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Publisher's Summary

In this USA Today best-selling novel, a woman with power over fire and illusion and the enslaved son of a chieftain battle a corrupt empire in this powerful and deeply emotional romantic fantasy.

Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire's capital - her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village's tithe has been the same woman. Gilene's sacrifice protects all the other young women of her village, and her secret to staying alive lies with the magic only she possesses.

But this year is different. 

Azarion, the Empire's most famous gladiator, has somehow seen through her illusion - and is set on blackmailing Gilene into using her abilities to help him escape his life of slavery. Unknown to Gilene, he also wants to reclaim the birthright of his clan.

To protect her family and village, she will abandon everything to return to the Empire - and burn once more.

©2018 Grace Draven (P)2018 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Grace Draven is a master at world building!!

I loved it! Of course I love all of her books and have recommended them to all of my friends who are avid readers and they've loved them too. This one will be no exception. I didn't want it to be over. I wanted more.

At the beginning I was so made at the hero. He was kind, gentle, and caring but was selfish. You understand his reasons but you just want the smack him!.

Minor spoiler - don't read if you don't want to know anything about the book - I loved that the author gave the heroine true emotions over being taken by force by the hero. I read so many books where she is kidnapped and just instantly fall for the hero and forgives him immediately. In my mind I'm going...really? She was mad and she let him know it. She tried to escape and made no promises that she wouldn't do it again. She was genuine with her emotions. As was the hero.

So worth the credit. The narrator was excellent! She was easy to listen to and didn't grate on my nerves with accents like others sometimes do.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Taste of epic

If you’ve read Draven, you know this is an automatic Yes! It has the characters with gentle dignity, innate nobility, commitment and determination; who are called upon to live through, or bear witness to, events that are greater than anything they dreamed. I was satisfied at the end with a quietly happy HEA.
The book details on Amazon and Audible is descriptive and accurate enough to determine if you’re interested in the basic story.
From what I’ve read in the last ten years, this reminds me most of Jacqueline Carey’s Naamah series, or Lois McMaster Bujold’s Curse of Chalion/Paladin of Souls/World of the Five Gods -or- Sharing Knife series. I’ve read and enjoyed Draven’s Radiance and Eidolon; after this book, Master of Crows has just moved up on my reading wish list.
McEwan does a very good job with narration.
Happily recommend on all levels!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Between a rock and a hard place

Listening to this story made getting the work done fun. I spent a few days saying things like “I can’t watch that show with you. I need to do yard work... dishes... walk the dog (and listen to my book).” When the last word was spoken I loved the ending but hated that the story was over.
The protagonists are both caught between a rock and a hard place for much of the story. I’ve read this theme play out before but the shifts in pressure and character development made it feel new. The character’s backstories are fraught with terrible times but once they join forces willingly and not, their lives change for the better. Due to the hardships they persevered, I was emotionally invested in the first chapters so their adventures, battles, trials, happy moments and each success felt very satisfying. The love developed at a slow burn that got pretty hot. I also appreciated that if there was no adventure in the journey the reader didn’t have to travel with the characters over every hill and dale.
I enjoyed this story and definitely recommend it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Nothing special. Highly predictable

I didn't hate this book and I didn't love it. It was kind of boring. I didn't find the characters compelling. The first third was the best. Some character development but overall not enough to make me feel connected.

I hate the "man abuses/abducts/rapes the woman, they fall in love" thing. A trope that should die.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Loved it!

Master of Crows by Grace Draven was one of my favorite books. When I saw Phoenix Unbound, I just had to buy it. The book did not disappoint with a great storyline and likable strong characters. I especially liked the fact that the two main characters gradually developed feelings for each other instead of love at first sight which makes a romance story more interesting in my opinion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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😭💕❤️

Heartbreakingly beautiful!
I loved how this book women and men fight side by side. It showed both the strengths and weaknesses they can hold and overcome.

I didn’t want it to end! Wanted more!

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Love the author but couldn’t get into this story

Draven’s writing is amazing as is her painting of a tale. For some reason, unlike with her other works, this story did not sing to me. Her Wraith King series is still my favorite, along with its’ narrator. Draven is definitely an author to follow.

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The best book i have read

The best book i have read i really recomend it. It was verry good in my opinion

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Great Storytelling!!!

Now this is how you tell a story!!! I'm so immensely pleased that I am going to listen to this again even though I just finished it.

The story of Gilene and Azarion is filled with suspense, tragedy, and love. The author takes you through this world and exposes both the cruel & ugly portions. As the story moves along the reader is introduced to a beautiful land filled with people who worship a Fire Goddess and treat women in a manner quite the opposite of what Gilene has experienced in her life.

I love an author who makes you feel like you've actually traveled out of your house and into their world. My stomach had butterflies the entirety of the last two chapters.

Grace Draven first got my attention with Radiance a few years ago. For anyone who enjoyed that series then this will be right up your alley.

4 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟 - Great book. I've become friends with the characters. This is for my top Tier books. The story is deep with many layers. I probably finished it in a day. I'll likely reread this one when I miss the characters or need a pick me up.

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fun and entertaining

I really enjoyed this book. Because while it was a traditional sci-fi fantasy adventure with a little bit of romance. It also had a great world and fun tie-ins ( at least they seemed that way to me) to Mongul culture which I really enjoyed. highly recommend for a fun read/listen

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  • susan
  • 12-30-18

Really good

I’m not usually a fan of this kind of historical-ish fantasy (I usually find it to be obvious & kind of cliche) but this was actually really fun & epic. The characters were interesting, the names weren’t impossible to remember, the world was original & well put together....all in all a good read.
I’ll be looking forward to the sequel 😊

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  • Sibhy
  • 12-12-18

interesting

it was a very good story I would reccomdendations to all lovers of fantasy and magic.

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  • Nobuhle Gumede
  • 10-01-18

A must have

listened the whole night till morning. could not stop a very good book. loved the hero and heroin