lands ceased decades ago. The world of Valeira is dying. Only Arlethia, the Western Province of the Realm, remains untainted by the Ancient Dark's Influence. Reign, the young daughter of Arlethian Lord Thannuel Kerr, becomes entangled in a perilous web of deceit, greed, and assassination plots after witnessing something horrific - something that will destroy all she knows and loves. As threats culminate, she and her twin brother, Hedron, must battle demons on every side - both external and internal - in their efforts to save Arlethia from extinction, as they simultaneously reach for their own personal redemption. But they have become pariahs to their own people. There will be few that dare to stand with them in the dimming Light - and even fewer that will survive.
The world of Valeira cannot endure without Arlethia. And the Living Light is fading.
©2016 Jacob Cooper (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
Epic Fantasy and a little sci-fi are my concerns in life. Rarely leave reviews. If I do, it means I loved it or hated it.
Cannot recommend this book higher. I've never listened to a book that made me think Robert Jordan had come back from the grave. Circle of reign has the magic and awe of Sanderson (think way of kings with mistborn pacing) with the prose and breadth of Jordan. Cooper is ALMOST there, but this is his first book, I think. I'm blown away for a self-published author.
Favorite characters: Rehum, Reign, Aiden, and Honleir, the desert boy.
This is not just "good vs bad". The web is complex. First, you have Reign (no spoilers), that witnesses something she should not have. This sets in motion a spiral of events that brings great danger and loss to those she loves, even her entire race. She is only 9 years old when the story stars. Watching her progress and getting to see her grow was awesome. She starts out innocent, quickly becomes damaged, then we must see if she wilts or rises up. It may not turn out how you think.
Her twin, Hedron, the next heir of the western province (arlethia) is definitely a good character, a good person, but has his demons with what happens to his family. Because of his character, this story qualifies as a coming of age story.
Aiden, master of the hold guard, grew up in a very turbulent setting, to say the least. He is loyal to the Kerr family to a fault, but has to overcome his failures and guilt. There's a lot more to him, I suspect, that I hope we find out in future books.
Rehum is the most mysterious. There are at least two main antagonist forces (Rehum and the Helsyans), but they may not be acting together, maybe even against each other. The stage is set for an interesting mix of complex plotting.
Then there's the mystery itself. The secret order of the Gyldenal; The Ancients and Those Not Remembered; the world of Våleira as a character and its destiny; the Ancient Dark (what Cooper calls Entropy); the Dark Mother; the Lumenatis; the history of the world that seems have been long lost and is now being discovered by two hilarious but determined characters.
And finally, my biggest pull to the next book: the Haxlium, the wolf, and Honleir, the desert boy. Those mysteries are so well woven as sub-plots that they are what I'm still thinking about days later. This is one I will re-read.
This book was very rewarding. The narration was excellent (Michael Kramer, so of course), and the story...the action, the intensity, just very rewarding. Will be thinking about this book for months to come. Can't wait for the next.
I read and listened to the self published versions of Circle of Reign and have been anticipating the second volume Song of Night for like two years and I was disappointed to see a re-release instead of the next volume in the series. I noticed that it was longer than the first version and I said why not give it another go. IT IS WORTH EVERY MINUTE!!!! Expanded plot, amazing detail, superb foreshadowing, and surprising twists. It's like it was written by a much more seasoned author. Jacob Cooper is one of the best new authors of our age! If you haven't yet read or listened to Circle of Reign I implore you to pick it up and send it to all your friends! Can somebody please option this as a movie or HBO series already!!! Absolutely Fantastic!!!!!
I read the first edition. This second edition is incredible. the first was great--this is mind blowing.
Reign and Thannuel are incredibly well drawn characters. Reign, especially, is beautifully created. I loved how deep into her mind we get. This showcases the author's talent, which is many levels above most of those I read in this genre.
And Crimson Snow--it's not unique to have an intelligent animal but I loved how Cooper spun this. The ending left me drooling for more.
The action scenes in this book played out in my mind like a movie in 3D on a panoramic screen. I felt like I was there. incredible metaphors and imagery. The writing is very high level to me.
If you love Sanderson, Rothfuss, and Renshaw, you WILL be sucked into Circle of Reign.
first came across Jacob Cooper back in August of 2015. I had a job that I could listen to books most of the day, so I went through audio books fast. For that reason I was searching Audible one morning before I went to work for something new, I only had 2 requirements. First that it was read by someone I liked already. And second that it was long. When I search for a new book I usually do a search of my favorite narrators first. I searched Luke Daniels and didn’t see anything new. Then Michael Kramer and what do you know, I saw Circle of Reign a bit over 20 hours long. I was in a hurry so i didn’t even read the description, I just started downloading it to my phone and left for work.
I know what you’re saying right now. You are saying “How the hell can he remember doing a search for a book over a year ago?” Well I have a pretty good memory when it comes to what happens in books. But not names, if I ever meet you in person save us both some awkwardness and tell me your name at least 10 times over the next hour or two. I am almost as bad with book titles and even worse with Song titles. But if we had met at a book store and we walked down the aisles I can point to every book I have read and give a synopses of what it’s about. That is a lot of books, but let’s get back to the one I am reviewing, whatever it’s called.
I usually start my reviews with the Physical aspects of a book. But we need to go about this one differently. See this book Is not the same one I downloaded over a year ago. Well that’s not actually true. Since I first listened to it till now it has undergone a lot of changes. No I don’t mean like puberty. Jacob was approached by a guy you might have heard of named David Farland and if you don’t recognize him from his Runelords Series, you might know some of the people he taught while a English professor like Brandon Sanderson, Brandon Mull, James Dashner, and Stephanie Meyer. (You shouldn’t hold that last one against him.) David had read CoR and enjoyed it but thought this self published first time author could make it even better with some coaching. So together they cut about 35,000 words and then added around 70,000. The result is not really a new book but I will admit a better one.
Now let’s get to the Physical part. The cover is pretty cool and shows a part out of the book well. But it is not very eye catching. I listened to the audio book again excellently narrated by Kramer. And while the first version was a nice long AB this version is even longer at 24 hours 37 min.
Now a bit about the book itself. The story takes place in a rather Grimdark world, where the land seems to be dying. The country is called Senthara, and it is one of the last bastions of humanity. But on occasion people looking for farmable land come with their whole civilizations but that is the plot for the prequel Altar of Influence: The Orsarian War. Also free as of now free on Kindle Unlimited
One of the things I love the most about this book is the action POVs Like in the graphic below there are 3 people 2 fighting and one watching. Well you as the reader are not bound to one POV you are bound to the action. During this fight you will see out of each one’s eyes and here their thoughts. It is so cinematic you can’t help but picture a movie in your head as you read.
I wouldn’t actually classify this series as Grimdark, but it is a near thing. The only reason holding it back is no one really knows how screwed they are. The main character is Reign A Wood dweller of the Western Provence known as Arlethia.
What is a Wood dweller? Well they are not long lived like elves but they do have the ability to sense vibrations of anything moving close to them through the tree roots and are blessed with an almost super hero level speed .
A few things didn’t really fit smoothly for me but they will probably be resolved in book two. There is quite a bit of in world language used that did get a bit confusing at times but not enough I didn’t know what they were talking about. I loved the original and rated it 4.5 stars. This one was even better and it gets a full 5 stars out of 5. Keep reading to find out more about the giveaway.
Having read this book and the short stories and prequels, this is a fantastic series. I wish Cooper would hurry and get the rest of the chronicle out so that I could Have something else worthwhile to read.
Phenomenal creativity by the author Jacob Cooper. I love the way he describes everything to the point you can visualize each scene as it plays out and transitions to what's next. The suspense in this book is thrilling. Can't wait for the next book!
Epic Fantasy is definitely the correct description/genre of this book. I love the setting: a world where lands cycle or die and then are reborn many years later. What an incredible element that makes for intriguing behaviors and mindsets of the people in the world. Would create a very realist/real politik international society, except you don't even want other countries/nations to even know you exist...because they would simply invade when their lands start to cycle. Very good world building and setting.
Characters are good. Flawed but with believable motives. The suspense of this rises to that of a edge-of-your-seat thriller along with a well-thought out magic system. Bring on the next book.
Another reviewer said this book was "cinematic". I have to agree. I could easily see the action and scenes as a movie. I hope that happens, this book is worthy of it. Just afraid of it being ruined by a lame director. Excited for book 2!
Loved this expanded version. Loved it! So much depth and detail added that opened up the world and characters so much you come to know and feel with them. Get ready to be hooked so bad it's hard to put it down!
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