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Publisher's Summary

Anasoma, jewel of the Mahruse Empire, has fallen.

As Caldan and his companions flee the city, horrors from the time of the Shattering begin to close in.

With Miranda's mind broken by forbidden sorcery, Caldan is forced to disobey the most sacrosanct laws of the Protectors if he is to have any chance of healing her.

But when one of the emperor's warlocks arrives to take control of him, he begins to suspect his burgeoning powers may be more of a curse than a blessing, and that the enemies assailing the empire may be rivaled by even more sinister forces within.

This is an updated recording from the original 2014 edition, also performed by Oliver Wyman, which matches the current reissue of the print book.

©2014 Mitchell Hogan (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,478
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    365
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    61
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    24

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    1,146
  • 3 Stars
    228
  • 2 Stars
    22
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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    36
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  • Story

Disappointing Second Installment

What would have made Blood of Innocents better?

In the first book the characters developed individually and in their relationships in a moderately satisfying way. The protagonist's naive nature and feckless enthusiasm were excusable because he had grown up in a sheltered environment. In this book ,however, all of the characters just act as foils to progress a very predictable plot. Caldan is shocked, over and over, that he isn't taken seriously by people in power. This is really painful to read. It's like watching a bad horror movie where the irrational actions of the characters just make you want to punch them. And it is made worse by the fact that Caldan is supposed to be this strategic genius who is great at reading patterns and people. And he shifts between offhandedly slaughtering enemies, and being appalled that he has done something so callous as to strike a lady! (The lady in question being a murderous sorceress). <br/><br/>All this ends up just making it impossible to understand his motivations or maintain respect for a character which the first book managed decently. Hogan got lazy with this book and instead of working on character development and finding ways to flow forward the plot from there just makes up absurd situations and conclusions to ram forward to the next story line. <br/><br/>Also, he repeatedly uses the "I don't have time to explain right now" ploy to avoid characters from understanding what they need to, when there is never actually a shortage of time. Usually these phrases occur during the middle of journeys or preparation periods that are days or weeks long, and the explanation would take maybe 30 seconds. No time while making a campfire, or during eating, or before sleep? I don't mind suspending disbelief but it's much easier to get lost in a story if you maintain realistic premises for inter-character tension and lack of clarification.

Has Blood of Innocents turned you off from other books in this genre?

No.

What about Oliver Wyman’s performance did you like?

Wyman has a good voice and keeps dialogue going smoothly. He isn't as good as some in switching between male and female characters, but overall does a pretty good job of processing the story.

What character would you cut from Blood of Innocents?

The healer. She just whines and moans and has really flimsy motivations. Basically playing the part of "moral compass" (badly) to keep Caldan from treating Bells like the villain she is and getting crucial info out of her.

35 of 47 people found this review helpful

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Varying IQ of main character used as a plot device

Sometimes the main character is made unable to effectively communicate, or make decisions, in order to create the conflict needed to advance the story. It takes away my ability to identify/sympathize with the character's woes. Unrealistic character actions and behavior should not be used to create conflict.

30 of 41 people found this review helpful

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Sorry 2nd installment to this series

I really enjoyed the first book in The Sorcery Ascendant Sequence. It was raw and followed a crooked path. It was hard to take in and I was left wondering what would happen next. It felt a lot like Patrick Rothfuss.

Blood of Innocents falls apart. In my opinion, I think that Hogan became attached to too many characters. I lost track of how many he skipped to. At least seven or eight. Some authors like George RR Martin can pull this off. But Hogan does not. By following so many characters, the story looses its edge. They become kind of goofy and 2 dimensional.

The story itself doesn't progress very far either. This book is 22 hours on audible. But 22 hours later, if you look back at things, try figuring out how the plot was forwarded significantly. Everything here could have been summoned up in a couple of paragraphs.

I think that Hogan has talent. I think he could grow into something. But this is not a book I would recommend to anyone.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Mitchell Hogan Has Lost His Way

There are some issues with this book. I couldn't seem to care about any of the characters or any of the conflicts that just seem to develop as a result of someone acting like an idiot or developing powers that seem to manifest just to move things along. People end up dying and I'd find myself happy that there was one less person I'd have to follow. Most of the characters are one dimensional and Mr. Hogan doesn't help the matter by keeping one of the main female characters in a vegetative state the entire book.

Oliver Wyman does a fair job with the narration although I had to speed the book up because I found the normal speed to be unbearably slow. I also found myself overtaken with the desire to hit something every time he whispered or did a female voice.

Overall the book isn't the worst thing I've read this year and it certainly isn't the best. If you are looking for something to pass the time then this might be the book for you. I don't know if I will end up getting the next book in the series when it come out but I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

26 of 36 people found this review helpful

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  • Budzkie
  • American Canyon, CA, United States
  • 12-24-14

Opposite characters

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If the author stayed true to the characters. Makes me cringe when Caldan is reduced to being a worthless and useless hero. I thought Caldan was excellent in dominion but in thiis book his actions falls short. Makes me want to give up on this book and several times i had to stop listening. This is the longest time i finished the book. There's no page turner. The heros are reduced to bunggling fools.

Would you ever listen to anything by Mitchell Hogan again?

Perhaps not. That remains to be seen with the 3rd book.

Which character – as performed by Oliver Wyman – was your favorite?

Caldan used to be my favorite character until the author destroyed his traits.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The only redeeming quality is the 3rd book. Hopefully the author wakes up from this nightmare of character destruction. If not then the author just wasted my time and credits.

28 of 40 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • Gainesville, VA United States
  • 01-10-15

Great world, dumb characters

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

Not without reservations. While this book continues the interesting conflict started in book 1, the remarkable stupidity of the main characters makes it hard to empathize with or relate to them.

What was most disappointing about Mitchell Hogan’s story?

In one word, characters. In book one Caldan was naive and it was believable as he had grown up sheltered. In book two he remains naive despite a series of betrayals and reversals that would have even the cheeriest optimist proceeding with caution. This would be acceptable, if not desirable, in a main character but it doesn't fit with him being portrayed as a master of strategy capable of outthinking his opponents with ease. It almost seems like there are two Caldans; one who is tough and brilliant and another who is overly trusting and willfully ignorant. Sadly it is the later which appears the most, mainly to advance the plot in some way. My other complaint is the one dimensionality of the female characters. This may be a personal preference, but i prefer interesting female characters with depth to them and I found that lacking from the women in this book.

Which scene was your favorite?

All of the magic fights were enjoyable

Did Blood of Innocents inspire you to do anything?

Write this review..

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed book one, I love the world the author has built and the magic system. I will wait and see from reviews whether future books have improved before I buy any more.

19 of 27 people found this review helpful

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Hard to Empathize with Main Character

I almost stopped listening to the book after the first couple of hours. The main character, Caldan, made so many naïve/poor choices that were inconsistent with other examples of wisdom that it was hard to empathize, like, and respect him. I suppose it is possible that someone could be that dense and inflexible, but they generally don't survive long. For a while I thought that maybe I am a sociopathic genius unjustifiably applying the fundamental attribution error. But as I thought of the main characters created by Brandon Sanderson, Michael J. Sullivan, Patrick Rothfuss, Kel Kade, etc.... I feel that this critique of the main character is appropriate.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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2 Major Crimes Against The Reader

Any additional comments?

There is a rising plague of this one particular violation of the author-audience agreement wherein, the author does not finish any significant segment of their story at the end of their first book... or second. - Oftentimes there is a fake or unsatisfying ending wherein the hero "survives"... and a "leg of the adventure" has ended via some vague landmark. - But then there's THIS... the kind where the author feels no need to end any part of the story at all. There is no conclusion, and so therefore... you have experienced no story. You have simply been bullied into buying a next CHAPTER in the same unconcluded story... via the not-at-all clever mechanisms of kidnapping & extortion. - "You don't want to waste all those hours you've invested in this book do you??? - No... we thought not." <br/>I'm pretty tired of it. <br/>If you want to sell me a big book DO IT! I'll buy it. Sanderson does it all the time! But please stop this nonsense. <br/><br/>The narrator is good enough to warrant the descriptor of "performance". He's pretty great. So that's not an issue here.<br/><br/>The lead character's IQ consistency though... (meaning the reliability of his intelligence to remain consistent so you don't have to suffer the author moving the plot forward by way of making the lead character suddenly, temporarily, and unfathomably stupid) is lacking in a fairly shameful way.<br/>Moving the story into turmoil by giving your lead (otherwise brilliant) character sudden and momentary bouts of unbelievably low intelligence that are fundamentally inconsistent with the remainder of the book two or three times per novel... is hack-knee writing. No deadline is that important. Don't go to the dark side. You're better than this... but only on days when you consciously and respectfully choose to be.<br/>Is it abysmal??? No.<br/>Am I judging this author against the highest standard because so much of the work is fantastic? - Absolutely. Watching someone give up at mile 25 of the marathon is a lot more painful to me than witnessing someone who never even got off the starting line.<br/>3 stars.<br/>End of rant.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Unusually poorly written.

I enjoyed the first book.
Unfortunately, the writing on this second book in the series has really plummeted. Plots that go nowhere. Incredibly stupid actions by the main character over and over again.
And it's never a good sign when you applaud when a character dies.
I won't get the third book whenever it comes out unless I see some positive reviews.
I advise skipping this one.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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One dimensional

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If the story had followed the first chapter of the first book, when the characters were interesting. The protagonist of this novel just keeps making foolish choices and never really being punished for them. It is like he lives in a paranoid delusion but the rest of the universe is patronizing him. I couldn't finish the book because I no longer believed in any of the characters.<br/><br/>The world and characters early in the first book were intriguing,and I wanted to see how they turned out. But as the second book went on, I found myself having to bribe myself to listen and I finally gave up.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Not sure

Would you listen to another book narrated by Oliver Wyman?

Yes; solid but unobtrusive voicework.

What character would you cut from Blood of Innocents?

The protagonist; if were omitted, then perhaps we could have a rational plot.

15 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 08-18-16

A Divisive Series?

I’m enjoying this series. There, I said it. It seems however that some others simply aren’t so why is this series causing such a wide spread of reactions?

Firstly, I do think it has a lot going for it. The plot is building nicely in terms of the conflict. The world and the factions within it are intriguing and some of the character development is actually pretty good. I have particularly enjoyed the slow reveal of the deliciously twisted Amaden over the first two books. The description and use of magic in the books is very well done. A mix of the pseudo-scientific and the bright-eyed wonder of spectacular and at times subtle sorcery. The use of that sorcery in the action scenes is very impressive with no little ingenuity. The whole thing is very, very well performed by Oliver Wyman with an impressive and consistent range of character voices.

So, what’s not to like? Well, it’s not the fastest paced book you will ever read. There is a fair amount of repetitive soul-searching and if Oliver Wyman has a weakness it’s in the narrative away from the dialogue. The lead character Caldan is a baffling mix of instinctively intuitive sorcerer, master tactician and frankly complete pillock. This seems to be at the root of many of the complaints and it’s a fair charge though I don’t think brilliant intelligence and a lack of basic human understanding is that rare a combination.

So, one that clearly splits opinion, and with good reasons. For me the story, the sorcery and Amaden will definitely draw me into following this to its conclusion in what I believe is the third and final book. If you liked the first one you’ll likely enjoy this too. If you were troubled by the first one the chances are that you’ll see the same flaws here too.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Rosie
  • 03-02-16

Good story but slow

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I felt that the writing style changed dramatically in this book, the characters still developed nicely but the plot became a lot slower as a result. So if you like books that have a lot of inner thinking and character points of views/developments then you would probably enjoy this. Still a good story, just drags in the middle.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I think I would have preferred an abridged version of this a lot more. I often only listen in 20 minute chunks so when most of what I am hearing is the same thing explained a little more each time then it can become tedious to listen to. Without adding spoilers, some parts could have had a more dramatic effect by not being so obvious, a little bit more of a twist would be nice.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The start and the end were very good, reminiscent of the first book. The characters are very strong and appealing in the way the develop.

Any additional comments?

I wouldn't listen to this again, which is why I gave it a low overall score. I don't feel like I wasted my time listening to it and would love to find out the conclusion to the plot mainly for the characters that I don't feel apathetic about. I also found the narration enjoyable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • alan garrard
  • 10-04-15

outstanding

loved it can't wait for next part hope it's soon I know it'll be outstanding

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • 01-10-15

A slow paced sequel

Would you try another book written by Mitchell Hogan or narrated by Oliver Wyman?

I like Oliver but Mitchell is starting to drag

What was most disappointing about Mitchell Hogan’s story?

the slow paced drudgery of this book is un excusable, in the previous book this young meets up with a few key character one being a girl. yes a girl. after one date , one! and a few afternoons together he isn't in love but some how committed to her. she got hurt with him and mentally damaged. but he didn't want her to help him initially, she forced her way into his life. she is now mentally disabled in this book and he spend half time moping and winging in his internal monologue of how to save her mind. It just drags so badly.

Have you listened to any of Oliver Wyman’s other performances? How does this one compare?

While not his best as I think even he thought this story boring. he's much better in monster hunter international.

Do you think Blood of Innocents needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

yes, but please Mr Hogan get a grip, add depth to you characters. half the charterers has as much depth as a flies wing.

Any additional comments?

please Mr Mitchel Hogan, stop think and write, your books have great potential. the world you have set up for them to live in is much better than the quality of the charterers you write.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sherice T. Griffiths
  • 11-17-17

enjoyed the story

enjoyed this story. 15 words are too many. what more do you want. blar blar blar.

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  • Stu
  • 09-18-17

Really good

This is not my usual sort of book, but I have to say it's the second in the series and I'm loving it... downloading the next instalment now!

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  • Craig Collier
  • 08-24-17

good book

I enjoyed the book, maybe not quite as much as the first however it was a good listen.

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  • victoria
  • 07-19-17

Not as good as the first one

If you could sum up Blood of Innocents in three words, what would they be?

This is number 2 in The Sorcery Ascendant Sequence.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The narrator merged one character into another (and there are so many). it got very confusing i had to keep going back to follow what was happening to whom.

Which character – as performed by Oliver Wyman – was your favourite?

Caldan

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No I kept losing interest.

Any additional comments?

This book ends rather suddenly, not sure if I can be bothered to get the next one to find out what happens..............

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  • Mr. C. Horsfall
  • 05-12-17

getting a bit lost

when you can't tell who the good guys and who the bad guys are it was a little difficult to sympathise with the characters, especially when the main character is showing signs of turning. I need the next book now.

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  • Joe
  • 10-31-16

Very good but not excellent

Slow in places but still a good listen. Narrator is American which as a UK listen I find tricky to get past.

Still, solid 4 out of 5.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-01-17

Loved it.

A throughly enjoyable magical adventure. Fantastic intrigue and complex story telling. looking forward to the last book.

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  • Ben
  • 08-28-17

Find a synopsis, move on to book 3

Drags on, boring. Is book 2 written by he same person? Just find a synopsis and move on to book 3.

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  • Dean
  • 03-16-16

Main character is a coward 90% of the time

Love the book, but so much of the time I'm angry at how much of a coward the main character is. Always conflicted and moody and indecisive when faced with people mercilessly trying to kill him and people he cares about and he wrings his hands over it. Still love it, but I wish the main character wasn't so spineless