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Publisher's Summary

It is a fool's errand, and Tallos knows it, but against his own better judgment and the pleading of his wife, Tallos has committed himself to a voyage north. His lifelong friend's eldest sons are said to have been taken by Northmen, a raiding people ill-reputed for their savagery. The boys are already dead, Tallos knows, and in that dark place of grim reasoning he wishes only to find their corpses quickly so he can fulfill his promise and return to his wife. Instead, he finds something far worse.

©2015 M. D. Ireman (P)2015 M. D. Ireman

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Just what fantasy needs.

Loved everything about it. Perfect for lovers of grim and dark adventure and intrigue.
Amazing.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Tremendous Beginning

after reading this, you're left wanting more, and I feel like we're going to get it with the next installment. great way to kick off a series.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

WOW!

This story is Grimdark at its best. I wasn't sure who or what this was about at first, but the summary drew me in. It turned out to be one of the best books I've read in the genre. A character rich story, and raw grit similar to Abercrombie's writing. I can't wait for the next installment to be released.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Better than expected; awaiting book 2

Sometimes you take a risk with an unknown author who has an unknown book based on their reviews on Amazon and Audible. I did so here and felt richly rewarded. Some criticize the many POV chapters and multiple characters. I would suggest being patient allowing the story to develop. This story has many plot twists and great action. The characters are well developed and draw you in to a complex story. The narration by Matt Cowlrick was excellent. Highly recommended were fans of George RR Martin.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

Book far surpassed my expectations. I found each character to be compelling and enjoyable to follow.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book!

I started this book a little skeptical. But as the story progressed, I found myself itching for more of the story to be developed. Can't wait for book 2!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • thomas
  • boise, ID, United States
  • 06-24-17

way to hard to follow

this story jumps from one character to another way to Manny times and go back to years past so many times. could have been a lot better.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jan
  • Lewiston, ME, United States
  • 02-05-17

Grimdark Goodness !!

What made the experience of listening to The Axe and the Throne the most enjoyable?

The story is extremely compelling, and sucks you in. Chapter by chapter, character POV after character POV, cannot stop reading and listening. Immediately compares to Game of Thrones and Joe Abercrombie's First Law series. But highly original, deftly and expertly written.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Axe and the Throne?

There are so many. I was expecting Tallos to be the main protagonist. I was disappointed a bit in the lack of his chapters, but as the huge storyline, and world building unfolds, it is easily understandable, why some characters take more precedence than others.

What does Matt Cowlrick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Og my God....where has this guy my whole life!!?? He is one of the ALL TIME greatest narrators EVER! With a quick research he is a voiceover actor with his own studio, and has a billion clients. Strangely he has only done one other book. Hopefully he will continue to narrate other epic fantasy novels. He talents are sorely lacking in this genre. Cowlrick literally has a different voice for every singe character he voices in this book. He reads with such clarity and originality that is is simply uncanny.

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

When Tallos discovered his wife was.....Don't want to spoil it!
Ever chapter with Tallos moved me especially.

Any additional comments?

MD Ireman is a force to be reckoned with. If you like epic fantasy, world building, barbarians, layers of character development, complex storylines all intertwined, and all in Grimdark goodness you owe to yourself to buy both a trade paperback copy AND the audio like I did!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it.

Any additional comments?

I don't usually write reviews yet I notice many people who did NOT actually finish the book reviewing it.
"Everyone dies" is a crock you will see people saying yet i promise you no main character really dies in this. Yes people die, but the foundation characters stay in place and go on to develop well. The father and the two north men sons are awesome and the tracker dog man from the village that the title speaks is also glorious. The title makes you also despise characters much like the boy king from GoT. This is an in depth book and not for the feint hearted, but well worth the time spent. LOVED THIS BOOK.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Game of Thrones esq

This story is like Games of Thrones. The characters and plot are similar and just over all reminds me of Got. That being said, I like GoT and I liked this story. The narrator did a fantastic job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • graham
  • 08-01-16

Excellent

Some have said in their reviews that this story hops around a bit and it made it a little difficult to follow. I must disagree on the final point. It does pop around chronically, but that does NOT deter from the over arching story.
It has a touch of GOT in that there a several leading characters all following their own paths that will undoubtedly intertwine.
Well Written, Well Narrated thoroughly enjoyable

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • FRONKO
  • 03-25-16

strange

overall good, however story does jump around a lot, but intresting and will search for next.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-25-18

Great

Great story. Personally I found some (trying to not leave spoilers) storylines a little 'he said she said'. But it wouldn't be the same story without then!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for C. A. Mew
  • C. A. Mew
  • 11-25-17

Average fantasy

A decent enough book. Nothing particularly original or earth-shattering about it. I've seen rave reviews about both the story and the narrator; both only slightly better than mediocre. A foreword plays us the "grim dark" nature of the book, and the "challenge" the book represents: both promises fall far short. It is a book of morally questionable characters on all sides like nearly ALL contemporary fantasy.

It is a story on a very grand scale, however, with engaging and well drawn characters. Certain debut novelist traits are present that I'm surprised the editor didn't fix.

I have little doubt that the series this grows into will be an engaging and interesting one. Not worthy of the highest praise I've seen of it, but certainly worthy of 1 credit and 20 hours of easy listening. And I bet the sequel will be 5 star worthy, in honesty and fairness.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert
  • 10-20-17

Cracking fantasy that takes a different tact

I think most fantasy fans will enjoy this book, especially as it offers something a bit different.

Instead of the usual good v evil battle it is told from the viewpoint of several characters, whose paths will undoubtedly collide. The great thing is you see good and bad in those characters, although some are tainted with more bad than good. The point is you can sympathise will more than one of them.

The prose isn't as impressive as some of the greats, so this won't be going into my all time classics but I was really impressed by this story.

The only thing that lets this one down is the narrator. It is as all purpose has been set on making characters sound different but the context has been totally disregarded. For example a daughter has a regal voice and her father sounds like a gruff farmer. Two brothers, brought up together, have regionally different accents. Men described brutes can sound like harmless middle managers. It does get frustrating but it doesn't ruin it.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • LexZ
  • 10-05-17

Hard going

This is pretty hard going. I have had several attempts at this but loose interest quickly. The introduction does say it's not for everyone so I can't honestly complain. I suppose it just isn't for me.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • James Mason
  • 09-10-17

Surprisingly Good

A much better book than the ludicrous disclaimer at the start would seem to indicate

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dean Pattinson
  • 06-10-17

well worth a listen!!!

fantastic story, rich but accessable writing. brilliant characters. narration is great as well, the readers voice never grows tedious.
can't recommend enough.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 11-23-16

Bit boring

I found the story to be quite middle of the road and the narration lacked energy. I didn't connect with many of the characters either.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. A. P. Jones
  • 10-24-16

Good book

I like this book it has the feel that it's building on to something much bigger and great, that is also the reason I marked it down as it kinda feels like the book before the book and it's just a book to lay the foundations for the next one.

I will defiantly read the next book

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew
  • 08-07-17

Not like it

This is the first fantasy novel that I really didn't like or grab me in anyway, the voice actor had a lovely deep voice but no infelction or emotion

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sean
  • 07-27-16

Good story, poor narration.

The story, though it takes a long time to become interesting, is fairly good. The characters are intricate and some are quite unique, and the writer is talented.
The narration is another story. Bland and emotionless for the most part, there is no real effort put into telling the story. The same tone was used whether a character was yelling or talking quietly and this caused me to almost stop listening, however the story was good enough that i could look past it after a time, despite it still frustrating me time and again.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful