A Crucible of Order

Sentinels of Creation, Book 5
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Series: Sentinels of Creation, Book 5
Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Kellan Thorne labors beneath the burden of Chaos he accepted in order to both save Shannon and destroy the previous Sentinel of Chaos. Now he is trapped in the brutal life of a slave and gladiator within Claudius’ Rome.

Meanwhile, in 2020, Shannon McLeod Thorne struggles with both the loss of her husband and the responsibilities of being Creation’s new Sentinel of Order. Almost six months have passed since she pushed Kellan through the portal in Fingal’s Cavern, and she has begun to lose hope. However, like many times before, strange events conspire to cast light in dark places.

The first glimmer comes from James Clinton and his AI friend Jarvis who believe they can break the code surrounding Kellan’s mysterious disappearance. Shannon, Meghan, and the Council of Havilah use this new found information to try and summon an enigmatic Mantle of unimaginable power. However, in doing so, they risk bringing down upon themselves the very Incarnation of Destruction.

Even if they succeed in avoiding this Incarnation’s grasp and enlisting the Mantle’s help to retrieve Kellan from ancient Rome, how will his friends save the new Sentinel of Chaos from himself.

©2020 Robert W. Ross (P)2020 Robert W. Ross

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Now THAT is how a cliffhanger should be resolved!!

This is just one of the best series I've ever listened to. It has humor and heartbreak. It makes you think, cry, and laugh.

I just can't say enough good things about it.

The author's website provides steady updates on his progress and I've been watching those progress bars grow with great anticipation since Book 4: A Burden of Chaos ended with such a powerful cliffhanger.

One of the things I loved about this book is that it seemed to have two climaxes. The cliffhanger from Book 4 wasn't immediately resolved but the situation was used for us to get more insight in who Kellan really is apart from his Sentinel aspect. We get a very cool glimpse into Ancient Rome, meet a historical / mythological figure and then reach through time again.

All my favorites were given ample "screen" time to flex their wings so to speak and this is the longest Sentinel book so far. I just wish it kept going on. The author promises two more in the series, but now I have to wait until next January. :-/

Nick Podehl does an amazing job inhabiting these beloved characters as he seamlessly execute's Ross' unique banter-writing style.

Even though I'm now done with this book, I'll be checking back to read other reviews because I'm betting folks will love this installment as much as I did!!

Enjoy everyone!!!!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Another home run.

Another wonderful step on a wonderful journey. Still up to the same amazing standards that keep me on the lookout for this series every time I'm on audible!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I'd give it six stars if it let me.

You just can't get enough of these characters, I'll tell you that for nothin! I've listened to just about every fantasy and litrpg book that Nick has narrated and while he is my favorite narrator it's this series that truly shines the brightest to me. if you're reading reviews for this book I can only assume that you listened to its predecessors and if you have, you're impatiently awaiting the next two in the series. If you haven't, do yourself a favor and start with the first one and never look back. This is so well done that I find myself missing the characters when I've run out of book. I myself and not a writer of reviews or anything else for that matter so just take my word for it, it's worth way more than he charges for the privilege of listening.

2 people found this helpful

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Another great installment!

I loved how the cliffhanger from the last book was resolved! The characters remain compelling, and the world building fantastic. And Podehl's narration is topnotch. I can't wait to see where the story goes from here.

Why aren't these being made into movies?

2 people found this helpful

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Worse Than Lucifer

A Crucible of Order is another creative and thoroughly enjoyable book in the Sentinels of Creation series. One the one hand, it is more of the same. On the other hand, "the same" is a totally unpredictable story line that is pure pleasure to ride along with the creative minds of Robert W. Ross.

If you are on book 5 of the series, you know the characters and the type of clever storylines Robert creates. The characters are a pure joy to come back to. In the end, what you want to know is does it deliver? It does, while not being boring or predictable. New characters are introduced. The story continues to grow and develop. When the last page is read, you are left totally satisfied with the time you were able to spend with this strange gang of unique characters, while eagerly looking forward to the next book.

If you have not read previous books, read them now. The highest praise I can give a book is to take time to write up a review (I tend to be lazy and not like to write reviews). When a bookmark earns five stars, it seems only fair to take a little time to explain why this book is so good. I have tried to do that. In the end, just enjoy the series. Sentinels of Creation will not disappoint. As for my title, what is worse then Lucifer? You will need to read the book to find out.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Another excellent book

If you made it this far then you won’t be disappointed with this installment in the series. It’s fun and the story progresses nicely. Nick as always is the man when it comes to narration. Can’t wait for the next 2 books.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Totally Awesome!

Thankfully Robert Ross finally told us where Kellan Thorne ended up once he assumed the role as Sentinel of Chaos! I know it’s not been all that long in the grand scheme of things, but the wait was well worth it! Kellan Thorne, Sentinel of Chaos formerly of Order is in Rome, specifically 50 A.D. where he is a fashionable gladiator!

In true Kellan form, his sardonic wit and inner dialog that sometimes leaks out into the world, his life is entertaining and engaging. We meet two new mantles and poor James loses his job – not nearly as momentous as other moments in the book but I didn’t want to give out any other spoilers.

Ross is an exceptional writer. He takes his fans to varying degrees of intensity and plot twists. This is an edge of your chair type of book. Ross creates a dialog that is realistic and is his character – for instance, Kellan can ramble and argue with himself, Shannon never loses her brogue accent or Lucifer's charmingly deceptive twist of words. Ross has the knowledge and experience to create the characters in a manner that is solid and realistic.

I truly enjoy the places that Ross has taken each of his characters and the insight he has given us into each one’s personality. He is deliberate in his writing; nothing is truly a waste of reading/listening – each word takes the story somewhere.

Nick Podehl does a magnificent job of narrating the story. To me, he has become Kellan, Shannon, Megan, Sera (aka Ares), etc. I love how he can roll out the Scottish brogue and then fall immediately back into the American slang that Kellan uses then to the formal speech of Ares. Podehl moves the story along as he performs engaging the listener to stick around.
“Ah teel ye thes fur nathin’” Ross and Podehl is a winning combination!

There were no issues with the production or quality of this audiobook.


1 person found this helpful

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Yay! It's here...it's here...it's here!!

So, I read all the books before finding the audiobooks, but had run out of books after Book 4, which ended on a cliffhanger. The print version of this book only came out a couple weeks ago and I devoured it in two days because I didn't know how long it would be until the audiobook came out.

It's HERE!! The book 4, cliffhanger is so deftly handled. It doesn't completely resolve itself until the first of two climaxes about 2/3 of the way through the book, which is great. I hate it when the whole conflict of a pervious book is solved in the first chapter...not here folks...we have to work for it. But what do we get for that work...another amazing character. Pullo Longinus, Kellan's gladiator sherpa friend. I love how Ross uses ancient Rome as a way to show how gender interactions have changed in 2,000 years. It's just part of the story and he doesn't feel the need to bonk us on the head, but wow it makes you think.

So in Book 4, Shannon is in need of saving though she would argue that point. In this Book, Kellan has no hope of escape except for Shannon and Meghan. Speaking for those two women...God does the author get that interaction spot on. He mentioned in his Author's notes that he does alpha and beta reads with folks and that they are ruthless. It shows because I just love how Meghan and Shannon interact. They are competitive yet loving. They will give each other a tough time, but no one else better do it.

Finally, we end up with the second climax of the book which sets the stage for what looks to be the final two books of the series. I actually hope the author changes his mind and goes for an even ten books instead of seven. We now know the stakes Kellan and Shannon are playing for. It's not just Order and Chaos...it's for the whole universe as Creation and Destruction vie for dominance. Can't wait!!

1 person found this helpful

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Wow! What a Fun-Filled Ride!!

Concluding my binge reviews of books 1-5...

Did you guys notice how the title of this book is in Red...nice touch Robert Ross. There's a reason for that. So, in this book we have two separate plot lines that converge into the first of TWO climaxes. Yep, I thought the book was over and then wooomp...there's another thing that happens. It's like one of those roller coaster where an unexpected drop happens.

Anyway, we find Kellan as a gladiator in ancient Rome and, because it's a Sentinels book, we get treated to lots of super cool historical goodness mashed into Kellan's time there. Let's just say his "roommate," is someone of note.

We see Shannon and the Atlanta crew desperately trying to find him and I really loved how both Kellan and Shannon are completely self-actualized humans, but really are so much better together than apart.

My favorite part which is a super-minor spoiler is when Shannon time travels and meets younger versions of herself IN CONTEXT with earlier books. Because I'm a nerd, I went back to those previous books and reread the scenes. I wonder if Ross planned this from the beginning or just made sure things lined up.

Anyway...Rome, The Watchmen, Bladerunner, Angels, Demons, Lucifer, Loves lost and Found...what the heck...this is awesome!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Feels like a side story or a spin off

This book is good, but not at the same level as the other books in this series.
With the change in focus to the other minor characters, this story felt like a side story or a spin off series.
The humor is not as sharp as the other books, and felt a bit forced at times.
The book is worth reading, but I hope the next book in the series will be more like the first 3 books In the series.