Regular price: $34.99

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

The Wizard's Council of Tarador was supposed to tell young Koren Bladewell that he is a wizard. They were supposed to tell everyone that he is not a jinx, that all the bad things that happen around him are because he can't control the power inside him, power he doesn't know about. The people of his village, even his parents, are afraid of him, afraid he is cursed. That he is a dangerous, evil jinx. The Wizard's Council didn't tell young Koren, because they know what is best for him. Even after their silent deception destroys his life.

Crown Princess Ariana Trehayme will become queen of Tarador on her 16th birthday, if her weak, indecisive mother the Regent hasn't allowed their ancient enemy to conquer Tarador before then. Ariana wants her royal army to strike at the enemy, but her mother knows what is best for her, and the realm.Together, Ariana and Koren can save Tarador, if the adults, who know best, will get out of their way.

©2016 Craig Alanson (P)2017 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,190
  • 4 Stars
    265
  • 3 Stars
    62
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    11

Performance

  • 4.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,307
  • 4 Stars
    129
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,053
  • 4 Stars
    297
  • 3 Stars
    73
  • 2 Stars
    27
  • 1 Stars
    12
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A skeptic entertained

Honestly, I am not a passionate fan of the sword and sorcery fantasy genre. I am a huge fan of the Expeditionary Force series and RC Bray's narrating. So it was with quite some hesitation that I purchased this book after listening to what I felt was a lackluster uninteresting preview. I wasn't convinced the story or narrator would be a worthy investment of my time and money.

I preface this review with my doubts not to troll the author or the narrator but to give context for my review.

First, after having completed this book I can't imagine a better suited narrator for this story. The narrator quickly dissolves away into the story and there are only a wide variety of characters and adept accents left. Production value was very good. There were no noticiable splicing of vocals, popping, lisping crackling "ssss", or sharp audible inhalations from the narrator that are still far too commonplace in audio production these days.

The story is a well tested, well worn one but the relateable and developed characters make it easy for the listener to be absorbed into the environment as an observer. I am pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this story and can't wait to listen to book two.

110 of 116 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Loved it with one constant reservation

This was a really well written first book in a series. It's definitely at the high end of the quality spectrum from the writing and story-telling angle.

My reservation... I have read or listened to quite a few books whose major plot points are repeatedly driven by misunderstandings, characters accidentally over-hearing the exact wrong information at the exact wrong time, and characters inexplicably not revealing pertinent information that otherwise would bring resolution instead of conflict. In other books this usually happens "because reasons" or with no explanation whatsoever. With a book where this happens over and over, I usually make it about 4 hours in and then return it with prejudice. It's almost always lazy story-telling and so frustrating that I find myself wanting to choke the author for wasting what would otherwise be a good book.

In the case of Ascendant, the author manages to make it work (most of the time). These coincidence fails are overtly portrayed and mostly adequately explained. As a result I was able to enjoy the book and was only really in a choking mood a couple times... That said, if the inexplicable repetition of unfortunate coincidences continues through book 2 as the only device to move the plot then I'm pretty sure I won't be able to hang in for book 3.

My fingers are crossed because I really did enjoy this book.

32 of 41 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A great coming of age fantasy tale

I have to say this isn't like Craig's other books. Instead of aliens this is a deep rooted world of magic, wars and outlaws. I guess it just goes to show the imagination of the author is quite wide. The book is entertaining and I found it enjoyable. However it could due with a bit more humor. But then again i'm a Skippy fan.

AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

24 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

....Not Impressed ..

STORY
First off, the predictability of the story has got to go. there was never a moment in the book where i was like "wow didn't see that one coming".

Second major issue is the simplistic 2nd characters. Since the whole story is based on characters misunderstanding what happens around the main character, all the characters come across as complete idiots. A good example is the court wizard. The wizard is supposed to over a 180 years old with vast magical power, knowledge, and cunning intellect. Instead he comes across as a complete fool as he can easily prevent a lot of the misunderstandings that happen to Koran by simply communicating with other characters or using common sense. His actions in the book completely contradict how he is described and presented. This happens with almost all the characters as well. They are described in one manner but then their actions, through simplistic thought processes, contradict their initial description just so the author can easily find a way to blame Koran in an effort to illustrate how his life is unfair.

PERFORMANCE
I have listed to many books that T.G. Reynolds has performed in, including The Riyria Chronicles, Riyria Revelations, and The White Tower, and have never been a real big fan. My only complainant is, how he reads so slow. like after every sentence or phrase he pauses for a few seconds longer then it needs to be, so it makes the story.... drrraaag.

OVERALL
The whole premise that a 13/14 year-old saves the world again in fantasy fiction books is getting a litil old. Unfortunately this initial installment kept beating us over the head with just how unfair Koren Blackwell’s life is. Seventeen hours of misunderstandings and lies all to keep one very likable young man from his destiny!

I believe that Craig Alanson has potential and i will probably get his next book but this one i was just not impressed with.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • JJ
  • 11-19-17

Great read.

Loved the story kept me interested what was going to happen, but ending left me hanging. Where’s part 2 already

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Couldn't get into it

I'm a big fan of Alanson's Expeditionary Force, so I was interested in checking out this title from him.

Unfortunately, it starts off fairly slow and just couldn't keep my interest. The narrator is a bit dull, though that might just be due to the writing. I felt like I was forcing myself to get through even just the second chapter, so I ended up returning it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great book! I can't wait for the sequel.

This is a great book. It pulls you in waiting for the next moment. I am becoming a big fan of this author.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Very good book! A classic! Original!

I don't know what some of those other reviews are complaining about. This was a very good solid book. Definitely worth reading. As good as the Riyria books in my opinion. I definitely want to read the sequel. Craig does just as well in fantasy as sci-fi. It didn't hurt to have the master Tim Gerard as the narrator. I was left wanting more. I felt the power balance of the different heroes was believable. Like the wizards were not OP. It was a subtle fantasy which I appreciate. Didn't go straight into orcs and elves to fast. I like Alansons technique of explaining the world as the characters encounter it, instead of giving it all away at the beginning. Anyways, please come out with the sequel. I really want to get the next book!!!

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A young orphan thrown into a very cruel world

A world of idiots, arrogant nobles, thieving scumbags, and power hungry gluttons, all out to destroy a young mans life, which has already started out in the most cruel manner. A world of wise men, who lie, and then try and cover up that twisted trail of lies. An honest, hard working and respectful young man who deserves none of what he receives from this world. Left me in a very bad mood every time I listened. Author appears to be a sadist.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Definitely not something Joe Bishop would like.

Obviously this story is not anything like ExFor and I didn't expect it to be. Alanson's foray into fantasy is interesting nonetheless. I'm actually only a little past halfway through and the story is dragging. Luckily Alanson is a good enough writer and T.G. Reynolds is a good enough vocal performer to make "run-on" interesting enough to keep listening. I know there's a good story in here. I just wish it would develop quicker. Unlike GoT there is only one storyline following a 12-13 year old boy and I'm starting to wonder if this series will be written in real time. Imagine listening to a Game of Thrones novel and it only followed one character and lasted just as long. However if you're looking for a long audiobook so you have something to listen to for a long while, you could do a lot worse. T.G. Reynolds makes it a pleasant listen and the story is good albeit a little too drawn out in places.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • oaklands
  • 01-18-18

Good story, it caught me straight away.

I enjoyed this book much to my surprise, so much so I bought the second now eagerly awaiting the third hope I don't have to wait to long.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mike
  • 01-18-18

Really good

The story was interesting but straight forward hence 4 out of 5 stars but kept me listening. Finished the booked in a few days. Well written and performed.
Hope book 2 progresses the characters on alot more, although to be fair this book only covers events over a year.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Stella Woolhead
  • 01-10-18

Enjoyable

Excellent book. Quite slow to start but gradually captures your imagination to want to hear more.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Paul Chipperfield
  • 12-16-17

I liked the authors other book series

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, the story around the main character didn't progress and each time another character made a decision in 'his best interest' or to 'keep him safe' it was like those poor horror films where the scantily dress teenage girl answers the door just past midnight. You know what is going to happen, in fact there was very little mystery.

Would you recommend Ascendant: Book 1 to your friends? Why or why not?

Please see above.

What didn’t you like about Tim Gerard Reynolds’s performance?

Slow and I felt I was listening to someone trying to make the story sound interesting. First time I accelerated the reading just to get through the book. Also maybe I got spoilt by other readers who are so flexible with their voices, you forget it is a single person reading the book.

Did Ascendant: Book 1 inspire you to do anything?

No

Any additional comments?

The story had hooks and I am interested in progressing with the next one, but I expect to play it at x2 or 3 just to get through faster. There are such big hints about dangers, the enemy, powerful wizards etc. all the stuff I like, but nothing really happened in this book. Just got book 2, wish me luck.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • David
  • 12-13-17

Fantastic book, Tim Gerard Reynold voice Fantastic

Where does Ascendant: Book 1 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Really liked this book, have pre ordered Book 2, can't recommend it enough.

What about Tim Gerard Reynolds’s performance did you like?

One of the best, his voice is so well suited for this book, it just works so well. The amount of depth and feeling in his voice is great

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Amateur Wordsmith
  • 11-15-17

cliched - avoid

painfully unpolished story and not helped by curiously unappealing reading. I gave up on chapter 2. avoid and save your money (or credit).

6 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-24-17

ascendant

Another Craig alanson master piece away to listen to and can't wait for the next book

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Darren
  • 01-18-18

Easy to listen entry to fantasy novels

Great for teens upward. Very easy to follow unlike other fantasy novels and very well performed

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Gareth
  • 01-15-18

A great listen

What made the experience of listening to Ascendant: Book 1 the most enjoyable?

Craig Alanson exercising his Fantasy skills with "Skippy the Magnificent" like awesomeness.

What other book might you compare Ascendant: Book 1 to, and why?

Gave me a similar vibe to Dawn of Wonder, but that may be because the narrator is the same. In saying that they both gave me the same feeling of discovery and joy.

What does Tim Gerard Reynolds bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He makes the characters both fun and believable. He is a joy to listen to.

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

The moment in the Church was both funny and heart wrenching.

Any additional comments?

If you loved this and haven't listened to Dawn of Wonder, I suggest you give it a listen.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • connor
  • 01-09-18

Simple and brilliant

The story is a casual walk in the park with little ups and downs to move the story along its relaxing and interesting I listen to dozens of audio books every year and rarely do I find characters as interesting and engaging as ones found in this book a fantastic read and I can’t wait to start the next book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-30-17

When's the next one

1st one down can't wait for the next one. wondering how many are in the series

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Janine M Buist
  • 12-18-17

total enjoyment

Great book, Great performance, I can not wait for the next one, lucky the wait will not be long!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-01-17

amazing!

please hurry up and make the next one! im hooked just like i was with expeditionary force!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Matt
  • 11-29-17

fantastic book

couldn't put the book down, fantastic read and good story if your into the world of magic