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Publisher's Summary

The world is broken....

Corban wants nothing more than to be a warrior under King Brenin's rule - to protect and serve. But that day will come all too soon. And the price he pays will be in blood. 

Evnis has sacrificed - too much it seems. But what he wants - the power to rule - will soon be in his grasp. And nothing will stop him once he has started on his path. 

Veradis is the newest member of the warband for the High Prince, Nathair. He is one of the most skilled swordsman to come out of his homeland, yet he is always under the shadow of his older brother. 

Nathair has ideas - and a lot of plans. Many of them don't involve his father, the High King Aquilus. Nor does he agree with his father's idea to summon his fellow kings to council. 

The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed in battle, but now giants are seen, the stones weep blood, and giant wyrms are stirring. Those who can still read the signs see a threat far greater than the ancient wars. For if the Black Sun gains ascendancy, mankind's hopes and dreams will fall to dust....

...and it can never be made whole again.

Malice is a dark epic fantasy tale of blind greed, ambition, and betrayal.

©2012 John Gwynne (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"John Gwynne hits all the right spots in his epic tale of good vs evil...there's a lot of pleasure to be had in this debut novel; Gwynne is definitely one to watch." (SFX)

"Middle Earth-ish extravaganza with all the usual thrills, chills, spills and frills...there's plenty of action." (Kirkus)

"A series that promises the same degree of complexity and depth found in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time books and George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series." (Library Journal, starred review)

What listeners say about Malice

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

This Is Only The Beginning...

Malice surprised me. I stumbled upon the Faithful and the Fallen series while pursuing Good Reads for something new. I had recently realized that my library was lacking in diversity (aka, a lot of Brandon Sanderson and little else). I was reluctant to pick up new books due to a run of bad luck in my choices. Introduction made, I really enjoyed Malice.

John Gwynne brings you into a vast and diverse world filled with war, strife, tradition, love, and adventure. Malice sweeps you up fairly quickly into 4 story lines that seem separate through most of the book. We follow a young boy trying to grow into a man, a prince seeking fulfillment in an ancient prophesy, an estranged warrior running from his hateful family, and a traitorous adviser working to undermine everything that these people hold dear. Through it all, the people of this world are holding their breaths to see if the God War is finally come.

I do not want to spoil anything in this series, so I will say that the end left me completely blown away and was well worth the wait. The last few chapters were, by far, the best part of this book.

I give Malice 4 Stars because, though the emotional response to this story was high, there was a single down point: the sheer amount of characters. I lost track multiple times listening to this book of who was who and found myself saying more than once, "Wait, who is this?" I recommend reading/listening to this book with a notepad so you can keep track. The plethora of characters gave the world depth and variety, but, again, I had to remind myself who was who each chapter and still got it wrong 1 out of 3 times.

John Gwynne handles the realities of a warrior society very well. There is a lot of death in this book, but it comes as a matter of course instead of a gore-filed bloodbath. He writes in the old style of the glories of war and battle and the honor of a warrior's death; in contract, he shows the deep sorrow of loss and the consequences of meaningless slaughter. He made it clear that people were dying by allowing us to watch the coming war unfold through the eyes of a young man only old enough now to call himself a warrior.

I am very excited to see how the God War unfolds. Book two is in my queue, and I cannot wait for what happens next.

7 people found this helpful

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

Different than the standard

I have been struggling to find quality fantasy for a while. The formula is set, and the narrative predictable. This book was different in presentation and enjoyable. Not the same level as Jordan, but a great read.

4 people found this helpful

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

Where's John Keating?

This review mostly concerns itself with the recording by Damian Lynch, which supplants that of John Keating. The story itself is solid and workmanlike, and I've no complaints in that regard, but I can't say the same for the new audiobook.
Ugh. I'm sorry, but this new recording is just terrible- John Keating had a good ear for Celtic and British regional accents, and read in a way that imparted some weight to the narrative. In contrast, Damian Lynch's plummy gabble narrates in diarrhetic fits and starts, like the disclaimers at the end of a pharmaceutical advert. The accents are all over the place and almost inexplicable.
Deeply disappointed by this, and probably won't waste any more credits- I'll finish it on paper.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This Book...

Wonderful story. This book is definitely worth READING but not worth listening to... Terrible Narration.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Surpassed my expectations!

If you enjoyed Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’ series then this is an excellent choice for you. Interesting and well developed characters without the saccharin sweet protagonists or fully vile antagonist makes this tale an enjoyable experience.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing you should definitely read it

Great story. Good vs Evil. Characters are alive. Definitely in mytop5 favorite fantasy series. Well written. I couldn't put this book down once i started.

2 people found this helpful

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

Amazing

The narrator is not bad trust me. He does a very good job. Great book!!

1 person found this helpful

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

This will probably be better on the second read

If I could give a perfect example of how to write a predictable story well, this would be it; I guess a lot of fantasy fits into that category though. The author is obviously a talented writer. When he described a scene, I could see it in my head pretty well, but a lot of the content was boring.

I think my main gripe with this book is that names, locations, and even the time in which events are taking place tend to be confusing. I found myself losing focus throughout this book; probably because the author focused a lot on characters I didnt find interesting to move the plot forward. Also, as a side note, there's not much physical description of characters which may be why I had a hard time placing a name to a face.

The narrator did a serviceable job, but if you find whisper screams annoying like I do, then buckle up, there's a lot of that.

I think that a second listen may help me like this book more because I can finally picture everyone after finishing it, but it's a very different kind of enjoyable then reading a book like The Name of The Wind for the second time.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Slow start, but what a finish.

Loved this book. Malice is a slow burn, but the prose, characters and story make it all worth it. And the final act pulls all he stops. Eager to read the rest of the series.

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Good

Beginning is rough but once you get used to the boat load of characters and confusion at beginning the story gets really good.