Magery is failing, the war has been lost and Hightspall has fallen. The Cythonian enemy, led by their reincarnated sorcerer-king, Lyf, are determined to wipe it off the map and build their ancient realm of Cythe anew. Rix, now known as Deadhand, was once heir to the greatest fortune in all Hightspall. Now he’s disgraced, dispossessed and is running for his life.
Tali, an escaped slave, is held captive. But when she discovers that her enslaved people face genocide at the hands of the enemy, Tali conceives a desperate, impossible plan. But before she can hope to save her people, Tali has to confront her own darkest fear - a return to slavery.
I enjoyed the book tremendously. I actually thought it moved along at a good pace and keeps interest for the final book. I really like several of the characters, and want to see what happens next. The narration was great so far, easily understood as he enunciates clearly. I also love the way the narrator reads Rinnilt especially. I have not read any of Irvine's other series of books, but surely will once I finish book 3 in this series. I like that the main characters are well fleshed out but also not without flaws of character, as they seem more 'real' that way. I recommend this series to anyone who likes epic fantasy that doesn't get overly bogged down with minutiae.
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
This story plods and makes small revelations in a contrived way. The action is slow and the convenient memory laps are just irritating. If I can remember something from 2 days ago at my age then a young character should be able to remember something pivotal. The small revelations seem to be let out when the plot runs even slower with something that should have been known earlier. It just drags. I've listened to hundreds of audible books but this series is torture.
What do you think your next listen will be?
What do you think the narrator could have done better?
Pronounce words correctly. Sloughed is slowed. Lately is lattely. More. Otherwise narrator is okay.
Any additional comments?
The premise of this series is great but the execution should have been better.
Would you listen to Rebellion: The Tainted Realm Trilogy, Book 2 again? Why?
Yes, I would listen to it again. I loved the characters and it has a very interesting plot. This book does not disappoint. It deserves a lot more credit and better reviews then it's gotten on Audible so far. But there have only been a few ratings thus far, so with the small sample size, the ratings it has gotten is not reflective of its awesomeness. I loved the first book, and this book beautifully picks up where the last book left off. I can't wait to read the final book .
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes! The author is an evil genius! He always teases the reader by ending the story in a major cliff hanger that makes you craving more.
What was most disappointing about Ian Irvine’s story?
I do not know what happened. The first book was excellent and was just a great thrill ride from beginning to end. There was a ton of action and the characters, for the most part, were very likeable. Rebellion seems like a different book and in fact a different writer altogether.
Rebellion just drones on and on with non-stop whining from all of the characters. I do not mind characters being overwhelmed with circumstances which gets them down and forces them to have a dim outlook. But the characters would just not stop complaining and whining about everything from the other characters, to their circumstances, to how unlikely they were to succeed.
It was just not enjoyable. I hate to say it, but I stopped listening after I was about 80% through the book. Normally I would just continue and finish the last bit, but I figured there is no way in the world I am going to listen to the last in the series when it comes out so why bother finishing Rebellion.
Even if you loved the first book as I did, I would recommend not wasting a credit on Rebellion. It is that bad.
Rebellion features absolutely stunning imagery, which somehow reaches greater heights than its predecessor, solid character development and some fascinating new threads and plot twists. The good guys aren't entirely good and the bad guys aren't emtirely bad. The main characters grow and change through good fortune and adversity becoming more fully realised and rounded, all set against a dark tapestry which weaves itself around them in epic majesty.
While on the subject of character development I believe Ian takes positive delight in giving his heroes a hard time! Its clearly meant to make us to get behind the characters. For me it certainly worked, and I have further come to believe that 'all great things come at a price' is a theme Ian likes to explore in his writing. For everything that happens there's very little by way of padding, the story is very clearly going somewhere and does it at a cracking pace, rising through a series of crescendos to a satisfying climax which still leaves you wanting more, a good thing since there's another book to come.
Nonetheless, Rebellion isn't flawless for me. There's the odd thing that happens here and there that grates a litte, and some of the supporting characters are a little unidimensional, while others are drawn so large that they're almost manga-esque in their depiction and actions. While this is clearly a stylistic choice, meant to contrast with his more rounded, earthly depiction of the heroes, its not one I am entirely comfortable with, but I'm certainly intrigued and want to see where it leads.
Grant Carwright is an excellent voice actor. Each character is distinct and instantly recognizable, and his reading is both clear and interesting. If he wasn't as involved in the story as I was he should be winning oscars because he certainly seemed to be!
So for me Grant Cartwright has become the voice of the Tainted Realms. He's added to my experience of the story and he had better be the voice of book 3. Or else.
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