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Publisher's Summary

As plague and famine scourge the Winter Kingdoms, a vast invasion force is mustering from beyond the northern seas. And at its heart, a dark spirit mage wields the blood magic of ancient, vanquished gods. Summoner-King Martris Drayke must attempt to meet this great threat, gathering an army from a country ravaged by civil war. Neighboring lands reel toward anarchy while plague decimates their leaders. Drayke must seek new allies from among the living - and the dead - as an untested generation of rulers face their first battle.

Then someone disturbs the legendary Dread as they rest in a millennia-long slumber beneath sacred barrows. Their warrior guardians, the Sworn, know the Dread could be pivotal as a force for great good or evil. But if it's the latter, could even the Summoner-King's sorcery prevail?

©2010 Gail Z. Martin (P)2011 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Fans of Martin's previous series as well as those who enjoy the large-scale fantasy of George R.R. Martin and Robert Jordan should enjoy this series opener." (Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Ross
  • Mosinee, WI, United States
  • 02-11-11

Above average book with a poor narrator

First, I've listened to the last 3 books in the series. All were wonderful in the previous orator's voice.

Why ms Martin went to Kirby to read her continuation of the series is have no idea, but I have been sorely disappointed by the readers performance. Where the previous reader made the story lively, Kirby has fell flat. Where Peter (the previous reader) made character like john-mark brave, Kirby has made them sound whining. Where Peter made the women in the book sound romantic and feminine, Kirby makes them sound bored and boyish.

Great book, poor reading.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Great Read poor Reader

I don't really comment on these types of things but I would like to warn anybody who has listened to the other books by Gail Z. Martin that this reader is horrible absolutely horrible. He has changed the way that some words were pronounced and has made the stronger caracters like Tris and John Marc sound like weaklings that were whining about things instead of trying to solve them.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Bad Narrator

This says it is book one but it appears to be picking up from a previous story. They give a lot of background information that makes it very hard to follow. The other thing is that the names of the tribes and different factions makes it very hard to differentiate and gets too confusing. Would not recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I keep rewinding as I zone out...zzzz

What would have made The Sworn better?

Any other reader. Any. Even my kid.

What could Gail Z. Martin have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I will have to buy the paper version because I can't get through this. I have well over 100 audio books and this is the worst performance except one (of many) I read in the public domain (i.e. FREE.) Did the author have input here? I have to guess no.

What didn’t you like about Kirby Heyborne’s performance?

Words mispronounced. Sounds whiney and singson. Even fighting demons sounds boring. I would never have thought that a reader could break anything this badly. I will never buy another book read by this guy. However much it costs to re-read these two books, Audible should consider it. If this had been my first series, I'd be tempted to be done.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

This series has lots to recommend it. I'd say the setting, characters, depth of plot and well thought out world are awesome. I feel betrayed by Audible not G Martin.

Any additional comments?

How could you change readers midstream, and not get someone else that even knew how to pronounce the word "scimitar" in a fantasy novel? I hope I've given enough positive reviews to match the hate in this one--overall I'm an Audible addict.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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loved it

i loved this book and can not wait to start the next one. loved it

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  • Denise
  • saint helens, oregon, United States
  • 07-08-13

I was disappointed

I've read (or rather listened) to all of Tris Drayke's adventures, both The Chronicles of the Necromancer series and this one. While I loved both the Summoner and The Blood King I felt things started to lag at the next one. I'm adding all of the books into the review, even the past compilation because they build on each other.

By the third book, although I'm still loving the story it's bugging me that all the characters I loved from the first two are now split across all the Winter Kingdoms. Also, despite the fact that it's somewhat illogical I feel that married kings with kingdoms to rule shouldn't go adventuring all over the place. (At least not without Kiara, who should be his 'partner') By "The Sworn" Tris is heading out on another adventure - minus Kiara again. In this book we are getting a few newly added characters, each with their own chapter, just to make things more spread out. Jair and Talwyn, who I quite like are pretty much another Tris and Kiara except they are adventuring together, which Tris and Kiara should be IMO.

Kiara on the other hand - who I'm truly starting to despise as a character, is insisting on another baby despite the hazards and the fact that Tris won't be around yet again. She seems to try to be brave to the point of stupidity and that annoys me more than anything else. No doubt her life will be in danger from the Divisionists yet again in a repetition of the previous stories assuming the author will give her her own voice in The Dread. She and Tris are also both having fits over whether or not baby Quinn is ok to rule, when at this point they should just be glad he's healthy.

We also have the addition of Aidane, who again while being an interesting has no purpose except as a background character. She also hasn't done much and could have easily been seen through Jonmarc's eyes.

Jonmarc is one of the only characters who seems true to form. Being a warrior-brigand seems to make it fairly logical for him to go with Berry to Principality even though Carina is pregnant. She also seems more the stay-at-home and worry type while being strong at the same time. These two were also the ones I enjoyed the most in books 3 and 4 of the Chronicles of the Necromancer series.

I mention Cam last because his purpose in these stories seems to be a bit of an afterthought. He deals with the Divisionists directly but they don't seem to be doing anything about the invaders from the north which are a greater threat.

Overall, I really liked the first two of the Necromancer series, the third and fourth were slightly less good, but I also appreciated them. This one, and also the next (because I know it'll leave me hanging at the end and that will make me crazy if I don't finish it.) are a disappointment and if I had known I probably wouldn't have gotten them at all. They have a 'I must know, no matter how bad it is' feel to them, which is really good, but also bad at the same time, and I can't give them less than a 3 star because of this.
because I like Tris ....
because I like Jonmarc...
because I like the vampires...

and so on...

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  • Sarah
  • LEXINGTON, NC, United States
  • 02-05-13

The Best!

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

No

What did you like best about this story?

Everything! Great story, the best characters! It has castles, magic, all kinds of magic! All kinds of supes!

Have you listened to any of Kirby Heyborne’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but he was great!

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

How the ghosts help the living

Any additional comments?

This series is the best I've ever read

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hard to listen

It's a good book but hard to listen. They all sound like whiney girls instead of badasses and nobility. Especially John Marsh, he is still awesome but geez is it hard to hear him talk.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful