Child of a Mad God

The Coven, Book 1
Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Series: The Coven, Book 1, The Coven, Book 1
Length: 18 hrs and 3 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (1,254 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From R. A. Salvatore, the legendary creator of Drizzt Do'Urden, comes the start of a brand new epic journey.

When Aoleyn loses her parents, she is left to fend for herself among a tribe of vicious barbarians. Bound by rigid traditions, she dreams of escaping to the world beyond her mountain home.

The only hope for achieving the kind of freedom she searches for is to learn how to wield the mysterious power used by the tribe's coven known as the Song of Usgar. Thankfully, Aoleyn may be the strongest witch to have ever lived, but magic comes at price. Not only has her abilities caught the eye of the brutish warlord that leads the tribe, but the demon of the mountain hunts all who wield the Coven's power, and Aoleyn's talent has made her a beacon in the night.

©2018 R. A. Salvatore (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Child of a Mad God

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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

Why did it have to end!!

Love the Drizzt series, so was anxious to read of this new promising character. I was not disappointed.
Talmadge, is a frontier trader who has ditched the cities to travel the villages of Loch Beag, a huge lake surrounded by mountains. The tribes on the lake are peaceful, but not the dreaded Usgar who live up on the mountainside, with raiding warriors that invade the lakeside villages, killing, raping, and taking whatever they want. These warriors have an advantage from crystal spears that the witches of the tribe, called the Coven, have infused with magic. We first meet Aoleyn as an orphaned child, being raised by her Aunt who is one of these witches. Aoleyn grows quickly in this first installment, as does her natural power to wield the magic of the crystals. Along the way, she is also learning that the brutal ways of her tribe are just that, brutal.
There are many other characters that are developed in this story, along with the lifestyle of the Usgar and the gentle tribes of the lake, with Talmadge and Aoleyn in the center. The ending certainly leaves you hanging, my only complaint of starting a new series before it's complete. Luckily, I haven't read the Corona books so can go to those for a prequel to this new magical land.

18 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A lot of nothing happening over a long time

What did you like best about Child of a Mad God? What did you like least?

the narrator

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I an a great fan of R.A. Salvatore. the highway man was one of the first books I have read. The issue I have is his focus on character development over years, but hardly going into depth on each character. its also a spoiler for his other series with adrians self reflections. I would have left the timeline to not skip as far as it did. it went from a child then a teen then an adult with nothing really happening.

Which character – as performed by Tim Gerard Reynolds – was your favorite?

adrian. during his brief appearance.

Was Child of a Mad God worth the listening time?

I really dont think it was. I felt like i was waiting years for something to happen to the characters then when something happen something else happened to change the characters then the wait I had to wait years again for another event.

Any additional comments?

i wouldnt take up this book if you havent read the demon wars saga.

27 people found this helpful

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A witch of a different sort

This is the start of an epic fantasy set in a world of many lands with people of typical customs and several of some very strange bewildering customs. R. A. Salvatore creates several characters through the story, each with their own story arcs along the way, seemingly, unrelated to each other but we knowingly realize that these loose story strands are destined to entangle at points.

The primary protagonist is a young orphaned girl who is part of a ruthless warring tribe that consists of witches and warriors who only seek power and use any means to achieve it. The girl is of a different mind and this, combined with her stubbornness, continually puts her in danger from her own antics and from those around her. The story proceeds with many harrowing, brutal and poignant incidents throughout until it finishes with her framed as in the picture of the book, awaiting a continuation of the tale. One, I will sadly have to wait for.

The review would be incomplete without giving much deserved credit to Tim Gerard Reynolds' performance.

22 people found this helpful

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An Unbelievable Read!

Not in a good way. I have been a fan of Salvatore for many years, having read his most prized novels when they originally released. Salvatore has always been able to create amazing characters who, while living in unbelievable worlds (in a good way) all his characters have been believable. The worlds, the villains, the heroes, always memorable because you understood them, they made sense in their world and environment, here... neither is true. We have a forgettable merchant who plies his trade in the most dangerous lands and waters but is haunted by the most illogical personal ghosts. We have tribes who sit and accept their yearly punishment for who knows why. Tribes who live around the most dangerous waters but fall prey to random yearly raids. We have the menacing tribe that treats women and slaves as property which really is nothing more than a poor window dressing to show one of our protagonists slow coming of age and rebellion. Finally we have a villain that is also nothing more than window dressing on a forgettable set, filled with forgettable antagonists, and even worse, forgettable protagonists. While I found the reader enjoyable (although the accent while well done makes it a challenge to spell the names from the book) the story itself was ultimately forgettable to the point I interrupted my listen 2 times just to listen to books from other authors. I think this is Salvatore's worst fiction series and I will think twice before blindly buying any more of his writing.

3 people found this helpful

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An interesting story that takes time to develop

I'm completely new to R.A. Salvatore's world of Corona, which may put me at a disadvantage in understanding the complexities of crystal magic, but may also put me at an advantage of evaluating this book on its own merits.

On the whole, this is a solid story. The narration is excellent, as is always the case with TGR. The prose is a step above most fantasy novels, which is a nice change.

I almost gave up on Child of a Mad God. It hooked me quickly with an exciting introduction, and then slowed down to a snail's pace. In particular, Mr. Salvatore's weird pacing in the first 1/3 of the book felt disorienting and disconnected. He'll write an in-depth description of on particular event, and then skip forward several years and write another such description. I found this to be off-putting, and it almost caused me to stop listening.

But I'm glad I kept with it.

Around the half-way point, the story really begins to come together. The characters are fleshed out, and their trajectories begin to reveal themselves in a manner that moves from 'descriptive' to 'interesting'.

One of the major aspects of this book is the brutality with which the main clan of warriors treats not only its enemies, but its own people. At first, I found this to be boring. But as we learn more about the tribe - and, in particular, one former member of the Coven - these power dynamics become interesting because they constitute a hurdle that (I hope) the main character will overcome in future books.

I'm not sure whether this series will amount to something great or just something okay, but I'm excited to find out.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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I tried...i really REALLY tried!

Couldnt get into this book for all the meandering the author is doing. Long on dialog short on action. If it wasn't for Mr Reynolds I would have not made it to the mid point.

12 people found this helpful

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Incredibly shallow for such a long book

Characters are under developed and frustratingly shallow. A lot of nothing happens leading up to what you would hope to be something exciting, don't. The space between chapters doesn't exist and it's really confusing to know when they end and start. Not to mention two characters have similar names for no reason whatsoever. Overall disappointment.

5 people found this helpful

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Complex and interesting

This was really quite beautiful. Although it's a bit cruel and callous, I found the story and the world alluring. The characters were round and complex, the sort that get into your soul. The world building was intriguing with lots of scenery and cultures. The magic system was described beautifully. And it feels like we're just getting a taste of it all, it really feels like the story, the world and the characters have so much more room to grow in all manner of directions. I also loved the writing style, very vivid and entertaining, but definitely not too simplified. Just right. And Tim Gerard Reynolds, once again, was simply perfect. He really tells you the story, not just "reads" it. Wonderful in every way.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Recommended read. Straightforward epic.

Overall good story. Narration is fantastic, the intonations of character and dialect are wonderful and add tremendously over just the plain text. Interested to see where the intrigue will carry in follow up volumes.

1 person found this helpful

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Another Amazing Tale

Salvatore, again, shows that whether writing of Dark Elves or lake men or demons from a mountain his ability to capture you and take you on an unforgettable Journey is as strong as ever.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Pedro
  • 02-22-18

I have been waiting for this

Would you consider the audio edition of Child of a Mad God to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the printed version

Who was your favorite character and why?

All of them. This book is great.

Any additional comments?

This book is well written, the story is great and the voice acting is very good. I have been waiting for such a long time for a fantasy book that I really liked!!!! and this is it!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Ian
  • 05-06-18

mad good

incredibly interesting magic system and characters- and the setting is superb! what lurks in the lake...

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • The Curator
  • 02-10-19

Just couldn’t find it in me to care

I tried! I really did but by Chapter Six all I could hear was blah blah blah. I didn’t engage with either character or plot.

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  • Bradley Tanner
  • 10-05-18

A good new story

A very good book with lots of twists. Really enjoyed learning about the characters and the changing roles.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr
  • 10-02-18

I managed about 10 minutes. Dreadful.

I am an avid audible customer. I have hundreds of titles but the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section is becoming a little sparse. I picked this one up based mainly on the narrator being Tim Gerard Reynolds who is normally great fun as well as the reviews. Suffice it to say this is no cycle of Arawn. The narrator has decided to try and use a new voice. It is weird and dull. The initial introduction to the book is amongst the most dull introductions I have come across. I managed to listen to about 20 minutes. I am in awe of the other people who wrote positive reviews. Not for me, I will be returning it.

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  • Sean
  • 07-28-18

brilliant

so good to read a new Salvatore novel,great characters and loadsa scope for more, wee bit dark but loved it none the less.

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  • Chiikita
  • 03-08-18

The narrator was too hard to follow for me

My mother tong is French and I think I don't have the level to enjoy properly the narrator, it was too hard for me so I bought the e-book for my Kindle, and it's easier for me. Even so, I thought that the narrator was good !

1 person found this helpful