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Publisher's Summary

Markal, an apprentice wizard, is thrust unexpectedly to the head of his order when his master is decapitated by a gray-skinned assassin. The order's walled gardens have the power to restore their dead master to life, but only if the apprentices can protect his body long enough for their sanctuary to work its magic.

When a barbarian warrior named Bronwyn invades the gardens wielding a soul-binding sword and accuses the order of harboring a powerful sorcerer, Markal thinks she is another assassin come to finish the job. But Bronwyn is a paladin, a holy warrior from across the mountains, and her presence is a harbinger of a greater threat than Markal had imagined, a necromancer with the power to command the dead.

Together, they must join forces before the necromancer destroys Markal's order and overruns Bronwyn's homeland.

©2017 Michael Wallace (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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  • Story
  • Scott
  • oconomowoc, WI, United States
  • 11-03-17

Enjoyable but Lacks Depth

The Red Sword is a well rounded Fantasy Adventure story with likable characters, exciting action, and nefarious plots. However, good or bad, it is simplistic in its execution.

This simplicity helps keep the book light and easy to listen to, but also predictable and full of old tropes. Your first impression of a character will be your only impression. The larger plot can be guessed from chapter 1. And the good guys scrape through combat with plucky determination, but not without losses.

The Red Sword is a good book for Young Adults or audiences looking for an inoffensive Fantasy Adventure with steady morals and steers clear of heavy philosophising.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Zarah
  • St. louis, Mo
  • 10-26-17

enjoyable

Honestly not bad and the narrator, Rosemary Benson, did an excellent job, which really enhanced the story for me. There was quite a bit of humor in the way the apprentices interacted. Each had a distinct voice. I really appreciated that there was more than one male/female platonic friendships. And the writing is pretty good, though I would call this YA fiction despite the characters ages.

All in all, I was pretty pleased with the story. I found a few aspects of it unbelievable and I would have like more explanation of the magic system. What's up with all the bleeding, for example? But I only really had one major complaint. Or rather one, three pronged complaint. This is a bit of spoiler, be warned.

One of my favorite characters, and more to the point, an important character, the character on the cover died. This I could handle, except for three factors. One, it's completely anticlimactic. She was basically just thrown away with no fanfare or importance. Her death was like three sentences in the background. This completely didn't fit her importance in the story up to that point. Two, if you're going to throw a character away as meaningless, I don't think you can also put her on the cover of the book. Sorry. This annoyed me. Three, she was one of two female characters in the book (not counting the background servants). The book really did need her or at the very least another HER.

Note: I received an audible code for this book in exchange for a review. It was my choice to listen and review it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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red sonjia esque

This book was slow at the beginig. but after a while the pace picked up. this book feels like the 80s movie red sonjia it has that barbarian on a quest type of feel. I'm not sure I will listen to the sequels but the storyline and characters were ok. I feel like there should have been more backstory but Maybe there will be In the sequels. all and all a nice read.

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Beyond Amazing!

Memnet the Great is the leader of the Order of the Crimson Path, a powerful wizard who uses his magic to bring peace to the kingdoms around him. When he's decapitated by a gray faced assassin, his four apprentice wizards must guard his gardens until his body can be regenerated.

Markal is the strongest of the wizard's apprentices, but also the least able to wield his power. When a paladin with a red sword breaks into the gardens to find Memnet, Markal is the only thing standing between her and the destruction of his master. And the paladin brings more than a threat to Memnet, she brings word that a powerful enemy is drawing near.

This book was beyond amazing! It's a traditional sword and sorcery novel, but the wizard's magic and the red sword's power were unique and well crafted. It's not a coming of age YA fantasy, which was refreshing. The apprentice wizards have been honing their talents for decades. The writing was vivid and full of flair, the action scenes descriptive and fast paced. The plot is immersive and incredibly interesting. I want to visit this world, walk in the garden, and meet its people. It was really well written.

The narration was perfect for this book. Rosemary Benson performed slight accents that differentiated the characters without overacting them. She has a convincing male voice, and her smooth narration immersed me in the story. It's my favorite type of narration. I requested a copy of the audiobook, and I'm voluntarily leaving a review. I can't wait for the rest of the series!

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  • Trisha
  • Arkansas, USA
  • 10-17-17

Magic with a cost...

Too often, we see magic in books and the only cost is a bit of tiredness from the wielder. When a barbarian attacks the magic garden, we get to see the true cost of magic isn't always just being tired for a little bit. It can take a real blood toll on you.

This book was fast paced and the narration was spot on for the book. I really want to listen to more in the trilogy. I loved the world created by Michael Wallace and hope to visit it again soon. Fantasy lovers should get a copy of this book!

This review copy audiobook was provided by the author/narrator/publisher free of charge.