Regular price: $38.49

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

Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine "Mick" McFadden has spent the last six years in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment. But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists. Now, as the world's magic runs wild, McFadden and the people of Velant must fight to survive and decide their fate....

From Gail Z. Martin, author of the beloved series The Chronicles of the Necromancer and The Fallen Kings Cycle, comes a new fantasy adventure for the ages.

Welcome to the end of the world.

Welcome to the beginning of The Ascendant Kingdomgs Saga.

©2013 Gail Z. Martin (P)2013 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    167
  • 4 Stars
    172
  • 3 Stars
    56
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    7

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    246
  • 4 Stars
    111
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    152
  • 4 Stars
    150
  • 3 Stars
    61
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    8
Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Vampires, Mages and Gods are discussed.

Ms. Martin missed the boat on this one. This was not what I thought I was getting. ICE FORGED sure sounds tough. There is nothing tough in this book. I was hoping for something like Joe Abercrombie. The book starts well. The main character kills his father and is sentenced to go to the worst prison in the world. Most people die there. Many who are sentenced to go there kill themselves, so they don't have to go. Martin could have wrote on the hardships of the prison and what Blaine had to do to survive. Instead the story skips six years and Blaine is still alive, along with all his friends. He is no longer in prison, he is in a penal colony. He lives in a house, owns land, goes to dances and to the tavern. He raises crops and goats, etc.

This still could have been interesting, but we are switched to a Vampire who threatens to talk us to death. A king who threatens to talk us to death. There is a lot of talking about Mages and Gods. If you like talking, this is the book for you.

Narrator is great.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Scott
  • United States
  • 09-11-14

Lacking...

This book had all the promise of an epic novel. It had a great cover, a great and exciting preview, and several promising reviews. But then I bought the book. And then there was nothing happening. And then the world ended. And then there was a vampire. And then there was a world again. And then there was...this book was terrible. The characters are weak and forced on you. And you have no idea who the main character actually is. You think it's Mic/Blaine, but you can't really tell! Plus, Blaine sucks! And then there were Vampires!!! I can't stress that enough. For some reason ($$$) there are vampires in this story! Save your credits.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Really bland

What disappointed you about Ice Forged?

The characters were so bland that I really couldn't care about them. Seriously, if they had all died at the end it wouldn't have bothered me a bit. They were flat, soulless, and completely boring. It's too bad, because it could have been a good premise. The author just glosses over Mick's first years in exile, so we don't get to see him struggle and grow. For a book called "Ice Forged" we see very little forging.

What was most disappointing about Gail Z. Martin’s story?

As I said before, it was flat. Also, the story didn't really break any new ground. It was rather cliché. It almost seems like she decided to throw in some vampires, since they are fashionable. When Connor first goes to find Penhallow (not sure of the spelling, since this is an audio book) I thought, "Seriously!? Now we have a vampire? Well that seems random." It just seems as though she was trying to throw in everything including the kitchen sink in order to try to make the story exciting. However, the undead are no substitute for thoughtful and interesting writing, even if you do give them a new name.

Did Tim Gerard Reynolds do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

He was OK, but not brilliant. I enjoyed him in the "Ryiria Revelations" series, which is why I got this book, but he just did not have very good material to work with here. I kept wishing that I was listening to Gwen, not Kestel, as Gwen was a much deeper character.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Extreme boredom. I don't have to have explosions and fireworks, but I like characters to be fleshed out so that I can connect with them.

Any additional comments?

I have enjoyed books like Blood Song, The Way of Kings, Ryiria Revelations, Name of the Wind, the Mistborn series, and Malice. I just could NOT get into this story...to me, the characters of the story are everything. I have to care about them. These people were just so uninteresting that I couldn't enjoy the ride.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lore
  • SAN JOSE, CA, United States
  • 02-04-18

Uneven start to the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga

Velant is a penal colony hidden away in the frozen wastes of Edgeland, an inhospitable location on the edge of the world where the King of Donderath sends the convicted of his domain. Those banished to Velant never return, so it is a fate just short of death to be sent there, and for many it is indeed a death sentence. The prison is ruled by an oppressive governor who uses his warden mages to keep the prisoners in line and ensure they continue working in the ruby mines. Those prisoners fortunate enough to survive their sentence of servitude in the mines still don't get to return home when they are done, instead they earn a ticket of leave which makes them a colonist in a small town near the prison that remains under the rule of the Governor. This town barely survives at the best of times and during the 6 month long dark season it must rely on the regular supply ships from Donderath to keep everyone alive. However, it seems that those ships have stopped arriving for an unknown reason, and the long dark is approaching...

The main character, Blaine McFadden, is sentenced to prison in Velant at the start of the book, and it is his life there that is the strength of this book. Blaine and his fellow convicts are sympathetic characters that struggle to eke out a life against all odds in Edgeland and it is easy to root for them to be successful. Friendships forged by shared suffering bind them together and the reasons they each carry for being sentenced to Velant add a nice amount of flavor to their relationships. Their world is harsh, but lucky for them they have a little bit of magic at their disposal to help get by. 

For better or worse, a quest line fueled by some standard fantasy tropes eventually takes over and forces Blaine and his friends to undertake a quest against long odds.  Vampires, magic, ancient riddles, and last surviving heir quests have all been done before, so does this one actually rise above all the tropes to stand out?  Not really. The story feels incomplete and the unique and engaging aspects of the story seem to be in the rear view mirror when this one ends. The main characters are solid but the all too convenient plot points of the latter half of the book have me a little concerned as I head into book two. Luckily the series is narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds and his masterful storytelling makes everything better so my concern won't stop me from continuing with the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Flower Mound, TX, United States
  • 07-27-14

Tim Gerard Reynolds makes this good book very goog

What did you love best about Ice Forged?

It's good red meat for the fantasy enthusiast tightly told and moves along with a few surprises thrown in.

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

He is always very easy to listen, a warm embracing style that feels like an old friend telling tales over a nice bottle of port.

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

Way too long for that.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A fantastic listen!

What made the experience of listening to Ice Forged the most enjoyable?

I really was drawn into the story. The details and layout of events made the story come to life for me!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Blaine, he was whose head I was inside, and he was a very like able character who I could relate to.

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene that was my favorite was the first scene where Blaine describes the homestead and how they survived.
I was also very interested in the fire ribbon scene, it had me on the edge of my seat!

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

The very beginning of the book, where an elder sibling like myself made a very hard decision to save their younger siblings.

Any additional comments?

A wonderful listen I recommend it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

ok, but no ending

I understand when something is part of a series, that it will leave you wanting more. but this has NO ending... I'll read the next one anyway.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Bored

Any additional comments?

It was not that capturing. I found myself wanting to get the book over with instead of excited about what happens next.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good Read

What made the experience of listening to Ice Forged the most enjoyable?

Interesting world. Colorful characters and backgrounds. It could have been easily broken into two books, but thankfully, we did not have to wait for the second. :)

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Just shy from 5 star.

Great overall story. excellent performance.

Docked 1 star due to Gail's word choice in writing. Occasionally things felt oddly or wrongly represented by inaccurate word choices. Sayings sometimes felt overused in a small amount of time. minor details, but noticing these oddities, if only for a second, are enough to pull the listener/reader from the story.