King of Kings, Lord over Men and Demons Alike: Only one ruler had ever held that title, and now Iraj Protarus, an orphaned prince exiled to a small village high in the Valley of the Clouds, dreamed of being the next great conqueror. The key to his destiny would be Safar Timura, a youth with an awesome gift for sorcery, whose visions foretold Iraj's rise to power. And in those visions, Safar stood at Iraj's side, his soul-blasting spells enabling his friend to attain his dreams. But Safar had other visions with darker portents, and his spellbound knowledge raised secrets better left buried. The road the two men followed would be rich in titles and fortunes, but it would also be rich in death and disaster, in intrigue--and in unforgivable betrayal.
©2007 Allan Cole (P)2010 Books In Motion
The problem with the narration is that everything is emphatic. There's barely a conversation (seemingly) that is less than 'full on'. Also there are curious pauses (like the narrator loses track of the text) and some odd emphases which distract from the content. But it isn't as hard as other reviews to suggest to ignore those deficiencies.
The story itself is good and immersive. The characters and world that the story is set in is also fairly well developed. There are a number of situations that could be developed further even warrant novels of their own (such as the flying circus). I personally don't like the way the time line jumps back and forward at times. Several times a past event is referred to and later on the narrative jumps back to that event instead of leaving it mysterious. Some ideas could be fleshed out a little better.
Otherwise the story is compelling. Highly recommended.
I don't usually write a review, but I decided this one needed it. I think the story would have been better if a different narrator was used for the reading. The story line was a slow and I felt the reader made it drag. Voice changes grated, and there was a lot of background Noise, as if you could tell when the page was turned. I gave a 3 star for the story, but will not recommend it to my daughter.
I don't review very ofton, but I would have liked to know this prior to tapping this one. This story (and series) by this proven and excellent author VERY MUCH deserves a much better reader. I would suggest Stephan Rudnicki or other bold throated bard. This story is good enough and would very likely improve with better chosen voice talent.
First, you need to know that I didn't make it all the way through this book. I rarely don't complete a book, but this one was pretty bad.
There is little character development, the magic is lame, the enemy is predictable and the mores are questionable at best. The reader is o.k. (I've heard much better), but there is quite a bit of background noise.
The dialog is just bad and lacks imagination. People say stupid things and draw conclusions that aren't founded. They're also hyper emotional. They exhibit extremely strong emotions and leave the reader wondering, "Why would they react that strongly to that??"
Speaking of mores, since when are "bed slaves" o.k.?? An entire village of people living near holy land think that prostitute slaves are normal?? The pimp is treated as a hero and good man, which just doesn't fly in my world.
I won't be finishing this book, and I wish I hadn't purchased it.
I wish I could rate the writing separately from the narration, because this is a decently written story but is absolutely destroyed by the narrator. The reading pace and timing is totally off as if it's being read for the first time while being recorded. The attempts at different character voices is so bad it's incredibly distracting. I've tried listening to this three or four times now and just cannot get past the terrible narration. This one makes me wish I'd just bought Allan's book and read it myself. Money back please! I'll go buy the hard copy.
"A hard listen"
I am going to avoid anything read by John Hough in future as he has taken what was a very enjoyable story and made it painful because of his apparent lack of understanding of the purpose of punctuation. Someone really should have told him to use the punctuation supplied by the author rather than shove it in any place.
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