The King Below, Enemy of the World, is dead. Will his successor save the world...or rule it? Jacob Riverson was once the greatest hero of an age. Cut down during what should have been the final battle against the King Below, he was condemned to centuries of torment as a Wraith Knight in the service of said monster. With the destruction of his master, Jacob finds his free will returning and discovers he is in a world torn by civil war between the King Below's former slaves and the heroes who "saved" them. Joining forces with the overly-idealistic but brilliant warrior Regina Whitetremor, Jacob must determine whether he has any place in the new world and whether his destiny is as a hero or monster. Or both.
Wraith Knight is book one of the Three Worlds saga by C.T. Phipps.
©2016 C. T. Phipps (P)2017 Audible, Inc.
Jacob Riverson, Knight Paramount of the Shadow Guard, The Sounthern Kindoms guardians against, after killing Kurzad, one of the four Dark Lords (think super powered Ring Wraiths) in combat, He faces the King Below, the trixter God of Evil, in the final battle of the fourth age. The King below kills him by running him through. 250 years later, he becomes aware again, standing on a mountain top, facing the trixter god in his not battle guise. Jacob is told by the God that he is a wraith and that he replaced the last Kurzad as his Dark servant, and has been a dark force of evil fighting for the King Below against the forces of light. As they speak, two dragons come flying up, with knights riding them, fighting each other. As the smaller dragon is killed, it's rider, a female knight, calls on Jacob to help her, thinking he is a knight of the Shadow Guard. He decides to help her, and uses his powers to kill the other knights and their Dragon. Thus starts his journey with Regina, a current Shadow guard, who have fallen greatly since Jacobs time in the guard. She tells him the King Below was killed by the nine heroes, and then they usurped the rule of the Southern kingdoms. So starts a huge series of adventures and tribulations, as Jacob has to deal with the evil did as the Dark Lord, and figure how he can use that power for good. Along the way, they travel the kingdoms, fight one of the usurpers, meet Sarah, a dark powers witch who isnt evil, and go to The King Belows Kingdom, where Jacob decides his final fate. The final battle of the book is epic, with huge revelations about the forces behind the events of the last 250 years, about Jacobs past, and about future directions of the series.
This book has everything fans of epic, dark fantasy clamor for. Flawed characters, deeply complicated politics, falls from grace, chances at redemption. The author also has complicated interpersonal relationships, incluing intimate ones, along the lines of A Crown for Cold Silver. They are as natural as breathing, not something added to create a "message". Watching Jacob's voyage throught this book is great, since he is such a great flawed character, having done aweful things, both for good and evil reasons, and seeing him strive for redemption. His companions are also fully realized, no just cutout props. There is great magic of various sorts throughout, and a surprising amount of snark for a dark epic like this. All in all, a definite 5 star listen. Kevin Collins Narration was great, and I can't wait to check out his other work. If your looking for something to compare this to, the closest thing would be Alex Marshall's A Crown for Cold Silver. I can't recommend it highly enough.
First of, I find the story very interesting and with a great potential for captivation of many readers/listeners.
That is where it falls of quite a bit though...
There is a huge lacking in details, backstory and too much uneccessary lines, as well as characters that semingly out of nowhere totaly flips their personality back and forwards without warning.
The reader though... thats where it totaly flatlines. He reads as the entire vook as if every sentence is the last swings in the last bossfight. He only have one tone throughout the book, and that is "supersuspence-incredible feats-cliffhanger"
The book is written from a first person perspective (whitch I'm not too fond with) and the reader goes straight from conversation to inner selfdisscution to memory-recollection without changing the tone or way he reads, so sometimes you dont know exactly whats going on until several sentences later.
So will I buy the next book? Yes. The story is captivating and interesting, even if its written and read wierdly.
Will I buy any other books narrated by this guy? No. Absolutely not!
Usually, I am a big fan of the narration of books. In many cases, it's easier when you are busy and on the run. Kevin T Collins put forth an admirable performance. He gave almost all the characters life (especially my favourite). However, there were a few things that detracted from the performance. He seemed to rush through quite a bit. At times it was difficult to tell the difference between the two main female characters and The Trickster. Most of the performance was harmed by the constant breathiness. But, again, his overall performance was wonderful, hence the rating of a 4.
It seems, with gods, it's always a threesome. There is a being representing light and goodness against a god of not quite the same power levels posed against it. Both are vying for the attention, love and obedience of lesser beings.
In the first installment of CT Phipps' Wraith Knight, we see this struggle first hand. As the story progresses in this grimdark fantasy, we see that the King Underneath lives up to his nickname, The Trickster in Grand fashion and how power can corrupt even those with the purest of intent.
While the book can stand on its own merits, Phipps has set us up for the next novel in the series with the line, "...we have a world to conquer."
Now, about the world. In grand fashion, the world of Wrath Knight is one of high fantasy filled with classic monsters, magical creations, knights of high orders and fickle gods. Although, in this case, there are only two, unless you count the neutral goddess, The Mother. There were more, but the two brothers saw to their demise. There are three distinct locations; the World Above, the World below and the World Between. However, to add to some measure of confusion, there are other worlds that can be traveled to through "gates." If these gates are available in all the worlds (Above, Below or Between) remains unknown, but there may have been a mention of the elves coming from a gate in the World Above.
The characters were enjoyable, but there were some very wordy exchanges where I would have loved to have seen more action. Of all of the characters, the ones on the dark side were my favorite. Creature holds the top place so far.
This style is different than Mr. Phipps usual and stayed the course for grimdark fantasy. I am looking forward to the next installment to see what he has dreamed up next.
I mostly tried this book because I read the authors other series a parody of superheroes/villians. This was very fun for anyone who is familiar with fantasy and Lord of the Rings. The story starts quickly and keeps you moving along while introducing more new characters and filling in the history and backstory for the world and the characters as you go along at a nice pace. I do think they could have focused on some characters a little bit more to make them feel a bit more real but hopefully that will come with the sequel.
Basically the main character is a goodish guy who did questionable things to fight a war against this worlds equivalent to Sauron and then got killed and made into this worlds equivalent Ring wraiths. Basically the Evil God is defeated and wants the protagonist to take his place and be the evil overlord. This seems comical at first but get more deeply serious as the book goes on and we learn much more about the heroes history and the true history of this world and its gods. I look forward to this books sequel and its surprising dark and bright shades of gray.
So Wraith Knight is the story of Jacob Riverson. Jacob was the greatest hero of his age and a shining light against the darkness... right up until the big bad dark lord guts him like a fish. The end. Well, not quite. Jacob wakes up a few hundred years later only to discover the big bad has been using his body (and possibly soul) as a weapon against the forces of light. In short, after being brutally cuddled to death by sharp objects, Jacob was turned into a Wraith Knight (see Ring Wraith). But the surprises aren't quite done for poor Jay-Jay and he's reliably informed by the big bad itself that evil kinda lost the war on purpose because the big bad was just a bit bored of being the big bad. But it's OK, because humanity is a vile species and there's always another war just around the corner. Oh, and the world needs evil so the big bad has volunteered Jacob for the role. No auditions necessary. And that's pretty much where the book starts.
We follow along with Jacob and his growing (and shrinking) collection of super friends (I say this literally as everyone with a name seems to have a super power of some sort) as they attempt to right the wrongs of the world by becoming... evil.
So I described the book as “A mix between Lord of the Rings and World of Warcraft with more epic battles than a 40-man raid.” (Yes. I was there at the beginning. I killed Ragnaros and it was glorious).
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