• The Forever King

  • The Scalussen Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: Ben Galley
  • Narrated by: Matthew Lloyd Davies
  • Length: 23 hrs and 45 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (72 ratings)

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The Forever King

By: Ben Galley
Narrated by: Matthew Lloyd Davies
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Publisher's Summary

A brutal war against a vast empire. An immortal mage. Soul-drinking daemons. A trickster god with chaos in mind. And a girl with the future of the world in her hands. The Forever King is the start of an epic, blood-soaked fantasy saga.

In Emaneska, to consort with magick is to court death. Banned by the Arka Empire, magick's purging has finally brought peace to war-torn Emaneska.

Like any dutiful citizen, Mithrid Fenn wants nothing to do with magick. But when an illegal spellbook washes up on a beach after a battle between giant, unknown ships, Mithrid Fenn is thrust into a war she never knew existed. Her family slaughtered, Mithrid finds herself hunted by daemons and the emperor's assassins. She is dragged inexorably north to Scalussen, where mages, dragons, beast-people, and witches doggedly wage a war for freedom against the tyrannical empire. But Mithrid only cares for revenge and nothing nobler. If killing the emperor means helping the Outlaw King, then so be it. Even if it means drowning the world in fire.

©2021 Ben Galley (P)2021 Podium Audio

What listeners say about The Forever King

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Generic and a bit of a slog

I feel like this book suffers from three problems:

1. Even though it is a new series it is written in a way where a lot is lost if you haven't read his other works (which I hadn't)
2. The villain is almost comicbook evil and every chapter from his POV felt like a slog to get through.
3. Too much filler and battles. This is perhaps linked to the first issue, but if you start a series with a battle that you would normally spend a series building up to then it just doesn't make me as a reader feel anything.

The narration wasn't bad but I didn't like the narrators female voices and the "croaking" voices of the dragons and deamons felt like they lacked audiobalance and made some scenes unpleasent to listen to. I also felt like the narrators weakest scenes where the battles feeling a bit flat which is an issue with the amount of battles.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Too many words

Trite. Vapid. Derivative.
Take away the author’s thesaurus and cut 90% of the adverbs and it would read better. But it would still be a weird amalgamation of a bunch of better fantasy books.

1 person found this helpful

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

Fun and refreshing fantasy!

The descriptions are brilliant and the characters’ experiences are both palpable and endearing! Definitely worth enjoying the whole set! Laura G. in Hawaii

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A solid story

Ben Galley's The Forever King has it all - history, war, adventure, magic, and mystery. You can feel the author's creative passion seeping through the pages. Fans of epic fantasy will be thrilled. Sadly, I'm not one of them.

Arka Empire banned magick (yes, with k) and kills those who possess it. Sure, there is a rebellion (there's always one) led by the Outlaw King, but they operate near the empire's northern fringes. Mithrid Fenn leads challenging but overall enjoyable life until the spellbook washes ashore. Then, things go terribly, terribly wrong, and she loses everything she holds dear.

She joins the rebels, learns valuable lessons, discovers her inner potential and appetite for revenge. Of course, it's much more complicated than that, what with dragons, politics, precarious balance of power. You'll find out for yourself if you give it a try.

Mithrid is a fierce female protagonist. Not always likable, sometimes headstrong, but focused and determined, and I appreciate those qualities. Her development and acceptance of her potential to do magick is gradual and convincing. Kudos for that.

Side characters are relatable and magic inventive - it's based on words and sounds, and some mages have spellbooks carved into their backs. Fascinating stuff.

While The Forever King's world is quite captivating, the amount of information can feel cumbersome. Readers have to consume a lot of lore to understand where the story takes them. Of course, fantasy readers want lore and worldbuilding, but it sometimes feels like the story doesn't always come first. That said, I'm not too fond of epic fantasy precisely because of this. I may be just the wrong reader to appreciate Ben's work; extensive worldbuilding tires me quickly.

Although the story takes some time to get going and wrap up toward the end, it feels structurally balanced. However, the story's pacing may feel uneven to those who like a faster pace; the extended passages and some repetitions slow it down. I think (but it's strongly subjective) that cutting off 20 % of the text wouldn't hurt it—quite the opposite.

The Forever King will appeal to fans of dark and epic fantasy. Even though it drags, it still packs a punch and provides solid entertainment. The evocative setting, relatable characters, and intriguing events create a memorable story. Not surprising or original, but hitting all the right epic fantasy beats. Additionally, the audiobook version is excellent, and I highly recommend this format to those who enjoy audiobooks.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

needs more editing and rewrites

1. the villain was basically a cartoon i was waiting for them to twirl mustache

2. way to many useless characters that did nothing for the story

3. all the titles and nicknames made it hard to follow at some points

4. the world building at parts lacked consistently

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Outstanding!

Rip snorting tale, superbly read! I can’t wait for the next instalment and I hope they make the movie

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    5 out of 5 stars

Good story, ok narrator

Story is good and well thought out I believe. Narrator was doing great until he tried to do the dragon and demons voices. As they are bigger creatures you would think their voices would be stronger and not croaked out like a tiny goblin or imp. Did ruin those parts for me but otherwise worth a listen.

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it was worth the listen, an enjoyable story

I can't wait to see where the next book and the journey it's going to take us on.

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  • Alan
  • 07-15-21

Magic and Death

Wow wow wow, that was bloody Epic, Its so good to be back in Emaneska, like being back with old friends, The whole epicness and scope of this book is out of this world, Farden and his rebels will do and give everything to bring the Epire to it knees,They have a new weapon, Mithrid. After her whole village is wiped out by mages after finding a book of magic when a ship wreck is washed up on their beach, After being rescued by Modren and Bright Spark, they are taken to the Forever King hidden the Ice to the North, Amazing Dragon battles, the Trickster God Loki is back and sturring shit as usual, The Forever King has it all, the Narrator Matthew Lloyd Davies is so good, it's like listening to a movie with your eyes closed, cracking range of voices to bring the Forever King to life, highly recommend..😁💙

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lorraine M.
  • 11-27-21

had me gripping my chair

what an amazing author, he has you gripped from the first word to the last , could not turn it off as had to see what happened next.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Raine
  • 07-16-21

Horrid Narration

I had high hopes for this audiobook but I will be buying a paper copy to read instead. The narration is terrible. Everyone sounds like they smoke 60 a day. I gave it a few hours but I just couldn't listen anymore.

1 person found this helpful