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Altar of Influence: The Orsarian War Audiobook

Altar of Influence: The Orsarian War: A Prelude to the Dying Lands Chronicle

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Publisher's Summary

Altar of Influence is the anticipated prequel to the Amazon and Audible number one best seller Circle of Reign.

Sacrifice. The single act capable of bringing both death and life simultaneously.

Thannuel Kerr is handsome, young, and brash, fumbling through childhood toward his inevitable inheritance: the next Lord of the Western Province. He struggles to accept his arranged marriage and to grow into the man he must become. The journey toward that end, however, is fraught with more peril than he could possibly imagine.

In the remote reaches of the Realm, an unknown, silent threat is growing. The Thoulden-sha of Mari-shaden is gathering his disciples: those who have relinquished their bloodlines to the Ancients and embraced Those Not Remembered, a forgotten race that inhabited Våleira long before the Age of the Ancients. As Thannuel learns more about his heritage, he begins to understand why powers that seem greater than anything the world of Våleira has ever seen are targeting him. He is a young man, and he and his beloved intended, Moira, will face assassination attempts, civil war, and foreign invasions that could tear the Realm - and Våleira itself - apart.

Sacrifice. It is what the Thoulden-sha demands. It is what the world desperately needs. To save all he loves, Thannuel will be called upon to lay himself upon the Altar of Influence.

©2016 Jacob Cooper (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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  •  
    A Voracious Reader USA 10-17-16 Member Since 2007

    Mom Weave

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Compelling Read!"

    WHAT IT'S ABOUT
    Sacrifice. The single act capable of bringing both death and life simultaneously.

    Thannuel Kerr is handsome, young and brash, fumbling through childhood toward his inevitable inheritance: the next Lord of the Western Province. He struggles to accept his arranged marriage and to grow into the man he must become. The journey toward that end, however, is fraught with more peril than he could possibly imagine. In the remote reaches of the Realm, an unknown, silent threat is growing. The Thoulden-sha of Mari-shaden is gathering his disciples, those who have relinquished their bloodlines to the Ancients and embraced Those Not Remembered, a forgotten race that inhabited Våleira long before the Age of the Ancients.

    As Thannuel learns more about his heritage, he begins to understand why powers that seem greater than anything the world of Våleira has ever seen are targeting him. As a young man, he and his beloved intended, Moira, will face assassination attempts, civil war, and foreign invasions that could tear the Realm—and Våleira itself—apart.

    Sacrifice. It is what the Thoulden-sha demands. It is what the world desperately needs. To save all he loves, Thannuel will be called upon to lay himself upon the Altar of Influence.

    MY TAKE
    I first heard about this book at a book signing where the author did a reading. He's got a fabulous voice and could easily have done this book justice. However, the reader (Michael Kramer) is one of my favorites. As always, Kramer brings the story to life with wonderfull voice.

    As for the story itself, the beautiful storytelling reminded me of two of my favorite epic fantasy authors: Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. Michael Kramer is the narrator for Jordan's Wheel of Time series and Sanderson's Mistborn series. With Kramer's voice in my ears and Cooper's writing style, I felt very much at home.

    Cooper does a wonderful job with his worldbuilding, bringing it to life--both the cultures and the world itself. It's a satisfyingly complex but not too confusing place. The cultures were interesting and diverse.

    I loved his characters. Authors can build appealing worlds but if they don't make me care about the people in it, they've lost me. I loved this tale of the forced (in the beginning) friendship of too unlikely people--the future lord and the "mop boy". Thannuel's lord father was a wise man in how he handled it. Growing up with power and prestige can be a tough way to develop character of any substance, and Thannuel's father made a great choice.

    The action was interesting to read without being too much, and the villains were wonderfully vile. The way evil in the story consumed societies and their people just gave me shudders. Cooper does a great job in making it clear what terrible things are happening without wallowing in it.

    This book is a prequel. I didn't realize that until I was listening and a comment was made by the author. He said he had assumed people would have read the first book, Circle of Reign. I've added that to my wish list for the audiobook. Kramer reads that one too.

    30 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 10-18-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Cooper & Kramer a Winning Pair!"

    This really is an audio book of epic proportions.. Not only has Jacob Cooper written a well characterised, nicely paced, chock-full of action fantasy - Kramer breathes life into it, just as he has similar books before it.

    Yes, Altar of Influence really is as good as a Sanderson (and you'll see more of why in the next book Circle of Reign!). Unique world building, gorgeous magic system, a good mix of character POV's, and a nod to the complex real life topic of climate change - Altar of Influence really is a multilayered and well structured novel. It sits well in the shelf with the likes of Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Robin Hobb and John Gwynne.

    This is an expanded version of a previous incarnation of Altar, and I'm thoroughly impressed to see that Cooper has brought even more to a novel, that was pretty darn good in the first place!

    Bring on the new Circle of Reign!

    28 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Davis Ashura 11-21-16
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    "Excellent Multilayered Epic Fantasy!"

    Full disclosure and a little history. I came across Jacob's first published novel, A Circle of Reign, and since it was getting such good reviews, I decided to read it. I loved the story, and I've read many indie fantasy authors but I've only loved a few. Those few I contacted and have been fortunate enough to interview, such as Jonathan Renshaw and Phil Tucker. All this is to say that while I consider Jacob my friend, my review is my own.

    There are so many things that I loved about Altar of Influence. First, the characters are richly detailed. We have the noble son who needs to learn humility. The son of poverty who grows in strength. But these characters aren't treated as cardboard cutouts. They have depth to them. They serve more than one purpose. They grow in unexpected ways that at times left me laughing and at other times melancholy. But despite their flaws and mistakes, fundamentally, they're good people. And I'll admit I like to read about just these kind of people; people I'd love to sit down and have a drink with.

    Then there's the plot itself. This is a story that is at times action oriented-and my goodness, can Jacob write a great action scene!-and at other times, mystery driven. There is a quality to Jacob's world that seems timeless. It's almost effortless how easily he draws you into his Dying Lands and divulges forgotten pieces of lore and history.

    As for the magic system itself, this is where Jacob reminds most of Sanderson, and this is what leaves me deeply envious. It's so simple yet elegant. Nature driven and with a set of rules that the magic users must abide by and the reader can easily grasp.

    The entirety is a multilayered epic fantasy that easily stands with the best of what's being published in today.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clyde Winter Park, FL, United States 12-30-16
    Clyde Winter Park, FL, United States 12-30-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loving the series"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book. I read Circle of Reign first and loved the book. I did not get a chance to read Altar of Influence until the rewrite and was not disappointed at all. The series is so much fun and full of characters that you care about. I have recommended this series to every reader I know and I will with this book as well. Awesome read. Keep up the great work.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Character development. I got to know who Thannuel and Antious are and why their bond of friendship is so strong. I got to know more about Moira before CoR as well as the other characters that fill Reign's world.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The sand wraiths. It gave me chills as to how mysterious and dangerous they are. I can't wait to learn more about them in upcoming books.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The deep bond between Thannuel and Antious, The dedication of the Thaldon-sha, the love between Moira and Thannuel. All good moving points. Awesome book.


    Any additional comments?

    I wanted to give this book 5 stars but there were a couple items that stuck out to me. I won't put in any spoilers at all.<br/><br/>1) I wish the writer would have expanded on the character in the sand wraith scene.<br/>2) One of the characters did something that was not in their nature but I understand why it happened.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Pusey Calgary, AB Canada 12-20-16
    Dave Pusey Calgary, AB Canada 12-20-16 Member Since 2017

    I love to listen to audiobook while doing everything I can think of that I can socially get away with!

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    "Yes!! My new favorite author!"

    If this is the prelude, I'm strapping in for the ride!! In the fantasy genre, one of the things I really value is character development and growth. I want to feel I could be in the story, that my friends could grow into heroes with me. Halfway through Altar of Influence I was convinced that, if I were born on Våleira, I too, could have been Thannuel Kerr!
    The world building is fantastic, the history of the world is woven in expertly, and the magic system feels so real!
    I can't wait for the series to continue. This story, although self-contained and perfect as a stand-alone book, seems to set up a bigger story that feels like it has epic potential.

    Jacob Cooper has joined the ranks of my favorite fantasy authors - Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Michael J. Sullivan

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt 01-03-17
    Matt 01-03-17
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    "Masterful!"

    Action, drama, and emotion filled book. Written so the mind's eye takes hold and images the words. Michael Kramer is excellent as always. Well done Mr. Cooper!!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MelHay Adamsburg, PA 10-25-16
    MelHay Adamsburg, PA 10-25-16

    Fantasy & UF reader/blogger/writer. Content Editor. Photographer. I prefer to live in my own version of the world,no matter how weird it is.

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    "Fantasy where the characters grow"
    What did you love best about Altar of Influence: The Orsarian War?

    I found I was taken with the people in this world. Thannuel's father is a good man and tries to teach his son well of the kind ways. Thannuel represents his father's ways well as he grows. Oh the secret that Thannuel didn't know of. And I'm guessing his family didn't know of! It's interesting what he can do, and it grows in the story as well. Then we have Antious. He's a wonderful friend and cohort for Thannuel. I get a kick out of their friendship. Antious is strong in his own ways.<br/><br/>The story starts when Thannuel and Artious are young boys and grows as they age along with the troubles in the world. It has a Young Adult feel to it at first, but it grows with each character and chapter. I liked the set up in the beginning and had an inkling of a feeling of who will become good friends and help each other. Also that one is of a clan that will be in danger and need to be the person he can be. I was anxiously waiting for it to all come together, then fall apart for the characters.


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed Michael's narration of this story. Michael's voice gives me shivers, the good shivers, when I listen to him. His voice is strong and easy to listen to. Michael has a way of drawing out a few words with a roll of his voice. They are the perfect words in the right moments. It draws you into his voice. Michael performs slight character voices and grows with the characters age and attitude changes, Thadduel is a perfect example of this growth vocally. Michael enhanced the touching moments between Thannuel and Moira. Such a lovely moment. *sigh* His voice was full of emotion. Then when he was in the moment of despair or trouble, his voice deepens in emotion and sound to go with the words and set of the moment. He also has accents for different locations in this world. I do think I could listen to Michael tell stories for ever. I can see why he's popular with fantasy stories. <br/><br/>The one thing with audio that I still struggle to get are chapter headings. In this book they feel important as there are years between some. It would be easier to catch these if I was reading. But, thank you Jacob, in the chapters you learn the age of Thannuel and Artious or the years that have passed as you go, so you are caught up with the years easily.<br/><br/>Jacob writes the story as the world is solid and known. There are hints and details of the world given in the way the people live along with the reason Thoulden-sha is after Thannuel. I appreciate this as a read because I do not feel there are major information dumps and the world is as it should be and unwavering in its ways and cycling. But there were a few details I didn't realize until later in the book, but it was added when it fits and explains things a bit more gradually. This story is a prequel to the first novel, so many people probably knew what the world was like in starting this book.<br/><br/>There is a touch of magic here. (Well with Thoulden-sha, more than a touch.) I love that the people we focus on here are of a wood land. They have their connection with the land, Valeira particularly as that's where the Light resides, and can feel vibrations through the land where they stand or feel. There is also a magic for healing from the Luminates, but the Light seems to be fading. The trees can even talk to them, though not in the same sense as we think of talking. The Thoulden-sha is a dark magic as his is granted to him from Mari-shaden and strengthened with the spilling of blood. There are hints of others touched with special talents here as well.<br/><br/>This world has a long history with the Living Light, The Ancient Dark, The Ancients, and Those Forgotten. I'm slowly learning pieces and the history, but I want more. We get glimpses of the economy of the area along with widening the world and history with clans and The Ancients. We also get to see a new creature of the land. It's interesting the way they are connected and in so bring some light to the world along with more curiosity for what was and what will come.<br/><br/>The chapters are long chapters. Even in audio form, they are long. But we get a few POV sections in those long chapters.<br/><br/>There is a touch of everything in this fantasy story, youth, love, war, battles - on sea and land, magic, and strange creatures. The world feels strong and large. I enjoyed the creation of the world and characters here. I did have a feel of what would happen in the story, but this is set with a classic fantasy feel and one I grew attached to the characters of. I do hope to continue with this series and see where next they will go, what the dark trouble is that is brewing in the forest of light.

    19 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J Brandon 10-17-16
    J Brandon 10-17-16
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    "Genuine! Like a mini GOT"

    Telling my friends about this book and series. Really good, authentic story. Ya, it's fantasy, I know but it still felt very real.
    Michael Kramer is perfect for this kind of material. My favorite for fantasy. It's so easy to get swallowed up in the story with him navigating the characters.
    This is one is longer than the original. It now includes the remnants and shadows short story. Very good addition. The writing continues to improve as the author grows. Can't recommend it enough.

    29 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PLBabe93 10-11-16
    PLBabe93 10-11-16 Member Since 2014
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    "So GOOD!"

    It was so good to go through this book again. This extended version includes the Remnants and Shadows short story, and it just awesome. I love the interplay between the characters as they stumble through teenage love. Every scene has fantastic movement. I just love these characters. I laughed and cried. The magic system is relatively unique as well. Developed through nuance instead of beating you over the head with it.

    I sense a great depth of history here. The world of Våleira is vast though the story focuses on a single Realm, Senthara. But the fact that I get the sense of vastness of the world through simple comments here and there is masterful writing.

    The wind-up scene is...intense. The book moves pretty fast through the early years in order to get the main thrust of the story. There is action, magic, internal conflict, some romance, humor...very good coming of age story. It starts out a bit YA, but very quickly becomes dark and mature (not in sensual ways). Still, I think this is YA safe for the most part.

    Cannot wait for the expanded version of Circle of Reign!

    29 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Children's Hour Academy 01-20-17

    Educator of Young Children. Enjoy non-fiction and research based books on child development, developmental psychology.

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    "Great Story and Storytelling!!"

    I genuinely enjoyed this book and excited to read the next in this series. Michael Kramer is a wonderful narrator whose storytelling is brilliantly delivered.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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