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Publisher's Summary

General Ji-Hyeon has vanished into the legendary First Dark, leaving her lover Sullen alone to carry out the grim commands of a dead goddess. The barbarian Maroto is held captive by a demonic army hell-bent on the extermination of the Crimson Empire, and only his protégé Purna believes he can be saved.

Zosia must rally her comrades and old enemies one last time for what will prove the greatest battle of her many legends...if anyone lives to tell it.

Five heroes. No hope. A war against devils.

The Crimson Empire Trilogy:

A Crown for Cold Silver
A Blade of Black Steel
A War in Crimson Embers

By the same author, writing as Jesse Bullington:

The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart
The Enterprise of Death
The Folly of the World

©2017 Alex Marshall (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"A rollicking, obscene, subversive, and zany epic fantasy ride." (B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog)

What listeners say about A War in Crimson Embers

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

If you dont like being Played, don't buy Book 1

I truly Do Not Appreciate Audible placing "Gay & Lesbian" book into the Sci Fi/Fantasy Category without WARNING their LONGTIME CUSTOMERS about the content!

I've had to return multiple books that I get tricked into thinking are going to actually be worth listening to.
Chapters begin with women on women & men on men mugging down on each other.
I've had to Skip at least 5 different chapters in this Book alone just so I don't have to get sick from listening to homosexual encounters over & over!
I guess this author thought they'd begin pushing their disgusting agenda only once they'd pulled you into the story?

If I'd been TOLD before I'd wasted My Money on this author about this content I'd have not used up a credit or purchased the other books in the past.

Also, this book included;
1st- Men having Babies?
2nd - Women being referred to as Him/His/He?
3rd- Women sporting Moustaches like men?
4th - A "Princess" has a boyfriend, but then she meets another boy she's interested in. The princesses first boyfriend begins having sex with the new boyfriend...wth?
5th- 2 Queens, one old and one younger, when the older one decides that this younger queen is kind of cute & the details are just not what I expected when I purchased ALL 3 BOOKS IN THIS SERIES!
I'D LIKE TO LET THE AUTHOR KNOW THAT YES, I'VE BEEN FOOLED THIS TIME, BUT NEVER EVER AGAIN!

I'm not a religious person. I'm just a plain old heterosexual woman who doesn't like being TRICKED into buying books or having Audible's or this Author's Liberal Gay & Lesbian Agenda FORCED ON TO HER!
I TRY TO BE AN HONEST CUSTOMER & EXPECT THE SAME FROM THE COMPANIES I'VE SUPPORTED SINCE 2011 & 2013!
I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS STUFF! HONESTLY!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Perfect narration and storyline!

I highly recommend this series and author. Amazing storyline! The narration was perfect and really made the story come alive.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

dark, epic, incredibly entertaining

I rarely read fantasy but this series was amazing. dark, numerous, philosophical, and full of epic fantasy battles. absolutely loved it and devoured all three in a row.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic end to a wonderful trilogy

An excellent story with wonderful characters you never want to leave. This series is underrated and, for me, was stands along side some of the best fantasy fiction out there.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great narration, good characters, mediocre craft

As the title says, the narrator is excellent, and some of the characters are phenomenal, turning tired tropes on their respective heads, and breathing life into an otherwise predictable world. That's the downfall though; the rest of the story, and the craft by which it is assembled, isn't poor--but it isn't that good either. Overall worth it for a fun time with a new take on some interesting characters.


(Minor Spoilers ahead)


You know what's not exciting or interesting? When characters do really dangerous stuff over and over and almost die, over and over...but then don't. Oh sure, some tertiary characters bite it, but how many times can you hear a character say something like: "And john knew he was dead, then, and it was a good/bad/silly way to go out", but then they miraculously survive before you want to pluck your eyes/ears out? Also, when someone has been stabbed/shot/broken, they don't get up, run across a battlefield and fight 40 more people while humming about how wonderful the song will be.

Marshall could have taken some GRRM lessons here, the thrill wears off after a few chapters. Then there's the pipe smoking, which was interesting at first but gets a little tired. And of course that everyone seems to be bisexual or bi-curious, which I guess is possible (and I might even prefer a world where its the norm) but seems somehow to make it harder to believe in some of the characters. Then again, maybe that's part of the world construction. All that said, I still think the book is worth it for the characters, some of whom are just so wonderful I'm still hanging out with them in my mind.

1 person found this helpful

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

SOOOOO, is there more?

I fell in love with these characters. I know there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, but I'd love for the old gang to have to get back together again to continue the story!

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Bugs! Why did it have to be bugs?!

What a trippy finale! It’s chock full of crazy, flawed heroes trying to stop an insectoid apocalypse. The grimdark goes full-on horror and is skin crawlingly creepy... The humor is bent. The action is thrilling.

Were there issues? The first half is largely action free. Our favorite characters are divided into groups for pretty much the entire book. The vaguely described sex is weirdly juvenile, almost anime in silliness, and strangely occupies many a characters’ minds in this installment. And, I lost count how many times a character thinks “this is it, I’m dead,” and then isn’t dead in later chapters. The fake-outs vastly outweigh the true deaths. And the insect voicing got under my skin almost as much as the creepy bugs themselves.

But, the more I think back, even the issues I had with this book ended up being things I liked or grudgingly respected as providing an original, bonkers, captivating epic. Woof!

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    3 out of 5 stars

if you liked Malazan..

I genuinely enjoyed the series. its tough to follow on audible at some points but not too bad.

unique world and magic system. it reminds me of Malazan, especially since you're dropped into the world with NO explanation of the system or other creature oddities.

also feels like the author tried too hard to include lgbtq characters.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Series Fades As It Goes

The Crimson Empire series starts off gangbusters with A Blade Of Black Steel, and by the end of that book I felt I was off to a great series. The story continues well into the second book, but began to fade about halfway into it. Unfortunately, The Crimson Empire, the third book, continues to loose steam with nothing much happening through a majority of the book. The weird high school romantic angle of two of the main characters becomes ridiculous. Fortunately, the writing recovers enough to bring in the final battle and a decent end to the series.

Overall, this series seems to be somewhat of missed opportunity to capitalize on a interesting world and promising beginning. The narration by Angèle Masters is the saving grace of this story. She was excellent throughout and makes this audiobook series worth a listen.

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Some of the best grimdark out there

I read this book because I ran out of Abercrombie's First Law World to read, and it did not disappoint. If you like Abercrombie's style but want to see it done with a few twists, read this series. if you don't know who Abercrombie is, read First Law Trilogy and then read this series.

Chock full of washed up old villains trying to do wrong right, a system of creepy ass devil magic, an ecosystem of insects and arachnids that get you high if they don't kill you, and a grim cynical political economy about how religion manages to get wrong even what it gets right, this series is a bittersweet, fun, trope-defying heartbreak from start to finish.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • A Guy
  • 09-10-18

simply fantastic end to a great story

A wonderful end to a great story. Thoroughly recommended, although it's book 3 so I hearing the others first!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • CeNedra Red
  • 12-27-17

Promise Unfulfilled

Books one and two in this series were laugh out loud fun to listen to. I had to rewind several times just to hear parts I missed, as I was laughing so much at the antics of some of the wonderful characters. Unfortunately in the third book, things went from bad to stupid. Angele Masters did a brilliant job of narrating this series, and in the first two books it was her delivery that made it such a joy to listen. But even the best narrator can't do much with poor material. A very disappointing end to what had promised to be a fantastic series

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-04-20

A little bit to fast to the finish

This last book really finished way to quickly and don't wanna be a downer but yeh just way too quickly. No spoilers but I feel like the deadline came calling. Still it was a wonderful series and I was attached to a few of the characters. Great world and story setting