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The Ember Blade

The Darkwater Legacy
Narrated by: Simon Bubb
Length: 30 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (85 ratings)
Regular price: $27.27
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Publisher's Summary

A land under occupation. A legendary sword. A young man's journey to find his destiny.  

Aren has lived by the rules all his life. He's never questioned it; that's just the way things are. But then his father is executed for treason, and he and his best friend, Cade, are thrown into a prison mine, doomed to work until they drop. Unless they can somehow break free.... 

But what lies beyond the prison walls is more terrifying still. Rescued by a man who hates him yet is oath-bound to protect him, pursued by inhuman forces, Aren slowly accepts that everything he knew about his world was a lie. The rules are not there to protect him or his people but to enslave them. A revolution is brewing, and Aren is being drawn into it, whether he likes it or not.  

The key to the revolution is the Ember Blade. The sword of kings, the Excalibur of his people. Only with the Ember Blade in hand can their people be inspired to rise up...but it's locked in an impenetrable vault in the most heavily guarded fortress in the land.  

All they have to do now is steal it....

Read by Simon Bubb.

©2018 Chris Wooding (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Complex Characters.

I was pleasantly surprised that despite the book following a typical narrative the characters are complex and compelling. All their motivations are diverse and feel real. No two dimensional characters.

If you enjoy coming of age fantasy with compelling characters with complex motivations the I recommend the book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

Gripping read

It's been a long time since jaded ol' me cared about characters in a book, but I eventually found myself cheering. Parts of it were definitely slower than needed to be but nothing written that was of waste.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

All World-building and very slow

Was pretty disappointed in this one. Essentially everything in the book is world-building, and the story plods at a snails pace. Head jumping was ever-present (if that bothers you... it does me), and the climax made the story feel as if this was all the prologue of what the real story might be. Check out Elitist Book Reviews for my complete review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

sword and sorcery story with some unexpected turns

sword and sorcery story with some unexpected turns, pleasant read and characters are developing nicely

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
  • edward
  • Columbia, SC, United States
  • 02-15-19

One of the best I've listened to in a while!!!!

Very enjoyable story, great narration. Enjoyed it immensely!!!!!!! Would highly recommend and can't wait for the next in the series!!!!!!!!!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Royal
  • ROY, UT, US
  • 02-07-19

Lame beginning.... great ending

Great study on betrayel, bad governments, as well as resistance. I couldn’t finish a book for what seems like forever...... and now I finished this one good stuff!

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

worth the struggle in the end

in the beginning of this book struggled to catch my attention. I almost gave up on it a couple times. but some little something kept nagging me to go on. I kept telling myself I will put it aside as soon as I find out what happens here. next thing I know I can't put it down. and now that it's over I yearn for more.

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

Thoroughly enjoyed this!

Excellent character development, can't wait for the next one. Just a great listen, what should have felt like an old theme didn't, it was intriguing and different.

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

Best fellowship protagonist was the most crude

Chris Wooding is a capable author but the book was too wordy and slow-paced. There was an inordinate amount of time spent on world building on places that had little impact on the story arc. The book could easily have been a third smaller and would have been better for it. The antagonists were portrayed quite well in their duplicity, cruelty and brutality, however, very few of the protagonists companions were really all that noteworthy nor honor-worthy and this especially held true for Aren, the primary protagonist. Aren was an immature self-centered adolescent which, oddly, carried through the end. While the author's design was to slowly transform him from a arrogant and brash youth to a recognized leader, he never managed to make it convincing.and actually ended up painting him more as an opportunist than a hero figure. Strangely enough, Grub crudeness, insensitivity and backstory made him one of, if not, the most interesting of all the characters.

Simon Bubb did an excellent job in his narration performance and character voice differentiation.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Texnik
  • 01-01-19

Not great..

I don't know what rating to give this. I think I'm going to cry. I'm 20 hours in and STILL nothing worthwhile has happened. Sure there was a little action interspersed with stupidity and drama, but nothing meaningful or unique. And until they escaped you know where, I felt like the victim of a prank. What's the point of fantasy if you're not going to explore new ideas?

I have a sinking feeling that this book is just some exposition to a "grander story". It's taking me longer to finish it than it normally would because it's all pretty boring. Doing nothing and staring into empty space is more interesting, so I found myself pausing the audiobook without a reason and without thinking.

I'm wasting time writing a review I'm going to replace because useless work feels more rewarding than listening to this.

I'll give it credit where it's due. The world building is pretty extensive from a historical and mythological perspective. Everything else is just normal with a tiny bit of the occasional magic.

Three of the main characters are interesting enough, so there are people to care about. The two MAIN protagonists are the means that complicates the plot because they do stupid things one after another.

In a way, the story was well thought out, I think, but it's light in substance and heavy on sentimental detail.

It boggles my mind that the other reviews are so positive. It's nowhere near as entertaining as almost anything else I've read and there's no message because there isn't an ounce of originality. It's just a detailed story about heroism and rebellion and a vague end-of-the-world prophecy that nobody seems to care about.

The story is like a constant tease. It has so much potential that at any point a better writer could turn it into something great. The setting is ready for something meaningful to happen, but it just stretches and stretches and stretches. And there are so many POVs about mundane internal struggles that it's slowing everything down even more. Entire character arcs could have happened in the background. How much did I really need to know about that wife and her sick child? A few chapters? Am I going to start caring about that supporting character just because I know his struggles? Everyone has their struggles, I get it.

Audiobooks I liked less: The Stone Man, 1984, Dune, Mythos, The Iliad. Out of about 80.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Rachel
  • 02-08-19

Good fun

I enjoyed this fantasy. It is good-humoured and very visual (I can really see some of the adventures clearly in my mind's eye). Although the characters are a bit cliched they are rounded enough to care about and Simon Bubb's narrating certainly helped to make them seem more three dimensional. The story is exciting and well-paced with some good set pieces. The character of Aren did develop and mature through the book, although his friend Kale is a bit of a Sam Gamgee. I wonder if I've made this book sound dumb? It was certainly enjoyable for me and I will be listening to the next one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • "sharky18"
  • 02-01-19

Really Disappointing!

I listened and read Chris Wooding's Tales of the ketty Jay series and loved them. Found this book and thought "YES."
How wrong I was. The story is so boring, the characters have no charisma and some of the humour is cringe. I had a real problem with the Narrator as well - It really annoyes me when a narrator keeps their own voice for the main character. It makes it difficult to distinguish a difference from narration to dialogue. Although the dialogue is 'Captain obvious!' I got to Chapter 77 and gave up. I thought "just see it through, I need to find out the ending at least." Then I realised that I don't care about this book nor the ending. I can't believe that this is the same author who wrote the Ketty Jay series. Will definitely be returning this one Audible! I want my Credit back.

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
  • Richard Woodrow
  • 01-21-19

Loved this book!

I have to be honest the first 4 hours of this book were a little bit of a struggle for me but my goodness the remainder of this book did not disappoint, I couldn’t stop listening. Everything I look for in epic fantasy. Adventure, twists, revenge and even heart ache. I cannot wait for book 2!

1 of 1 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
  • infensus
  • 01-20-19

Gave up 10.5hrs in

The narrator has a distracting stilted rhythm but improves a few hours in. However 10.5hrs (a mere half way) in to this long winded tale where not much had happened, I felt uninvested and unexcited by the characters or plot and decided to call it a day.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-16-19

I love his books but this....

I don't know where to start.

I love the Ketty Jay series. It's in my top five favourite series.

If you were hoping for a similarly good series in this book I'm afraid to say you may be better spending time elsewhere.

it may have been the narrator with over characterised accents etc but I think it's deeper than that.

For a book this long it has no sense of detail or any real substance to the world Wooding is trying to build. It perks up towards the end, but one and two are horribly slow and leaves the characters you like least and moves away from the interesting ones.

If you like hearing people's inner monologues you'll love this book however. As the perspective changes haphazardly from character to character in uneven bouts we get to hear every uninteresting thought that passes through their head, every worry, contradiction etc etc. Most times I feel like paragraphs could have ended sentences ago and the story would have been much more involving for the reader. It's nice to have a little mystery in characters. All of these are splayed out like Christ on a cross.

Another note to make, and I'm not being over the top because I fully understand stories have overlapping themes, conventions and plot tools, but this book is like a Frankenstein of all the best major epics. LOTRs clearly is one of the main contributing factors amongst others too numarable to mention. Whether this is intentional homage or just inspiration working it's way in, you notice it a lot in what are the most climatic parts of the book.

I will read the next one, maybe Wooding needs more time to get into it. But this is no where near as creative, fun or engaging as Retribution Falls.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lee W's
  • 01-15-19

A Quick 30 Hours!

I really enjoyed this book. Some long stories can drag, but this was a real page turner. The characters were believable and narration superb. Surely there must be another to follow - the scene is set. It was sad to reach the end.
Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Katherine Fulcher
  • 12-22-18

Amazing in places

A really good tale with a great variety of characters, but most of the characters lack depth, and up all being very similar, and there are places where they are used for narrative rather than true to themselves.

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
  • Marianne Dreelan
  • 11-28-18

Fantastic

Can’t wait for the next Book. Love the story and the voice. I think Grubb is wonderful.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Donald McIlwraith
  • 02-23-19

Boring

I just can’t get into this book. Given up. The narrator is so boring dose not make the story come alive at all. Not often at all I will give up on a book but I have with this. As I did not finish the book cannot give it a rating could be good but I will not know as the narrator is just so boring.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kaldoon Elali
  • 10-17-18

Classic Fantasy.

Epic fantasy at its best. Wonderful 3 dimensional Characters. In-depth world building. Excellent narration. Can’t wait for the next installment.

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
  • Christo
  • 12-14-18

All is forgiven!

I was very disappointed when Chris called it a day, on the crew of the Ketty Jay. The series is as good, if not better than The Expanse and up there with the Serenity and her crew. But now I sand in awe, and all I can say is "All is forgiven"

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 11-14-18

brilliant book fast paced binge worthy.

This book is packed to the brim with action. I felt like i was constantly on the edge of my seat. The characters are great and unique the narrator nailed this, one of my top audible picks!