Simply, I'm thrilled to find this. I really like Oliver Wyman as a narrator, listening to his narration of both the Monster Hunter series and Brandon..Show More » Sanderson's Legion series. So I searched for other books that he narrated and found this gem. The author is not as polished as some, and his theme isn't original, but the book works, and really works well. This is definitely high or epic fantasy, and I'm writing this while book 2 is downloading.
Why you should read this: The Characters: Character progression in this book is very well done. You care about the ones you are supposed to care about, and are outraged at the ones you are not. There are is a lot of mysteries and secrets about each of them, and you enjoy each morsel of the authors puzzles as he gives them to you.
The Magic System: Borrowed heavily from Patrick Rothfus in my opinion, but it too works, and works very well. The way magic is done in the book is logical, and it's not 'wiggle your fingers and shoot a fireball' magic. What is known in the authors world of magic, is known to the reader, but it's very obvious that a lot about magic was lost during an event he calls 'the shattering'.
The Pace: I dislike reading short books. I want a good long juicy novel, and that's what I got. The pacing is right, and nothing really drags on too long. At 21+ hours of novel, you are getting your credits worth.
The Narrator: Oliver is great. He has some great voices, and I really enjoyed everything I've listened by him. If you haven't listened to the Monster Hunter series (Which is the worst name for a series, but one of my favorites), or Legion, they are worth the credits as well. As a matter of fact, I think Legion is 5 bucks, worth just spending the money instead of using a credit. But I digress.
In short: If you are fans of Patrick Rothfus, Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, or Tolkien, then this series will fit you like a glove. Do yourself a favor and pick it up.
In the first book the characters developed individually and in their relationships in a moderately satisfying way. The protagonist's naive nature and..Show More » feckless enthusiasm were excusable because he had grown up in a sheltered environment. In this book ,however, all of the characters just act as foils to progress a very predictable plot. Caldan is shocked, over and over, that he isn't taken seriously by people in power. This is really painful to read. It's like watching a bad horror movie where the irrational actions of the characters just make you want to punch them. And it is made worse by the fact that Caldan is supposed to be this strategic genius who is great at reading patterns and people. And he shifts between offhandedly slaughtering enemies, and being appalled that he has done something so callous as to strike a lady! (The lady in question being a murderous sorceress).
All this ends up just making it impossible to understand his motivations or maintain respect for a character which the first book managed decently. Hogan got lazy with this book and instead of working on character development and finding ways to flow forward the plot from there just makes up absurd situations and conclusions to ram forward to the next story line.
Also, he repeatedly uses the "I don't have time to explain right now" ploy to avoid characters from understanding what they need to, when there is never actually a shortage of time. Usually these phrases occur during the middle of journeys or preparation periods that are days or weeks long, and the explanation would take maybe 30 seconds. No time while making a campfire, or during eating, or before sleep? I don't mind suspending disbelief but it's much easier to get lost in a story if you maintain realistic premises for inter-character tension and lack of clarification.
Pros: some exciting parts. The main protagonist keeps making terrible decisions which gets kind of funny. Narrator is great Cons: So much millin..Show More »g and wandering around the same place. Constant expository dialog and thoughts: if you are not sure what the main figures are thinking, they will tell you 3-8 times. Really very little payoff for therms of a trilogy