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A Mark of Kings

The Shattered Reigns, Book 1
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Series: The Shattered Reigns Series, Book 1
Length: 18 hrs and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (287 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Despite his youth, Declan Idrys knows of the evils of the world. He knows of the bastards and brigands who plague the King's lands, of the monsters skulking in the wooded depths of the realm. Together with his companion, Ryn - a beast of rather peculiar talent - he has spent the last decade of his life beneath the bloody banners of a half-dozen mercenary guilds, hunting precisely such festering wickedness within the borders of Viridian.

Unfortunately, fate is quick to pull on the leash of its favorite children. When one particularly troubling contract goes sideways, Declan and Ryn find themselves thrust into a war thought legend and long-ended, a conflict so old it is synonymous with a time in which dragons still ruled the western skies. Now, as dead men rise from their graves and the terrible beasts of the northern ranges descend into the kingdom with an appetite for savagery and flesh, Declan is faced with a profane choice. He can turn, can flee an ancient rising horror that would see the realms of man left as shattered death and wind-blown ash.

Or, Declan can face this mounting threat, can come to terms with the fact that his oldest friend might just be more than he appears, and learn to wield an ageless power all his own.

Centuries pass, after all, but the Blood of Kings does not fade....

©2019 Bryce O'Connor and Luke Chmilenko (P)2019 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Good Book, hope the next one is better.

i really enjoyed the overall story but believe that even in a series a book should be able to hold its own weight. This one was cliff hanger ending which I feel was unnecessary when we could've had 5 more pages to finish up what was there and lead into the next book.

TL;DR Great book, but unnecessary cliff hanger ending.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Really great.

Loved this tale.

Definitely true to the fantasy genre at its heart and soul. Nick, the narrator, does a beautiful job as always.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Main character

The main character is kind of a cowardly fool. He supposedly spent 10 years as a mercenary where he distinguished himself but the whole book he’s afraid and locks up in combat. I understand fighting monsters is different then humans, but the whole book. Even the half elf woman who spent most of her life as a hermit with her dad has more balls.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Book

I usually don't preorder first series books but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I can't wait for part two to this series. Highly recommended.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Typical hero's journey story, but needs an editor

The fact that the author didn't bother with having anyone check his grammar drove me nuts. He seems to have never heard of the objective case, which includes "him, her, them, me". Instead, it's "he gave it to she and I". All through the book.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Incessantly awed, shocked, & stunned into inaction

Plot 10/10
Characters 10/10. ( all but the main protagonist)
Narration 10/10

Wanted to love this story! The world is well developed and makes sense. Most of the characters are deep but not boringly so.

But then there is our hero, who is supposed to be a battle hardened mercenary, spends nearly whole book completely ignorant of what's going on because the writer is trying to build some unnecessary suspense. Not because the information isn't there but because his friends think he is to fragile to hear the truth. Which is probably right because he manages to find something in every battle to get shocked, awed, stunned, or overwhelmed into inaction and he just stands there while everyone else saves him. There is one battle he does himself at the beginning and that's it. seems like the side decides to search his feelings every time the Gore starts to fly.

I am in doubt if I will continue with the sequels.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Best thing since The Land

marathoned straight through, left me needing more asap.
exceeded all my expectations.
can't wait for the rest.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Bummed that its not good

Very heard to get through and I love love love Luke Chmilenko other books. It's just bad writing here. "He heard the roar again, this time infinity closer" infinity closer, how can something be infinitely closer? that's not the best example or poor prose, just the last one I remember. There's hard to visualize descriptions, then painful cliches. Main Chr, so handsome, Main female, feisty and also amazingly beautiful, they smile at each other ...a lot, will they get together? I don't know but they smile at each other again, tee he he. Then his shape shifting best friend of 10 years that he's gone on countless adventures... barely knows him. Everything that happens, he's clueless (that's also cliche fish out of water, explain to the reader), but lucky he's so amazing at the sword! I kept overlooking those until I couldn't anymore. I couldn't finish. I don't understand b/c Lukes other books don't have that at all. Feels like a bait n switch with his name attached. Anyway, If you can get past that, seems like other reviews are positive, and of course Nick Podehl's always great. I'll just go back to waiting for the next Ascent Online or Starfall.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Cant wait for book 2

loved it. I cant wait for book 2 already! excited to see what's next in the adventure

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Loved it

Loved it and can’t wait for more... Nick Podehl is one of the best out there, although I’ve not heard of Luke Chmilenko, Bryce O’Connor is a great Author, so it well worth waiting for and worth the price of admission, so to speak ...

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • kian
  • 08-18-19

Good setup

Good start, its setting up the scene and back story for the series, but I felt more should have happened instead it's lot of story telling of the past and travelling on the road, still I have faith it will get better in the next book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-15-19

Show, Don't Tell

Ive never been so annoyed about the lack of agency in a book. The "hero" of the book is constantly getting shocked by every thing he encounters without taking any significant initiative.

Half of what I've read so far is either info dumps or incredibly descriptive travelling information.

The only thing I've enjoyed about this book so far is Nick Podhel's Narration.