• Spellmonger

  • Spellmonger, Book 1
  • By: Terry Mancour
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 18 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (14,148 ratings)

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Spellmonger  By  cover art

Spellmonger

By: Terry Mancour
Narrated by: John Lee
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Publisher's summary

Nominee, Audie Awards - Fantasy, 2018

Minalan gave up a promising career as a professional warmage to live the quiet life of a village spellmonger in the remote mountain valley of Boval. It was a peaceful, beautiful little fief, far from the dangerous feudal petty squabbles of the Five Duchies, on the world of Callidore. There were cows. Lots of cows. And cheese.

For six months things went well: He found a quaint little shop, he befriended the local lord, the village folk loved him, he found a sharp young apprentice to help out, and, best yet, he met a comely young widow with the prettiest eyes.

Then one night Minalan is forced to pick up his mageblade again to defend his adopted home from the vanguard of an army of goblins - gurvani, they call themselves - bent on a genocidal crusade against all mankind. And that was the good news. The bad news was that their shamans were armed with more magical power than has been seen since the days of the ancient Imperial Magocracy - and their leader, a mysterious, vengeful force of hate and dark magic, is headed directly to Boval Vale, along with a massive invading army of gurvani. The good people of Boval and their spellmonger have only one choice: To hole up in the over-sized Boval Castle and hope they can endure a siege against hundreds of thousands of goblins.

When the people look to him for hope, Minalan does his best, but the odds are depressing: There are multitudes of goblins, and they want Boval Vale as a staging ground for a vengeful invasion of the whole Five Duchies. Add to his troubles a jealous rival mage, a motley band of mercenaries, a delusional liege lord who insists victory is at hand despite the hordes at his door, a dour castellan, a moody, pregnant girlfriend, and a catty ex-girlfriend who specializes in sex magic - all trapped in a stinking, besieged castle with no hope of rescue, and you'll understand why Minalan is willing to take his chances with the goblins.

All that stands between the gurvani horde and the people of the Five Duchies is one tired, overwhelmed baker's son who wanted nothing more than to be a simple village spellmonger.

©2011 Terry Mancour (P)2017 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about Spellmonger

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8,652
  • 4 Stars
    3,104
  • 3 Stars
    1,222
  • 2 Stars
    646
  • 1 Stars
    524
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9,046
  • 4 Stars
    2,466
  • 3 Stars
    780
  • 2 Stars
    277
  • 1 Stars
    212
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7,571
  • 4 Stars
    2,873
  • 3 Stars
    1,191
  • 2 Stars
    550
  • 1 Stars
    562

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Terrific Book! A great adult fantasy series.

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

Do you love a good coming of age fantasy where the young promising lad leaves his tiny village, comes of age and power, returns to marry his childhood love and live happily ever after? This is not that. If you would rate a great book with one star because the "F" word is used, save yourself and the author the bad review and move along. Now, for the rest of the adults, don't hesitate for a second on purchasing this book! I loved it! My wife whom is only mildly interested in any sort of fantasy, loved it. I will go ahead and add a note about the next two books here. Book two is not quite as good as this one in my opinion but still very good. Book three is as good or better than book one. The narrator is excellent.

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390 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Immature Storytelling Makes This a Thin Read

Any additional comments?

The world-building here is decent, but the use of anachronistic language pulls you out of the story a lot. The author falls into the old trap of telling us everything, rather than showing us via imagery. It's very much a "this happened, then this happened, and then I had a genius ideas and we won" kind of narrative.

Also, the "hero" is kind of arrogant, woefully underdeveloped, and sexist. Pretty much all the female characters are there to have sex with the protagonist, whose behavior isn't much better than a frat boy. If a female character shows up, she either had sex with him in the past, or is going to have sex with him, after he's either peeped at her using magic, popped her bodice open using magic, visited her shop while her husband is out in the fields (and she's pregnant), he's part of an occupying army, he pays for it, or she's so grateful he saved her country, she just shows up naked in his bed.

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340 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Shockingly good, best book in years

Any additional comments?

Pros:
-Great engaging story
-Skillful narration
-Protagonist has a sense of humor that was very unexpected for the genre but makes him so much more relatable.
-Manages to be unique in a crowded, tired genre. Mancour wrote a masterful book.

Cons:
-Some listeners might not like the long descriptions of scenes/settings/events/etc (I do, however)

Verdict:
This is the best book I've listened to/read in YEARS! Minalan is funny, interesting, complex, horny, has a sense of humor that I've found to be unprecedented in the genre, and is just a very real character in a detailed and exciting world. You will not regret this purchase.

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245 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • GW
  • 05-16-17

Shocked at the positive reviews.

I really am shocked. Rushed conclusion, endlessly repeating explanations, gratuitous lechery, and inconsistent characters. The setting and the world building have potential but the actual text feels completely unedited from original manuscript. I might not have been so annoyed if the entire last chapter had been removed, as it literally just rehashes everything that was revealed to the main character in the previous chapter. The whole time the rehash is happening the main character is obstinately refusing to understand basic concepts he knew all about throughout the book. Absolutely aggravating. Horrible finish to a below average book.

The performance was fine, if a little stiff. Maybe that was the intention, it matched the character well.

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242 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great start to a new fantasy series.

If you have read the publisher's summary it might seem, as it did to me, that this is just a mindless fantasy war story. Fortunately, it is not.

The 18+ hours of writing are put to good use in developing good characters as well as world building. The characters have distinct personalities and motivations with a Harry Dresden like main character. That is, he's a smart, decent, and powerful wizard who becomes very sarcastic whenever he's in a jam (which is often).

The action scenes are all very well written and spaced out nicely throughout the book keeping things from getting to dull. In between the action you learn about the characters, the magic system, and that there is more to the story than a simple warmongering horde of goblins.

If you enjoy fantasy this book would be a good edition to your collection.

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178 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

This book was painful.

The narrator does a great job on a terrible book. The story is lackluster, the magic system is dreary, the names and places are not interesting. I would stay away from this one, if you like authors like Robert Jordan, Shae Ford, or Brandon Sanderson.

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165 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Finally. I've been waiting for the audio version of this series for two years.

I'm not going to review just this book. The entire series is a work of art. And what surprised me at first is the fact that the first few books are the boring ones yet they contain a lot of action. When the author really gets into the world building (especially Minalan's property, best I can describe without spoilers, is where the story really takes off. ) that makes the long books worth it. Listen to it or dive into to reading them, you can't go wrong. I've read them all up to date and I will still purchase the audio because they are that good.

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116 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story marred

Any additional comments?

A good story reasonably told. I get the impression the story is an excuse for the author's adolescent sexual fantasy, and that distracts from the story in my opinion.

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95 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Creepy and misleading. Returned it. Do not buy.

In the beginning this book didn't seem bad because the opening scene was fairly strong. The listener believes that they are listening to a fantasy adventure story about one retired wizard set up to single handedly raise an army to fight an army of goblins.

The listener hears the heroism of the main character's action and is on his side...until the main character recalls having intercourse with everything and things go from "Uh...this is getting akaward and uncomfortable? " to " Heck no! What am I listening to?! I am not listening to this anymore!" fairly quickly.

Prepare to feel physically ill from just listening to the main character's almost preditory sexual pursuits. He recounts strategically going from town to town during his "quest" seeking out women, then to a pregnant married women and on to a sex magic witch. The last straw was when the audiobook started to go on about a scene where the wizard, still trying to be portrayed as the good guy by the author mind you, pays an innkeeper for a night involving his young daughters. At that moment the stop button was pushed and a return was demanded.

"Spellmonger", tricks a listener into thinking they are listening to an upbeat fantasy quest, then dumps a load of dubious content in there and tries to convince listeners that it's acceptable because the story's "hero" is doing it. This audiobook, everything about the "plot", is misleading and, as such, is not recommended to anybody. Don't buy this.

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89 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

After this, I won't read anything by this auther

Story started out well. Good background on various types of magic. Protagonist develops nicely. He is a skirt chaser, which is fine. But the authors emphasis on the youth (underage) of the skirts he chases is objectionable to me.

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87 people found this helpful