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Sworn Guardian: A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure

Forbidden Magic, Book 1
Narrated by: Vikas Adam
Length: 11 hrs and 56 mins
4 out of 5 stars (92 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Gone. They're all gone.

His level. Magicka points. Memory. Everything is gone....

Waking aboard an unfamiliar ship missing all the attributes he spent years earning, Aren remembers little except that his sister, Claire, is in mortal danger.

"Save me. Save the Empire." Those were the last words she'd said to him...or was that even her?

Somehow, he's become an oath breaker, a pariah, and enemy to the throne. With the help of a fellow new recruit to his clan, Aren set's out to find Claire, all while battling new enemies far beyond his level, and piecing together his broken memory.

But still, Aren can't help the nagging feeling that there's something greater at stake. If only he could remember....

Fans of Arcane Ascension and Final Fantasy will love this litRPG/gamelit adventure filled with blood-pumping action and a rich story that'll keep you burning the midnight oil.

©2019 T. L. Branson (P)2019 Aethon Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amnesia?

Okay... I've gotta admit, at first, the whole amnesia thing almost made me turn this off and return it. Cliche—done before. Got the T-shirt. But here's the thing... cliche's are what they are for a reason. It worked. It was smart. I'd listen to this again.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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This was goooood

Vikas is back and he's brought along an author I'd never listened to before. T.L. Branson is good. Really good. Fine LitRPG/GameLit. I'm going to go listen to Branson's other work.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Bigt983
  • FRANKLIN PARK, NJ, United States
  • 10-22-19

great first entry

I had begun by reading this book but the narration by Vikas adds a tremendous amount. would definitely recommend the audio version if you're into gamelit/litrpg

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Fun story.

Look, the story isn’t super deep, but does it have to be? I had a seriously fun time with the world Branson created. And Vikas absolutely killed it on narration. Perfect job! The Magicka stones were smart and the augmentations were great. I’m looking forward to the next in series.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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I liked the book but...

So let me just say first that I honestly really liked the book. I thought the world was really cool and I loved the mix of video game and real life that Branson did. I also like his magic system that he devised and thought it was really well done. It was easy to understand and didn’t get too technical. Him having to learn everything because of the memory loss helped the reader know the world without the main character looking too dumb. I was very intrigued with the story the whole way as well! It flowed well and kept me engaged the entire time. However, there are a couple things I really didn’t like. First off, I was very thrown off by what type of book this was going to be. The very first chapter sets up a fantasy epic that had me excited for the book and it flowed well into the next couple chapters. Then things started snowballing and I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on. It felt like the author decided to switch up what he wanted to write about. Especially with the relationship between Arron and Lucian. One thing that really confused me at first was the level of technology that was very suddenly introduced. They start off with swords, bows and arrows, magic and sailboats and (very suddenly) went to guns, advanced airships, very advance body augments and very modern almost advanced tech which completely through me for a loop. Not that I didn’t like it just more that it confused me as it was introduced with no warning after already establishing what type of tech there was. It made me have to rethink what type of fantasy world I was in, in a span of seconds. The other thing was that the main character was very annoying and honestly very dumb. He would ask questions and have conversations with people, and almost immediately interrupt them. Then be “shocked” when they got annoyed with him. A lot of the decisions he does are completely nonsensical as well. The one thing that really annoyed me (spoiler) is when he has a HUD from his augments where he has night vision, a radar for detecting enemies and a literal health bar. And he never uses them despite them being very useful in so many situations. So many times I was too frustrated with him to enjoy the book. The last thing was the editing of the audio. There were so many breaks that happened in the middle of sentences that kept pulling me from the story. One time There was 10 seconds of silence in the middle of a character talking that I had to check to make sure something hadn’t gone wrong. Not sure why the book audio wasn’t edited to cut those pauses but it was really bad. But despite those things I really did like the book. There were some cool moments and though the reveal of the villain was very obvious I didn’t mind too much. It made me want more so I could learn more about this world that they are living in. I’m excited for more books coming out and I’m excited to find out what happens!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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LitRPG is growing on me

💥💥💥💥💥 Five bangs!

This is the second or third in genre I've listened to. It fired on all cylinders. Great narration. Great writing. Great characters.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Great Final Fantasy flavor litrpg

Well written and well performed.

Loved the intrigue and betrayal, trap elements and the throwback to FF VII that I felt while listening.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Great read/listen

Sworn Guardian (Forbidden Magic, Book 1), my fourth read from author T.L. Branson, a new litrpg/fantasy. An entertaining read, well-written with captivating, well-developed main characters. I was given an Audible copy of this book & now I’m voluntarily reviewing it & since I own both the Audible & Kindle editions I was able to follow along while being read to. Vikas Adam’s narration added to the well-written book's enjoyment. (RIP Marley January 20, 2014 - July 24, 2018).

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Interesting story and amazing narration

I really enjoyed this book. The story is interesting and Vikas Adam is one of my favorite narrators. I recommend this!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Excellent 1st book in this Series

I really wish the next book was already available on Audible because I wanted to continue reading/listening to the story. The main characters are well written, but I almost from the start figured out who the Traider was which was a bit disappointing. I like books that make it hard to pick out the bad guys.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Jonathan
  • 10-27-19

RPG logic in a fantasy world

I recieved a review copy of this book, and unlike many litrpg books, no attempt is made to justify the RPG elements here, they are simply accepted as part of the logic of the world. You are introduced to these elements through the main character who has suffered from memory loss. After an interesting slow paced introduction the story takes a fast turn plunging the main character into the thick of the action. The narration is excellent and the story is interesting, although for me the switch to the fast paced action occurred a little too quickly as I was enjoying the introductory elements.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • J Smith
  • 12-13-19

Sworn Guardian

Ok, so there’s a few plot holes and a few cliches, but despite its faults, this is a great LitRPG adventure fantasy which a great magic system that I would recommend to anyone.
Vikas does some great narration with this book and I was sad when it came to the end.
I hope there’s another on the way soon.

This is my honest opinion of a free review copy.

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  • C. Rowlands
  • 11-26-19

Some good ideas and world-building

This book was nearly very good, you have some good world-building and the mixing of technology with an interesting magic system works really well too, so there was a more than solid foundation laid down.

However, the main character didn't really work for me, while he underwent significant changes, he didn't develop anywhere near enough as a character and due to the others putting up with him as readily as they did then made them seem less believable too. His flaws were so clearly demonstrated by the whole issue of the traitor, a sub-plot that could only have been more obvious if the person in question had spent their time twirling a villainous moustache whenever they were in a chapter.

The narrator gave a good performance, enhancing the book with a suitably distinctive range of tones for the main cast throughout.

Overall, despite my criticisms of the main character, this was still an enjoyable listen and a decent start to this series too.

[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-26-19

Reasonable but enjoyable

This is a little slow to start but does pick up about halfway through as the overall story and characters are quite good. Some of the storyline i found to be a little easy to read but this does fade as you become increasingly interested towards the end.
By the end i was looking forward to the next in the series so this does have promise.
For those looking to pick up i would hang in there.
Narration was good but a little more softening for the females would be better, a common problem.
I requested this audio and have decided to leave my thoughts.

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  • Mignon
  • 10-29-19

.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher.

I'd never heard of LitRPG or Gamelit before reading this book, so for anyone else wondering it's fiction where the mechanics of gameplay (stats, levelling up etc) are included and referenced throughout the story. With that in mind I think the author incorporates that aspect really well and very smoothly. If you're a gamer you'll already be set up to understand what's going on in that sense, but if you're not it's not really going to explain it to you. I thought it made for an interesting read, and I quite enjoyed that aspect of it.

The narrator is excellent and I'd definitely listen to more of his work. He's very good at coming up with individual voices that sound different, and his female voices don't come across as forced or as accidental parodies which they can sometimes do with male narrators.

So, the story itself. There's nothing particularly new in this, and it telegraphs its own twist from almost the beginning of the book. The plot's simple, the characters are also simple, and there's nothing here you wouldn't expect from playing a standard RPG plotline - I could actually picture the corresponding scenes from various games I've played over the years, it's all very run of the mill for RPGs. I did enjoy that his characters seemed all perfectly capable and there were no swooning princesses though. And the lead guy? I didn't find him annoying in the way a few other people seemed to on the US reviews, probably because if I were dumped memoryless into a game world I'd probably fare just as badly at first as he did.

Overall it was entertaining enough, but I doubt I'd pick up the next one.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Christopher
  • 10-25-19

level up??

talk about grip you from the beginning! great story and cliffhanger????? I need the next book. Brilliant.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Xravia
  • 11-14-19

Plot Driven Narrative With MC lacking agency.

While thoughout the novel you are prepped to think of the story as a mystery, its actually and action novel with a twist ending or two sprinkled in. while the book tries to make you think that you have a choice its usually like - he ran down the left path and took the stairs up to find the next plot point. There is no chance that the mc is going to find out what is happening and usually lashes out on his girlfirend whenever he has the chance. With the surpreme comander being so obvious with his fixation on power and all the hints he has to literally step out of the shadows and evil monologue his reveal.

The scientist can deus ex machina any element into existance. how many fields of research has she gone into? she can transfer levels between people(its either that or the surpreme comander went further back in time and leveled up like mad), hide levels, create sovereigns, implants, socket arms, mind control, maps and runs a political faction in her country. Tbh she should be the main character of the novel as she seems much more interesting than the mc and the surpreme comander plotline.