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)
This mountain of books isn't going to listen to itself.
I loved the magic system. It was simple and fun. I would say this book was almost a light read but not quite there. Other reviewers said the book was slow, I did not see that at all. The story developed at just the right pace if you ask me.
I cant think of one. Not too many books I read have a female protagonist.
No I have never listened to her before. But I would again.
To be honest I really have a hard time listening to Female Narrators. Elisabeth did a awesome job. I went right into the story like you should after a books gets going.
Never. Driving, house/yard work and when I play madden are my listening times.
I thought this book was fun. I dont know if I will get the second book however. I have a big bucket list of books.
This review is of the entire trilogy:
After an interesting beginning, I was so hoping that there would be something about the main character that would make her interesting. Unfortunately that never happened. I was so disappointed. She was quite dull and shallow.
The author was too predictable. One of the problems I had was with how she would always kill off potential mates of the main character. Some of them started of quite interesting and likable. Yet you knew they were going to die like red shirted crewmen on Star Trek.
Most male characters were cookie cutter as well. They were mostly self centered, shallow, and misogynistic. Very few were worthy and noble. If they were, they were killed off.
It is sad. There were a lot of missed opportunities with this series.
The narrator was not very good either. She is pretty flat and emotionless. She did not help the story at all.
Overall, I recommend passing on this series. There is nothing redeemable.
interesting twist, but very slow to get there. hoping book two will get to the guts. of the story
pick up the story pace
yes - trying book two
I love to read. I also love to write.I'm a harsh critic and very, very, very rarely give five star reviews to anything. Three stars for me is an average representation of literature and not a bad review by any stretch.
No, the book was not a waste of time. It had its faults, but overall a pretty good story.
Depends on what sort of fantasy they are in to. This book has some slow points, which is fine, but certainly not for everyone.
I thought Elisabeth Rodgers did a good job separating characters by their voices. Even if some of them seem hackneyed at times.
Honestly? I don't know if this book would translate well to a movie. Lots of the story revolves around things happening inside the characters (such as how their magic works) and I don't know if that would come through well on the big screen.
But, by all means, prove me wrong.
I cannot go without saying one important thing. Kamala, who seems to be the main character, appears to take second stage to too many other characters at times. I think the book suffered from a flood of too many POV characters and not enough time focused on the her. I think the story could have been told with a heavier focus on her and some of the other characters left out when it comes to POV. It was a disappointing aspect of the book that haunted me from start to finish. She seemed to act very out of character towards the end of the book and I think had more time been spent on her, her transformation, her actions, and her motivations would have been clearer to me as a reader.
I love Sci Fi/Fantasy books. The very first author I listened to was Laurell K Hamilton. I love audiobooks they allow me the luxury of books without reading since I don't see well at all.
No, this book wasnt for me but I think person that would like it more would be someone who likes long slower books or maybe someone who already likes this author
NO I still like this genre of books however I dont think this is a series I will continue on with.
yes the narration did match the story long and slow.
I would cut Camalla she never really developed for me.
The thing I did not like about this book was the constant gut wrenching reminders of the poor girl’s youth. I get it she was sold into prostitution; you don’t need to bring it up ever chapter. It’s awful and I don’t want to hear it over and over again.
The last hour was good but not sure if I will buy book #2.
The premise here (in particular the magic system) is quite novel and fantastic. The characters are compelling, though I don't feel as deeply connected to any of them as if like to. There's a TON of laws and customs and ancient knowledge dumped on the reader...important to the story, but hard to hold straight. It seems as though the author repeats key concepts too many times, as though I didn't get it the first couple. Characters take different names often as part of disguises, which can be confusing. The various threads of story take a long time to converge, but their convergence is rather glorious. Adverbs abound, distractingly. ;) The distinct voices done by the narrator do a great job of helping keep various characters distinct from one another.
I'm a fan of CS Friedman's writing and I enjoyed this book when I read it, so I decided to give the audio version a chance. Friedman's prose still shines as strongly as ever but the narration.....was ok. Rodgers doesn't seem to have a terribly large range of voices to draw from, but that's fine enough in and of itself. But when Kamala appeared.......and started speaking in a sometimes British accent. Its a baffling choice and extremely distracting. Often character voices can enhance a story and draw me in but here every time Kamala "spoke" I was jarred out of the story by this extremely out-of-place accent. Its made listening to this story incredibly difficult.
The reading is a major stumbling block for me. Although Elisabeth Rodgers reads with plenty of tone variation, the rhythm is grating; ends of phrases very often have an excessively drawn out last word; this may just be the normal cadence of her native area in the US; a little too breathless too often makes the drama too little distinguishable from the melodrama.
The writing and plot development didn’t do anything for me either. I found no character to care about; or even to be interested in … I finished the book in hope, but nothing eventuated; the writing tries to manipulate sympathy, but …excessive contrivance doesn’t help ... padded with internal dialogue.
The plot seems derivative (Game of Thrones – I wonder which was written first); although it does have some originality. It is a shame it doesn’t intrigue, or entertain sufficiently.
The book doesn’t really stand on its own; book 1 of 3.
"Epic Adventure, refreshingly stars a female hero"
I would recommend this audiobook because it's a good, epic, (what I would call) low-fantasy story. Lots of great characters and solid consistent world, with believable heroes, doing the best they can. The story moves from the micro to the macro covering both individual tales and wider, world-effecting events.
I love the completeness of the world, the consistency and reality of the characters and the strength of the female characters, particularly Kamala, through whom we can explore the trials and tribulations facing a woman in a man's world.
Toss up between Kamala and Colivar, arguably the main characters but Elisabeth Rodgers gives them both clearly distinctive tones and characters despite being female and male. Something she does all the way through with all of the characters. Elisabeth narrates this story excellently, and it's no nice to hear a woman narrating an epic fantasy novel for a change!
Is the true price of immortality too high?
I think Friedman is an excellent writer, this is the second of her books that I've listened to, the first being Black Sun Rising. I will definitely be back for the sequels in each trilogy. However, I've taken a break from each. Friedman is skilled at creating a consistent world and believable multi-faceted characters. She clearly has a depth of understanding for her stories that is all to often missing. However, I find that there is a little too waxing lyrical from those characters. In both this and Black Sun Rising, the key characters, like so many of us, have various problems and concerns that they worry at when they have chance, but in these stories I found it got repetitive and tedious and detracted from the pace and urgency of what are, frankly, fantastic story lines. I feel that if a quarter of the story was edited out then it would make for an equally in-depth and real story, that moved along at a more reader-friendly rate. It's this that makes me reluctantly reduce the story rating to 4 stars, when otherwise and overall I think it is more than worthy of 5.
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