C.S. Friedman, acclaimed author of The Coldfire Trilogy, returns to the epic style which has made her one of the most popular fantasy writers in the genre. In this first book of the trilogy, Friedman introduces listeners to a world of high fantasy, replete with vampire-like magical powers, erotic interludes, treachery, war, sorcery, and a draconic creature of horrific power and evil that will have listeners eagerly awaiting the next novel in the series.
©2007 C.S. Friedman (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
"[I]maginative, deftly plotted fantasy." (Publishers Weekly)
"Powerful, intricate plotting and gripping characters distinguish a book in which ethical dilemmas are essential and engrossing." (Booklist)
I listen to a bit of everything. Mostly Fantasy and paranormal romance with my wife. Along with mysteries/thrillers, even some sci-fi.
Yes, it's a good solid fantasy book and anyone into fantasy would probably enjoy it.
It depends on the friend. Some like fantasy and fast paced books, others avoid genre fiction like the plague. It depends on the friend. I do have friends that would easily enjoy this book and others would think it's terrible.
I really enjoyed the witch queen. She's an interesting character, with a rich history. She doesn't have the long life of the Magister's, but she is a crucial stone in the Magister's political world. Her timeline goes in a lot of interesting places.
It's a very slow burn. There's a lot of set-up with the world and characters. It's a bit boring for the first 60-70 percent, but there is good pay-off. It leaves a lot of open plot-lines that will probably be tied up in the rest of the series.
This is my first exposure to C.S. Friedman, and she creates a very detailed world with a lot of backstory. From the first female magister, to these huge countries each with their own unique cultures and customs. There were some interesting rules between the Magisters as well, they can't actively kill each other, but they're rivals which didn't make a ton of sense as they were essentially demi-gods, but could cause mischief and essentially this world's version of trolling on another. Interesting concept, but I didn't see how it went anywhere.
Narrator Elisabeth Rodgers does a pretty good job. I've listened to her from the Georgina Kincaid series by Richelle Mead where she did a solid job as well.
Overall, this is an OK book. It's a very slow burn. There's some interesting concepts from women's rights (first female magister, witch queen, etc.), the magic system life being the spell component, the world itself is rich and has a lot of interesting history. Part of me thinks this story should have been 10 hours longer, to build the world more completely, but there just wasn't enough substance to warrant 18 hours much less 28. I'm looking forward to book 2, but it's not on the top of the pile.
I absolutely loved this fantasy, which has it all: a host of characters you care about, convincing villains you love to hate, moral ambiguity of heroes and evil doers alike, realistic world building, fast paced narrative, terrific writing and probably the best narrator I've ever listened to! Can recommend this book highly enough!! And now, on to the sequel...
love the narrator, her speed, annunciation and dramatic application is perfect, but there is one thing she need to work on. her scream. makes me laugh and roll my eyes.
Addicted to Audible.
No, they don't like these kinds of stories. This is Earthsea meets J.R.R. Tolkien mixed with Arabian Nights.
Fresh, new concepts expertly handled. A deft balancing of intimate warmth for illumination of character and the cold detachment for establishing scale and socio-political scope. Friedman is a world-maker and a transformative hand upon the stuff of genre. Bravo.
Elisabeth Rodgers delivers worthy and magnificent performance. It was her charismatic narration in the sample that prompted me to give this book a try, and the promise of that sneak peek kept in full.
I have read scores of fantasy novels by many authors in the 23+ years I've been an avid reader. C.S Friedman is a truly gifted fantasy writer and in my top 3 authors of all time.
The author presents us a truly unique view on magic and its user through a dark, powerful story threaded with glimpses of hope and light. It is narrated quite well and will be sure to keep fantasy fans engaged for hours of listening pleasure.
Geek in disguise!
Not what I expected even after reading the "back cover". Only chose this because of the narrator and she did not disappoint.
Favorite books: Mysteries Amelia Peabody & Inspector Gamache, supernatural novels by Laurel K. Hamilton, Ilona Andrews and many more!
In the beginning I thought this book was interesting and well written. That interest began to fade due to the sexist overtones, that not only continued throughout the book but intensified.
There's an elite group consisting only of men based on their ruthlessness and tenacity, which women do not possess in this book. The female character comes from low origins, is impulsive, consistently loses control and is seen as a sex object one time too many. There's a secondary female character who has a bevy of male lovers who indulge her, allowing her to have her own realm in return for her sexual favors. One female is sexually abused in the book. Needless to say, the males in the book are smart, cunning, ruthless and fearless (whether or not they choose to use these traits for good or bad). I'm sure the females will evolve over time, but I'm not interested in reading three books to see this come about. I was also disappointed with the lack of worth placed on human life. I know its fiction but it still feels wrong to so freely sacrifice lives as a means to an end, and the ones that practice this are accepted and even revered within the society.
My frustration reached its peak when the book ended abruptly, so I have to buy the next book to find out what comes next. I prefer that each book stand alone. Although I have read and enjoyed books that do not, I do not enjoy books that are completely open-ended.
I did enjoy this book, but I struggle to say good things about it. The characters aren't exactly flat, but their not exactly very dynamic. The story isn't predictable, but it doesn't feel like it gives you anything unexpected. The ending is a bit of a let down I thought. Given that this is part one of a trilogy I guess that is expected.
What I am trying to say I was left with mixed feelings and I'm really not sure if I will go on to the next book or not. This series is worth a try, but it wouldn't be my first choice.
As a side note, somehow the strongest thing that sticks out in my mind about this book was the gratuitous use of the word "Slowly" and "Noooooooo!". If such things bother you I'd pass on this one. I guess that being my biggest impression proves about 3 stars is appropriate.
The narration was a plus, I thought that it was handled very well. So there is always that.
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