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Publisher's Summary

A tyrant has risen in the shadowy aftermath of a great war. Whispers of his intent and cruelty spread across the landscape, and many he considers to be enemies either go into hiding or keep a blade ready. Hardly anything can prevent his army from annihilating the clans that surround him, but one of them realizes that a preemptive attack will certainly give them a fighting chance.

©2013, 2017 C. A. Gleason (P)2017 C. A. Gleason

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

I enjoyed this book immensely

This is the story of Deemuth.  Once an imprisoned naïve slave, Deemuth watches, learns and then moves to betray and dethrone the leader in a conspiracy that threatens his very soul.  Deemuth steps into the recently vacated ruler role and becomes the villainous tyrant dictating who lives and who dies.

The realm of Vraniga is fascinating and engaging.  One cannot help but become engrossed in the tale of Deemuth and the treacherous road he travels.  For all his violent and deadly encounters, one cannot help but feel he is justified in his decisions – up to a point.  Deemuth has a gentle, caring side but ultimately it is his brutish side that is dominant.

Clint Gleason does an excellent job of creating the world and giving his characters a three-dimensional existence.  He carefully builds each character showing more depth than expected.  It is far easier to hate a villain if you know only the evil parts – Gleason shows all sides of the characters drawing the listener in and building connections.

The story is vividly told by Mark Deakins whose talented voice keeps the listener spell-bound.  In narrating the book, Deakins continues the violent and powerful story by using his voice to demonstrate the brutal and intense storyline, yet lightly softens during Deemuth’s lighter moments.  I enjoyed Deakins narration – it added to the story.

I enjoyed this book immensely.  It draws the listener in and you can’t help but steal moments to listen more.

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

Audiobook was provided for review by the author.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Sic Semper Tyrannis, and the listeners too!

I have been dying to get an opportunity to listen to this book for some time, probably for at least two years. Can I say, now that the wait is finally over that it was worth it? Hell yes! This is just as good as I had hoped, and it hit every point you could ask for in a story. I am a connoisseur of fantasy, dark fantasy, and even Urban Fantasy and have been reading these types of stories since 1971 (yeah, I'm old). To say that fantasy is ingrained in my soul would be a complete and utter understatement, and so when I say that I was blown away by a book you can take my word that I know the genre. Here, Gleason crafts a finely tuned tale that will stay with you long after you have finished listening.

I chose the headline because it deals with tyranny, and it is a fairly famous line. I had thought about Sic semper evello mortem tyrannis, but decided against it because that isn't always the case. This story follows a slave who through a variety of actions and fortune manages to take control of the very throne that oppressed him. Deemuth, the protagonist, is a complex character who can easily justify his actions, which slowly become more oppressive as he goes on. Basically, he shatters his soul with every step he takes to become the absolute leader of those around him. He is a sympathetic character that makes you wonder if he deserves your sympathy. Like I say, justification does not equate in morality. The story is completely engrossing and it will not let you go. You will wonder just how Deemuth will go in his cause, and his transformation from slave to ruler will fascinate you.

The story is intensely well written, and the characterizations were believable and realistic. The characters felt like real live breathing individuals, and you cared about them. I was deeply impressed at just how deeply written they were. You generally do not see characters like this in a fantasy tale. The story itself is compelling, and captivates your imagination. It is less black and white than it is a study in how our decisions shape our lives.

The narration is very well done by Mark Deakins. Deakin's voice is a perfect fit for this story. His voice is made to portray the violence and brutality that takes place in the book, as well as showcasing the more poignant and human aspects of the tale. He paces the story well, infuses a ton of emotion, and drives the action home like a dagger in your back. Deakins is an incredible narrator who has a long line of well known completed works behind him, meaning he has an exemplary curriculum vitae. He is the consummate professional, and he manages to elevate this story in the way only a master narrator can. I have long been a proponent of the belief that a good narrator can make a good story great, and a great narrator can make a good story amazing. Deakins is the latter kind of professional.

This story is intense and moving. The writing is rock solid and is crafted by an artisan. The narration is moving and riveting. This is a book you will not want to see end. Don not miss out on what looks to be an amazing series with a fantastic first book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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incredibly interesting

a very interesting and well-written book I enjoyed it incredibly it was so well-written each Drew you in and you couldn't stop listen to the book The narrator did a great job a very very good book five stars definitely
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review