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Publisher's Summary

Winner 2017 National Indie Excellence Award for Fantasy

Winner Gold Metal 2017 Readers' Favorite for Epic Fantasy

Magic is outlawed. Those caught wielding it are taken to the White Tower. They are never heard from again.

After the chaos of the great Wizard Wars nearly a thousand years ago, the people turned their backs on magic. It was deemed evil. Those born with it will stop at nothing to remain hidden.

In the north, a young boy is hunted by the Black Watch. Desperate to survive, he turns to the one thing he fears most. Magic. A young girl's affection for him forces her to pick up the sword. Her life may never be the same. In the east, a tortured prisoner vows to escape the White Tower. His sister's life depends on it. And in the west, a captain fights to protect his king while shielding the woman he loves from the king's son.

The world balances on the edge of a blade.

Can a handful of wielders manage to change it?

©2016 Michael Wisehart (P)2017 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Story

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Spend the Credit

I'm a devoted listener of fantasy audiobooks on audible. I listen to 3-5 books every week. In spite of the endless number of books audible has to choose from I find it increasingly difficult to find new, well written, and most importantly well edited fantasy series.

So many books have good story arcs or interesting worlds but become unlistenable just because the author was unwilling or unable to have a competent editor pick up a red pen and beat their story like a rented mule.

I intro my review this way because when I stumble across a book like The White Tower it makes the experience all the more unique. This book has great characters... Protagonists you can't help but root for, villains you want to strangle and conflicts whose outcomes are uncertain.

The narration is solid, the voices are spot on, and the writing is fluid. While some might critique this book for having a relatively standard epic fantasy plot, I find that it's the writing and the characters that keep me engaged in a story more so than a reinvention of the genre. I've listened to many books with groundbreaking plots that I never finished because the dialog was idiotic or the characters two dimensional.

In summary, if you like epic fantasy you should spend the credit and start listening.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Tropes, enjoyable, but so... unremarkable.

I like the world, and I want it to work... but it just has no real life...

I feel like this book was just pieced together by every YA fantasy book the author had in his workspace at the time. The story was fun, sometimes. I was into the torturer and smith plot, but everything else was so milquetoast.

Main "hero" character is not named Aiden but instead "Arien"... and that statement is really what you can expect from this book. The characters act so predictable, they're all here, bumbling old people, uppity old lady, unaware scion, valiant hero with rough childhood, ignorant well meaning king, sexy vixen rogue, inquisitive sister, wicked witch, beautiful blondes and redheads, fiery redheads, greasy haired bad guys, sunken eyed evil wizard...

The writing was ok, but a little uncreative. You could actually feel when the author was reaching for a metaphor or simile to describe a situation. It was a little tragic at times. After being gravely injured in a huge battle, "his vision started fading, as though he had been out with friends and had too much drink."... This doesn't fit the situation at all. And it's not the only time it happened.

I hope the author improves, the world built needs some better representation.

I'm hoping that the rest of the books are better, but I don't think I want to gamble with my credits.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Good story line but needs some more editing

Good story line but some editing is needed. The section relating to the Kings guard back story becomes a complete ramble. 3 or 4 chapters could be reduced by a lot. Also comparing him to a circus performer pulls away from the story. I understand the author is trying to show he is Mr awesome but that was too much. I found the timeline a little confusing in comparison to each characters point of view sometimes weeks past in one but days in another between chapters.

over all the book had a good story line and I will read/listen to the next book.

Tim Gerald Reynolds ability is always great. He really knows how to bring the listener in.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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An excellent beginning to a series .

Love this book and narrator. The characters are believable. The narrator was awesome. I love the way each character was fleshed out. Cannot wait for the next in the series

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Tedious, Unfocused, and Not Worth the Effort

I hate writing reviews that are complete downers, but this is a book with no redeeming features. To start with, the story flits from character to character with very little connection between in such a way that for the first half of the book it felt like I was reading three different books. The story and plot offer nothing new, just a rehash of the common fantasy mechanics: the lost magic, the orphan child with a startling destiny, the sullen prince and the coniving advisor with a nefarious agenda. All thrown together without any binding to create an interesting story.
The characters are all standard. The ancient wizard, the noble king and his adoring wife, the secret society dedicated saving the hunted magic wielders, the dedicated bodyguard. The do not give me anything compelling to grab my interest. At the end of the day, I don't care if any of them live or die.
The writing just drags and is annoying. There are nonstop irrelevant detail. Nobody cares that something curves around like blah blah blah sandworm from the blah blah blah blah desert. It doesn't add to world building giving everything a name, and then explaining the name, ad nauseum. When a character does something, that is enough, we don't always need to know the internal motivation and thought process for everything. Also, you should not assume modern attitudes and morals from a feudalistic society; it doesn't ring true. Finally, when writing a fight scene, describing every blow, strike and parry is long winded and boring.

It feels like the author read a copy of Fantasy Writing for Dummies and used it as a checklist of the necessary items in the book, and incorporated every idea in every scene written. I cannot imagine that it was run by a writing group or editor because it reads like a first-time author's first draft.

I would stay away from this story. It is a waste of time, and a waste of attention.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Borat is that you? lol...

great start to a promising, potentially amazing, Epic series... just how long a wait between each book... that is always the question. Like any good vacation you need at least 2 weeks to really enjoy it. It takes one week just to get unwound enough to finally feel adjusted to your new temporary envirnment and get that stress and anxiety release momentum.

Coming to the end of this book was like having to go home after one week. The story ended right at the point when it got its real momentum.
Maybe could have gone further into the story before ending where it did but at least we werent left hanging in the middle of a significant climax ..

recommended to fantasy fanatics...
i look forward to the next book as the way this book planted seeds for those to come i expect they will keep getting better...

The book did jump plot lines alot from chapter to chapter. if reading the book it probably wouldnt be noticed but when listening to audiobook you cant walk away while its plyaing and come back cause youll be on another plot line... minor thing. more to make potential listeners aware.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • L. Tatum
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 11-05-17

Enjoyable new epic fantasy

Rushed review: got the book solely due to the narrator (Reynolds is the best, listen to the Riyria Chronicles) and so glad I did. Good pacing, multiple story lines & protagonists to care about. I have a new fantasy favorite to add to Michael J Sullivan, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Robin Hobb) Actually, if you like Sanderson's works, you'll like this too. Will get book 2 as soon as it's out.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Tried and failed

It had a chance, the magic system seemed fun, but fails. I tried to get thru this book. Got half way.

No conversation in this book seems real. Has no grit. All of the banter falls short of being funny. Just written poorly. The try at “love” seems like it’s written for an 8 year old.

I don’t usually review but I had to warn people away from this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Worth the listen.

I feel like I am always waiting on the next great epic fantasy and this book helped scratch that itch for me. The narration was amazing and for the most part the plot was really on point. Some of the characters just did not feel too real to me though. I did not like the main character for many reasons, but my main issue is with the main villain in the story. He seems to think his way is the only way to free the magic users, but I just really do not understand his point of view. Like he is a terrible person doing terrible things and I just do not understand his view of doing all of this for the "greater good." I mean there are many books that people do something bad for the greater good, but everything this man does is so evil that I just can not see how in the world anyone would think it would be for the greater good. I mean the white tower is a place no ruler even visits or inspects. It is a place that no one has ever escaped. Why wouldn't they just shield the people and hide them rather than what they are doing. I just do not know how the villain expects to have a bunch of loyal soldiers and magic users when he treats them how he does. Other than maybe mind control that I have not seen I just do not understand how the hell he will be able to trust anyone.

Sorry about that rant, but I just really do not understand the villain and since you have his point of view it actually just becomes more confusing. I really have not given anything away as within the first chapter and the blurb you kinda know these guys are a bit wacko. If you are another person looking to scratch the epic fantasy itch give this a listen.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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GET ON WITH IT!!

I tried so hard but this guy could take 3 chapters to describe a man taking a dump.
Characters seem good but I just can’t get through it. I’m 14 hours in and he just for lack of a better term Dicks around to say everything. This book feels like and 8 hour book written to fluff it up.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Lulu
  • 10-11-17

A Lot of Patience Required

This is one of those books with great potential but requiring too large an investment in time to get there. It’s not gripping or captivating so far. Several hours in and like a child I keep asking, “when will we get there?” The details while appreciating, get overwhelming then boring at times. The story is also quite predictable in some respects. I do not appreciate the long-winded, detailed torture scenes...
I’m sure the book would have turned out alright in the end - it’s just not engaging or mature enough for me to appreciate.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • ellen
  • 10-28-17

RANKS WITH THE GREATS

Great story, Tim Gerald Reynolds always a great reader.
Book 2 alas is not written yet.

will any of his earlier stuff be available at Audible in the near future ??

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-16-17

Moo review

If this book didn't have 5 hours of fluff and nothing at the start it would be amazing if you like swords and sorcery this book might be up your ally however you have to push though the start of the book till it starts getting good just at the 4hr / 5hr mark