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Publisher's Summary

War sweeps the land as the sons and daughters of the late King Marcus battle over who will claim their father’s throne and able-bodied men and women flock to one cause or the other in the hopes of a better tomorrow. At least, most of them. 

If life has taught the jaded sellsword Aaron Envelar anything, it’s that hope is for fools and causes are a sure remedy for breathing. But when his latest job leads him to the corpse of a prince and a conspiracy that threatens to destroy the entire realm, Aaron is forced to choose sides in a war he doesn’t want, between forces he doesn’t understand.

Thrust into a world of mythical assassins, a madman with superhuman strength, and a nagging ball of light with a superiority complex who claims to be the embodiment of compassion, Aaron takes on his hardest job yet - staying alive.

This debut novel from Jacob Peppers is a new entry in the great epic fantasy tradition of Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, and Joe Abercrombie.

©2017 Jacob Peppers (P)2018 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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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

A wonderful collaboration between author&narrator

My second read from author Jacob Peppers. I'd gotten the Kindle edition for The Silent Blade back in April and never got around to reading it until the author gave me an Audfans audible edition fot it, after reading/listening to it I went right out & bought A Sellsword’s Compassion while it was on sale, then I went & got the Audible edition since the first narration was so good. Owning both the Kindle & Audible editions I was able to follow along while listening. Great read, great narration, Steven Brand has become the voice of Aaron Envelar! What other blurbs can I use to describe these books? Oh well, buy the book, read the books, get into a good author and some good characters as I have. On to book #2. (RIP Marley January 20, 2014 - July 24, 2018).

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

My favorite new author.

I listen to audiobooks every day for at least 4 hours mainly historical fiction and fantasy. My favorite authors are Larry Correia, Bernard Cornwell, Jim Butcher and Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. But I've listened to alot of George Martin, Kel Kade ,Anthony Ryan, Ra Salvatore and many others this author is by far my newest favorite his characters are interesting and the dialogue is great. the story along with a solid performance by steven brand make this well worth listening to. the only down side is there is currently only about 10 hours of stories available . I can't wait for the next listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Mostly Staging for the Follow-on Books in Series

The novel contains magic but so far mostly centered on persons who have acquired one of the 7 Virtues spirit-form traits. Our protagonist, Aaron, unwantedly acquired that of Compassion or 'Co' for short. Co instills her compassion trait onto Aaron along with the ability to deaden pain for a short period of time. While Aaron makes good use of the nerve-deadening ability, he is troubled by the compassion trait.

Aaron is a recluse but is not without friends and the ability to acquire new ones and Jacob Peppers provides sufficient backstory for each along the way; likewise for the various antagonists he encounters. All of them are written in such a way to make them interesting.

There are two main plot arcs revolving around Aaron, one, his quest to save a kingdom along with one of its princesses and the other defending himself and Co from a madman driven to kill him and tear Co from him.

The various encounters during his two pursuits are interesting but involved a bit more philosophical navel-gazing dialog than seems necessary. Still, the tale unfolds in an interesting fashion. While there were many encounters, by the end of the book nothing had been fully realized and, essentially, ended with the listener/reader having a clear understanding of who the major characters are and their roles for the follow-on books in the series.

There are a few instances of sexual content but none of it graphic nor hardcore.

Steven Brand's narration is very good and enhances the listening pleasure.

The was a solid book and I look forward to continuing the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

patience is a virtue, but this used all of mine up

this book is worthless. somehow its trying to push having "compassion" pushed on someone is a good thing, but their writing makes it seem even more debilitating then being hamstrung.

rather then letting the character advance naturally over time learning a lesson it just seems that they are arbitrarily forced to suddenly advance along a character arc. the characters themselves are actually rather noxious and bland, the princess full of condescending compassion, acting as if she "Knows the plights of the poor filthy low born commoners" who seems even more vile and venomous then the "black hearted and damaged sellsword forced to suddenly deal with having morals!!" and the cowardly idiot of the princesses seneshal.

the story flows like cold molasses filled with glass shards, slow and disjointed, filled with continuity errors, poor writing, and just dull work. the narrator is ok, but only reads things with one voice and a slight accent on occasion.

patience is a virtue, but this book used all of mine up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Not enough meat on the bone

It was good but not great. I liked the characters and narration. Needs world-building.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing New Series

Great story. Great performance. Can't wait for the next book to make it to audio.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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loved it

what a fabulous book! kept me I my toes for sure. adv absolutely cannot wait to read the rest

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Excellent story and performance.

I really enjoyed this book, and I think that anyone who likes a low Magic grittier tail with sword and sorcery will also.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

loved the flow & the readers voice. <br />

the story is hiw we.all wluld look at a situation when we have seen the worst.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Can't get better than this !

I loved this in print and the audio version is amazing! Can't wait for more from Mr. Pepper's!!!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • G. P. Brown
  • 11-05-18

An enjoyable fantasy!

This was a decent fantasy tale that fell just a tiny bit short of being anything special or memorable. The writing, plot, characters, and world were all good but just lacked that special something to make this book able compete with the very best the genre has to offer. It did still prove a worthwhile and enjoyable read and a good start to a new fantasy trilogy!

It is hard to say what sort of fantasy tale we got in this one. It felt a bit like reading a Brandon Sanderson or Michael Sullivan style story mixed with a bit of Abercrombie style "grit". It felt like Jacob Peppers was a fan of both Sanderson and Abercrombie and was inspired to write a story that was a weird love child of both! It leaned slightly more towards Sanderson than Abercrombie which is probably why I ended up enjoying it as much as I did.

I really liked the premise of the story. Aaron Envelar is a jaded sellsword who's latest commission is to rescue a guy from a group of thugs who captured him. The job sounds dangerous but pays well enough for it to be worth the risk. Things go wrong when Aaron arrives to find the thugs towards the end of torturing his target and way more skilled than described by his paymaster! Things get even more complicated when the guy he is meant to save dies right after revealing he is actually a prince of the realm. As if getting caught up in a massive political assassination scheme was not bad enough Aaron also finds himself lumbered with the Prince's annoying magical companion. Co, a floating orb of light who claims to be the embodiment of compassion, is putting a serious crimp in his style with her chronic nagging at him to be a better man!

The world was a decent one as well. The story was set in a kingdom which has been divided for years after King Marcus died with no clear heir. His children have been warring among themselves since and it has made for harsh times for the people.

The story was a fun one. I liked the mix of action and intrigue and we also got a tiny bit of humor and romance thrown into the mix to keep things interesting as well. Another big success was that the characters were a likeable and/or interesting bunch. The story mainly focused on the jaded sellsword Aaron but he was supported by a fun core group of secondary characters and some decent characters outside the core group as well. Aaron could be an ass at times but he was mostly likeable enough and easy to root for as his job gone wrong got him stuck on the right side of the battle lines. He also showed some positive character growth over the story which I always enjoy.

If I was to point at a flaw I'd say both the romance and the humour could have been a little smoother and better. They were still decent enough but I felt like if Peppers had really nailed both of those then this could have been a 5 star read as this story did have most of what I'm looking for in a fantasy tale. He just never quite put it together in a way that worked every single time. Plus I feel like Aaron's relationship with his nagging orb of compassion companion could have been way more fun that it was! It was fun but felt like it could have been even more fun if that makes sense?

Outside of the Orbs and their magic the story was fairly light on magic. What we did learn of the Orbs (there was 7 of them altogether) seemed pretty interesting and hopefully we will learn even more about them and their powers in the sequels.

A big plus for the story was the way Peppers used tiny flashback scenes to flesh out his characters and give us a deeper understanding of them. This worked mostly for Aaron but Co's magic helped us get a tiny glimpse into a few of the other characters minds as well which I liked.

All in all I enjoyed this one. It might not be super original fantasy but it was fun and I'll definitely be reading the sequels.

Audio Note: This was narrated by Steven Brand. I always feel like Brand is a weird narrator to rate as some of what he does is really good but that he has some big drawbacks as well. He has a great voice for general narration and is easy to listen to but does not voice act for the dialogue at all. I feel like that lack of voice acting can hurt a story when there is a focus on humorous dialogue or a lot of female characters as Brand does not act out the scenes or voice the characters!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • OB
  • 08-31-18

Greater than the sum of it's parts

Great narration from Steven Brand, lifts an already exciting novel that subverts a expectations and concludes in a satisfying way.

Great characters, world building and *magic* - can't wait for the next in the title.