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Publisher's Summary

Three years ago, as ship's mage of the starship Blue Jay, Damien Montgomery was pursued to the edge of human space by both the agents and enemies of the mage-king of Mars before being brought in from the cold. Now, trained in new skills by the mage-king himself, Damien has been sent to the planet Ardennes alongside Alaura Stealey, hand of the king. A rebel movement there has destroyed cities fighting a governor seemingly lost to corruption. But not all on Ardennes is as it seems. As allies become enemies and an entire world comes apart in chaos around him, Damien will find both his skills and integrity tested to the utter limit.

©2015 Glynn Stewart (P)2015 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    743
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    371
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    71
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    8
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Great story

This was a great follow up to the previous title, my one and only complaint would be the lack of emotion by the reader, although with some characters like the Mage King, it works well.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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real good book

Its only let down was that it got predictable furing the last third of book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Another Masterful Installment to this Series

This second book continues a few years following Damien's starship Blue Jay's exploits, just after he completed his personal education and further training by the mage-king of Mars. He has been promoted to an Envoy rank and is set off on another mission under the tutelage of Alaura Stealey, the Hand of Mars. The mission is to investigate and protect Ardennes from terrorist elements that are wrecking havoc on the government and citizens of the planet.

It will come to no surprise that it soon becomes obvious that things are not as straightforward as the Protectorate had been led to believe and both the Hand of Mars and Damien have their work cut out for them as they encounter multiple sources of subterfuge from a number of player elements in their attempt to sort out where all the fault lines exist.

While the writing continues with the fine blend of backstory and action, a special note of appreciation goes to the narrator for making the story unfold in an entertaining fashion.

Without being specific, I was saddened to find that one of the more interesting characters from Book 1 exits from this series. I would have enjoyed having that character continue on. Perhaps Glynn may decide to write another series that focuses on this person's expanded story.

{Light spoiler follows}
The only area where I was dismayed was where the villain turns out to be capitalist nut job who was every bit the robber baron but on a planetary scale. As my mind's eye ruminates upon Earth history, most of the large scale inhumane atrocities have come not from capitalists but from religious or secular ideologue regimes. Even so, that was only a wee bit of disappointment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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it was ok. a little slow

this story didn't capture me like the first. it was very slow to start but didn't really pickup much after.

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Paul Manning

In the realm of Si-Fi it is rare that someone comes up with a faster-than-light drive that isn't based on some mechanical device. Not only does our hero able to travel pass the limits of our solar system, it's through his sheer willpower and ability to do so. Yet the character remains humble and keep second guessing himself. I thoroughly enjoyed our hero stepping up to the challenge.

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Just Okay

I think better character development and a deeper world history would go a long way to improving this series. I only read the second book because the character was heading to Mars for "training" and I thought we'd learn more about the history of the Mage King and the rune magic and how Humans got to where they are in this world. Instead, the second book starts after the training and plunges the reader right back into another fast-paced action sequence with one chase, and near miss after another. It's like the books are all third acts with no first or second acts. . I found it repetitive after a while and just wanted it to end. There's no story arc. The villains repeatedly underestimate heroes and lose again, and again.

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It feels like it's read by Rod Sterling!

KIm
The narrator is fairly monotone, which after the second book is becoming tedious. At least he doesn't try to change his voice too much for different characters! The story is great though. I love the character development. The author goes on way too much though about spaceships and guns etc. etc.

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Fun and enjoyable ride.

I really have enjoyed this series so far. Although this book was predictable most of the way through, the attention to detail in the worlds that have been created and the story telling make it a fun and enjoyable ride.

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Great 2nd book

loved the first book and this one also didn't disappoint. Truly a great book, anyone looking this is a book series for you.

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Better pacing

This second book has much better pacing of exposition and action than the first book of the series. However the characters were not as interesting as in the first book. It also lacked the exotic locales. A solid adventure story tho' so I 'll be trying the third.

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  • A. Mitchell
  • 08-16-16

outstanding story, but...

Would you listen to Hand of Mars again? Why?

not sure, I think I'd rather read it next time

What did you like best about this story?

just that is was a continuation of the Starship Mage story

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Jeffrey Kafer?

John Lee or anyone really who is willing to make an effort

Any additional comments?

Please re-record this book with someone with some life, listening to Jeffrey Karcher was a chore, he used little inflection or emotion, obviously didn't care about the characters or the story in general, and I found it difficult to focus on the narration and was easily distracted.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ho-Man Yau
  • 03-09-17

a typical story

a typical story with an evil governor and the hero sent to get rid of him and free a planet and its people from oppression.
I like those types of stories as long as they are not complicated like this one is.