• Master of Sorrows

  • The Silent Gods, Book 1
  • By: Justin Travis Call
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 19 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (2,173 ratings)

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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!

71 people found this helpful

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Just rewrote his childhood religious texts.

This was utterly ridiculous. I was raised by an LDS family, and as soon as I started listening, the story was so familiar. In fact, it was eerily similar to the storyline of The Book of Mormon and The Bible. So, I looked up the author. Shocker! He is Mormon!! All this man did was rewrite his religious texts. Pfft! Return. However, the narrator was great.

66 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.

22 people found this helpful

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Unlikable main character

The Mc is totally unlikable and naive. His decisions make no sense and he believes himself clever and entitled. The story also clashes with the MCs plight. Everything that happens to him is avoidable. He has Gandalf the grey as his mentor/father and does everything in his power to go against his wise advice. It is nerve racking and takes you out of the story. Also, the academy in which this takes place is a secret monk-like monastery in a hidden village, that trains orphans whom they kidnapped to steal magical artifacts for their own nebulous religious purposes. Magic is forbidden, but they must be able to spot magical artifacts, so they must learn magic, which they can't because it's outlawed. It's stupid and counterintuitive since you must have magical aptitude to spot these artifacts.
Due to the academy and it's goals and actions, you don't like anyone! you don't like the students who are basically dark thieves, you don't like the mentors who are religious zealots and bullies, and you don't like the women who are even more sinister than the mentors. Also, disabilities and disfigurement are looked upon as evil and oft met with violence and persecution. This itself makes no sense because the acolytes (students) are trained and oft doing Kung fu like martial arts and battling each other with weapons. It's insane to invest that much money into raising weapons and tossing them aside if the my get hurt in mission, being thievery. The Mc is born one armed, a mark of anathema which is a death sentence due to its severity and likeness with a dark god. He then pursues a position with people who would kill him if they found out, with whom he also wholeheartedly disagrees with their methodology of assassination and betrayal. It's insane, nerve racking and nothing the MC does makes any sense. Pass on this one unless on sale or in kindle unlimited.

19 people found this helpful

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Alright

the plot wasn't too bad. I really wish the author had spent a little more on character and descriptions. really if you're going to kill somebody in the next three pages you don't need to describe them unless they're villain. I really wish that there had been a development of class and of more than seven characters and the world. really by the end of the book we know very little bit about any magical systems, what the gods are up to, where we are on a map, or even any prophecies.

16 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.

11 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.

10 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.

9 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.

8 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.

8 people found this helpful