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Anaerfell

The Blood of Dragons, Book 1
Narrated by: Todd Menesses
Series: The Blood of Dragons, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 2 mins
4 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Drast and Tyran might be considered a bit black-hearted, or even immoral. Drast is cunning but reckless, hunting for admiration. Tyran is calculating but tactless, searching for affection. When the two brothers set aside their ambitions to fulfill their father's desire for immortality, they readily discover many opportunities for redemption. 

Now, while wielding a powerful magic that drains their life, Drast and Tyran will embark on a maddening quest, facing skin-switchers, dragons, and the God of the Dead.

©2015 Joshua Robertson (P)2019 Joshua Robertson

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Loved it!!

This book is the first in the Thrice Nine Legends and I can’t wait to get stuck into more! I love epic fantasy and this ticked all the boxes for me. The book doesn’t really have your typical hero/good guy but instead features two brothers who are dark.... Their father has horribly abused both of them to the point where they do what he asks of them, no matter what it is, because they know there will be terrible consequences for them, or worse their brother, if they don’t. So by the time this story begins both men are villains, although Tyran still has most traces of humanity left. Despite the fact that the brothers would be completely unlikeable in real life, the characters are so well written that you can’t help getting behind both men.

The book sees them head off to carry out their father’s latest wish - all of course for his own ends. The world is well described and well built throughout the story. I loved the fact that although the characters have magic, using it ages them and brings them closer to death. This for me was a really unique twist and one that meant characters couldn’t simply use magic to solve any “issue” they face as it comes with a price. Dark, well written and with a great cast of characters - I loved it!

The narrator, Todd Menesses, was a new listen for me and I really liked him. At first I was irritated by the accents he gave the characters, but that quickly stopped and I began to really enjoy them. The accent also made it very clear what was speech and what was narrative. As with all epic fantasy novels there are a number of characters and he did a great job of giving them all distinct voices. He also managed to convey a sense of humour at times that gave Drast and Tyran a depth of personality. He really did an excellent job with the narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

The Scribblings Review of Anaerfell

When their father commands them on a seemingly impossible mission, brothers Drast and Tyran have to set aside their own desires in the name of family.

Drast and Tyran share the spotlight, each taking alternating chapters. In this way, we come to understand each of them, if not completely empathise with them. The two are opposites in several ways; Drast the outgoing and frequently reckless older brother to Tyran’s younger but quieter and more introspective sibling. But they also have much in common. Both are very competent warriors (perhaps Tyran more so), proficient in the magical arts of Koldovstvo, and desperate to gain their father’s approval. It’s this last one that forms the crux of the story.

In the cause of their father’s ambition, the brothers take many despicable actions. They may be the protagonists of the novel but they are by no means heroes. In the opening of the novel, Drast considers killing a member of his war party, partly because they are of a rival family but mostly because Drast finds him annoying. Later Drast seemingly befriends another member of the same family only to kill him in a particularly cold-blooded manner. Tyran often laments not having the freedom to make his own decisions but submits to his father’s will more often than not. However, revelations about their past make it easy to see why.

As bad as Drast and Tyran become, Dagmar Kaligula is even worse. He has systematically used his sons' affection for each other as a means to break and control them and sees them as little more than tools to be used to further his own ends. He makes limited appearances in the book but when he does, it’s clear he is the true villain of the piece.

Outside of the primary relationships, there is a good deal of impressive world-building. The magical system of Koldovstvo, while not the first to employ the notion of magic requiring life force and ageing its user, is given a history unique to the series. Both brothers use magic in various methods, specific to their skills. There are a number of good fight scenes, ranging from individual duels to full-on battles, the majority of which have them using a combination of magic and traditional arms. The mythology behind this magic and many other aspects of the world are briefly touched on, and perhaps some could have done with a little more exploration. It may have just been me but towards the end, I felt like I was losing track of some of those details.

Anaerfell is both the first book in the Blood of Dragons duology and part of the greater Thrice Nine Legends series, so there is more to Drast & Tyran’s story as well as more of this world still to come.

4.5 out of 5 dragon blood rituals.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Interesting fantasy adventure!

Anaerfell by Joshua Robertson and J.C. Boyd and narrated by Todd Menesses is an audible book I requested and the review is voluntary. I enjoy a good epic sword and sorcery type adventure occasionally and this book for the bill. It had plenty of action, fantasy, good characters to live and hate, and a great plot. It slowed a bit in the early med area but picked back up with a vengeance. I enjoyed the Highborn Longwalker better but this was still good.
Good narration!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Tons of action, but what's the point?

Our "protagonists" are hard to like, but to you end up rooting for them anyway. The narrator's "accents" are difficult to understand at first, and continue to require a hard listen to stay in touch with the dialog. The story moves slowly toward and eventful ending, with openings for future episodes, but there is nothing inspiring or uplifting in it, or the characters. It's was good but not my cup of meat, as they say...

0 of 1 people found this review helpful