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Publisher's Summary

Returning to the milieu of his Swords trilogy, Saberhagen offers a new scenario. The gods have withdrawn from the human world and the 12 Swords of Power they had forged are now scattered, lost and hidden. The weapons are still coveted, though, by men like Baron Amintor, who has lost one kingdom and now sees them as the means to another. No scruples stop him from stealing the sword Woundhealer from the White Temple, where its powers were offered to cure all pilgrims. His bad luck, however, is to have crossed Prince Mark, who is desperate for Woundhealer's help in treating his blind, troubled son. The running battle between Mark and Amintor, their allies, their wizards, and their swords, is spun out in a light, pleasant adventure that benefits greatly from Saberhagen's narrative gifts as the various strands leapfrog forward, keeping the reader off balance but constantly intrigued.

©1986 Fred Saberhagen (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

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Choose Your Sword, And Step Forward Into Destiny!

Hmmm. Checking the calendar...Okay, Audible. This is quite unexpected. I've been so excited that we'd scored Saberhagen's Swords series, and I was convinced that we'd not see the Lost Swords series until after the first was completed.

But no complaining here!

This may be hard for those of you enjoying the first sword series, but this is the STRONGER of the two, as each of these book's focuses on a single sword and it's journey! Each tome is rife with high fantasy drama, rich magic, dark plot lines, nightmarish beasts, great characters and well...simply great writing.

Now, if you haven't started with Saberhagen's first swords series here at Audible, stop here and now, and go to my review of THAT series, and start there. The initial premise, concepts and details are there, and you want to start with that incredible series of audiobooks.

Okay, on to this series!

This series came about due to the sheer demand of the public, who had devoured the first series of the sword's journeys, and demanded more. A LOT more. Saberhagen gave his listeners what they wanted, and beyond.

What's so fantastic about this second series? Simple:

Audible listener, if you've read my reviews, you know that I'm extremely judicial. I demand good listens from fantasy authors. Otherwise, I am merciless when it comes to poorly-written fluff, spotted with clumsy characterizations, and weak, everyday plots.

Saberhagen delivers rich fantasy that's well worth listening.

First, Saberhagen crafts a unique fantastic literary sandbox for each sword, as he ties them all together, thus the reader will inevitably choose his or her favorite sword(s), and favorite story line(s). Rarely are they the same from reader to reader, yet each and every book is a VERY good read. When I first read the second series, I and other readers often discussed our favorites, and argued hotly why our chosen sword was better. It made for great discussions and enjoyable arguments.

Pay attention, Audible listener, THAT's the mark of a great series of books, and worthy of your reading/listening. Only when you've engaged with the author will this happen, and in this series, you'll experience that in abundance!

So, this, Woundhealer's story, is the first, and it doesn't disappoint. It lays the groundwork for the subsequent novels, and is a fantasy reader's literal trifecta: Deep magical plots that surprise, wonderful characters grafted into those plots, and rewarding action through a quality storyline. As usual, I don't dare discuss the story's details here, because it's such a good listen, that I will NOT ruin the experience with spoilers.

So, what WILL I tell you? I'll tell you this:

This book was so well conceived, so well written, so well-received by readers around the world, and Woundhealer's story so riveting and richly woven, that it spawned SEVEN other fantastic books in the series, each a phenomenal read/listen in their own unique way.

SEVEN. Yeah. I said seven.

Can you tell that I LOVE this series? I'm thinking yes.

So, now it's YOUR choice to enter a wonderful literary journey into high fantasy.

It begins. Choose your sword, and step forward into destiny!



12 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
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  • Paul
  • Oakville, ON, Canada
  • 12-28-13

Weak plot, and too many holes...

Any additional comments?

I read SH original series, and thought this would be at least on the same level, perhaps a 3 out of 5. But no. It's a pretty poor effort and, for me, a waste of time. Plot is thin and predictable, characters are weak, and the story has so many holes it just gets annoying after a while.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ufuk
  • Germany
  • 08-24-13

Worst narration performance ever

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The narration performance of Cynthia Barrett is horrible, to say the least. More often than not I head to wince at the narration rather than to enjoy the story itself. Her reading is so sloooooooow, artificial and monotonous that I sometimes had to check if it isn't an automated speech program instead. Either Cynthia Barrett is the name of an automated reading programm, or it is a real human who has managed to stomp the audiobook into the ground.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Cynthia Barrett?

Darek Perkins (Cynthia Barrett can not even begin to compare)

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

the story is good. The narration is awful

Any additional comments?

Buy the book and read it yourself.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • C
  • 11-30-17

Great story but Narrator is dry

Narrator is very dry speaking and makes it difficult to listen when she is talking in both the male and female voices.

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crap narrator

excellent story marred only by poor performance. Narrator pronounces 'cavalry' as 'calvary' and accents sentences inappropriately, jarringly implying incorrect meaning.

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  • Michael
  • West Jordan, Utah United States
  • 08-31-15

Incredible Story! Horrible Narrator!

I love the author's work! If the story hadn't been so gripping, the terrible narration would have killed it. The narrator read in a completely pedantic and menial fashion that made me feel like I was a child listening to an elementary school teacher doing a poor job at reading her class a story. She often times mispronounced names and would change them from time to time. Simply horrible! The story was great... What a shame...

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Read it, don't listen

Would you try another book from Fred Saberhagen and/or Cynthia Barrett?

Cynthia Barrett ruined any hope of listening to the series within the first 30min of the book. Her narration is much like she is reading a picture book to a small child.

Would you be willing to try another one of Cynthia Barrett’s performances?

Absolutely not.

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  • Kenneth
  • Kalamazoo, MI, United States
  • 02-17-14

I really enjoyed the original series. A step back

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It was alright, yet definitely lacked the magic of the first series. I think part of the was a huge drop off in talent of the narrator.

If you’ve listened to books by Fred Saberhagen before, how does this one compare?

I did not enjoy it as much. The familiar characters were back and that was interesting as well as some new characters mainly the progeny of the originals. The focus on an individual sword was interesting, i suppose i was expecting more the history of the sword which i thought could have been more intriguing.

How could the performance have been better?

The original narrator from the trilogy was FAR superior.

Was Woundhealer's Story worth the listening time?

It was alright...although it did make me question rather i will buy any of the others in the series. Probably not if they feature the female narrator.

Any additional comments?

Its too bad. I really loved the originals but felt this was a step back in both performance and story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-10-13

Great story, really poor narration

Cracking book, really fast paced with a nice story which doesn't involve mighty apocalyptic events. Unfortunately it was let down by the narration which is quite poor compared to the earlier books in this series (The Empire of the East Trilogy and The Swords Trilogy). The narration seems to be pitched at younger readers and her constant mispronunciations were particularly irritating. I still managed to enjoy the book.