At just 15 seasons, Prince Ronan Latimer emerges from the Tournament of Knights as its youngest champion in five hundred years. A champion who's earned the right to absorb ancient Meranthian battle magic. Battle magic that places him among the ranks of an elite group of men and women dedicated to preserving Meranthian culture and upholding its law.
But what should be a time of celebration ends in horror as Ronan's mother, Queen Arianne, falls victim to an assassination plot. With his life turned inside out, Ronan's thirst for revenge threatens to destroy the life of his only friend and leave the kingdom in shambles.
Ronan races to unravel the key to an ancient mystery meant to restore the full power of magic before his enemies.
The first part of an epic journey awash in magic, adventure, and romance travels through sprawling cities, giant forests, dangerous snow-capped mountains, and long-forgotten underground ruins.
©2013 Matthew Ballard (P)2014 Matthew Ballard
I listened to this book while running. The diverse voices of the narrator made me feel like I was there. It was a wonderful distraction from pounding the pavement. It's fast paced enough to stay interesting, but not so complicated that I couldn't focus on the road. I also appreciate the number of characters (each with a unique voice!). Enough to make the story full of twists, but I didn't feel the need to have the names/locations printed in front of me to go back and reference.
The cast of women play essential roles with grace. I noted the strength of the females in this book and enjoyed it!
When Ronan gets the support of the crowd in battle.
When Ronan's mentor didn't make it on to the bird.
I would definitely listen to this story again. It is a great memorable fantasy tale with a coming of age story thrown in for good measure. It reminds me of some of Terry Brooks' tales, like the gypsy morph series.
The secret entrance underneath the tavern section was particularly exciting and well written.
My favorite scene was interaction with Laura
The voice actor did a particularly good job in giving each character depth and distinct voices. I thought the choice of accents for Ronin and Reika's people were spot on.
One drawback to "reading" with audible...I have no idea how to spell anything!
The story isn't too bad for youth fiction, especially if this is his first attempt. Given that audience, I'm surprised he included a sex scene in the book. I'd get really frustrated by the characters and then the author would sneak in something interesting to make me hold on.
What really ruined it was the narration. Random pauses, horrible accents, overly dramatic readings of perfectly normal scenes- in just about every way this guy ruined the book for me.
See above. I'll not get another book this guy narrates.
No. The story was fairly dramatic and had good closure. I think the author should try again but this time try and figure out who his target audience is.
Yes, it's a fun fantasy book.
A bit too much rush to make it all come together may have left the story by the wayside.
Great range of character voices. Excellent sound quality.
A magic history is brought to life.
I enjoyed the fight scenes. I was, for the most part, able to have a movie of the action running in my head. The writer paints vivid pictures with words.
Yes, It is a beautifully told story.
Matthew Ballard has created a wonderful world and a wonderful story. It is also a story that will carry through future books. The characters are the sort you felt like you could get to know.
My issue with the book is that he rushed through some areas that could have used a little more time. Also there were jarring Time/Plot hops. At first I honestly thought there was something technically wrong with the download. This is what I mean when I say he needs to spend a little more time. Transitions are abrupt and rough. I see this as something that can be fixed. He also needs to work on the dialogue transitions. "He said, She said" are great tools but there are others as well. A little diversity will help a lot.
I will buy more books by this author. I truly enjoyed the story and the world created and I look forward to future adventures.
I enjoyed his voices and accents the most. They carried me away and I was able to forget about the narrator. He helped wrap the listener into the story. There have been narrators who's voices to not mix well with the story. I end up thinking more about the person talking at me than the story. Being able to forget about the narrator as a person and have them be a storyteller is important to me.
The narrator, Greg Tremblay, has become one of my Top 5 Narrators on Audible. He brought the book to life. I was able to forget that the narrator was male. He became gender-less. His interpretation of some of the voices was a surprise when first used but quickly became a tone that worked for the characters. The flow of accent was smooth and made for some lovely listening. I look forward to listening to more of his narrations.
I do a lot of driving. The story kept me interested and the narration helped fuel my imagination. It made the hours go by more easily.
This book was better than I thought it would be. The story kept moving and had interesting points. The magic system did get a little over the top at some points, but it was not too bad. Overall, a good story although a little predictable. The reader did a good job.
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