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Publisher's Summary

For the first time in audio, the Cycle of Fire Trilogy, a stout and epic tale mixing sci-fi and fantasy by acclaimed author Janny Wurts. This classic fantasy trilogy follows three young people struggling to free the Stormwarden, the last of the elemental power-wielding Vaere sorcerers, so that he can battle the humanity-threatening demonkind.

Far in the future, a human-crewed starship crashes on a distant planet, carrying alien POWs taken to help discover the secrets of a deadly foe, the group mind known as the Gierj. In time, the humans revert to a feudal society, the aliens are seen as "demons", and the starship's computer survives as a "magical" entity known as the Vaere.

In Book 1, Stormwarden, Auskiere, wizard of wind and water, binds the Mharg-demons with the aid of Ivan, master of fire and earth. But at the moment of his greatest peril, Ivan is betrayed and he swears a terrible oath against his betrayer - an oath so powerful that it begins a relentless "cycle of fire".

Janny Wurts is the author of several fantasy series, including the internationally best-selling Empire trilogy, written in collaboration with Raymond E. Feist. She paints all her own covers, depicting her vision of characters and setting. She is also an expert horsewoman, sailor, musician, and archer.

©1984 Janny Wurts (P)2010 Audible Ltd

Critic Reviews

"This is one of those do-not-put-down-until-finished books, of which there are too few." (Andre Norton)
"The world Janny Wurts writes about is wonderfully vivid." (Stephen R. Donaldson)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Katherine
  • St. Johns, FL, United States
  • 10-01-10

It's a great time to be an audiobook reader!

I???m so pleased with Audible Frontiers for bringing us some older fantasy literature on audio! Stormwarden is a coming-of-age story that focuses on three youth (Jaric, Emien, and Taen) who get caught up in a battle between kingdoms, sorcerers, demons, and aliens. There are some now-classic fantasy characters here ??? scrawny orphan boy who gets a sword, white-bearded sorcerer who controls the weather, a beautiful enchantress with white hair and violet eyes, and a beautiful dreamweaver with black hair, but they're treated with respect by both author and audiobook reader (David Thorpe) who pack them full of vigor, drive, and both admirable and reprehensible character traits and emotions.

There???s plenty of the unexpected, too. For example, much of the story takes place at sea. Also, an alien endows humans with supernatural powers by injecting them with crystallized demons. For a coming-of-age story, the plot is refreshingly unpredictable and Stormwarden ends with an exciting action-packed climax ??? a trademark Janny Wurts feature. The reader also gets a sense of Wurts??? expertise in sailing, horsemanship, and other outdoor pursuits ??? all of these elements feel real and this is something that sets this fantasy novel apart from most of its peers. The narrative style is more expository than is my preference, and sometimes it???s wordy, but it???s full of passion and David Thorpe???s perfect performance lends enthusiasm and verve.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A great fun fantasy romp for YA

A big Janny Wurts fan from reading her later magnum opus, the Wars of Light and Shadow (which I have requested from Audible, hint hint!) I snatched this one up as soon as I saw it. And I was not disappointed. Janny Wurts is one of the best and most under-appreciated fantasy writers around today. This book proves the elements were there even in her early writing.

Diverse characters are brought together to save the Stormwarden who is under enchantment by the evil sorceress, Tathagres, in league with demons. In beautiful Wurts style, the action swoops into a very exciting climax. I can't wait for the next two books to be released! Hurry, Audible!

David Thorpe does a bang up job as narrator, with an ability to create a variety of voices appropriate to the characters and with expression that helps the tension build.

Audible: More Janny Wurts please! In particular The Curse of the Mistwraith, The Ships of Merior, The Warhost of Vastmark, The Fugitive Prince, Grand Conspiracy, Peril's Gate, Traitor's Knot, and Stormed Fortress. I'll buy them all! I promise!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Too much melodrama

Perhaps it was the narrator, who was difficult to listen to, but it was also the extremely melodramatic characters created by author Janny Wurts. There was either too much drama and overwrought emotion, or so little as to be flat and boring. Explanations as to why characters behaved the way they did, did little to make them more likable or sympathetic. I was relieved when the book ended though the ending would leave one to believe that there is a continuation. Think I???ll be passing on any more books in this series.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Story Great Narration

Loved this book the story was wonderful and the narration by, David Thorpe is Fantastic! His voices and accents are first rate he has become one of my favorite narrators just from this one book. He has great range and cannot wait to hear him read the rest of this series and anything else I can find narrated by him. Please audible hurry up and release the second book in this series!

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Pie
  • Saint Petersburg, FL, United States
  • 10-21-10

Extremely over the top...but also ..interesting...

The author's verbiage is a tad melodramatic. The storyline is most unusual and quite interesting in and of itself...but....hmmm....but... ... The narration is extremely over the top and completely over acted (I "think" the narrator is...Australian?). The character voices range from deep slavic to sober japanese peeps and most of them are VERY excited a LOT of the time (except for the "bad" witch, she's quite calm in her wickedness). Sheesh. I remember this story as being awesome (the written hardcopy version). That was a LONG time ago. It IS (kinda) interesting but also.... (kinda) nerve wracking in this version. Too funny.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good Story but

The whole concept of the story is great and the choice of reader makes the Nordic sounding story line as if you were there or at least listening to a host of different characters.

The unfortunate aspect is the writers need to use technical terms inappropriatly; such as a young pessent fishermans son knowing all the nautical terms and even how to navigate away from landand the Author using a plethora of these terms (as an example) in incidental description distracting from the main story line. This somewhat takes away from following a most interesting story line which combines Sorcery witha touch of Sci Fi and other gifts with interesting characters, Sorceresses, Sorcerers and Demons.

Was i happy to listen to it, yes; will i get the 2nd Book; that i don't know yet.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Horrible Narration, Marginal Story

David Thorpe's forced overacted narration turns what could be a likable story into a painful diatribe. David's voicing is far too harsh and distracting, it sounds as if most of the characters are pirates. If I continue this trilogy, I will read it myself. Save your credits and get the Night-Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks or The Way of Kings:The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson instead.

5 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • George
  • Harlingen Tx., TX, United States
  • 08-15-12

Too much about feelings

What did you like best about Stormwarden? What did you like least?

The concept of a computer guarding mankind was the best part.. It used myth, legend and advanced technology as magic. I did not like all the dealings with feelings and emotions. Give me more action.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Not as whinny.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

He did good voices. A lot of it was monotone.

Could you see Stormwarden being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?


0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not suitable for audio

This applies for the entire series. The books are complicated and I believe not suitable for audio book format. I have enjoyed Janny Wurtz in the past and enjoy her stories but only in the written word in future.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Victor
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 11-29-10

Narration is lacking

The book sounds interesting but I could not get past the whiny voice the narrator used when the character was upset. The accents were horrible. The dialog was too slow. One of the worse audiobooks I have attempted to listened to. I wish I could get my credit back.

1 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-06-11

Cycle of Fire Trilogy

What can be said, an exceptional read and thoroughly enjoyable. As usual Janny's mix of characters aids the plot and adds interest and intrigue.

I've bought all her books in paperback and wondered how this series would be just listening. I need not have wondered as usual an amazing work by an accomplished author. Even my kids listened to it and enjoyed the experience. Just waiting for her other books to come out in audio book now. I'd definately buy them :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • CeNedra Red
  • 11-26-16

Too Many Long Pauses.

What made the experience of listening to Stormwarden the most enjoyable?

Listening to this book wasn't as enjoyable as I would have wished. Unfortunately the narrator, David Thorpe spoiled the experience by unnecessary pauses after each sentence. It became irritating, waiting for the next sentence to follow, and broke the rhythm of the story.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Stormwarden?

Its difficult to pick out one moment as more memorable than any other, since the narrator did such a poor job of telling the tale.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of David Thorpe?

Rupert Degas. Andrew Wincott. Simon Vance. Nick Podehl. Victor Bevine. Kevin Stillwell, to name but a few. These are some of my favorite narrators. Any one of these narrators would have given a more enjoyable performance.

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

No! If it had been read by a better narrator, then the answer would be Yes.

Any additional comments?

I read this book, and the others in this series many years ago. I don't really remember very much about the story, as I've read hundreds of books since then. I do remember that I enjoyed reading the series, and thats why I wanted to listen to the audio version. As with so many of the books I have read and loved, this is another that has been ruin by a poor narrator.

  • Overall
  • Anne R Hamilton
  • 10-29-10

I couldn't pay attention to this

I kept finding myself not listening to this and missing bits. It really didn't keep my interest and I've restarted several times. I think I'll give up.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Birdie
  • 08-10-11

Not great so far...

I have spent a couple of hours listening and cant say I'm enthralled. There are people a plenty in the narrative but their characters are not developed and as a result I dont care about any of them. Maybe further into the book that will change, but so far, not great....

0 of 2 people found this review helpful