A New Epic Begins
Fueled by visions promising him prolonged life and political power, the dying Corajidin, leader of a millennia-old dynasty, has brought the nation of Shrian to civil war. But is his bright destiny assured, or do the events unfolding around him promise a more ignoble, and finite, future?
Indris, warrior-mage of the Seq Scholars and scion of a rival Great House, is caught in the upheaval. Driven by loyalty and conscience to return to a city that haunts his past, Indris reluctantly accepts the task of finding a missing man, the only one able to steer the teetering nation toward peace.
The celebrated warrior-poet, Mari, touches both men's lives: one as daughter, one as lover. As her world unravels around her, can she be true to both her duty to blood, and her own desires for freedom and happiness?
©2013 Mark T. Barnes (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I KNOW I'm going to take heat for this one. So, like a flu shot, let's get the darn thing over with, for God's sake.
Let's review, shall we? A writer with skills? Seems so. His storyline? The same. Just go read the Audible short on the work. Yet, there's an issue here. If you read or, in this case, listen, to a good number of books, you'll understand where I'm headed.
If you're a great writer, or even a GOOD one, you constantly strive for a few things in your writing. Suspension of disbelief is one. A moving and deep storyline is another. Rich characterization is important, as well.
Without REALISTIC, ENGAGING DIALOGUE between the characters, all of the potential of the work will fall short. We've all started to read or listen to such novels, and as soon as the characters open their mouths, it's over. The message suffers. The momentum is lost.
The book is closed, the audiobook returned.
And in this case, it's a shame. The problem happens here - In droves. I thought of including specific text, but it's not necessary. Is the audiobook bad? No. But the work suffers, due to the dialogue. It's a soap-operatic. Over the top. in some cases, WAY over the top.
A word to Mr. Barnes: "Do NOT get rushed by your editor to put your next effort out so quickly, that the character's dialogue suffers, as in this work. Take your time, and write great dialogue. I look forward to your next work with keen anticipation."
Audible listeners, I don't write these reviews to cater to anyone, especially myself. I have to be true to the job at hand, to let the audiobook stand on its own merits. Or fall.
Sorry, Mr. Barnes. Maybe next time.
Nick Podehl is a wonderful narrator but the story was just too boring. Perhaps I'll try listening to it again later but if the story doesn't at least mildly interest me after two hours of listening I call it a lemon.
The world that this story is set is extremely well thought out. Usually i will not like a fantasy book if it does not have a creative and complex world and history, no matter how good the story is. This means I am usually reading Steven Erickson's or Bakker's books. I am going to have to say that the world that Barnes has created is on par with the Malazan world.
I am a huge fan of this series, and have listened to it multiple times. Epic fantasy, a deeply complex world with a huge back story, engaging characters, dastardly villains, powerful magic, steampunk elements, multiple interesting races, and deep politics that really draw the reader in! What more can a reader ask for? You will find yourself rooting for the heroes, hissing at the villains, and overall, enjoying the well crafted fight scenes, and finding yourself anxious to see what happens next. Nick Podehl's narration is spot on, really bringing the story to life. In fact, I think this series may be his finest work at narrating. Any fan of Brandon Sanderson, Terry Brooks or Anthony Ryan should definitely run out and get a copy of this book. I cannot recommend this series highly enough!
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