Deceptions

Ascendant, Book 3
Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Series: Ascendant, Book 3
Length: 16 hrs and 46 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10,081 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Koren Bladewell now knows he is a wizard, but he is lost in the wilderness, cut off from help, and unable to use his powers. The enemy is poised at the border with an overwhelming invasion force, and it will take wizards, soldiers and a young, untested princess to hold off defeat long enough for Koren to be trained and grow into his power. But he might not wish to help those who deceived him and destroyed his life.

©2018 Craig Alanson (P)2018 Podium Publishing
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A little hurried

As much setup and detail in the first 2 books seemed too be missing in book 3. Author should have made the book longer and spent more time expanding the new characters. Also seems to be several loose ends that didn't get addressed. 65

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Solid Yet Tropetastic

Bottom line, this was a good, but simple book. I did, however, get the distinct impression that the ending was rushed; lots of ground covered by simply skipping ahead.

The overall plot for the series was simple and straightforward (mild spoilers) :

One big baddie, one princess and kingdom in distress, one commoner with the ability to save the day, one betrothal to an adversaries child, one betrayal by said adversary, and all the powerful ‘good’ wizards who are centuries old and have had all that time to study and empower themselves are just too tired, old, and weak to really do much of anything (except one).

If I were to guess, this book was aimed at the YA audience and actually leaning towards teen readers.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

I think the Iron Druid Finale was worse...maybe

I'm very angry about Deceptions. I presumed, incorrectly, though out the hours of goblin fleeing, dwarf assisting and pointless boat travel, that this was going to be a 4 part cycle instead of a trilogy. I presumed, at some point we would actually meet the demon and get a background story about the creature and his powers. I presumed that we would have some powerful moment when Koren arrived at the perfect time and saved everybody from a terrible death. I presumed, that Koren would manage to escape the clutches of evil after he saw how powerful the demon was and would come back in book four kicking ass and taking names! I presumed very wrong.

What I didn't expect, was that we'd have to sit through 14 hours of all that plus two wizards making a worthless journey. That the Regent and future Queen of the realm wouldn't be dragged around to every battle for no apparent reason other than to let her be attacked. We certainly didn't expect a mere ten minutes of finally meeting the so called most evil/powerful creature on the continent (10 minutes! That's all the time Alanson gave us with the Demon!) Plus all the other countless events of lazy writing and the terrible sense of time throughout the book that actually got us to a final showdown that took all of five minutes before it was all over.

I restarted my Audible account because of the Ascendant series. I enjoyed the first two books, even though Alanson relied far too much on chance and circumstance to move his story along in my opinion, and I was looking forward to the next part of the series. And we got this. A book that might possibly be my least favorite ending ever (after the Iron Druid finale (Which we should all burn and pretend didn't happen!)). As aforementioned, I thought for sure that this was all build up for an epic fourth book in the series. There was so much potential. Betrayl, romance, magic and battles. But instead, all we got was running and scheming and the like. It's like Alanson was told by his agent that he was done with this series and they wouldn't publish a fourth book. So he just scrambled to a ending that would kind of fit. (I like to think this, but my presumptions haven't been accurate in regards to this series so far)

In the end, the story isn't the worst, it's just poorly written. And Reynolds does his usual excellent job.

Go a head and finish the series, but don't expect much.

19 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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First two books; really good!

This book, the conclusion of the story didn't even come near the quality of the previous work. Side plots taking up about half the story shouldn't even be in here. The very awkward moment when the main character comes to fruition is one of the worst conclusions in the history of fantasy in my opinion. I just want to sit down with the author and try to iron out what the **** happened. It boggles the mind how such a promising series could be botched in this manner. But it's not the first time this has happened either is it Craig?

42 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A great ending

There seem to be a lot of folks that are disappointed by this series, and this book in particular. I have to disagree; I really enjoyed the dynamic characters (they all grew and changed throughout the series), as well as the detail the author put into back stories and each scene. And the ending...it was a sweet ending to a roller coaster ride.

Note: This is my first experience with this author, unlike some that have written reviews. I think Mr. Alanson did a fantastic job at this fantasy series.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good enough.

This isn’t the book I was looking forward to when I finished book two. While I’m satisfied with the book we got, I am also a bit disappointed. This book really didn’t have the excitement and wonder of the first two books.

That said I did enjoy it, just not in the way I had hoped for.

3 people found this helpful

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

Reverse Ascendancy .. all. Terrible Finale to an Epic Series

The first two books in Alanson's YA Ascendant Series are chock full of fantastic characters, imaginative world building, and intriguing plot lines and themes.

The third book, Deceptions, however, is a hastily written mess (unusual for an author of Craig Alanson's talent). Several examples why I think this is a two star book: 1st, every time Koren is down to his "last arrow", or runs out of arrows, while he and his crew are being chased by Orcs (this happens a lot), there's an overwhelming amount of null and elementary explanation re "guys, we have a serious problem"; 2nd, almost one half of this book is dedicated to the survival of two old wizards on a ship in a sea. Their adventure offers nothing to advance the plot line, it's 100% 'filler' (I did, however, enjoy their constant bickering); 3rd, there's little to no cohesion among the various characters, themes, and storyline which was so richly developed in the first two books—this was a bit like listening to one very long run on sentence with no end in sight—I won't spoil the 'grande finale' here, but I must say it was about as anticlimactic as every episode of Scooby Doo.
Deceptions is a fine book for kids and very 'young adults', e.g. there's no swearing, no blood and gore, no battle/fight scenarios, etc.
TGR's narration is, once again, worthy of an infinite number of stars. He's truly superb—there's no way I would've been able to finish this book without the sound of his soothing voice.

22 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great with a few flaws

There were a few holes in the story that didn’t make a lot of sense but they didn’t ruin the series for me. I think most loose ends were wrapped up nicely. Overall, it was a great book.

2 people found this helpful

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Couldnt stop reading, thanks

The narrator and the story are epic and I loved the book.
I thank both Craig Alanson and the Tim Reynolds.

2 people found this helpful

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How can 16 hours feel rushed?

I really had high hopes for this story. The buildup could have been epic but it felt like a 3 book series of misunderstandings and unnecessary lies that were unbelievably frustrating. And all of it felt rushed. Craig Alanson is the only guy who could make 3 16 hour books feel rushed and short. I felt like I missed out on key parts of the story. Just to clarify, Tim Gerard Reynolds is a gem and always will be.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Georgina Farn
  • 05-22-18

Excellent as always

I loved this book as much as the others in the series. The characters are well rounded and the world is excellently crafted.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • murray mclean
  • 05-11-18

Did the author get bored of the series?<br />

What happened Craig? Did you get bored, throw out your thesaurus, write this overnight and fire your editor? It's like he had no plan for what happened after Corrin found out he was a wizard. I'm so so disappointed, I'm a huge fan of everything else he does but this was awful. He just kept padding the word count by making all of the characters constantly state the obvious, both in their words and thoughts, and it made it so boring.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Michael A Morrison
  • 05-29-19

A young wizard boy with the mental age of five

This should have been one book not three. thank god for the skip button, unnecessary dialogue, very patronising

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John c
  • 02-07-19

Compelling

Read all three, after reading the first book I was compelled to read all of them, the narrator brought the story to life, a story so very imaginative and well laid out, i couldn’t put any of them down once I started reading them,

2 people found this helpful

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  • Stanley Hughes
  • 10-16-18

Anticlimax

If I had to describe the trilogy in one word it would be 'anticlimax'. I felt the first two books and much of the third were constructing an interesting story, and nearing the end of the 3rd book I was wondering what the next book would bring. But then, in a few chapters, the story suddenly came to an end in an utterly disappointing way, almost as if the author couldn't be bothered to continue the story.

I read other reviews on the first and second book and saw some people described them (especially the second one) as page fillers. At the time, however, I thought the author was creating an extensive world and story. I was wrong. When I finished the final book, I realised most of the first and third book as well as the entire second book, are completely irrelevant to the overall story arch.

I endured what I thought to be minor imperfections in the first and second book (mistakes, needless repetition, slow pace, derivative naming of places and characters) because I felt the story had potential, instead I should have realised they where symptoms of something more problematic, an author who only half heartedly threw together a fantasy story.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gina Ravello
  • 02-13-20

Did not want to stop listening

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to these books. Finished all in less than a month. Love the narrator who did an excellent job again as he has in his other narrations. He was part of the reason I purchased this book. The end was a bit anti climatic as i dread from another review but that little tidbit at the end got me so excited, wondering if another book will come our way. Quite entertaining and absorbing. Thank you to the author and narrator. Mission accomplished! :)

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Daz C
  • 01-31-20

He saved the best for last

I’m not generally a fan of this sort of fantasy, but I’m a big fan of Craig’s ExForce series, so I thought I’d give the Ascendant series a try. It doesn’t grab me in the way the ExForce books do, but is still quite enjoyable. This third book is by far the best of the series, where everything reaches its culmination and it starts to bring in the slightest hints of what I love in the ExForce series.

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  • James Victor
  • 11-30-19

Brilliant

Love almost every second of all three books. Craig Alanson has become one of my favourite authors and Tim Gerard Reynolds performance is simply excellent.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Patrick England
  • 11-09-19

a good ol' trilogy

it's not perfect. it's not great but it was a damn good listen. work to be done but bloody good

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • matthew young
  • 08-20-19

Amazing Book

i was driving home from work and 10 min to till the end of the book and at the end amazing

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  • Michael
  • 03-04-19

outstanding performance

anyone who thinks performing these stories is simply a case of reading them out needs to listen to Gerald Reynolds, as he's an absolute master of voices, and characters. the story itself is great, Craig has done a superb job, but man, this narrator simply brings it to life. great job

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 04-24-18

Deceptions book 3

I loved this book from start to finish the Characters has been written nicely the main character has a human side to him and shows that never give up and you can get the girl The narrator did a awesome job with the story

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jose
  • 05-22-20

so bloody good

i love fantasy where you want to live in the kingdom and feel fondly about all the characters. This is it 🤗

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John Corey
  • 03-19-20

So enjoyable!

Another excellent series from Craig Alanson, and the performance kept me right in the story.I could hardly put it away when I had other things to do. The flicker of flame in the final sentences of Deceptions totally got me excited that there may be further instalments. Thanks!

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  • Mr. N. S. Storey
  • 02-22-20

Worthy of Tolkien himself.

Emotionally charged and well woven. A very enjoyable tale with Alanson's high octane narrative in full swing! Reynolds performance is excellent - with plenty of diverse expression.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Debbie
  • 02-05-20

Loved this adventure

Loved all the characters loved the story and loved leaving reality and being lost in a magical world. Narration was excellent. Highly recommend this listen

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    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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  • David M.
  • 12-25-19

Disappointing

Although it has moments of good writing and interesting story telling, overall this trilogy was disappointing. The main character and others were contradictory and inconsistent. Add to this the authors trap of ending the novels in the trilogy on a cliffhanger, to ensure, the sceptic in me says, that you continue to listen and the experience isn't positive.

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  • margaret willcocks
  • 06-16-19

fabulous characters and fast paced story

really enjoyed this book. lots of action and greatly enjoyed the character development plus the underlying philosophy that character beats privilege

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Marta Acton
  • 06-03-19

becoming too repetitive

good performance but story becoming lacklustre after the very entertaining first novel in the series

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-23-19

very enjoyable

really enjoyed the whole series and this was a good end. liked the main character.