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Spellmonger

Spellmonger, Book 1
Narrated by: John Lee
Length: 18 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8,006 ratings)
Regular price: $39.99
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Publisher's Summary

Nominee, 2018 Audie Awards — Fantasy

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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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.

116 of 128 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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.

198 of 220 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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.

124 of 141 people found this review 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.

76 of 87 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

139 of 165 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Listen to the Critics

Seriously. I read a lot of negative reviews, but in a moment of temptation I bought this book anyways (what can I say... I have a weakness for crappy high fantasy).

I'm pretty much really sorry I did. This story goes on several hour long tangents that have no relevance to the plot, stars a lead with absolutely no personality, and has two heavily objectified female support characters who seemingly has the sole story function of getting banged so the author can feel better about his life.

there is almost no imagery: the whole story was "then this happened. then this happened. then this happened." there was almost no character growth. the fight scenes felt as dusty and dull as an academic tome on abstract tactics. the magic system had no real definition, and contradicted itself half a dozen times. the scenes that Could have been juicy, emotional, and rich in detail were almost universally exceptionally bland.

none of this information is new: everything I've said has already come up. I just wish id listened.

49 of 58 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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.

94 of 112 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    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.

241 of 289 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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I cannot like nor relate to this "hero".

I started out liking this book a lot, but the more I got to know the main character, the more unlikeable he/it became. He has no thoughts about women that aren't sexual in nature (and every female character only exists so this guy can lust after her). He uses his magic to spy on a woman taking a shower. He has a sexually-magically-experimenting girlfriend in college (whose father, conveniently, has no problem with them humping like rabbits). He regularly takes sexual favors in lieu of payment for magic spells. He doesn't give a second thought about engaging in a quick romp with a pregnant ex-girlfriend who's husband is out working in the fields. He muses about how (when he did something heroic) women threw themselves at him and he could tell some "actually wanted to be with him" which leads me to believe that plenty of his conquests did not, and I believe it, because this guy is a jerk! ...but the kicker for me was the night he rented a room in the "whore house". He got settled then called down for a couple whores (to come up and service him) and the Father-of-the-Year-Owner (apparently so happy to have this guy in his building) sent up his own two "whore" daughters. Our hero was so glad they were young (one of them only 14) and he noted the next morning how skilled they were at their craft. Just contemplate that for a second. Not cool, and now I officially despise this guy, and by extension this story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Good start to a Great story

Spellmonger is the first book of a long running series by Terry Mancour. I read this book when it first came out but I did not hesitate to purchase the audio book when it was released years later. Listening to the story for the first time really gave me a sense of the main protagonist the spellmonger. The audio book brought a new dimension to the story that I greatly recommend for first time readers/listeners or who started the series when I did.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 03-31-17

Give it an hour of your time and you won't regret it

This took me a few minutes to realise that the performance was matching the character to perfection, brilliantly witty
Can't wait for book two

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alan R
  • 03-10-17

If only a sixth star was available...

Good story, well written. John Lee's narration is fantastic. I look forward to the sequel(s).

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Martin Palmer
  • 06-23-17

Takes Soooo Long to Get Going

What would have made Spellmonger better?

The author keeps going on these lengthy digressions about various aspects of the world he has created. Even seemingly minor characters are given their entire back story and it seems the history of every location we visit in the story.

What was most disappointing about Terry Mancour’s story?

The author fails to keep the story ticking over - got bored and lost interest. I feel there's a good story in there but it would've been better if he worked the detail in whilst keeping the story moving rather than stopping the action for long periods of time.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The narrator does a reasonable job with the material he has to work with. Most other books I've returned have been because of the narrator. That's not the case on this occasion.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-19-17

I want to be a spell monger

Great story with a touch of humour I want the rest of the remaining series

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nick
  • 03-22-17

A most promising first novel in the series.

Great characters, goblins, epic warfare, court intrigue & magic sex. Works for me on many levels!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • 06-25-17

I won't be listening to the next...

Yeh not my bag, as someone else said it just seems a bit like the account of one mans life who has an extremely large ego. If someone is going to be the saviour of the day, don't write it in 1st person. It's just not appealing to the British sense of modesty.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Steven
  • 03-18-17

epic

really good story although lost speed in the middle but hoping next installment won't be too long.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike
  • 05-22-17

Waste of time

Put in a less crude way, the sentence 'let's get this straight you have to have sex with your ex to save us all' should be enough to tell you the level this book is set at. The story line is crude beyond belief with no character development. The main character tells the story, which is basically him bragging for over 20 hours. Magic system is basic although it focuses a lot on sex magic !!!! Maybe the sort of book I would have liked when I was 14. Narrator was good though. Which I could get my money back. Don't understand why it had so many good reviews ?

26 of 33 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Simon
  • 05-23-17

Great work, but...

Any additional comments?

... it's ridiculously effing obvious how this author lives out his own male fantasies through the book, especially towards the end. Other than that it's a great listen, he really builds a convincing narrative. Good work!

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-02-17

did not finish

it may be that this story improves but it's so dull. The narrator is so dull. I think the sex storyline is maybe to find some excitement but again, dull.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Leilani Coetzee
  • 07-04-17

Slow and steady with a climactic ending

At first I was a bit aprehensive, but soon I was bewitched by the magnificent storytelling that Podium publishing is known for finding. I would recomend Spelmonger for anyone over the age of 17.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • marnie
  • 03-20-17

great story

loved this story, humerous in places, well read and keeps you hooked, highly recommend it

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anita Little
  • 07-01-18

Couldn't finish it, just too painful

I wanted to like it. There might have been a good story too, but the author flagrantly disregarded the rules of editing by telling the whole story instead of showing. Trying to get through this story was as joyful as a root canal.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Nancy
  • 07-31-17

fantasy with a difference

second half of the story was a lot better than the first half, making the book a bit hard to relate to, at first. a few irreverent moments make it a little more entertaining than most, at least it doesn't take itself too seriously. while I thought the narrator good, overall there were moments the reading came across as a bit pompous and sometimes I felt they emphasised the wrong word in the sentence and gave the whole thing a different meaning, something that was supposed to be funny coming out as serious or the joke being lost. All in all pretty good, though. Will be following up with the next instalment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-25-17

Simply awful

Apart from a ridiculous voice performance, the book is just a boring rant by a one dimensional narcissist. Avoid if you value the however many hours it takes to listen to this book, unless you need help getting to sleep nights. Youve been warned!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lee Redwood. Gorin
  • 04-15-17

story was so dry even the good reader couldt help

it felt like maybe this was maybe first written in chronological order & then reordered because they realized that there wasn't much too the story, but then all the thinking about past events were so dull and happened all the time anyway, the only time it seem to come alive was when the author talked about the sex magic, & then you got the nice one off joke about sloppily passing the magic on. feel sorry for the guy reading this too us, there was not much he could input for a character when most of this was the"spell monger" ruminating history. kinda picks up at the end.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Shirley
  • 04-14-17

Dull

The story started with promise however reading about the exploits of a male chauvinist is as dull as dishwater (cliche intended) I did not complete the book.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • T D Pink
  • 01-23-19

Captivating

This Book truly caught and held me. I would need to stop listening because of my early morning starts. But would keep going just to hear the next tidbit, then the next. I loved it!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-17-19

spellmonger. fuck yeah. awesome book, great series

great start to an awesome series. read the books and now listening to audiobooks. hope they make a TV series out of this series.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-05-19

Notes for a novel.

14 hours of notes 1 hour of story... we can dream of well written epics but in and his case, keep looking.