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The Beginning of Everything

The Rising, Book 1
Series: The Rising, Book 1
Length: 15 hrs and 14 mins
Categories: Romance, Fantasy
4.5 out of 5 stars (343 ratings)
This title is included in Audible Escape

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Publisher's Summary

From the unparalleled imagination of New York Times best-selling author Kristen Ashley comes an enchanting new audio-first fantasy romance series that will sweep you away!

Once upon a time, in a parallel universe, there existed the continent of Triton. The land was filled with beauty, but it was also splintered by war. Out of the chaos grew a conspiracy to reawaken the Beast, a fearsome creature who wrought only tragedy and devastation. The only way to stop him was to fulfill an ancient prophecy: Triton’s four strongest warriors must wed its four most powerful witches, binding all nations together and finally bringing peace to the land. 

This is the story of their unions: the quiet maiden Silence and the savage king Mars. The cold warrior Cassius and the fiery witch Elena. The steadfast soldier True and the banished beauty Farah. And the pirate king Aramus and the mysterious queen Ha-Lah. Their unions will not be easy, but each couple must succeed, for the fate of their world is at stake....

©2019 Kristen Ashley (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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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

It’s complicated!

At the very beginning I was able to understand the plot, however as more characters were introduced to the story, it got a bit complicated and it was difficult to understand who was who. I had to go back and forth a bit, but once I had most of the characters in hand, it was easier to understand.

This is the first of a series, and had I known it wouldn’t have a completely full ending, I would have waited for the rest of the books to come out.

Once you get a handle of what’s going on, it is a very interesting story.

The full cast of narrators was simply excellent.

I can’t wait for the whole story to be complete, so I can binge listen to the whole thing.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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

Get into it before deciding

I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book but did - after I got further into it. Ashley introduced so many characters so early that it was hard to remember names and who they were and what country they were associated with. In most books, you become invested in the primary protagonist and get drawn into the story. Not possible here. You have to move forward into the book and then you become interested/invested in the story and charmed by the characters. I borrowed the book through my Audible Escape plan and this story made the subscription for this month worthwhile.
My only recommendation is that Ashley get better editing assistance. Example: I really enjoyed Elena giving Cass a jolt when she walks into the Dinner, and I really liked their conversation when alone!! But I found the beginning of the same chapter, The Bargain, to be over-the-top disingenuous with her description of the makeup application. The book could greatly benefit from editing down at least 10-20%, and maybe taking 4 books down to 3. It’s not like she’s writing a single book about each of the couples.

I fully intend to check out the next book in the series to see where Ashley takes the characters and storyline. I would be thrilled if she can see it through at this level or above.
The multiple cast performances for the narration was wonderful. I believe it elevated the book up a level.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

Not a lot of romance, but I know its coming!

Like in many of this author’s books, I am always highly anticipating the release of her books. It was no different with this one, even though it was released on audio only. I do have to be honest and say listening to it was a bit confusing with so many different characters and narrators involved. And I was really thinking since it was a little over 15 hours long, it was going to take me awhile to finish, but as the story went on, I became more and more fascinated and invested in the main characters and needed to know what happened next.

There were a few scenes that were tough, MM sex is something I have read, but not a favorite and unfortunately there isn’t a lot of love in these scenes. Actually there really is not a lot of romance in this first installment at all (we get close at the end with one couple, but that one also ends with problems). Because these characters are also getting to know each other and with so much going on, there really is not a lot of time for love to develop, but we can see some of the spark is there and because of my trust in this author, I know their HEAs are going to be epic.

The ending was on the cliffhanger side, but with only a month wait I can handle that.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Fantastic Start!

So for me when I first started this book I was really confused. There is so much going on and so many characters, that I could not keep up. However, I persevered through it and finally it all started coming together. I understand why this boom has all the couples at one time. I am loving the way this story is being told, and I am aching for the next book. ALL of the narrator's were out of this world. I love love love the start to this book!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

UMMMMMM...LOVE/HATE?

Let me say, I am a huge KA fan. I read almost all her books. When i read KA, I read for faithful, loving, strong, fairytale-like couples and world-building. I don't read KA for The honey series type of romance... that was not for me AT ALL(N.O.OOOOO)... Also Decon (which was PERFECT until the infamous 'play'...it was just way out of his expected character and its a turn off for me...NOT SORRY).

But on to this series, I really LOVE the heroes and heroines. I love the world she built, as well. classic (BEST) KA, I really cheered for the couples. especially Silence and the savage king Mars and The cold warrior Cassius and the fiery witch Elena.

I did not get enough time with the other 2 couples TBH. These books seemed to lean more towards mars and silence, Cassius and Elena. Also, my hated side three-way (NASTY>>EWW). Now with all that said, I am sitting on the EDGE of the FENCE.

PLEASE KA do not make the Four main couples do some HONEY series shiiisss. the three-way whatever... is doing enough nasty and CONFUSION for everyone. I hope the other books to focus on making the couples fall in love and some action. I hope she MOVES on from the three-way couple.....JUST NOOOOOOOOOOO.
I don't want to hear about their *SPOILER .........<spoiler>hardcore sodomy and orgies.it's just a waste of paper or audio in this case.......<spoiler> am I supposed to feel sad for the priest(dre) because his little evil friends gave him a little taste of what they want to do to everyone else who is innocent????????? omg, this man was just trying to rise the beast....... Also, king mars man (the one who killed Elena's best friend which basically took her daughter's mother from her) is just such a HORRIBLE spy! I am glaring at his stupidity, imagine all horrible shiii dre did. they WERE(HE-PRIEST) sacrificing PEOPLE!!!!! I can't believe king mars is ok with this shisss. I have NO empathy for anyone who tries to oppress and destroy other people's lives...I am just so confused...I hope the next book explains what's going on</spoiler>

I will read book 2 because I am invested also BECAUSE this book felt like an intro...there was almost no resolution to ANYTHING but if book two is on the same or worse shiss I'm out.

what do you guys think?

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

DISAPPOINTED

This is a spinoff of KA's Fantasyland series, but that series managed to have a continuing storyline and still give a HEA to each couple at the end of each segment. This series is more like a serial with no resolution to anything at the end of this first installment. I would recommend waiting until all four segments have been released before starting this. Hate it when authors publish only one part of a book at a time, and I'm VERY disappointed that KA has joined their ranks.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Sharon
  • Edge of the earth, Oregon
  • 12-02-19

Starts with a gang rape and torture ...

This is beyond disgusting, a woman tied to the ground and raped by four men, and then ritually slaughtered … that was in the first five minutes of the book … I hate this … I just hate that this author, whom I so admire, would use rape and torture as the opening pitch for this book, or any book …

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Nope

Gang rape and sacrifice of a virgin within the first 5 minutes. That's enough for me. Blech.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Pleasant Surprise

I was excited and surprised to see a new release by KA so I automatically purchased. It took a few chapters to remember to key characters as KA writes many points of view in one story, also, the accents were a little difficult to follow but once I caught on to the characters, the story ended up quite interesting. Not my favorite by KA, but definitely better than her last release. Cant wait to see where the storyline leads us. The book left off on a HUGE cliffhanger which is usually not KA's style.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

At last!

I am not finished reading. In fact I’m only on chapter five, yet I felt the urge to stop and write this review. The Fantasyland series is one of my favorites of the Kristen Ashley creations. So I am thrilled that this is more of that world.
My only complaint is that it is not also available in Kindle. I frequently buy both and switch back and forth as the story progresses depending on my surroundings.
That being said, the performances of the narrators so far have been excellent. Their voices add to the emotions and dimensions of the story.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Lizziebe
  • 11-27-19

Gruesome in parts, echoes of Free and Honey series

** spoiler alert ** I am not a fan of audible but as this book is not in print until summer 2020 I used my Amazon free trial to try this out.
This series is linked to the Fantasyland series but takes place 25 years later across the sea.
Some characters from the Fantasyland series appear.
One of my issues with KA is her long descriptions, deco, clothes etc and it's difficult to skip in audible definitely not as easy as a book.
The start is pretty gruesome with virgin sacrifice and m/m sex. Gave me thoughts of 'Free' please no.
If you struggled with Dax Lahn you may want to be prepared for this one.
The scene is set with the foreboding of 'the beast' rising.
Four princes need to marry four witches to save the world.
It's a whole new world building with new customs and cultures and conflict within the different areas.
Plus family discord.

There is also some descriptive violence.

The issue I had with audible is the names are unfamiliar so I forgot who was who.
N the audible version each character has a different accent to differentiate them.
In this book the race the Hero and the race the heroine is from have lots of preconceived ideas about each other.
Also it seems that although the four marriages are needed for the good of all the four couples are less than happy.

I am also not keen on a reluctant Hero. This book has a such a Hero, he is hung on his deceased wife, who died in childbirth.
Another couple the heroine thinks she's in love with someone else.

At the first scene with our 'Hero' he is having sex with a maid at the palace.

A second Hero, Aramus has been married for 6 months but he and his wife are not getting along.
It seems fidelity is not common in these lands.
Although the main four Hero's have no scenes with any other women after meeting their intended.


The cold warrior Cassius and the fiery witch Elena.
The steadfast soldier True and the banished beauty Farah.
The pirate king Aramus and the mysterious queen Ha-Lah.
The quiet maiden Silence and the savage king Mars.

It seems the book will deal with more than one couple per book.
It is multiple POV. Each chapter changes POV.
Some are m/m. Detailed scenes.
It feels to me that KA is determined to introduce us to aspects of the Honey series she wrote whether we like it or not.
Almost every enemy chapter contains this type of sex.
It didn't need it. One chapter was just basically a whole m/m scene.
I ended up skipping the menu chapters as other than sex I couldn't see much relevance to the plot.


It's not until chapter 10 that any of the couples meet since the announcements of the arranged marriages.

There is a lot of world building and history explained.

Events leading to book 2. Some events are set up ready to happen and relationships although in progress have much work to do to get to their HEA.

It has touches of KA beauty though the Honey series and Free touches linger and to me seem unnecessary.

Despite the couples initial differences each couple have met and had a conversation where you can see they could work things out.

The change of POV every chapter works, we are given the setting and person at the introduction of the chapter.

I may alter my star rating depending on how the themes of the series are developed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jolene willshee
  • 12-03-19

Already awaiting the next...

Intriguing from the start. This is Kristen back at her best. Can’t wait for the next in the series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Elle
  • 11-28-19

Magical 5 Stars ⭐️

I’m only a few chapters into this book, but I’m totally addicted.
If you loved the Fantasyland series you will love this.