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Publisher's Summary

Rogues. Assassins. Mercenaries. 

Whether by coin or by blood...you will pay. 

A fantasy anthology featuring the deadly, the worldly, and the sneaky. Blackguards consists mainly of stories in established series, and the authors range from wildly successful indie authors to New York Times best sellers. If you enjoy roguish tales of scoundrels and ne'er-do-wells, this one's for you. 

Contents: 

  • Foreword by Glen Cook (Black Company) 
  • Richard Lee Byers, "Troll Trouble" 
  • David Dalglish, "Take You Home" 
  • James Enge, "Thieves at the Gate" 
  • John Gwynne, "Better to Live than to Die" 
  • Lian Hearn, "His Kikuta Hands" 
  • Snorri Kristjansson, "A Kingdom and a Horse" 
  • Joseph Lallo, "Seeking the Shadow" 
  • Mark Lawrence, "The Secret" 
  • Tim Marquitz, "A Taste of Agony" 
  • Peter Orullian, "A Length of Cherrywood" 
  • Cat Rambo, "The Subtler Art" 
  • Laura Resnick, "Friendship" 
  • Mark Smylie, "Manhunt" 
  • Kenny Soward, "Jancy's Justice" 
  • Shawn Speakman, "The White Rose Thief" 
  • Jon Sprunk, "Sun and Steel" 
  • Anton Strout, "Scream" 
  • Django Wexler, "The First Kill" 
  • Paul S. Kemp, "A Better Man" 
  • James A. Moore, "What Gods Demand" 
  • Jean Rabe, "Mainon" 
  • Bradley P. Beaulieu, "Irindai" 
  • S. R. Cambridge, "The Magus and the Betyar" 
  • Clay Sanger, "The Long Kiss" 

Please note: "The Lord Collector" by Anthony Ryan, which appears in the print edition of Blackguards, is not included in this audio edition. 

Full cast of narrators includes: Richard Poe, Gabra Zackman, Karyn O'Bryant, Macleod Andrews, Ray Porter, Tim Gerard Reynolds, John Keating, Kevin T. Collins, David DeVries, Elijah Alexander, Allyson Johnson, Oliver Wyman, and Victor Bevine.

©2015 Bradley P. Beaulieu; Carol Berg; Richard Lee Byers; S.R. Cambridge; David Dalglish; James Enge; John Gwynne; Lian Hearn; Paul S. Kemp; Snorri Kristjansson; Joseph R. Lallo; Mark Lawrence; Tim Marquitz; James A. Moore; Peter Orullian; Jean Rabe; Cat Rambo; Laura Resnick; Clay Sanger; Mark Smylie; Kenny Soward; Shawn Speakman; Jon Sprunk; Anton Strout; Michael J. Sullivan; Django Wexler (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"This story collection truly has something for everyone who loves the fantasy genre, especially as enhanced by some of the best voices in the business.... The uniform voice of Victor Bevine introduces each of the stories - sounding every bit the rogue with his gravelly timbre and tying together the wide range of worlds and narrators in this lengthy production." ( AudioFile)

What listeners say about Blackguards

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great BOOK. Disturbing FORMAT ( Streaming ONLY no Download)

I can't help imagining some engineer in Seattle about to ruin Audible for those of us who don't spend our whole lives bathed in low cost/ high speed Internet access. This title only streamed. I couldn't download it. That means I couldn't use it on a plane, on a long drive or outside the United States. If this is a precursor to a more universal format, DONT DO IT!!!

The collection of stories was great when I could hear them.

23 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Some worthy tales in the mix, but not many.

All the stories in this collection are set in a historical fantasy realm. It is advertised as being about villains. In the best cases, this means that the story is set in some old-style place where magic may or may not exist and there is a person of questionable morals that is trying to do the right thing or maybe just survive. In the boring cases, this means some poor attempt at a GoT imitation or some cliche about the tough lady playing a damsel in distress. In the terrible cases, this means some story contrived to describe throat slashing in detail with some child molestation thrown in.

Overall, I would have trouble recommending the entire set though there are a few good stories thrown in the mix.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Really Liked it!

I'm "Undecided" on the whole "Short Stories compiled into a book" thing, even though it's been around all of my (long.. so far) life. ;) But I DID enjoy THESE stories!

The cool thing is, IF one story is "Good", but not "GREAT", it doesn't last long, and you get the enjoyment out of the part that IS good WITHOUT Thinking: "Oh No, 10 More hours of this?? Not sure I like it THAT much"...

The BAD part is, when you listen to SEVERAL of the GREAT stories in this book, you wish those stories WOULD go on for MANY MORE HOURS, and they end WAY too soon!

The "Performance Rating Stars", and "Story Rating Stars" were HARD to decide on, since (Obviously) with many different stories and Narrators, you kinda have to "Average everything out".. but when you come to the "OVERALL" rating, THAT is EASY to rate!

I REALLY Wish there was a way within Audible to be notified when a Favorite Author puts out a new book, AND/OR when a new book in a Series that you are enjoying is released...There probably IS a way to be notified of those things, and I just haven't found it... But it'd be NICE to find it, because there were several authors in this series of books I'd like to hear more from!

12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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mixed bag

Definitely worth a credit. give me a lot of good ideas on future series of books to pay attention to.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A few were ok. Most, not so much

I chose this book because I really like Michael Sullivan's work and hoped it might expose me to some new authors I might want to read. Truth be told, there were only 2-3 stories I really liked. I suppose I should have expected it in a book about thieves and bandits, but I really didn't like most of the characters.

I'm also not particularly fond of a lot of sex and swearing in my books, and some of the stories were crude beyond my taste. In particular, there seemed to be a running theme of adolescent rape throughout the stories I found particularly distasteful.

Still, I did finish the book, and a few of the stories were pretty good, so there are a few authors I may look into further.

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Full of unnecessary deviant sexual content. Bummer

Several of the stories are full of deviant sexual content that was completely unnecessary. A few of the stories relied on the content because apparently the authors could think of nothing better to write about. This collection of stories is largely disappointing. Stay away. There are way better options out there.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Looking to sink your teeth in a new series?

Twenty five novellas between 15 and 90 minutes, over half of which connect to series. I found a few series to wishlist and also enjoyed some of the self-contained stories. The content runs the gamut from YA to grimdark, is mostly medieval and some urban fantasy, has the expected violence and betrayal you’d expect from a series titled Blackguards, and has only an occasional F 💣 and indirectly referenced sex. Happily, the table of contents labels each novella and, contrary to the summary, even The Collector is included in this, as of 2022. Many of these titles can be bought individually, but if there are 5 of the 25 titles that appeal, you are better off spending the credit on this. I found several 4-5 star listens (🔥) and only a few that didn’t work at all for me (👎🏼).

Random, hopefully helpful thoughts, in book order:
🔥1. Mainon by Jean Rabe- assassin hired to foil an assassin, YA
🔥2. Irendai by Bradley Beaulieu- lyrical mind-trip with Egypt-like trickster gods and pit fights
-series: Song of the Shattered Sands
🔥3. The Subtler Art by Cat Rambo- Mage or assassin- who’s the better artist? short story
4. Jancy’s Justice by Kenny Soward- side character gets her own interlude story
-series: Gnome Saga (not available on Audible)
🔥5. Troll Trouble by Richard Lee Byers- freelance caper helping a troll with an incubus issue
-series: Forgotten Realms
🔥6. A Better Me by Paul Kemp - advertised as Conan meets Indiana Jones and I approve!
-series: Egil and Nix
👎🏼7. The First Kill by Django Wexler- apparently, there’s occult magic but I only heard a spy caper
minus the background story.
-series: Shadow Campaign… I’ll pass, as this promises blah blah military tactics,
but I did enjoy the YA Wells of Sorcery trilogy by this author.
8. Man Hunt by Mark Smylie- tricorn hats and no before/after, just the hunt
9. Better to Live Than to Die by John Gwynne- feels grimdark without the bloody fun bite of First Law
-series: Faithful and the Fallen
10. The Secret by Mark Lawrence- features the ruminations of a killer
-series: trilogies run long and MC is a sociopath
🔥11. Friendship by Laura Resnick- “a man’s friends are always more dangerous than his enemies”
🔥12. The Long Kiss by Clay Sanger- ridden hard and put away bloody… for those on Team Arya of GoT
🔥13. The White Rose Thief by Shawn Speakman- YA fantasy prologue with gargoyles, witches, fairies
14. A length of Cherrywood by Peter Orullain- vicious, trigger warnings for deviant abuse, GoT level
15. A Taste of Agony by Tim Marquitz- Eunuch assassin and ditto on above trigger warnings
👎🏼16. What the Gods Demand by James A Moore-dark and dreary
-series: Seven Forges
🔥17. Take You Home by David Dalglish- YA -assassin turned Robin Hood. Cheesy, but strangely captivating
-series: Shadowdance
18. Seeking the Shadow by Joseph Lallo- weapons maker seeks new master
-series: Book of Deacon
19. Sun and Steel by Jim Sprunk- oh, the dark chains that bind
🔥20. The Betya and The Magus by S.R. Cambridge- the not-so-meet-cute for two partners in crime
-series: why is there no series in Audible?!
21. A Kingdom and a Horse by Snorri Kirstjansson- short, but hey, Ray Porter!
👎🏼22. Thieves and the Gate by Jane Enge- Oyssseus as a pirate (and not the good kind)
23. His Kikuta Hands by Liam Hearn- looks at two folks on the enemy side- a Japan-tinged feudal fantasy. This takes place during the third book and I’m not sure if it plays well without having heard the series
-series: Tales of the Otori (it’s good if you like samurai style stories on the still waters run deep end)
24. The Lord Collector by Anthony Ryan- no honor among thieves… or family
series: Raven’s Shadow
🔥25. Scream by Anton Stout- Rogue with a talent made for crime- noir feeling urban fantasy involving an art heist.
series: Simon Canderous

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a bunch of teases

a series of a bunch of short stories that really get you wanting to know more and not giving you enough information to find more

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fun listen

Mostly I loved it, there were a couple I had trouble finishing but this is a really mixed bag of short stories with the time.

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I especially liked "A Better Man" by Paul S. Kemp

I especially liked "A Better Man" by Paul S. Kemp. I liked the overall collection and will re-listen multiple times. BUT finding the Egil and Nix (in the aforementioned story) was fantastic and I immediately got the first book of them and really like it so far...

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Ailsa
  • 05-26-19

Oddly boring

It felt as if many of the short stories had been taken from other, longer fantasy saga kind of books. It wasn’t something I enjoyed. Some of the stories ended really abruptly and often I’d realise I’d lost concentration and suddenly I was listening to a new story! The narrators were mostly fine. I’m sure it will appeal to lots of people but I’m not one of them sadly, and I had wanted to like the book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mark
  • 03-14-17

Dreadful

Don't know about the story, the narrator killed it. I couldn't bear more than 10 minutes. No expression life or interest. I lost it within 2 or 3 mins but at 10 felt like throwing my phone over a hedge and walking on. Sorry, waste of money.
I only gave 1 star because I had to.

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  • Spud
  • 09-21-18

great set of tales

really liked this selection of tales, totally recommend o anyone who likes a short story