Ewzad Vriil's keep has fallen and Justan has been reunited with his friends. But the kingdom remains in turmoil. The mother of the moonrats still builds the Dark Prophet's army of monsters in the mountains, and the Battle Academy forces are weakened.
Justan's bonds with Fist and Gwyrtha have made him stronger and faster, but the more he learns about his powers, the more questions he has. He seeks out the bonding wizard Master Coal, hoping that the man can teach him what he needs to know about his magic before he hurts his bonded and himself.
Deathclaw has freed Talon from Ewzad Vriil's power, only to find that she is no longer the sister he used to know. Meanwhile, a new creature is born: a beast designed to hunt dragons. Will they survive the Hunt of the Bandham?
Hunt of the Bandham is the third book in the Bowl of Souls series.
©2012 Trevor H. Cooley (P)2015 Trevor H. Cooley
I went back and relistened to the first 2 books and I am so glad I did! It was like listening to one long great book. You love the characters and the story is engaging. There are so many books out there with similar premises that sometimes they just blend together. This series is well worth the credits. Can't wait for the next book!!
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.
Bowl of Souls Series (books 1–3): B-
Bottom line recommendation: “If you’ve got a credit (or $) to burn, and you’re looking for some decent entertainment, yeah sure, might as well go for it.” If there’s some supposedly acclaimed book sitting on your wish list that you’re considering diving into, but haven’t jumped, I’d say go get that one, and you can come back and listen to this afterward. That is to say, save the Bowl of Souls for when you want a break from those “deeper” more “Intense” or “intricate/complex” books. I think this series certainly has it’s high points, but overall, this is just another fantasy book with the story line and characters poured straight out of the mold. I certainly wouldn’t say I wasted my time by any means—it has been entertaining thus far… but I also won’t be putting this one on any top-10 lists.
- The good stuff: 1) As stated, it’s entertaining. I suppose it would be one of those good pure entertainment “beach-reads.” 2) Though it doesn’t really come to light until after the first book, there’s a pretty neat component of the magic system that is either original, or I just didn’t come across it before. So it was nice to ponder that different aspect. 3) The fauna is neat. There’s a lot of variety and the interactions between species and races is pretty cool.
- The not-so-good stuff: Not the best writing in the world. It’s somewhat juvenile, especially for character dialogue. I don’t know if it was just my failing patience, but it seemed to get worse as the books went on. Also, I don’t really want to be “that grammar guy,” but I think that people on the radio should be able to enunciate clearly and writers should be able to employ grammar properly. If I’m the one (as a “sciencey” person) catching the grammatical goofs, it’s probably not a good sign.
Eye of the Moonrat: B
They might look like it on the cover, but Moonrats are NOT cute!
- Story: The first book of the series is definitely the best so far. This is one of those books with a few distinct plot lines with different sets of characters (the sort in which you just know those stories will come together by the end). For this book (1st in series), I like the fact that the author doesn’t always use cliffhangers to get you to read on (like many authors employing this format do), but rather makes each chapter self-contained enough that you’re not screaming “WTF happens after he picks up the sword?!” or whatever. Instead, the author has made the stories interesting and somewhat dynamic in such a way that you’re excited to read on instead of compelled to do so. I just finished a chapter and thought, “wow, that’s nice. I’m sure glad he wrapped that up before switching to the next story line,” and figured I’d better make note of how much I appreciated that aspect. There are DEFINITELY some heavy fantasy genre clichés. This gets significantly worse in the following books.
- Audio: Narration was pretty good (B). Some characters in the voice acting seemed a bit forced, but still OK. I actually enjoyed the fact that the narrator (or someone) decided to go with a US southern/south western accent for the dwarf instead of the typical Scottish. No complaints about production quality.
Messenger of the Dark Prophet: C+
- Story: This is where all the fantasy genre clichés cast right out of the same ol’ mold really come to light. Another story of a boy going to school, feeling out of place, meeting some new friends, and running into the obligatory characters who, because of some scarred past or for whatever stupid reason, become obsessed form some petty vendetta against the main character for their own f-ups. Really? There’s not another plot device out there? We’re gonna keep bludgeoning that poor deceased equid?
- Audio: Narrator was same as before = good, not great. No complaints about production quality.
Hunt for Bandham: B-
- Story: The plot picks up a bit and gets into the larger scope during this book. Background built up during the first 2 books starts to come together and the tale gains momentum.
- Audio: The narrator switch in book 3 was a MAJOR step down (grade = C). The characters that may have previously seemed a bit forced became downright caricatures in this book. Also, the reading style for the narration reminded me a bit of a child being careful to pronounce every word properly, because the kid’s just getting this whole reading thing down. No complaints about production quality.
Future: I'll be getting the upcoming books, as long as I remember (but I'm not putting stickers on my calendar for release dates). They're good enough for entertainment. :)
This book is so great I'm going to listen to it again right after I write this. I laughed so hard at parts and almost cried once I seriously hope this book goes viral and all of the others he writes.
Author - Well written and provides just enough mystery of "what the heck is going on" to keep you interested in trying to find out what happens next.
Characters - Written well to the point that you feel their emotions.
I prefer the traditional dwarfish speech instead of the what I envision is a dwarf found in a movie like Deliverance, or in a show from "Larry the Cable Guy" but everything else is fantastic and the firegobbler speech is growing on me slowly but I think that's more so the character being well written than the actual speech pattern. I like my dwarves more braveheart, less bumpkin.
Fist on the other hand is perfect and wouldn't change a thing about his voice.
Can't wait for my next month's credit to buy the next book.
One of the main reasons I like this series is that they explain how magic works instead of just saying "Oh it's magic" it is an actual force and tool not a deus ex machina to solve all plot holes.
Would recommend this book Series to anyone that has enjoyed titles like
Wheel of Time
Legend of Drizzt
Monster hunter international
listener of over 700 audio books.
Story still solid, but the narrator change is annoying, first the pronunciation changed in book 2, but now it's annoying, because all of the character's voices have changed, and I loved the other narrators' performance, bringing characters to life. Lenny and Fist's voices make me sad as it keep pulling me out of the story. This happened throughout the entire book.
characters are brilliant in their complexity and depth.the story and imagery are done in such a manner that doesn't hinder the flow so that the reader is kept in total suspense.each volume contines into the other flawlessly
I loved the fact that Mr. Cooley brought in mystery novel concepts to the some of the book. This definitely made the book different from others I have read without straying away from he main plot. Speaking of plots, without spoiling anything for the next reader, I want to offer that the story is dynamic throughout, offering many plot hooks that continue through the next book which I am also enjoying tremendously.
Andrew Tell does an amazing as well when jumping between voices and then narrating it. It definitely helps me keep the characters truly separate when they are together in a big group conversing. I cant wait to continue onward with the next book! Excellent job!
I've really enjoyed this series so far. It's Epic Fantasy Lite, nothing too heavy , or serious, and it isn't something that takes all of your attention to keep track of everything that going on. It's just fun ear candy that hits the spot. Keep em coming dag-nabit!
BTW - The narrator makes the story even better! He's excellent and I'll be searching for, and keeping an eye out for other books he narrates.
The bonds expand.
They all have their appeal and are well developed.
I'd very much prefer James Foster to return as the narrator. Andrew Tell made an exceptional effort trying to emulate the voices that James Foster provided, but no one can do a better job than the original narrator of the 1st two books. Unless James Foster died, there's no production benefit from switching narrators. This was a very unwelcome change, it's like watching the first two seasons of Game of Thrones, and then they switch the entire cast of actors on you for the third season. It's not a pleasant adjustment.
This is a very enjoyable series and feels unique and fresh, but my main motivation for completing a review was to express the importance of having the original narrator, James Foster, return.
I'm tired of narrator changes. There's nothing more frustrating than enjoying a couple of books and looking forward to the next only to find that they've changed the narrator. So disappointed. Other than that the story was as good as the first two but I find myself cringing at the narrator and his inability to bring the different characters to life.
"Story Slows down"
While there was some development it feals like the rules and the way the magic universe in this books are changing so the book can be more interesting. while i like the book being more zap bang, having stuff that happens that was said couldnt happen before is odd. ruins the continuity a bit.
yes, while the afore mentioned mistakes are the hall marck of a writer finding his feet. which dosent mean his future work will have these mistakes.
no I was annoyed that they swapped narrator, not a good idea. find a good one from the beginning dont change whenever u find a better one.
no, i can neither train at sword craft or do magic , so it can inspire me to do nothing.
While the story develops it dosent develop well. it definitely feels like the author is feeling his way out here. i hope he settles down soon.
this book so good can't wait to hear the next book so hurry up and get the next book out
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