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Publisher's Summary

You’ve heard the story before: an orphaned boy, raised by a wise old man, comes to a fuller knowledge of his magic and uses it to fight the great evil threatening his world.

But what if that hero were destined to become the new dark lord?

The Academy of Chaenbalu has stood against magic for centuries. Hidden from the world, acting from the shadows, it trains its students to detect and retrieve magic artifacts, which it jealously guards from the misuse of others. Because magic is dangerous: Something that heals can also harm, and a power that aids one person may destroy another.

Of the academy’s many students, only the most skilled can become Avatars - warrior thieves, capable of infiltrating the most heavily guarded vaults - and only the most determined can be trusted to resist the lure of magic. More than anything, Annev de Breth wants to become one of them.

But Annev carries a secret. Unlike his classmates who were stolen as infants from the capital city, Annev was born in the village of Chaenbalu, was believed to be executed, and then unknowingly raised by his parents’ killers. Seventeen years later, he struggles with the burdens of a forbidden magic, a forgotten heritage, and a secret deformity. When Annev is subsequently caught between the warring ideologies of his priestly mentor and the Academy’s masters, he must finally decide whether to accept the truth of who he really is…or embrace the darker truth of what he may one day become.

©2019, 2020 Justin Travis Call (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Master of Sorrows

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

Something about a call to "Arms"

Now, I would like to start this review with a full disclosure, the book author is a friend of mine. I see that that may immediately discount my opinion and make you say, "well, he's just trying to boost his buddy." That is totally understandable and agreeable. I can't deny that there is some of that bias at play. However, let me also say that it made me somewhat terrified of reading this book.

You see, what if I read the book and it was flippin’ terrible?! It’d be like my wife wearing some hideous clothes and saying, “I made them myself, what do you think?” If the book were a childish fantasy retelling of a famous Babysitter’s Club novel, I would be in real trouble. “What did you think of my book?” “Well, it sure had a lot of words in there! And I read them, I sure did!” *stuffs food in mouth so I can’t comment further*

Luckily, thankfully, happily, that was not the case. Justin did a great job here, especially for a first book out of the gates. I really enjoyed reading/listening to the book and can’t wait for the next one, especially with all the setup out of the way and the cool developments that this first book left off on.

Master of Sorrows follows a lot of familiar fantasy tropes, orphaned boy going to a specialty training school, learning about magic and power, but there is a new original twist on it. In this setting, magic is evil. The school where Annev attends and trains creates assassin/ninja/hunters/whatever that find magical relics and heretics. They steal the artifacts and kill the heretics. The only problem is that Annev is himself magical. He’s marked by “the dark one” according to his school’s doctrine. It’s like a Democrat walking the halls of a Utah government building. Annev has to keep his proclivity for magic and empathy secret while he learns the skills available to him in this hidden dojo town. With the help of his also secret magic caregiver old guy.

Of course, this idyllic secret life can’t go on forever. Monsters come, quests unravel, love is lost, alignments change, and people die. There’s some fire, a lot of fire, and magical artifacts, and all the good stuff that makes for a fun read. I like mystical arms too. Like literal human arms, not arms as in weapons. Although if the arm is magical I guess it’s not a literal human arm. It’s an apparition of an arm. So maybe it is a “weapon” arm. Especially when it involves fire. You’ll have to read it to understand it.

So! Pick it up and read it. I’ve read tons of fantasy and sci-fi and all the entertaining cinematic books. When I read, I like to escape and go on an adventure. Master of Sorrows had all those needed elements. I expect the next book to be even better!

18 people found this helpful

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A Master Storyteller

Best narrator ever. Peter Kenny is my new favorite. This genre is not my favorite, but it just might be now. A great story, well developed and creative. I hope there will be sequels.
All I can say is listen or read it, you won’t be disappointed.

4 people found this helpful

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A New Classic

I just finished this book and had to write a review. The story line, characters and writing were all top notch, The performance of the reader could not have been better. He clearly added to the enjoyment of the story. I can't wait for the release of book 2.

2 people found this helpful

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Checks All the Right Boxes for Me

This checked the right boxes for me. Didn't want to put it down while reading. Check. Couldn't wait to find out what happened next. Check. Found myself talking to the characters or shouting out things I was hoping would happen during tense times. Check. Can't wait for the next book to release. Check.

This is a great start to a fantasy series that has an interesting magic system that involves using artifacts infused with various powers. I was quickly sucked into the world, and I am excited to find out what happens to each character.

2 people found this helpful

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simply amazing

I enjoyed every minute of this book. I look forward to the sequel. Justin Call has been added to my list of favourite authors.

2 people found this helpful

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Slow and boring

Overall the book isn’t bad but the first half drags on and in does not seem to really lead anywhere. I found it hard to really finish the whole book overall. Nothing wrong with the narrator but at times he leaves long pauses and it throws me off.

2 people found this helpful

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Great start excited for more.

The book is excellent. I read and listen to it. It's a true fantasy novel and take a minute to get used to the naming scheme but worth the read. looking forward to more.

1 person found this helpful

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A New Favorite Author and Narrator

The writing is brilliant and you immediately find yourself pulled into a magical world. The author is too good at pulling pitting evil against good and you feel the suspense buildup as you cheer for the hero. I’m hungry for book 2 and more narration from the talented Peter Kenny!

1 person found this helpful

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NOT WORTH IT!!

I don’t know if it’s just me but this book is one of the most boring book I’ve heard. Story line is Ok. (NOt the best)! & I couldn’t even exchange it!!

1 person found this helpful

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Simple yet well done!

This book doesn't get too far in the overall "Journey of Destiny" story arc it seem to be going for, but because of that it manages to make an in depth, impactful, and delightfully complex beginning to the said journey. Its some of the best character writing I've seen in a while, but not for someone who is interested in grand plot progression. The book manages to make the main character naive without being dumb, the mentor wise while still being a dick, and the love interest a bad idea to commit to without devolving into a hopelessly asinine romance. The details are great, and truly support the story the author is trying to convey. And, honestly? F*ck prejudice man, that stuff really gets on my nerves.

1 person found this helpful