Winner of the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Bronze Award for Fantasy
The empire has endured many centuries but is now threatened by multiple wars and a major rebellion in the South. A nobleman from an infamous family, an imperial legionary officer, a fighter, and a right proper bastard of a man, Captain Ben Stiger finds himself reassigned from a crack legion to the rebellion simmering in the South. Placed in command of a truly terrible company, the 85th Imperial Foot, he is unknowingly sent on a suicide mission to resupply an isolated outpost, the garrison of Vrell. Along the way he must rebuild his new company; gain the respect of the men he leads; survive an assassination attempt; and fight bandits, rebels, and an agent of an evil god.
His companions on this journey of discovery and adventure are one of the few remaining elven rangers and a paladin on a quest for the High Father. The battle to save the empire and the world begins here in the first book of this exciting new series.
©2015 Marc Alan Edelheit (P)2016 Podium Publishing
I picked this up on a whim, Serendipity strikes again! The world is essentially historical Rome, late in the Empire. You are gradually introduced to an elf, then dwarves, then magic (which is very rare in this world)
Roman military tactics and procedures with just a little magic thrown in for spice. The other races and magic are there just enough to change it from being a Roman history story.
The author writes very well, his character creation and dialogue is wonderful (some historical anachronisms, like tobacco, but mostly wonderful and creatively consistent) You get a sense of the entire Roman world and how it influences the characters even though the story focuses on a tiny area and only a few. Expressively and dramatically written.
My only complaint is the speed and the pauses in the reading, but there is always the speed control in the Audible app, so problem solved.
I enjoyed the first one so much that upon finishing I immediately bought the other two, I became so engrossed in the story I was surprised when the second book ended, I paused only to write this review and then I am back into book three.
Audible tells me that I've listened to over 350 books over the past 12 months, (have optic neuritis), this book stands simply out over 98% of those books. The plot moves, the characters have appeal, the author seeds hints while weaving his tale and making us invested in Stiger. Mr. Edelheit leaves sufficient mystery regarding both why we have Romans with elves and who exactly is Stiger to whet our curiosity and wanting to listen more about what happens to him. Mr. Edelheit gets us wanting to invest ourselves into Stiger and his wayward company.
Mr. Brand's narration isn't quite up to Mr. Edelheit's prose, one can only hope that as he continues that he will become invested in Stiger and grows with the character.
This is a mediocre book. The text outline of the plot in the publishers description looks interesting, but the writing is all 'tell, tell, tell' by the author.
"The men now respected the Captain. "
"The men were proud as they marched."
"The men could carry their gear for hours."
"Steiger told the men they did well"
The writing style sounds as if it is the output of an average sixth grader.
The narrator delivers the limited dialog with a single voice, you have no clue which characters are speaking. And the delivery has all the variety of a metronome.
Don't waste a credit unless you are trying to create a complete collection of all the 'really, really bad' Roman Empire derivative fantasy audiobooks on Audible.
Yes! The narrator, Steven Brand, was perfect. He didn't do stupid accents or try to make each character sound vastly different so you could tell who was speaking. Steven would put the slightest possible change in inflection, pitch, speed of his voice, etc to distinguish which character was speaking.
The story was pretty typical of a military/fantasy novel but there were some really good twists that gave me goosebumps.
Stiger by far.
No extreme reactions, but definitely caught by surprise at several points in the novel.
Based on the description of the book, I purchased it expecting an historical novel perhaps similar to some of Bernard Cornwell's works. What I got was a "sort of" historical/fantasy book. What was not clear form the description was that instead of a story of an Imperial Officer, we have what starts out as a quasi Roman Legion like suite of characters and settings, "but not really." It seems to be taking place in the Germanic forests, in the classical period, "but not really." There are references that are obviously to the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, "but not really." Then the author throws in elves, dwarves, magic, and a "paladin" who is a Friar Tuck like Jesuit priest, "but not really." References to Christianity and Paganism abound, "but not really." Anachronistic references such as the soldiers smoking abound. No, the author did not specify that they were smoking tobacco, and Romans did apparently smoke other herbs, but it read as if it were a sloppy anachronistic mistake. I found myself thinking at times, perhaps the "fuzzy" references are because this book is meant to be set in the future, or a different "time-line" and not "historical" at all. At times, I half expected the characters to walk over a mountain and find the statue of liberty buried to the neck or something. I have a hard time placing this book. It almost has the feel that the author wanted to write historical fiction, but did not want to take the time to research his topics to maintain historical accuracy, so he left the settings and characters as "fuzzy" suggestions of historicity, and then thought that throwing in some gratuitous fantasy elements might increase readership? If the description had been more clear about the nature of this book, I would not have given it a try. I do feel as if I were tricked into buying the book. That being said, as long as the reader understands that the book description does not adequately describe this book, that it is not even attempting to be an historical novel, but is in reality a fantasy novel, you might want to give this book a try. I do like the author's style. The narrator did a very good job on this book, and the book is very readable.
While Stiger's Tigers won't win any prices for innovation or depth it's fast paced rhythm and action heavy narration provide an enjoyable listening experience.
It's style reminds me of parts of the L.E. Mordesitt's Imager books (of course in particular the military campaigns in those) as we have a similar hero that is always a step ahead of everyone else as opposed to the Tolkien heroes that are always a bit out of their depths.
In audio books I enjoy this shallow but action heavy stories as they make it easier to step in and out without having to focus too heavily.
Short by my usual standards, but still a solid effort. It took me a bit to warm up to the narrator, but I came around in the end. I fear I'll have to buy all 4 books now :).
Stiger ability to see a problem and work the solution
Stiger because his character is an outstanding leader
Can's wait for book # 4
I already have. Great story.
There are a number of military sci fi books around but this one stands out because the characters are so strong. The action is great but it is balanced by the story and the history of Stiger and his companions that is briefly alluded to throughout the book. Bring on the dwarves.
He reads with real intensity and develops each of the characters. You just want to hear more.
I am about the buy the second book and I am hopeful that the series continues. Recommended.
"A Heady Mix of Gritty Legions and Classic Fantasy"
This book ticks a lot of boxes for me because I like both military fiction and classic fantasy. Putting them together can be problematic but this is a fine example. It might prove to be a niche market. This is a book that reads first like a military history with a lot of the classic cornerstones of a commander building up a problem company from poor beginnings. Gradually though the fantasy element becomes more visible.
The legions are based largely on the Roman legions but certainly not completely with ranks and titles for example being drawn from more recent history. The story itself moves along at a decent pace as you would expect from an audiobook of less than eight hours. The last thirty five minutes is a free preview of the next book which at the time of writing is due out in about a month. The key characters feel very solidly grounded and I’m sure that their backgrounds will be further revealed as the series goes on.
I personally enjoyed the book enormously. The time very much flew by, I could almost feel a breeze from the imaginary pages as they turned rapidly before me. Military fiction enthusiasts will feel fairly comfortable if they can manage with alternate universe “Roman” Legions at least for the first part of the book. As the chapters go by though the fantasy element makes itself known and old shakers of the twenty-sided bones will recognise a Dungeons and Dragons vibe.
The closest thing I can recall reading like this is Taylor Anderson’s Destroyermen. The similarity being an historically savvy author throwing his military history into a fantasy world. This though is much faster-paced and uses more classic fantasy elements.
I really hope that people give this a chance. Those who revel in highly accurate military fiction rooted firmly in reality might not find this to their liking. People looking for very deep, epic modern fantasy along the lines of Brandon Sanderson could equally be frustrated. However, if the idea of some fairly fast-moving, well narrated, gritty military fiction pitched into a classical fantasy world appeals then jump in!
"Great story but...."
Enjoyable twist on the classic legion tales but oh my.... the beautifully spoken but stilted almost monotone performance left me somewhat underwhelmed.
The narration wasn't too bad to be honest but the story itself was awful. it was just badly written I suspect that the author wasn't used to writing in english.
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