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Publisher's Summary

The goblin invasion is on...and a wizard's work is never done!

After facing a hopeless siege, an implacable foe and an impossible escape, you would think that Minalan the Spellmonger would be able to rest - but the armies of the undead goblin shaman Shereul (known as the Dead God to his human victims) are rolling over the western reaches of the rustic Duchy of Alshar and is headed toward the heart of the Duchy of Castal. Thousands are fleeing for their lives as hordes of goblins pour out of Boval Vale and devastate the rugged fiefs of the Alshari Wilderlands. And the super-charged shamans of the Dead God are making defending the realm almost impossible for the outnumbered Alshari country knights.

While the two Dukes play feudal politics to further their own ends, the only people who seem to care about the invasion are Minalan and his outlaw warmagi friends - and they're busy dodging agents of the sinister Royal Censorate of Magic.

But if someone doesn't organize an army in northern Alshar soon, then there will be nothing to stop the armies of the divinely powerful Dead God from conquering all five Duchies in his genocidal quest for vengeance.

But things are just not that simple: he has to cope with a sexy young Shadowmage assassin who works for a mysterious spymaster, a cocky new manservant, a dysfunctional group of suddenly-powerful warmagi, the Censor General, and a bunch of whiny nobles before the Dukes will grant him the troops and money he will need - and the Dukes have plans of their own. If Minalan the Spellmonger can't lobby the courts of Alshar and Castal to work together - and quickly - the hordes of the Dead God will sweep over the frontiers of both states. Worse, the mysterious Umbra veil he has erected around Boval Vale may come to imperil all Five Duchies.

Minalan would rather just go home and let the Dukes handle it, but his conscience won't let him. Someone has to stop the Dead God...and that someone happens to be him. Beyond politics and plots, goblins and trolls, mercenaries and magic, the Soulless and the shamans, Censors and secret orders, for Minalan there is only the thought that his child is to be born in a world with such dangers, and that is something he cannot permit.

It is time for the Spellmonger to pick up his mageblade, summon his allies, and go to war again...as a Warmage!

©2016 Terry Mancour (P)2017 Podium Publishing

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Story

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An amazing story, written in a frustrating format

**First off, and to make no misunderstandings, I want to say that I enjoyed this story as a great continuation of the first book. Incoming gripes aside it was still fun and kept me listening, even if at a few points I wanted to grind my teeth in annoyance.**

Ok now with that said let the rant commence.......the format that this book was written in is just damn awful. The story is split between two threads that keep swapping back and forth as both move forward. Where the first book had the occasional flashback to Min's youth to fill in bits about his story and give us something more, the two threads in this book are only about 6 months apart. Maybe this could have worked out if somehow the writer had made it less straight up and open about what happened in the opening parts of the book, and giving him the credit of the doubt perhaps he was trying to keep the political parts of this book interesting by splitting up those sections with battles from later. That is not at all how it ends up working though. If the book had just been a single continuous thread going through and picking up right after the end of the last book there would at least be some suspense or worry about things going on in the political parts. There are chapters of that thread that literally end in lines like "When the cencorate gets here he is literally going to want my head." That in and of itself would be something to worry about....if we didn't already know not a damn thing was going to come of it because he's still alive and fighting a battle in just the last chapter which is some odd months in the future. Is he going to get the courts support? Is he going to get an army to fight back the goblins? What's going to happen if they turn him down? None of these questions have any sway when the other plot thread basically just tells you all you need to know aside from "are they going to win the war". It is so damn frustrating, especially when the story is decently written and has all the right parts just in the wrong places.

So long story short, there is a great story in here, and even as I wanted to pull out my hair I did like seeing where things went in the book. But for the love of all that is holy it just feels like someone took a well planned and finished book, cut it in half then just staggered the chapters for some stupid reason that for the life of me I just don't freaking understand. If and when they roll out the third book, if its written like this again I don't think I will be following on past that though. Personally I'm just praying this was some kind of artistic experimentation that didn't pan out and gets discarded in the series.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Spellmonger had so much potential, but i'm done

Liked the first book, had its pitfalls and tropes (Min is very sexist, boastful, reader is told how to feel, and there were a lot of anachronisms) but it also had its good points (start of a good magic system, interesting story structure, and a strong villain)

This book fell SO FLAT.

All the bad with none of the good.
- Min is still whoring it up while somehow claiming to be dedicated to his fiancee, fine, not cool, but whatever. But the curses drove me crazy. "Ishes's [adjective][feminine body part]" were gratuitous and make no sense. Its like someone say "Virgin May's Sweet @ss" or "Buddha's swinging ballsack"... just seem like an excuse to talk about boobs.
- On top of that the amount of times its recited how dangerous imperial trained war mages are and how elite the training is borderline monotonous.
- Author still tells you how to feel rather than getting you to feel it through descriptions and dialogue, which is the same as before.
- The anachronisms like the word "tool" or wizards knowing advanced anatomy or cell structures while living in a time without electricity or indoor plumbing is insane.

But all that was prevalent in the first book too, but I still liked it a lot. What lost me is:
- The magic system degrades from a loose system you are slowly taught about to "people are doing a bunch of cool things cause they have the witch stones" (again monotony about how powerful they are)
- The author continued the alternating timelines by chapter, which I liked before because it was telling his back story, but this time it is describing the same story arc but 4 months apart. It becomes a lot of the same characters talking about the same topics with a slight shift in perspective due to a minimal time difference and it is MASSIVELY confusing. The only purpose I could see it serving is breaking up the monotony of all political negotiations and social affairs, but it doesn't really accomplish that.
- This also diminishes the main villain and really is the same story as last book, the spellmonger has to raise an army and beat a large goblin horde. No escalation, no finality either way, just the same thing different location

And there are a ton of other little annoyances too, but at the end of the day, this wasn't the fun story the last one was, it was the fantasy of having a super warrior, mage, intellect, ladies man, with godly power, respect, and well hung (yeah, it says it several times), while being the everyday guy, but this time all he does is talk, negotiate, and get told how great he is.

Passing on book 3.

37 of 46 people found this review helpful

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Another great one!

Enjoyed this one. Well performed and the writing keeps it interesting and moving along well. I don't think that I can wait for the next audible version and might need to just purchased the hardcopy!

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Over done

Just way to much explanations. Get to the point. Other than that, is was good but needs a bunch of 30sec jumps

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Its is a great story.

this is an amazing series. i look forward to finishing the entire story. if you like patrick rothfuss the name of the wind, you will enjoy this.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Great story but sad morality

For a guy so "devoted" to his girlfriend, Min certainly beds a lot of girls...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Epic Second Book!!

I couldn't stop listening and finished much faster than I planned. The narration was epic. Now on to book three.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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should be excellent

I desperately wanted to love this series. I didn't really care for the first book but decided to give it another try here in book two. my issue with the book seems to stem from the narrator, he just sounds so incredibly boring. I haven't ever read a book like this before where the reader is describing an "intense" battle scene and all I want to do is take a nap. I am a fanatical consumer of audiobooks, I read two or three a week but this one was so boring I couldn't keep my mind focused on the plot, my mind kept wandering to more interesting things, like watching paint dry. anyways, I think im in the minority on this series so take what im saying with a grain of salt. However, if you thought book one was boring and lifeless and were hoping it would turn around in book two, steer clear.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Good plot and storyline

This book has a good storyline and a good narrator but too much description of meaningless subjects not directly relating to the plot. I found myself drifting off many times.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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So much fun...

This is a great story, engaging and interesting, and the author clearly has a good grasp of his world, its politics, magical systems, and all the rest. But the writing is sometimes painful. Now I understand that he is a novice writer, and this is one of his earlier efforts. I will presume the writing will improve as the man gets more practice. The reason I mention it is that it does sometimes interfere with my enjoyment of the book - I hate dangling participles.

That being said, it's so much fun and I love this series so far. Check it out.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas D.
  • 10-21-17

Amazing Series!

I just can't praise this series enough. The authors style is brilliant- although set in a fantasy world the characters are all so believable and human. There is loads of humour and the way the magic is intertwined in the story is brilliantly done. And lastly the narrator is a true master at his craft- this is the second series I have listened to others by John Lee and once again I am not disappointed. If you like adventure and a good tale, just get this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • sa
  • 06-28-17

Great!

High fantasy with great humour and likeable heroes, cant wait for the next one. Isis pert little nipples!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • 06-27-17

a great listen can't wait for the next installment

a great listen can't wait for the next installment. They are big books but gripping

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 06-23-17

great story and performed very well

loved the characters, the plots and the intrigues. very entertaining. great story and performed very well

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr R B Williams
  • 05-19-17

great storytelling

Really enjoying this series of books cant wait to see more.
loving the cast of characters and how they are fleshing out.
the voice acting is well done.
keep up the good work!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Donncha
  • 01-15-18

story has some good elements

the story is decent enough, but sounds at times likes it was written by a teen and at other times like it was written with a medieval tone, it's a decent story, but does drag a bit and lacks intricacy and emotional depth.

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  • Robert Lampard
  • 12-20-17

Thrilling

What a great series of books so far love the attitude min is portrayed with . Was put onto these books by the audible suggestions on what I had already listened to and I’m very pleased with the suggestions good work most enjoyable story telling and a most enjoyable listen

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  • edward
  • 11-20-17

Just as brilliant as the first

honestly it's a great set of books, the narration is perfect with a voice actor that actually gets into the humor and the character of everyone he plays. And the writing style is really refreshing compared to so many fantasy series. absolutely worth listening to

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  • shadowspirit
  • 11-09-17

Not enthused with this one

Story is ok, but totally unbelievable. The narrator grated on my ears I am afraid. Didnt really enjoy the listen, one of those where the book would probably have been better read. Sadlly I cant do this because I cant see. Oh well, perhaps lesson learned.

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  • Charlie
  • 08-26-17

A great performance can't save this story.

The story has all the elements to be a decent fantasy epic. However it's let down by the protagonist being an utter Mary-Sue, and it never felt to me like there was any mystery or danger. The writing is bland and unexciting with occasional words being completely wrong.
All this means this story is not worth your time or money.

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  • Tampil
  • 05-17-17

Does not dissapoint

As expected, Terry and John are a great duo. I can't wait to listen to the next book of the series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-08-17

simply brilliant

from start to finish warmage has been an excellent listen and I truly truly enjoyable time filler I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the fantasy genre

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  • Isaac Thompson
  • 10-26-17

Excellent narration

Brilliant story with a keen military insight. interesting science based approach to magic. well read and am thoroughly enjoying the series