Regular price: $29.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Reaching far beyond sword and sorcery, The Scar is a story of two people torn by disaster, their descent into despair, and their re-emergence through love and courage.

Sergey and Marina Dyachenko mix dramatic scenes with romance, action and wit, in a style both direct and lyrical. Written with a sure artistic hand, The Scar is the story of a man driven by his own feverish demons to find redemption and the woman who just might save him. Egert is a brash, confident member of the elite guards and an egotistical philanderer. But after he kills an innocent student in a duel, a mysterious man known as “The Wanderer” challenges Egert and slashes his face with his sword, leaving Egert with a scar that comes to symbolize his cowardice. Unable to end his suffering by his own hand, Egert embarks on an odyssey to undo the curse and the horrible damage he has caused, which can only be repaired by a painful journey down a long and harrowing path.

Plotted with the sureness of Robin Hobb and colored with the haunting and ominous imagination of Michael Moorcock, The Scar tells a story that cannot be forgotten.

©2012 Marina and Sergey Dyachenko (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Rich, vivid, tactile prose, with a solid yet unpredictable plot—and an extraordinary depth and intensity of character reminiscent of the finest Russian literature." ( Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review)

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    287
  • 4 Stars
    323
  • 3 Stars
    177
  • 2 Stars
    87
  • 1 Stars
    45

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    348
  • 4 Stars
    292
  • 3 Stars
    121
  • 2 Stars
    35
  • 1 Stars
    19

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    266
  • 4 Stars
    264
  • 3 Stars
    149
  • 2 Stars
    95
  • 1 Stars
    40
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Highly enjoyable!

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

Yeah, definitely. As a matter of fact, I already did.What I enjoyed most about this book was it's generous dose of originality. In addition the character development is both drastic and still believable and Jonathan Davis' job as a narrator was excellent. I am looking forward to hearing more both from him and from the authors who I now count as part of my favorites.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Scar?

Egert driving in a coach that is stopped by robbers.

Which character – as performed by Jonathan Davis – was your favorite?

Jonathan Davis did such a good job, it's difficult to say. Egert's change of character is very lifely performed, easy to grasp not only in what he says but also how he says it. But I also liked to Wanderers cold voice.

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

Not at first. Egert's...well... predicament made me stop more than once in the beginning, feeling too ashamed for Egert to listen on. But I always did listen in the end, and later I didn't stop until well into the night.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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

Shades of Rothfuss and Dostoevsky

Wow. What an unexpectedly great read. I was hoping for some basic fantasy that might be a little bit different since this novel was originally written in Russian. The Scar is indeed basic fantasy — basic, solid fantasy with no great innovations in worldbuilding or ideas, nothing that fantasy readers aren't thoroughly familiar with — but the writing, the descriptive details, and the character arcs that drive the story, are all so deft and evocative that The Scar is like a shiny, perfect apple sitting in a cart full of apples of acceptable but clearly lesser quality.

I would compare The Scar somewhat with Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind, not in terms of style or story, as the Dyanchenkos' writing is quite different from Rothfuss's, but in the way it takes a story that's old hat, old school fantasy and still makes it new and interesting. Part of this is the writing, which was particularly delightful since translations are always a bit iffy, but while of course I can't compare it to the original Russian, there was a ton of evocative imagery, descriptive detail, and strong emotions conveyed in prose that pushes this book into something of true literary quality.

The story is mostly about Egert Soll, a brash, philandering swordsman who's basically every jock bully writ large: he steals his friends' girls, he bullies and brags and treats the world as his playground, full of mud puddles that exist to be splashed in other peoples' faces, and he gets away with it because everyone loves him.

Then he kills an innocent student in a duel that's murder in all but name, the ultimate act of jock-on-nerd bullying. He leaves the student's fiancee bereft and heartbroken.

This is all the set up for Egert's oh-so-very-well-deserved smackdown. His comeuppance is delivered by a mysterious mage called the Wanderer, who goads Egert into a duel and inflicts a magical scar on Egert that curses him with cowardice.

While this has the feel of a traditional fairy tale (or perhaps a Russian folk tale), it's Egert's curse that makes the story. Until that point, Egert has been a completely unlikable schmuck, someone you can't wait to see get dirt rubbed in his face. And when he kills Toria's fiancee, you figure he's passed the moral event horizon and you can't possibly feel anything but disgust for him and a desire to see him suffer.

And suffer he does. And pretty soon you are feeling sorry for Egert Soll. The curse soon turns him into a feeble husk of a man, a hollowed-out shell of his former self who can't even take his own life. And as things get worse and worse, a remarkable thing happens: not only does Egert become sympathetic, but he becomes likable. By a cruel and ironic twist of fate, he is brought face to face with Toria again, the fiancee of the student he killed. And Toria, who also feels nothing but disgust for him initially, comes to feel sympathy for him as well.

By the time the fate of their city, and of Toria, hangs on Egert's ability to overcome his curse, you are not just rooting for him, you're cheering for him. The climax is both epic and again resonant of traditional fairy tales: Egert is given very specific instructions as to what he has to do to get out from under his curse, and of course things do not turn out quite the way he expects.

On the surface, this is a swords & sorcery novel, but the sorcery is treated the way sorcery should be, as something vague and mysterious and not usually seen, a plot device rather than a suit of powers. And there are only a few swordfights, and each one serves a very specific and dramatic purpose in the plot.

So, this isn't really a swords & sorcery novel at all, though it has all the trappings. It's a very psychological novel about egotism, courage and cowardice, grief, and redemption. It's a heroic epic and a romance, and a dark Russian fairy tale with shades of Rothfuss, Wolfe, and Dostoevsky. There's some action and a little bit of magic, but the character arcs are more important than the plot arc.

Apparently the Dyanchenkos are very popular fantasy authors in Russia, yet this novel is the first one to be translated into English. I hope more follow. While this book may not appeal to you if you have no interest in traditional fantasy, I highly recommend it for all fantasy readers, and I'd argue that it has a psychological depth that transcends its genre.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

A Series Worth Waiting For

If you've been bemoaning the wait for the next Patrick Rothfuss book, or wondering why nothing modern ever reads like Tolstoy or Dostoevsky, read this. The Scar is epic in a personal sense, lyrically haunting, and felt on every human level. Jonathan Davis did an amazing job at narration, catching the emotional nuances. I now count this among my favorite books, and Davis among my favorite narrators.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Curtiss
  • COUDERSPORT, PA, United States
  • 04-26-12

Stunning book

If you could sum up The Scar in three words, what would they be?

Fluid, Robust and Beautiful.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Egert, the author made me hate him and then pity him then in the end he was the man that he deserved to be.

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

Great character vocalization! He really brought out the pain and the angst that Egert felt and made it a real weight bearing thing for me.

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

yes, reactions from anger at Egert in the begining, to the gut wrenching realization of the plans of the tower.

Any additional comments?

the was the first story I have had the pleasure to listen to by Jonathan Davis and the first book by Sergey Dyachenko that i have listened too.. and it was just awesome.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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

Entertaining

The narrator was great, beautifully written tale,the story carries you along in a vaguely fantasy world, a very entertaining listen.

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

Really enjoyed this book.

The narrator was very good. I liked the concept of this type of a curse and Egert's struggle to interpret the meaning given for removing it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Such a good listen!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Scar to be better than the print version?

I haven't read The Scar, but the audio edition was so good I don't think I want to. The narrator was truly one of the best narrators I've heard.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It's not that kind of novel. Although Fox definitely get's a shout out.

Which scene was your favorite?

To tell my favorite scene would give spoilers so i'll just say that the writing is such that every page was a delight to hear.

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

When the students led by Fox come to the defense of one of their own in the tavern. The scene when Egert administers the medicine.

Any additional comments?

This is such a good magic realism novel. The "magic" is so underplayed but there enough to lend menace. Such a good character study. Do not expect tons of epic sword fights, this novel is really about the depths one man can sink and the tension comes from whether or not those depths change him for the better or worse.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

AAAAAAHHHHHHH

Would you listen to The Scar again? Why?

and again and again and again.This book is by far my most soulful and beautiful read in years.I am lifted and inspired. This story hits a note within and that note resonates deeper and deeper. At random moments I think about how this story made me feel when I read it; and that moment is enriched.

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

It mostly made me cry. It also made me hopeful that some day there would be smiles again.

Any additional comments?

This is one of those stories that is older than the people who wrote it. Its as though they reached back in time and coaxed a precious memory to live again and explain itself.The translator should get some kind of award.I would love to hear what someone who can read both languages would say.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Started so well

This book has a promising beginning with the main character starting off being so annoying you hate him instantly. He deserves everything he gets! The two duels are engaging and well written. The idea is a good one and I read on fascinated at how he was going to learn to become a better person. He can only get better from where he starts, but lessons are hard learnt and from here the character development is slow, and the story begins to drag a little. I found the love interest hard to believe, even the way it was written.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

So very Russian

This is a fine story with imagination. The plot develops reasonably at first then there is a lengthy period of deep suffering and humiliation that is reminiscent of Tolstoy. I am sure this is a matter of personal taste but I was bored by the lengthy crushing weight of the development of this singular point. Perhaps that is the authors' intention; the hero must undergo this tedious crushing experience. Much like going to law school!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful