Soul of the World

Narrated by: Rebecca Hamilton
Length: 24 hrs and 52 mins
4 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Three lines of magic must be conquered, and three heroes must rise in the first book of this epic fantasy trilogy for fans of Mistborn and The Name of the Wind!

It is a time of revolution. In the cities, food shortages stir citizens to riots against the crown. In the wilds, new magic threatens the dominance of the tribes. And on the battlefields, even the most brilliant commanders struggle in the shadow of total war. Three lines of magic must be mastered in order to usher in a new age, and three heroes must emerge.

Sarine is an artist on the streets of New Sarresant whose secret familiar helps her uncover bloodlust and madness where she expected only revolutionary fervor.

Arak'Jur wields the power of beasts to keep his people safe, but his strength cannot protect them from war among themselves.

Erris is a brilliant cavalry officer trying to defend New Sarresant from an enemy general armed with magic she barely understands.

Each must learn the secrets of their power in time to guide their people through ruin. But a greater evil may be trying to stop them.

Start listening to this gripping, vibrant, and imaginative addition to the epic fantasy canon for fans of Brandon Sanderson, Brian McClellan, and Miles Cameron.

©2017 David Mealing (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"The first book in The Ascension Cycle is an impressive fantasy debut with three main compelling characters and a unique magic system sure to capture a fantasy reader's attention...Mealing does a fabulous job with the intricate world-building and leaves the reader wanting to get their hands on the sequel." ( RT Book Reviews)
"Imaginative and elaborate epic fantasy debut.... Strong characters and rich worldbuilding." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Soul of the World

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Well Crafted Debut

Soul Of The World is the first novel of author David Mealing, and he starts out with a book worthy of a veteran. I decided to take a chance on this despite never having heard of the author or the narrator, whom also appears to be making her debut here, and the fact that there were no reviews. I am pleased I took the chance. This is a well crafted and complex tale.

The storyline takes place during a time of turmoil and the beginnings of war in colonized new world. Several countries are trying to stake their claim of the once wild lands whilst the colonials born in the new land struggle with their allegiance to kings far away. The story centers around three of these; Sarine, a teenage girl who grew up in the slums of New Sarresant who is protected by secret magic and a protective uncle, Erris, a highly intelligent captain of the army who makes her way up the ranks despite her being a commoner, and Arak'Jur, a leader and protector of one of the native tribes. The storylines of all three POVs were interesting, with the view of Sarine taking the lead. I found myself liking each character as they become entangled in a war that is more than it seems.

Soul Of The World is the beginning of a epic fantasy series, and yet manages to bring fresh ideas to the the genre. The world is reminiscent of colonial America with the addition of early guns and cannons added to the usual fantasy weapons of swords and bows. There are various forms of magic systems, and a few who can use more than one. There are also demons and dragons, but they are unique and not of the usual fantasy cliche. The book begins a bit slowly as you get to know the three POVs, and is a slightly confusing at first, however things become clearer as you go along, with more understanding set for future volumes I’m sure.

Narrator Rebecca Hamilton does a very good job here. I seem to have gone on a run lately of books with female narrators I haven't heard before. It's a welcome change to have some new women readers in the fantasy genre, and Ms. Hamilton is a strong addition. The story starts of with Sarine, and Ms. Hamilton's best fit throughout the book is with this character. Not that she doesn't read the other characters just as well. Other than some of the male voices being a bit feminine, this is a solid debut.

Overall, I have to say I really liked this book. I am not going to pronounce David Mealing as the next (Insert author here), but if this first novel is any indication of future works, there may be a new player in the fantasy genre. I am looking forward to the next volume in this series.

5 people found this helpful

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On its way to being a good book, but not quite

This book covers a medieval realm accosted by diametric viewpoints in both wealth and religion. There are several main characters that are covered in the series and I couldn't pinpoint a single main character. There's fighting and intrigue, wealth vs the poor, and a monarchy overseas trying to control the new colonies. These are all good things and great building points for a well rounded tale.

There is one big issue with this story, nothing felt finished. Everyone speaks the same language in the beginning of the book, but we don't find out till later that there are 4 distinct languages. The main characters feel rushed in their development without real detail as to their interests so they come off in a very third person view. The magic system is good, but there are variations based on culture that aren't well described. Everything was on its way to being polished, but it would seem that the author forgot to close the endings of every point.

In short, this would have been a better book if the author allowed the reader to fully grasp what was going on. Instead, we are left wondering what just happened and confused enough I'm not going to approach this book again.

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Uh-no!

This was likely one of the most boring books I have listened to in the ten years I have been a member. I listened to almost 6 hours of it, hoping it was just a slow starter like some are. Uh-no. It is not. Your credit might be better spent on a book about Donald Trump!

1 person found this helpful