The city of Peradain is the heart of an empire built with steel, spears, and a monopoly on magic...until in a single day it falls, overthrown by a swarm of supernatural creatures of incredible power and ferocity. Neither soldier nor spell caster can stand against them.
The empire's armies are crushed, its people scattered, its king and queen killed. Freed for the first time in generations, city-states scramble to seize neighboring territories and capture imperial spell casters. But as the creatures spread across the land, these formerly conquered peoples discover they are not prepared to face the enemy that destroyed an empire.
Can the last Peradaini prince, pursued by the beasts that killed his parents, cross battle-torn lands to retrieve a spell that might - just might - turn the battle against this new enemy?
©2014 Harry Connolly (P)2016 Podium Publishing
the story started off strong, but after the first 4 hours of the book quickly kept going downhill, and never recaptured my interest.
Michael Kramer was stellar as always
For the first time in two years, I am tempted to buy more credits just So I can get the next two books. I do not have the capacity to put into words how great the characters are, how intriguing the story is, nor how breathless I was left with the pace. When the book was done, I was left yelling, "ALREADY?!!!"
As for performance, Michael Kramer was the reason I purchased the book in the first place. The man could read a chemistry book and keep me entranced.
Very well written. Great character development and flow. Couldn't put it down. Would highly recommend this series to any fantasy fan. I've already downloaded the next in the series.
I find that a great narrator makes all the difference. Having a well written book with good world building and a good magic structure is also needed. I find that the author did a great job at both. Also good characters.
Not sure what I would compare this book to. It holds many parts I would relate to The Wheel of Time. Also I sense some of the Stormlight Archives.
I would say his portrail of Tyr Tejohn Treygar is my most favorite on the male side. Michael's female character, and he does a very good job with female voices, would have to be Cazia. A very strong character in the book.
I almost listened to the whole thing in one sitting but one does need sleep. Also sometimes it's good to stretch it out. Hard to do because the book has very few parts where a person could end. Always wanting to know what happens next that is hard to do.
It's a great book, up there among my favorites, with excellent narration with Michael Kramer, who I think is the perfect person for this type of story, the story is fast paced and has surprises at most any turn. I would recommend this book to any who enjoy a well written and believable world and magic system.
wonderful book, will raff again and again. had me from the first chapter. Michael Kramer is top notch.
It's easy to find a fantasy story in this day and age but it is harder to find truly great fantasy and I assure you this is the latter. After a slow start that leads you to believe this will fallow the same path you'd expect. the rug is pulled out from under you so many times you feel like you're hovering. I can't give details because it is better to go in without any knowledge at all. Enjoy the turns and twists (and the twists and turns with in the turns and twists) till you find yourself downloading the next one and only wanting more.
No. I don't listen to audiobooks twice. Nothing against the book, but my memory is sufficient for me.
When the scholar near the end of the book goes hollow and knocks the protagonist off the flying cart onto the riverbank.
When the grunt (hereafter referred to as man-bears) jumps off the tower at the fleeing protagonists. One character pushes to sacrifice himself to save the others and they pool together to save him.
Here are the good aspects of this book:
The characters are believable. This is a big deal for me. I am so tired of reading or listening to books where the characters do something that does not make any sense and is only done to further the plot along as the author wants.
The interactions between local lords and larger empires seem very plausible, especially considering the use of marriage, hostages, metal, and mages as resources to maintain order.
Issues of religion, nationalism, racism, and slavery are all handled in reasonable ways.
The magic system is interesting, powerful with major drawbacks. If scholars (mages) use too many spells they become violent sociopaths.
There are a lot of interesting monsters that are brought up in the book. One of the main ones are man-bears, which is both awesome and hilarious (if you are a South Park fan).
The narrator is great.
Here are some of bad aspects of this book:
You never really get to know as much about magic as you'd like, especially when you learn that all the magic was gained from a set of mysterious people who come to the kingdom every 20 years or so. Who are these guys? What is up with the portal they come out of?
Only two perspectives: an older war veteran and a young 15 year old girl. I feel that some more variety could have been added to include another, maybe as an interlude or something halfway through.
The ending of the book is a cliffhanger. I think that books should end at some form of resolution, even if it is a local one and the bigger global issues remain ahead.
I am a fan of Harry Connolly's writing and loved the Twenty Palaces books. This series is very different and I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed this book. Well written, complex characters, which defy standard stereotypic archtypes are a signature of his work, and the same can be found here. This book develops a rich world with unique creatures, magic and environments, which I have really enjoyed. The plot line has been entirely unpredictable so far, a rare treat. Michael Kramer is one of my favorite readers. The performance is excellent. I am eager to start the next book in the series.
I'm always pleased when I come upon a new author I haven't experienced and find that I'm mesmerized by the story and the craftsmanship of the writer. Book 1 starts out immediately with a devastating attack on an imperial capital that is so complete that only a few survive. The quest then becomes one of two separate, yet connected, plot arcs. One with the surviving prince (now king) and his sworn bodyguard and reluctant mentor fleeing in search for a means to defeat these creatures of destruction and the other of two adolescent girls, one who has nascent arcane abilities and a close friend of the prince and the other his betrothed princess, together, seeking safety through an arduous trek to another city.
Both these quests are filled with dangerous encounters that produce unpredictable and strange outcomes. Of course, Michael Kramer is one of the very few narrators who can recite and epic saga such as this and keep the listener hooked. This, combined with a unique and well-written story, makes for its own kind of magic.
Note: one nit of concern was that near the end of the book, both primary protagonists in each story arc tend to lament that every battle encounter is the final straw and that their remaining thoughts wonder on regrets. Even so, this was not enough to even consider lowering the rating even one start.
"I have enjoyed this book"
good fiction in my opinion not just fantasy stereotypes, solid performance by Michael Kramer! worth a listen.
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