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Publisher's Summary

The stories of the Elder Empire are told in a unique way.  

If you’ve already listened to the other companion novels in the Elder Empire, then you know how this works. If not, you may wish to seek out those books for an explanation of how these parallel stories interact. Once you’re ready to proceed, here’s a glimpse of the road ahead....

Calder has been declared Imperial Steward, the official successor to the Emperor. He leads the Empire from the throne, just as he has always wanted.  

In their tombs, the Great Elders stir.  

The crack in the sky becomes more alarming by the day, so Calder and his loyal Imperialist Guilds seek a truce with their Independent opponents.  

Both sides know the Elders are the true enemy, but that does not make peace easy. Blood has been spilled already, trust is hard to come by, and the Guild Heads under Calder see him as little more than a figurehead.  

For civilization to survive, Calder must take the lead and prove himself to allies and enemies alike.  

But he is faced with an ancient Guild of spies and assassins led by the one woman who most wants him dead: Shera of the Gardeners.  

In the shadows, a woman plots to prolong a war. On the seas, a man works to end it.

©2020 Hidden Gnome Publishing (P)2020 Audible, Inc.

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What listeners say about Of Kings and Killers

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

Spectacular Vision, annoying execution

I can now say that I have read every will wight novel published this far, and his vision for this multiverse is really cool. That said, I think the experiment in the elder empire series was a mistake. while the world is fascinating, the plot and characters were a bit of a stretch for me, while the overlapping nature of the stories made many pivotal and interesting scenes in one trilogy boring and predictable in the next. rach series began as a kind of adventure story, about a swashbuckling sea captain and an assassin, these were stories I think worked very well, but as the characters were pulled into the political sphere of their world their actions and choices began to feel less justified. they seemed, for example, to care whether the common people followed the new emperor even though, from the audience's perspective, they contributed almost nothing to either the power of the emperor or the guilds. there was a guild war, but very little talk about what guilds wanted out of the whole deal outside of money, ora new Emperor. even the regents, who should have been major political pieces for every guild, were little more than particularly powerful warriors by the end of the books. this was a "political" story told the way you might tell an adventure story. less game of thrones and more full metal alchemist, if that makes sense. the political organization of the world lacked depth, mostly because there was little exploration of what any guild used to get, or to stay, in power, and while that has worked fine in Cradle, where power belonged to the most advanced sacred artist, so that all they needed to do to stay in power was flex their godlike powers, a world of guilds needed a more complex interplay of selfish and selfless motivations. the emperor is dead, every guild now has an opportunity, but also a risk, and the elders are coming. it would have been cool to see that.
the design of this series was its second, and far bigger flaw. shares side of the story was interesting, but not as good as cradle for the reasons mentioned above. (a high bar to hit). I've seen book series like this that explore events from another perspective, and I already know that two thirds of the book will be very boring, because I already know what happens. basically the only reason I read this is because will teased Ozriel and I had to hear more about that. having read it, I can say that I would have missed out on a very compelling story about calder and his wife, but because of the number of chapters I kept skipping through, I think this series would have been better served in a single "epic fantasy" multiple POV style like Sanderson or peter F Hamilton, than as two series about the same events.
all of that said, I did enjoy the series, both of them, and I loved the eldritch horror treatment of this part of the growing "cradle" multiverse. it was really quite fun, even as I skipped chapters. I dont regret buying or reading them at all, and cant wait for the next installment in calder's adventure, (though I'm way more excited about wintersteel) I just hope we get a more, normal, series out of the deal this time instead of this kind of dual series again. No matter how many authors do it, it just really doesnt work for me if I already know the ending.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic ending to the series!

Not going to say too much. If you're looking at reviews here, well, go read the first book :) Just know, the last book is outstanding!

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Absolutely amazing series!

I loved pretty much everything about this series. Even though some favorite characters perished early, the author did an amazing job keeping them in the story til pretty much the very end. Also, Shuffles cracked me up almost every time haha!
Til their last breath and may their souls fly free

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Incredible ending to a decent series.

This trilogy was not my favorite of Will’s work. But the ending may be some of his best writing. Worth the read. Worth the whole trilogy.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Dear mr. Wight

Please write more... I don’t care if it’s about picking lint out of your bellybutton or whatever it will probably still be awesome. I never thought I’d read someone who could compete with Brandon Sanderson but I was very very wrong. Thanks for sharing your imagination with the rest of us and taking our money. Don’t shut up and do take my money.

Ps Yay Ozrielle

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    5 out of 5 stars

Honestly

After finishing this story I had to sit back and just think about the ending.
I had to think, damn not only was this the last book, but I should have listened to the others in-between these.
What a story, the character development was fantastic, seeing the boy grow to be the king, seeing him once run from a fight to diving head first into a battle.
This is a story I'll be talking about for some time, and I'll keep my fingers crossed another (if it hasn't been announced and I'm dumb for not seeing it) book comes out of the series.

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Great conclusion

Very well written series. I loved the duel perspectives. This plot line really grew on me in the end. I thought it was fun that it had a cradle connection, too. Baldree did a fantastic job with this entire series.

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What a great series finale!

This book was surprisingly a slow starter... if you've been following the trilogies... you'll know what happened in the last 2 books and you'd have been all psyched up for this book, expecting a big splash! Ooopsie boo boo! 🤣
In of Dawn and Darkness, Calder Marten is in the possession of the emperor's crown! And he's ready to step into the vacuum left in the wake of this great entity... But, the Guilds, aren't in agreement over this convenient solution... and the Consultant's Guild is absolutely opposed to it, believing no one person should have that much power, because "absolute power corrupts absolutely! So really, I shouldn't have been at all surprised that Will Wight would have to give the action a backseat while he built up all the Political machinations that were happening. Only then could he could push the pedal to the metal...
And WOW, he ended up with a fantastic book and a great story ARC!
I really haven't mentioned in any of my other reviews of the Elder God series, just how much I've enjoyed the magic system! In this series if, you imbue your intent on a inanimate object, it can be awakened ie: a weapon that will actually want to kill! A makers tools; a hammer for instance, might rebel if it thinks that hammering a nail into a door is dumb, even missing on purpose! LOL!
The few books I've run into previously with "aware objects" had been in Nina Kiriki Hoffman's, Matt Black books, and David Brin's, The Practice Effect... and I've got to say, I loved them too!
The narration by Travis Baldree is as always, simply great (He's a favorite of mine)! But now I can hardly wait to listen to Emily Woo Zeller (another favorite) narrate the 6th and final story of the two side-by-side trilogies, Shera's story! She's an assassin, and leader the Consultant's Guild!!!

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Bliss revealed as the realm's ...

... most powerful entity?! Or, perhaps, in conjunction with Calder?

As with the other paired novels in this series, the overarching events are played out mostly from two primary protagonists and their respective guilds perspective. While there is redundancy, Will Wight does an excellent job of crafting sufficient distinct events intrinsic to the protagonist's point of view.

While Calder and Shera exploits and encounters are exciting and often chilling, I find Bliss to be the most intriguing of all of them. It's unclear what type of being she really is and near the end we discover she is very much more interesting than what had already been a bizarre understanding.

The overall story moved forward quite well and ending in a conclusive state but yet somewhat undetermined. I'm looking forward to the follow-on books but have a nervous suspicion that this may be paused similarly to how Cradle had been.

Still, even if so, as long as Will Wight continues to create more novel in a timely manner, I'll keep purchasing them.

Travis Baldree has already made my short list of search Audible on his name along with favorite authors when I'm looking for new listening material.

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Great Ending

Travis is perfect as always and though I prefer Shera's tale, I enjoyed this story.