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Publisher's Summary

Inspired by the rising chaos in Sheng Fan, Xu Liang, mystic and officer of the Imperial Court, leaves his homeland for the barbarian outer lands in search of four magical blades to unite with two sacred weapons already in the possession of the Empire.

His plan is to bring all of the blades together and return them to Sheng Fan's Empress as a symbol of unity that will bolster the people’s faith in the Imperial family and assist against the surge of dark forces. Complicating his plan is not the finding of the blades, but finding them with bearers - foreigners who have no intention of parting with them and less intention of serving an Empire they’ve scarcely heard of.

It becomes Xu Liang’s task to ally himself with these barbarians of the outer realms and unite them with his cause, as well as with one another.

Only the complete reunion of all six blades and their fated bearers can stand against chaos, rising like a dragon from slumber beneath the foundation of a nation unprepared.

©2012, 2016 T.A. Miles (P)2018 T.A. Miles

What members say

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

Finding the swords isn't the hard part

This is one of those books that has a llot going on, action, intrigue, romance, etc. It is a little hard to follow what with all the Asian names; it takes a while, but you can do it. The book is a quest to find and unite six swords that are needed to stop the rise of chaos.

What it is really about is the meaning of friendship, loyalty, and that unity may not just begiin at home.This is a nice expansive story that covers some serious (physical and metaphrical) ground. Questions arise, how obligated are you to help someone just because they claim that you have a weapon that they believe can help save their land? Would you leave them be if they refused, or would you try to take it? How would you deal with the situation if you were in that position? There is a lot more going on here than just someone seeking six swords to save their home.

Barnes does a killer job doing the narration. I honestly do not know how he pronounced some of those names so flawlessly. I couldn't, but then, I have that issue with fantasy names too. This book has a lot going on with it, for it, and in it. To not check this book out you are severely hurting your literary experience.

Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.

If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TU
  • 04-23-18

Pretty solid start to a new series

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily
left this review.

This was a pretty good book, all things considered. The story is complex and there is plenty of world/character building. I genuinely enjoyed the East Asian influences in the book as there are not as many fantasy stories in that lane. The narration was pretty good, for the most part. From time to time, there were some odd pauses in the middle of a sentence, and he had a "breathy" voice that was sometimes a little sharp. That being said, he is FAR from the worst I've ever heard. He did a fabulous job pronouncing Asian-based words and he was easy to understand once I grew accustomed to his reading style. All in all, a good book. I would definitely be open to the next book in the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Good start to the series

I'll start off with a quick disclaimer, I received this book for free, but said that i would give it an honest review.

This book wasn't exactly the type of book I would generally seek out, but it actually ended up drawing me in quite well. Initially I was a bit put off by the narrator having a bit of a whisper-y voice, but once I got used to it this turned out being something I found myself enjoying.

As for the story itself it was good overall, but I had some issues getting into it and following the characters initially without a book/name list to check, I take most of this blame upon myself and getting used to the narrator as well as the names being foreign to me and therefore something I struggled to keep straight. Once I got that out of the way the book started drawing me in quite well, it has a good pace and there is seemingly always something new going on, this is a key to keeping me intrigued and it did a great job at that. There wasn't really anything to shocking or any major plot twist that I didn't see coming, but as a first book in the series I feel like it did a good job of setting the table and putting up a solid framework to build off of. There are several places the book can go from here, and I am interested in seeing where it goes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Definitely original

It was a bit difficult for me in the beginning to keep up with. The narrator has a kind of whisper to his story telling. Combine that with the names it was tough for a Midwesterner to keep up with. Eventually it planned out and I was back on track.
The story itself is a complicated one. Full of legend, gods, and warriors all portrayed in pretty original ways. This might be a spoiler so look away now if you haven’t read.......... I did think the homosexual angle was completely unnecessary. Like I said the characters and plot were complicated enough without throwing in not only one but three gay hero’s. It felt like the writer was pandering to a particular audience and it really didn’t have anything to add to the story.
Overall I though it was a good listen although it was overly complex with the added sexuality aspect.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kingsley
  • Henely Brook, Australia
  • 04-09-18

Asian based fantasy

An enjoyable fantasy as our hero, Xu Liang, collects mystical swords (or gathers those holding them) to defeat dragons and save the kingdom.

I really enjoyed the Asian influence aspects of the fantasy, particularly in comparison to the generally Western Europe inspired fantasy that is most common. It brought a very different element to the story and the characters.

Many characters has Asian names (like Xu Liang) so it took a bit for me to get used to and tell them apart. It's just not something I am wholly used to.

Overall the book is well written and enjoyable. A good story.

Narrator Steve Barnes has me in two minds. I really enjoyed his character work - different voices, actions, emotions etc. Well paced too. But his main narration is done in a whispery, raspy voice that I found annoying and difficult to concentrate on. While it didn't ruin the book, it certainly detracted from my enjoyment of it.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

great first book

really good book all around, I found the Chinese theme really interesting overall. The narrator's style was a bit hard to get into at the start but I got into it quickly and found him really enjoyable too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

so much happens in one book

this book was freaking awesome I know it sounds like a child speaking and I'm not and this book is not childish at all but the book was really awesome I loved the story I loved the names... loved every thing about it so much.. .
a perfect book to listen to
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Romance Fantasy novel with an interesting concept.

This was an interesting book to listen to, but it’s difficult to review. There are a lot of things that it did right, but a few things that I really didn’t like. To start with what I liked. The opening setting gave an east Asian fantasy feel and had a great original concept. The author is an excellent wordsmith, who is great at describing the scenery and what’s going on. I also really enjoyed watching a diverse group of characters come together for a common goal. There was good character growth, and I enjoyed the flashbacks to show some of the character’s history. It was an interesting use of switching between first person and third person points of view as well, and the author did it in a way that I never got confused or lost as to what was going on.

Now, on to my few gripes with the book. It doesn’t say anywhere in the synopsis that this was a romance novel. I also checked the Amazon Kindle page, where it shows three genres for the book, and none of those were romance, so, I was completely caught off guard when approximately 70% of the way through the book it became a romance novel. Some of the times it seemed like it could fit the characters, but a couple times it seemed forced, and ultimately it didn’t add anything to the story for me. About that point in the book, I had a little difficulty finishing the story as well, but that’s mostly because I don’t enjoy romance novels.

The narrator did a good job voicing all of the characters, giving them all unique voices that were easy to differentiate. He also used a kind of raspy voice for the general narration that I found unique, and I enjoyed it. However, the narrator liked…. To pause…. In the middle… of sentences. There were quite a few scenes where I didn’t notice it, like in the action scenes, but at times it really broke my sense of immersion.

If this review sounds like what you're looking for, it may be worth it for you to check out this book, but I doubt I’ll be listening to book two.


The publisher gifted me a copy of this book with no expectation of me posting a review. This review is my unbiased opinion.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Gender confusing

Poor recording quality. Narrator has good annunciation, but did not show good editing skills. Use of a good wind mask on microphone would help. A 15-20 % reduction of high frequency with a 5% increase in low frequency would help a lot.
Recommended for audiences 21 and older
I was given this audiobook for free, and I freely give my rating and opinion

0 of 1 people found this review helpful