Though Quirt’s name is little-known, his skills as a gladiator are quickly obvious and hard to match. In Aureity, noblemen battle in the arena circuit, using their powers of teleportation and telekinesis to prove their breeding and strength. The prizes at play are not only silver and bronze but also the chance to rise amongst the nobility and mate with the ruling class of women.
Older than most players, Quirt still manages to draw attention and awe through his mastery of the games. Some of that attention comes from Humate, a brash young competitor with unbelievable power and little patience or control. To him, Quirt is a mystery he can’t resist.
However, that mystery soon proves much bigger than all of them. Ancient crimes, struggles for status, romance, vengeance, duty - Humate has a lot to learn from the world-wise Quirt. As the secret of Quirt’s true identity and past unfolds, Humate and Quirt race to bring justice to the murderer and madman whose blood links the two gladiators together.
With Ill Met in the Arena, award-winning fantasy author Dave Duncan creates yet another new, fully-realized world filled with complex cultures and brisk adventure. Intrigue, politics, action, humor - this audiobook will grab you from the first moment and not let go until the final word.
©2008 Dave Duncan (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I generally do not write reviews and this is not my usual genre. I feel like this is a well done tale with good narration and production.
The story has Castles, Nobles, and Common Folk but is nowhere near a typical feudal society. It has psychic powers; mental for women, physical for men (of course! Right?). The Caste style social structure is familiar with unique elements that work very well.
It didn't take long to become well invested in the characters and plot; so much invested that when a major, long flashback came along I was, at first, a bit miffed at having to wait for the current plotline to continue. The flashback was very much worth the wait and is a big part of the plot. It dredged a pretty good emotional response from me - the kind you only get from good story telling. I rarely have that strong of a response.
I didn't care much for all the blood-line connections. I was, however, able to follow it well enough to glean the impact it has on the plot (This is more of a personal thing since after my grandparents, I don't have a clue. My wife and sisters keep up with the family connections - they are my cloud storage and extended memory systems).
The conflict comes to a rather satisfying conclusion.
I was well entertained and in the end, I felt like they all just might live happily ever after - which is what I prefer in fiction and hopefully, life.
To all involved, Job Well Done!
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