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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Bronze Award for Fantasy

The empire has endured many centuries but is now threatened by multiple wars and a major rebellion in the South. A nobleman from an infamous family, an imperial legionary officer, a fighter, and a right proper bastard of a man, Captain Ben Stiger finds himself reassigned from a crack legion to the rebellion simmering in the South. Placed in command of a truly terrible company, the 85th Imperial Foot, he is unknowingly sent on a suicide mission to resupply an isolated outpost, the garrison of Vrell. Along the way he must rebuild his new company; gain the respect of the men he leads; survive an assassination attempt; and fight bandits, rebels, and an agent of an evil god.

His companions on this journey of discovery and adventure are one of the few remaining elven rangers and a paladin on a quest for the High Father. The battle to save the empire and the world begins here in the first book of this exciting new series.

©2015 Marc Alan Edelheit (P)2016 Podium Publishing

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Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Story

Wonderful New spin on High Fantasy

I picked this up on a whim, Serendipity strikes again! The world is essentially historical Rome, late in the Empire. You are gradually introduced to an elf, then dwarves, then magic (which is very rare in this world)
Roman military tactics and procedures with just a little magic thrown in for spice. The other races and magic are there just enough to change it from being a Roman history story.
The author writes very well, his character creation and dialogue is wonderful (some historical anachronisms, like tobacco, but mostly wonderful and creatively consistent) You get a sense of the entire Roman world and how it influences the characters even though the story focuses on a tiny area and only a few. Expressively and dramatically written.

My only complaint is the speed and the pauses in the reading, but there is always the speed control in the Audible app, so problem solved.

I enjoyed the first one so much that upon finishing I immediately bought the other two, I became so engrossed in the story I was surprised when the second book ended, I paused only to write this review and then I am back into book three.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Outfreakingstanding!!!

Audible tells me that I've listened to over 350 books over the past 12 months, (have optic neuritis), this book stands simply out over 98% of those books. The plot moves, the characters have appeal, the author seeds hints while weaving his tale and making us invested in Stiger. Mr. Edelheit leaves sufficient mystery regarding both why we have Romans with elves and who exactly is Stiger to whet our curiosity and wanting to listen more about what happens to him. Mr. Edelheit gets us wanting to invest ourselves into Stiger and his wayward company.

Mr. Brand's narration isn't quite up to Mr. Edelheit's prose, one can only hope that as he continues that he will become invested in Stiger and grows with the character.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Wasn't sure what to expect. Ended up loving it!

Would you listen to Stiger's Tigers again? Why?

Yes! The narrator, Steven Brand, was perfect. He didn't do stupid accents or try to make each character sound vastly different so you could tell who was speaking. Steven would put the slightest possible change in inflection, pitch, speed of his voice, etc to distinguish which character was speaking.

What did you like best about this story?

The story was pretty typical of a military/fantasy novel but there were some really good twists that gave me goosebumps.

Which character – as performed by Steven Brand – was your favorite?

Stiger by far.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reactions, but definitely caught by surprise at several points in the novel.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I'm a Stiger's Tiger!!

I can't wait to get the next book. Magic, evil spirits, elves and a hint of dwarfs! Here's my credit give me the next book!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Not what I was expecting, based on the description

Any additional comments?

Based on the description of the book, I purchased it expecting an historical novel perhaps similar to some of Bernard Cornwell's works. What I got was a "sort of" historical/fantasy book. What was not clear form the description was that instead of a story of an Imperial Officer, we have what starts out as a quasi Roman Legion like suite of characters and settings, "but not really." It seems to be taking place in the Germanic forests, in the classical period, "but not really." There are references that are obviously to the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, "but not really." Then the author throws in elves, dwarves, magic, and a "paladin" who is a Friar Tuck like Jesuit priest, "but not really." References to Christianity and Paganism abound, "but not really." Anachronistic references such as the soldiers smoking abound. No, the author did not specify that they were smoking tobacco, and Romans did apparently smoke other herbs, but it read as if it were a sloppy anachronistic mistake. I found myself thinking at times, perhaps the "fuzzy" references are because this book is meant to be set in the future, or a different "time-line" and not "historical" at all. At times, I half expected the characters to walk over a mountain and find the statue of liberty buried to the neck or something. I have a hard time placing this book. It almost has the feel that the author wanted to write historical fiction, but did not want to take the time to research his topics to maintain historical accuracy, so he left the settings and characters as "fuzzy" suggestions of historicity, and then thought that throwing in some gratuitous fantasy elements might increase readership? If the description had been more clear about the nature of this book, I would not have given it a try. I do feel as if I were tricked into buying the book. That being said, as long as the reader understands that the book description does not adequately describe this book, that it is not even attempting to be an historical novel, but is in reality a fantasy novel, you might want to give this book a try. I do like the author's style. The narrator did a very good job on this book, and the book is very readable.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Fast paced quickie, perfect for listening

While Stiger's Tigers won't win any prices for innovation or depth it's fast paced rhythm and action heavy narration provide an enjoyable listening experience.

It's style reminds me of parts of the L.E. Mordesitt's Imager books (of course in particular the military campaigns in those) as we have a similar hero that is always a step ahead of everyone else as opposed to the Tolkien heroes that are always a bit out of their depths.

In audio books I enjoy this shallow but action heavy stories as they make it easier to step in and out without having to focus too heavily.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Wow great story

Great story amazing fun only problem is it's over and have wait for the follow up

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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great

this was a great story, fantastic melding of roman style history with a fiction twist. very impressed with it.

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Awesome read!

Love the Stiger series! This is the second book I have read of this series. The great description and fine attention to detail makes you feel like you're actually there. I can't recommend these books enough! Keep up the good work Marc!

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Fantasy-sharpe without the charm

What would have made Stiger's Tigers better?

Interesting idea with a "greco-roman" fantasyworld. Also refreshing to have a main character who is part of the "empire" and not the rebellion. Interestings things could be done with this.<br/><br/>Sadly the book defaults to elves, dwarves and paladins. I am guessing orcs are up next.<br/><br/>I would really like if it the author had the courage to embrace the originality of his idea and setting and let go of the flotsam of generic fantasy

What could Marc Alan Edelheit have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Show it - don't tell it. It feels like the author absolutely doesn't trust this readers. Thus every single action/utterance or thought has to be painfully explained:<br/>The main character can't do anything without the narrator explaining painstakinly why he did it. Trust the reader.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

See the above comment -

What character would you cut from Stiger's Tigers?

I feel the elf friend of the main character is a very boring "exotic companion" who doesn't really add anything.

Any additional comments?

This book feels like "fantasy-sharpe", which (mind you) is not a bad idea. But it is only halfbaked. While Sharpe is also an übermensch, then "Stiger" is a boring one at that.<br/><br/>

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  • Simon
  • 06-11-16

A Heady Mix of Gritty Legions and Classic Fantasy

This book ticks a lot of boxes for me because I like both military fiction and classic fantasy. Putting them together can be problematic but this is a fine example. It might prove to be a niche market. This is a book that reads first like a military history with a lot of the classic cornerstones of a commander building up a problem company from poor beginnings. Gradually though the fantasy element becomes more visible.

The legions are based largely on the Roman legions but certainly not completely with ranks and titles for example being drawn from more recent history. The story itself moves along at a decent pace as you would expect from an audiobook of less than eight hours. The last thirty five minutes is a free preview of the next book which at the time of writing is due out in about a month. The key characters feel very solidly grounded and I’m sure that their backgrounds will be further revealed as the series goes on.

I personally enjoyed the book enormously. The time very much flew by, I could almost feel a breeze from the imaginary pages as they turned rapidly before me. Military fiction enthusiasts will feel fairly comfortable if they can manage with alternate universe “Roman” Legions at least for the first part of the book. As the chapters go by though the fantasy element makes itself known and old shakers of the twenty-sided bones will recognise a Dungeons and Dragons vibe.

The closest thing I can recall reading like this is Taylor Anderson’s Destroyermen. The similarity being an historically savvy author throwing his military history into a fantasy world. This though is much faster-paced and uses more classic fantasy elements.

I really hope that people give this a chance. Those who revel in highly accurate military fiction rooted firmly in reality might not find this to their liking. People looking for very deep, epic modern fantasy along the lines of Brandon Sanderson could equally be frustrated. However, if the idea of some fairly fast-moving, well narrated, gritty military fiction pitched into a classical fantasy world appeals then jump in!

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Walter
  • 09-17-17

Brilliant!

There are LOTS of these kinds of books, but this one REALLY stands out from the crowd. It just rattles along at an incredible pace and many of the story arcs that you expect to last the whole book are played out over just a few pages, there is so much going on. There is deity intervention, non-humans and magic but the way they are handled is subtle and they easily slip into the alternative reality the author has built. I really can't recommend this enough.

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  • D. J. Wilkinson
  • 03-19-17

A little perplexed

I'm a little perplexed by the reviews. I couldn't finish the book. I found the narration stilted and pretty lifeless. The story was interesting but a bit straightforward and with almost zero suspense or tension.
For a first book this is forgivable as authors often develop over the first few books, but coupled with the stilted narration ...
Maybe ok for teen readers.

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  • john
  • 12-07-16

Great story but....

Enjoyable twist on the classic legion tales but oh my.... the beautifully spoken but stilted almost monotone performance left me somewhat underwhelmed.

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  • Sheila
  • 07-22-16

Brilliant

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I already have. Great story.

What other book might you compare Stiger's Tigers to, and why?

There are a number of military sci fi books around but this one stands out because the characters are so strong. The action is great but it is balanced by the story and the history of Stiger and his companions that is briefly alluded to throughout the book. Bring on the dwarves.

What does Steven Brand bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He reads with real intensity and develops each of the characters. You just want to hear more.

Any additional comments?

I am about the buy the second book and I am hopeful that the series continues. Recommended.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 06-22-16

Just bad

The narration wasn't too bad to be honest but the story itself was awful. it was just badly written I suspect that the author wasn't used to writing in english.

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  • Nicola
  • 02-22-17

Great book

I couldn't stop listening loved the elves,.dwarf and magic inclusion it's always nice to have.a good main character.