Gurken Stonebiter, avatar of Durstin Firebeard, templerager of the Stonebiter clan, is in a pretty pickle. He's an axe-happy, grammatically-challenged dwarf on the hunt for blood. Thieves made off with temple property, sending him into a fit of vengeful rage. Seeing as he's a Berserker, it's in everyone's best interest not to get Gurken's hackles up. Gurken often dissolves into a fury of bloodlust, and carnage unlike anything seen in the age of men. When he finds those whom he assumes to be the aforementioned thieves, he is unable to control himself. Thus for our heroes, a master magician named Arthur and a girl-child named Pellonia, the blood flows until poor Arthur is hacked into pieces. It takes all the temple priests (and all the king's men) to put Arthur back together again. Imprisoned for their supposed crimes, Pellonia and Arthur aren't willing to sit around the dungeon on principle, and so promptly escape. They return the following morning to join Gurken on a hilarious and dangerous adventure to the Mines of Moog to recover the sacred Orb of Skzd. Along the way they face gruesome deaths at the hands of enormous arthropods, an amiable Minotaur, and excitable dragons, making them wonder what exactly they're doing on this quest in the first place.
Pellonia, for one, is much more than meets the eye, and although she has the body of a pre-pubescent girl, she is full of snark and knowledge beyond her years. Her past and fate become apparent as they meet mysterious denizens from her childhood. Arthur's ability to frequently engage in death throes only to return once more is to be admired as well as puzzled over. Unfortunately, one too many dismemberments occur and some shortcuts are taken during the resurrection process, to Arthur's utmost shame and revulsion. Gurken, with his brash temperament and willingness to confront anything that challenges them, though it be 10 times his size, is both an enviable asset and a terrible curse along the way.
©2015 Josh Powell (P)2015 Josh Powell
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In a word: Fun.
This book is split into episodes rather than chapters, each one moves us towards a common goal but each episode contains its own funny little romp featuring our main characters: Gurken, the typically short tempered dwarf (pun intended) with a penchant for hitting things with his axe. Pellonia, an exceptionally snarky young girl with some mysterious secrets and Arthur, a pedantic wizard who finds himself being murdered a lot.
Josh Powell has a certain Terry Pratchettishness about his style of writing, his characters manage to be a fresh take on classics and share hilarious and witty dialogue.
I would say that this book would be suitable for kids aged 8 and up, though it has cartoonish violence the entire story is very funny and very enjoyable to listen to. This story reminded me of listening to Johnny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett when I was around 10 years old, it has a very similar sense of humour and enough action to keep your attention right to the end.
Our three main characters are on a quest together to retrieve the sacred Orb of Skzd which has been stolen from the temple Gurken is charged to guard. Arthur and Pellonia die several times on this journey, but thankfully they have friends that are able to help them out in that regard - even if resurrection isn't always as straightforward as they might hope.
What did come as a surprise to me was the twist at the end, I can honestly say I didn't see it coming! Put it this way, now there's definitely enough scope to carry on adding books to the series!
Robert Ashker Kraft stands out to me as a narrator after listening to this well produced performance, bringing each of the characters to life with a selection of well executed accents and personalities. The sense of fun he brings to the story lights it up even further and made it a pleasure to listen to, Kraft was definitely an asset to this production!
If you're a fan of the Discworld series and looking for something new to get your teeth into, I would absolutely recommend this audiobook.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
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I Love a great supernatural tale, a Love story, PNR, a Cool Mystery and Most Sci-Fi....if there are vampires, weres or witches in it, that's a plus! Basically I am a 40+ y/o young at heart woman rediscovering the wonderful world of books and am now addicted! Lol I LOVE AUDIBLE!!!!!
It was original and magical!
Pellonia...she was cute and brave!
The ending was cool..Pellonia aka Penelope ends up on a ship and is in modern times...very creative...
I laughed quite a bit!
** I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review **
This is a great little magical tale with all sorts of creatures! Elves, dwarfs trolls...giant ants...and even a unicorn! They are in search of a magical orb and have a hilarious journey on the way to finding it...if you like fantasy tales, with lots of humor and action...this one is for you!!
Thank You Audiobookblast(dot)com
Lover of books with a good plot, strong characters, lots of action, no whiners allowed, and only a small amount of well placed cheese
If they like Fantasy, alt reality books I would definitely recommend this book to them.
For starters, the dry comedic perspective of the story. The narrator within the story even made fun of not knowing how to pronounce 'Skzd'.
The characters were well developed; I knew their commitment to the quest and each other even if I didn't know exactly why they were committed - because it didn't really matter to the ultimate goal (at least at the onset of the quest). As the story developed, Powell revealed more and more back story/history of the heroes. For example, with Pellonia, we are told she is a 12 year old girl. Well, what is a 12 year old girl doing with a 10th degree wizard and a Mountain Dwarf? It doesn't matter other than the three of them are hilarious together and when we need to know more about her history we learn more because it's part of the story.
I could also envision each of the locations the hero's found themselves in for the different parts of the quest. With fantasy books, I sometimes have a hard time following the actual story line because there is so many details that the story gets lost in the minutiae, but I had no trouble following the story.
I haven't listened to anything by this narrator before, but he was GREAT. He spoke clearly and enunciated the words so I now know how to say 'Skzd'. All of the characters had separate and unique voices so it was easy to follow the story - which is really important when listening to stories based in alterative realities. Because you are not only learning about new characters you are also learning about their reality.
The Mines of Moog aren't just a location anymore...
I usually pass over books this short, it's a little less than 4 hours long, but the story is so Full (full of action, comedy, and entertainment) it seems like it should be twice that long. I'm looking forward to more instalments of this series.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review from audio book blast.
Book lover is who I am, in any form an actual book, an ebook, or an audio book!!
If you enjoy trips into worlds full of fantastical creatures, then this is a adventure for you! Travel along to find the thief, then onto a quest that needs to be finished because the fate of this world depends on this quest being completed! Grab a seat on this journey and enjoy the ride! Oh, and watch out for goblins!!
Humorous, witty, and fast.
I would compare it to what I've always heard about Pratchett's books, though I haven't read any, because of the fantasy and humor. And also Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy because of the wit that exists within.
My favorite, is actually kind of a cop out, because the best part of the book for me was all the little notes about Gurken being an avatar so every time he was about to do something a different dwarven rune would pop up on his axe. Gradually that showed a shift from playing it straight towards some increasingly convenient runes that would only exist in specific situations. It's that kind of thing where Powell takes a trope from fantasy and twists it ever so slightly that kept me involved as much as any laugh out loud moment.
It's Dwarven, not Dwarfen.
I received this for free in exchange for an honest review and that hasn't changed my perspective of the story itself, and was happily surprised because while I knew that it was a fantasy story I definitely overlooked the humorous aspect within. It was both an entertaining fantasy story as well as having that extra level of wit and everything so that was a great part of it.
Gurken Stonebiter is a berserker dwarf, not a specialized cucumber. He’s on a mission and not much will stand in his way other than his rash temper. Along the way, he picks up a grammatically-oriented magician, Arthur, and a pre-pubescent lass, Pellonia, who has snark to share. There’s plenty of death, and thankfully resurrection, and even more mayhem.
When Arthur died the first time, I was a little sad. After all, we had spent some quality time getting to know his love for proper punctuation. But I was happy to find out that there was a way or two to bring even a dismembered person back to life. Arthur blamed the very large ants, and rightly so! Arthur would not be their last victim. Later in the story, Arthur has to be resurrected again but there is a bit of a mix up and Arthur has to make do with what he gets. Ha!
Gurken is my hero throughout the story playing the uncomplicated straight man to all the humor and the occasional pun. Over time, he becomes attached to both Pellonia and Arthur. With his rough edges and big heart, he stole the show. When he’s made a decision, he follows through with everything. Towards the end, he has a tough choice, and once made, he has to shove it down the authorities’ collective throats. He did it with style.
Pellonia started off as the kid side kick. She was cuter than a button and as obnoxious (in a funny snarky way) as a broken zipper. Later in the story, we meet one of her siblings and then plenty is revealed about her to her new friends. Her secret family ties explained her knowledge on certain subjects and her adult attitude. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the surprise was a nice little twist and let the story take a larger, unexpected turn later on.
The answer to one quest leads to another. The action for these three never ceases. This story has a really good balance between humor and action. I was never bored with the tale. In fact, there were moments where I snort-laughed out loud. This book definitely starts off a solid fantasy humor story. However, there is a bit of a curve into science fiction by the end. It was nicely done and totally made sense with the characters and plot. Sometimes I don’t enjoy stories that try to meld scifi and fantasy as it feels forced. However, in this case, it was smoothly done and never made frown. There is a bit of cliffhanger at the end. Definitely looking forward to season 2!
I received this book at no cost from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Narration: Robert Ashker Kraft was an excellent fit for this story. He had a very nice brogue for Gurken that totally suited the character. He had this nasally ‘I always know best’ voice for Arthur, especially when he was going on about grammar. His female voices were quite good, especially for Pellonia.
Gurken Stonebiter just did what?! Did I hear that right?
"What ... what am I listening to?" was my initial thought about five minutes in. After another five minutes, I understood exactly what I was listening to and settled in for a delicious adventure.
The Berserker and the Pendant is brilliant, funny and addicting. The characters are very distinctive and original. If you like fantasy, unpredictable outcomes, and you have a sense of humor, do yourself a favor and listen to this book. It was like watching a D&D game with Douglas Adams as DM and Monty Python as the players.
The plot was intriguing, the action was fast paced, and some very heartfelt moments were blended seamlessly into the story.
What makes this gem of a listen shine even brighter is that Robert Ashker Kraft did an amazing job with the reading. His voices were distinct and his timing was perfect on the jokes.
I'm ready for the next season!
--I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.--
I chose this book because I'm into sci fi and fantasy and it did not let me down. It was over the top and cut me on my toes I can't wait for the next one
This is an awesome book. This book made me laugh and brought a tear to my eye. I love the interaction of Gurken and the goblins. The three main characters, Gurken, Pellonia and Arthur set out on a quest to find the Orb of Skzd. Their adventure finds a dragon, trolls, elves, goblins and even some extraordinary ants! It's short but very engaging. I could not stop listening. Can't wait for the next book!
I was given this title by the author for free in return for an honest review from audiobookblast dot com. There, legal stuff out of the way. I had no idea when I started this book that I would enjoy it so much. It follows the adventures of Gurken Stonebiter, a Temple Ranger for the Temple of the Dwarven, not Dwarfen, God Durstin Firebeard, as he has to try and retrieve the Orb of Skzd, a magical item of great importance. Along the way, he uses his magical ax, which blazes with different Dwarven magic runes (of hilarious names), to berserk rage his way through anything that gets in his way, along with his companions, a wizard, an elf girl, a gnomelike dwarf, and a grown elf. Lots of twists and turns, resurrections, reincarnations, centaur making, and a climactic battle against the evil Phage that shows that reality might not be what everyone thinks it is. The characters are hilarious, the dialogue is witty, and the plot moves along at a quick pace without seeming rushed. The narration was excellent,with Robert Ashker Kraft's narration reminding of one of my favorite narrators, Phil Gigante. Any fans of Yahtzee Crowshaw's Mogworld, or Rob Kroese's Dis books are sure to love this book. I can't wait for the sequel.
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