Suggradath, King of Demons, with a voracious appetite for human suffering, musters an army of hellspawned soldiers to smite mortal-kind from the face of the planet once and for all.
Arioc's only hope, a motley band of wizards, warriors, thieves, and plainsmen like the ranger Gadras, stands between mortal-kind and the onslaught of the demon horde.
Will they band together quickly enough to correct Aldulan's mistakes, or will the world of Arioc be lost forever?
©2008 Eric A. Radulski; (P)2008 Double Dragon Publishing
I do agree that this book has a slow start, but once the action kicks in, it gets much better. I plan to get the next book too. Hopefully it picks up right where this one left off. There are a lot of charactors in this book and the author doesn't seem to mind killing them off. Which I think makes it interesting since you never know who is going to make it and who won't.
I disagree with the comment about the overproduced sound effects and background music. I liked them.
Having been familiar with and enjoyed author Radulski's previous work, Shadow of the Crimson Queen, available at The Spoken Network as a free downloaded, it's great to experience his talent on a grander scale in this book. As the story's narrator, his enthusiasm enriches the tale and his voice fluctuations pull out the emotions of each character. Music and sound effects fill the background, adding to the ambiance of each scene.
The story is classic fantasy canon with the hero, companions, and their quest, but it doesn't hold back on all things dark, gruesome, and vile when it comes to the graphic descriptions of evil forces and their acts, making it a work not for the faint of heart. Details of settings and characters are vivid. Battle and fights scenes are depicted with such precision that each movement is easily followed. The story is simply filled with great imagery, some beautiful, some frightening, some haunting.
The main hero, Gadras Woundwing, is handsome, strong, fearless, noble in spirit. His best friend, the lovely Elsynian bard, Adlain Geldwatch, is overflowing with charisma. The rogue and thief, Elanna Dervian, creates a nice balance against the male heroes, as with her sharp wit and skill she's a perfect blend of strength and femininity. Another female character of note is that of the warrior, Ang Saroth, who with her two swords that seem to have a spirit of their own, is a formidable opponent to anyone in the story. With the many different names of characters and places, as well as different races, it can initially be confusing when first listening to keep everything straight, but listeners should not be discouraged as author Radulski repeats these things several times.
As the first book in a trilogy, the story has a solid ending, but there's still much more quest to continue upon, and after following Gadras, Adlain, Elanna, and companions through their first trials, listeners will be hard pressed to not continue the journey.
Commodities broker, father, husband, and avid scifi/fantasy/self help fan.
From the author? A resounding YES. Discussing the audiobook further is as waste, as the material is ruined completely by the wilting, lilting, wispy voice of the author who doubles as the narrator. If I rave about the storyline, you'll get the audiobook, and HATE it. I want you to love the author, so do not explore his audio work until another narrator steps in. I'm sorry, but it truly is that bad. Eric, please stick to your fantastic writing, and leave the narrating to the vocal talent.
Terry Brooks' Shannara series, to a VERY small degree.
Must I repeat myself? Please.
It's a bit wordy at spots, but overall, it's well written.
I love a good read. We ALL do. Howe tragic that the author was convinced to read his own material, over the entire series, and is so unacceptable, that it is unbearable. Wait for another narrator, then dive into this wonderful writing.
i only managed about an hour of this one. the story was very good and i liked the narrator, but it was SPOILT BY THE BACKGROUND MUSIC!!! When will directors understand? if we are listening to a book and it has integrity, we dont need music!!! people are quite capable of setting the scene in their own heads. i am really cross about this because (a) i wasted a credit and (b) i enjoyed the actual story, minus all the stupid, repetitive music and silly sound effects (beating hearts, crackling fires etc).
I really enjoyed this book. After a somewhat slow start, I had trouble putting it down until I was finished. Radulski shows promise as an up-and-coming author, and I'm excited to hear the next two books.
I will admit that the first few chapters made me a little skeptical and I didn't expect to actually finish listening to it, let alone listening to the next two novels in the series. However, once I got a few chapters in, I was hooked. The story definitely gets better and better the further in you get, and the music and sound effects are a nice touch.
Overall, I thought the audiobook was great, especially for an author's first book. If the progression of this book is any indication, Radulski shows definite promise as becoming a great fantasy author. If you are a fan of fantasy novels, this is for you, although I would not recommend this book for young readers, as there is a decent amount of graphic violence.
I listened to over half of this book before I just had to give up. This may be a fine book to read, but the narrator is so bad that it was impossible for me to judge the actual writing itself. The reading is flat, emotionless, and has odd pauses in the middle of phrases. At times, it required all of my concentration to tell when dialogue ended and an action sequence or description began.
"High production values married to bad narration"
Desperately annoying narration typified by three major faults:
1) EVERY. WORD. IS. EMPHASISED.
2) The reader is trying to make this into some kind of movie trailer, but is not really reading the book. There is no change of pace, little or no characterisation and very little understanding of context.
3) The reader is just so slow. It's like listening to someone having difficulty reading in front of a classroom.
On top of that, the high production is a codeword for useless sound effects. I understand that you don't want to detract from the reader or cut over him with sound effects, but you end up with a sound like someone dropping spaghetti on the floor every time blood is supposedly drawn. I didn't want a radio play here and, truthfully, this isn't even the same quality as a radio play.
The book is also no great shakes and after listening to half of it, I can tell you that even with the best plot twist in history and a ramping up of pure style, this would still not be worth listening to.
All in all, if you want fantasy pulp, buy the book. It'll be cheaper and you can burn it if you're fed up with it and feeling cold.
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