Listen to more books in The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches series.
©2002 Robert Stanek; (P)2005 Reagent Press
"[A] complex tale...sure to attract fans of graphic novels and classic Tolkien alike....Stanek will likely draw a cult following....This cliffhanger guarantees fans, and those fans will be ready to wield their swords against the Dark Lord in Stanek's next installment." (Voice of Youth Advocates)
Now this is what Audible listening is all about. I found the setting fascinating and the characters lingered in my mind between listenings and even long after the story ended. After listening to this, I got the 2nd. I cannot wait to listen to the 3rd and 4th. If you like fantasy or mystery or a good story, then this one is for you.
This is the start of something special! I've always loved epic fantasy especially when the story is well done. The author not only paints a visual picture, he transports you into another world where the characters are cut from whole cloth and the world is deeply imagined.
There are good books and then there are great books. The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches is definitely a great book. As others have said though this is only the beginning. I would highly suggest getting both the first and the second books before listening. That way you can keep going when the first book ends, and you'll definitely want to.
The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches is four books in all. I can only hope books three and four come to Audible soon. What I'm surprised no one has said in reviews is about how each book gets better. Having read all four first, I can tell you without doubt books three and four are incredible. To understand what happens in the later books you really do need to start at the beginning though (book one).
Over all these books are outstanding. Well worth the price and time. The narrative is very good. I can't wait for the next one.
I don't usually like fantasy so I was a bit skeptical about this book. My teens wanted it so much I gave in. Apparently they've read all the author's books in paperback and wanted to see how the story would be to listen to.
I agree with the previous reviewers of this book about this being only the beginning of a much larger story. I think someone else said Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was very much the same. Make no mistake, like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and The Fellowship of the Ring, this is very much an introduction to the fantasy world of the authors imagining.
What I liked about it, and I don't normally like fantasy, is the believability of the storylines and how well drawn the characters are. Each character has a background, a history, wants, needs, desires. If you have no feeling in you whatsoever I guess I could see how you wouldn't like this book. Adrina pull's on your heart strings because she is in so much pain over the loss of her mother. Vilmos experiences much adolescent angst. Poor Seth and Galan get the worst luck of all.
I think this book owns all five stars easily. It's well written with a great story and a good reader who does a good job of telling it.
This is one of the best books I have ever listened to. Excellent narration builds on marvelous writing to engage you completely. Once I finish the fourth one, I will listen to the entire series again. Mr. Stanek has a gift allowing us to see this magical world and our own in a new light.
Writers like JK Rowling may get all the ink in the press but there are very few writers of Stanek's caliber. The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches is a wholly engaging story, filled with delightful characters. This book gets everything going and sets up the story beautifully for the sequel The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches II.
When a book wins as many awards and accolades as this one has, you know it's pretty good, and it is. The reading is superb, with spot on voicing of the characters and the narrative. The author's recent television appears aside, the book is certainly worthy of the high enthusiasm and high praise.
Having read all the novels previously with my sons I can honestly say The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches is one of the best things going. Each book in the series is better than the one before. My favorite of all is the fourth. Don't start if you don't plan on listening to them all, because you won't be able to stop. If you start, you have Edward Tallyback, Erravane Queen of the Wolmerrelle, King's Mate, kingdom trios, the elf queen, king cats, eagle lords, a dragon king, and more to look forward to.
Certainly one of the most richly imagined novels I'm come across in all my years of reading.
Simon & Schuster
New York, New York
Having read some reviews, and encouraged by the fact that this book is a best seller, I eagerly purchased the unabridged audio version of "The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches". I am a great fan of many genres of writing, and the audio product allows me to 'read' when normal reading is impossible.
I love a good story, a deep mystery, the hero, the heroine, the antihero. I love jolting twists, heart pounding tension, and a satisfying ending as much as anyone. I love the entire journey. So it was with much delight that I discovered "The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches" delivered all of this and more.
My wife, my sons, and my daughter rarely agree on anything, but we ALL agree on "The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches". This story is extremely well developed and extremely well written. It might be our favorite book of all time, and it surely is our most recommended book to others. Part of the reason is that the author took a traditional theme of a fantasy story and put twists on it which are totally new.
The book is clever and engaging. Whether or not you are a devout fantasy reader should make no difference in being able to enjoy this story. If anything, it opens a window to your imagination. I found myself with a new appreciation for traditional fantasy. It was an excellent audio rendition and a fast-paced and interesting story.
In all, if you are looking for an entertaining book, listen to this one and keep going to the rest of the series. The books in the series get better and better. Book 2 is better than book 1. Book 3 is better than book 2. Book 4 is better than book 3. To understand it all, you have to begin with book 1.
My husband and I listened to this book and just loved it! This is one of the best books we've read recently. Without question though this book as a stand alone isn't as strong as it as part of a series. Still, this book is a window to a miraculous world of wonder and best of all it's the start of a much bigger (and much better) story when you get into the later books.
This is the first series of books where I can honestly say each book gets better from here. In fact, each book in the series is successively better than the one before it. What sets this books (and the series) apart from other fantasy, mystery, and fiction I've read recently is the attention to detail. The characters all have dreams, desires, pasts. They think, they fret, they fear like everyone I know.
Of the hundreds and hundreds of books I've read, this is the only book where I felt I was in the author's imagined world. The world of the story is rich in history and there are many details that bring it to life. The world is to me like one of the characters, it is just as interesting and captivating. I think this book would be enjoyable to the non-fantasy lover as well.
How to describe this book? This book gets the whole series going and set up the story wonderfully for everything that follows in books 2, 3 and 4. This is an extremely engaging story with an interweaving of mystery, adventure, and fantasy.
Almost from the minute the story started I was captivated. In some ways this is the story of the Alder family(King Andrew, his daughter Adrina, his son Valam) and their struggle to keep the kingdom from sinking into war. In other ways it is a story of a great evil returning to the world and the people who set out to stop it. There are many mysteries to solve as well, which makes for a better story.
These books are outstanding, and well worth the time. The reading is excellent as well. I would recommend getting the 1st and 2nd book because of how the story continues from one to the next. The final two are the best, in my opinion, but you have to read the first two to understand them.
Very impressed with these wonderful books. Taken as a whole, The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches is one of the best and most well-written series I have ever came by. The many awards this book has won say it all! A fantastic beginning to an impressive series.
When a book wins as many awards and accolades as these books have, you know they're pretty good, and they are. The writing throughout the series is a sheer delight. The reading is superb as well, with spot on voicing of the characters and the narrative.
Having read all the novels previously with my sons I can honestly say The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches is one of the best things going. Each book in the series is better than the one before. My favourite of all is this one. The sweeping scenes and rich prose make this more than a good book; it is an excellent book.
The series is four books. The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches #1, #2, #3, and #4. Don't start if you don't plan on listening to them all, because you won't be able to stop. If you start, you have Edward Tallyback, Erravane Queen of the Wolmerrelle, King's Mate, kingdom trios, the elf queen, king cats, eagle lords, a dragon king, and more to look forward to.
With all the dastardly villains and endearing characters, Mr. Potter could find himself with some serious competition. Certainly one of the most richly imagined novels I'm come across in all my years of reading.
Full praise to Robert Stanek.
Starts simple, but keep going because it picks up in the second one. A must read series.
"Is this the readers first book?"
After reading some of the other reviews I was looking forward to hearing this, however I did not get past the first 20 minutes. The reader spoilt the whole experience, either he was being paid a fixed fee, so was doing the job as quickly as possible or it was his first reading role. The experience is that he reads too fast without conveying anything of the text or showing any feeling of the book. He also speaks in a breathless way which is very disconcerting and he his either trying to do a British type accent or a posh American which you spend all your time trying to analyse without listening to the content. Overall a very poor attempt and I have obviously been spoilt before with this being the first time I have had such a bad experience. I cant really comment on the content or quality of the writing as the reader takes your whole attention.
"You have to read it"
This is one of my favourites - I read it a few years ago and loved it then. It is the start of one of the most engaging series I have had the good fortune to read. A must read for all, as it will have something for everyone that reads it, drama, action and a brilliant plot. My sister who had never touched a Fantasy book before got hooked on it when I gave it to her on Holiday. She's read all four now. To get the whole experience you have to read at least books one and two.
"Gave up listening to it..."
OK, maybe this picks up after a while, but I listened to the first hour and then gave up, it was just too much effort.
Given the other good reviews, maybe I should read the book rather than listen to it. The other reviews seem to be talking about 'reading' the book, rather than listening to it. It just seemed too complicated a book to listen to, so I couldn't grasp what was going on. I didn't find the narrator that easy to listen to either.
I may see if I can find a copy of the book (paper version) in a library to read to see if that's OK, as it seems to be easier to understand books with lots of detail in their plots when you can go back and look at things again and so on.
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