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Publisher's Summary

Wake a dungeon. Form a guild. Fight to restore the world.

Kai was the least likely young man to ascend. Raised on his uncle’s potato farm, he began his career as an adventurer with empty pockets and little skill. But a foolish attempt to prove his bravery leads Kai to unlock hidden power within himself and acquire a most unlikely ally.

Rhona is a battle-scarred soldier who’s as likely to toss a quip as she is to throw a punch. After setting aside a promising career in the army to pursue the Path of the Bleeding Tiger, she sets out to stop a war and seek atonement for a bloody past.

When Bancroft the Earth Core awakens, he can’t wait to clean up his dungeon and begin building things anew. A recovered item from his past reminds him that more is at stake, however, putting an end to such pleasantries.

Join The Guild Core, a small band of friends determined to restore the world to an age of dragons, heroes, and honor.

The Guild Core is a novel by TJ Reynolds, fantasy LitRPG author of Eternal Online books one to three. The Guild Core was inspired by the Divine Dungeon series, The Wheel of Time, and classic films like The Labyrinth and The Neverending Story.

This story takes place in an epic fantasy world governed by gaming mechanics. It contains light to moderate litRPG, gamelit, cultivation, and dungeon core elements. Features realistic violence, three MC POVs, and more than a few quaint jokes. Language and adult content is appropriate for teen listeners.

©2020 Thomas Reynolds (P)2020 Thomas Reynolds

What listeners say about The Guild Core 1: Dragon Bourne

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Just wow

Whoaa..I'm in the epilogue right now.... awesome.. there is usually something that I don't like about books and for this book it's that I don't have the rest of the series right now..... very well done, its actually better than the inspiration; Divine dungeon... there was a perfect balance of all the various things that make a good novel..

1. The MC is not OP and worked for all his advancement.
2. The cultivation system is defined and makes sense.
3. All the creatures are all on the same cultivation system, so comparison is easier.
4. The world building is expanding gradually and not trying to overbuild and then you forget most places as they mention them because it was never used again.
5. Although this took inspiration from other novels I find myself liking this book much more than the original..
6. Interaction between the various characters is so natural and unforced...You can easily relate to each of them..

I got this book for free from the author but I will be buying all the rest of the series as it comes out because its a great series, and author is such a chill dude..

13 people found this helpful

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Solid first entry of what I hope to be a fun ride

mild spoilers.

I think the narration made this book for me. it wasn't like most dungeon core books which is good but, I feel like the main character's progression was handed to him on a silver platter. I think the two separate storylines were brought together very well and the ending was satisfying.

I think my favorite part of the book might have been the narrator's job on the dungeon core Ban.

4 people found this helpful

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Great dungeon Core book with a terrific narrator.

This book is a lot of fun and does a great job of codifying elements while keeping things fun. I really dug it and am looking forward to more. I love all of the characters, including the strong female character who everyone would understand was both strong and female without the author repeating it again and again through every characters dialogue and thoughts. still that's a minor annoyance in an otherwise strong book.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story, can't wait for the next one!

Let me start by saying that I understand why people complain about the slow start. That's aside once the ball starts rolling it doesn't stop until the very end. I enjoyed all the characters and was invested in the story line. I liked the character development and enjoyed the action and adventure. The audio, can I just say Steve does an awesome performance he had me totally immersed into the story and I could tell who was talking just buy the accents and tone! Awesome job to both the Author and Narrator.

3 people found this helpful

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Everything You Ask For From LitRPG

4.5 out of 5 stars

If you can’t build both believable easy-to-like characters along with beautiful and well described worlds – then you don’t belong writing a fantasy novel, especially a longer one like this story is. Thankfully, the major places that this story shines is in its character and world building. I also don’t always pick up books like this since I’m not a huge epic fantasy fan, but, I am a fan of a good LitRPG regardless of where it’s set. I knew going into this that it was either going to challenge me or it was going to bore me. Thankfully, it was the former. It challenged how I feel about stories like this and it really felt like a unique LitRPG story set in a place I couldn’t have dreamed up

The story jumps around a bit since it’s a multi-narrative one, but that didn’t bother me. Honestly, in longer books like this I need the change of pace and Dragon Bourne gave me that in spades. The two main characters that it follows were fun to root for, along with easy to follow.

The narration, done by Steve Campbell, really shined too. I feel like with a book this long and in depth he was really able to shine. He showed off his narrating skills along with his skill as a storyteller. Now, I know and understand that he didn’t write the story, but a good narrator can take an already good story and make it their own – turning it into something even better. I think that Campbell did that with this one, and I’m glad that he was on board to do this book.

Overall, a really interesting LitRPG Fantasy book that kept my interest throughout. There was a lot of great character and world building, along with a story that I wanted to continue reading. I needed to figure out what was coming next.

3 people found this helpful

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Steve and TJ make a good team

As a warning, I won this in a contest, but my opinions are my own.

With all the characters throughout the Guild Core, I didn't know what to expect from the Guild Core audiobook. The story itself was a fun, unique take on a Dungeon Core, and Steve is a narrator I always enjoy. he has great rang that I've had the pleasure of listening to during Tower of Heaven. Steve does the story all the justice it deserves for both the male and female voice acting, adds a good level of spirit to an already spirited work, and just makes a good read better.

If you just liked the regular book, you'll love the audio translation. The pair really hit it out of the park. I don't think there's much else ot say on the matter.

3 people found this helpful

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I loved this book, would definitely recommend.

I really liked seeing an Mc that wasn’t just another sword user. The characters were well written and likable. The storyline was interesting and fun to follow. The narrator did a great job with the voices, especially for the dungeon.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A subpar litrpg at best

The biggest flaw with this book is simply the writing. There is far too much "telling" and very little "showing." Rather than describe an object as "priceless," a good author shows how this is the case and leaves the reader to make such simple generalizations as "priceless." This deficiency in writing is why the characters all felt so shallow, including Rhona, who has the most interesting and flushed out backstory. I found myself asking why I felt so little depth to the characters despite some having decent backgrounds on paper. The reason is that we are told what their motivations are and that they feel certain ways, but they are never actually shown being affected. We are told Rhona leaves the military due to the horrific deeds she was forced to commit, but we are never shown how such history actually impacts her day-to-day. She suffers from nothing like PTSD or crippling guilt but merely acknowledges that she did bad things in the past and wants to do good, now, as if coldly acknowledging new facts.

The dialogue was also unrealistic with far too many cases of characters explaining information to themselves or other characters which people in such a universe should already know. What is fantastical to us should in most part be mundane to the people actually living in science fiction or fantasy worlds because that is their daily experience that they have always known.

The characters also pat themselves on the back way too much. The "You were so great." "No you were." type writing was cringe worthy.

There weren't any truly awful things like harems which plague litrpgs, so this book gets two stars rather than one, but I won't be continuing with this series.

2 people found this helpful

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fantastic!!!

Great story and narration!

Kai is a social outcast in his small village, but his will to become an adventurer, and a late night dare will change his world. All of the dungeons are dead or bound to the empire. Or are they?

Steve does a wonderful job with the narration!

I started this book as a skeptic but quickly became engrossed in the story!

This is a wonderful book and I'm glad that I gave it a chance!

I can't wait to find out what happens next!!!

2 people found this helpful

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Mixed bag

I've listened audiobook for only a few chapters and instantly dislike the pathetic main character.

The whole setup of him going into the dungeon at the beginning of the book was just lazy storytelling. Of all the reasons the author could have used to get him into the dungeon he chose the one that made no sense whatsoever. There was no Justified reason for the main character to agree to go into the dungeon to prove himself to a couple of idiots who just beat him to a pulp.

He is supposed to be 20 years old yet, early in the book he has written a he is not even a teenager yet. The audio makes him sound like a prepubescent child.

The female main character was more interesting and she had a compelling background and a pretty cool class. Ban was at the very least a decent side/main character.

However, for the first half of the book every time it switches between the three main characters it feels like I'm reading a different book which just becomes annoying. It wasn't until they met and their story combined that the story improved a bit.

Creating a guild had nothing to do with the book. It isn't until the end of the book that they even mention anything about a Guild.

2 people found this helpful

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  • C. Rowlands
  • 09-03-21

Interesting world-building to start this series

This author balances the limits of a dungeon core pretty well in this first book of a new series, providing a way for the dungeon to still be part of the regular adventures through his champion monster, with the author still being able to cut back to the core itself for all the trap building, monster creation, etc that you expect from this genre of litrpg. The author also handles the whole 'chosen one' trope well with respect to the main humanoid character, Kai, while he obviously has some particular gifts, he doesn't feel overpowered with many characters being far tougher than him.

The overall mechanics and magic systems of this book feel well-thought out and the book's world is similarly well-realised, neither of these elements felt like they caused this book to just feel like a book one of a series rather than a book in its own right either.

The range of the narrator was good, particularly the contrast between Bancroft and some of the others, nicely enhancing the story.

Overall, a strong beginning, but doesn't sacrifice itself to setting up the series.

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

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  • Missgotty
  • 08-17-21

I liked it a lot

I am not very familiar with LitRPG books at all, but I really liked this coming of age, fantasy story. There was good character development and the book was well written. Although quite a long book, it held my interest throughout. It also helped that the author included a short explanation of all the various terms/abbreviations used and main characters at the end of the book. The narrator was excellent.

I was given this book for free of my own choosing and voluntarily left this review.



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Profile Image for S. Reid
  • S. Reid
  • 07-31-21

Good Start

A dungeon core revival with a young MC fated to meet his destiny this does well with the usual coming of age story as the characters are well thought out and mesh well together as they fight to restore dungeons. Narration was as expected and suited the story and characters, although a bit slow to start as this is the first audible it picked up well and I enjoyed the story and would carry on for the rest of the series.
I requested this audio and have decided to leave my thoughts for everyone.

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  • Phillip
  • 07-31-21

Brilliantly Narrated by Steve Campbell

I enjoyed this book, but then narrator brought it to life in a wonderful way, thank you Steve Campbell!!!

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  • kharnynb
  • 07-27-21

Good start of a new series.

Interesting setup of a litrpg/dungeon core story, characters are well done, only the "bad guys" are maybe too over the top.

My only other issue would be the constant "cliffhanger switches" between the main characters.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-18-21

Great suprise

Liked it a lot! Cant wait to see where the series is gong from here.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Brightstaruk
  • 04-10-21

slow to start but worth the effort

Great storey an hour in but very slow to begin 100% worth reading through looking to start Book 2

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  • Adam
  • 02-23-21

Good story bad VA

The story is pretty good, nothing spectacular but I'll likely grab the next in the series. My main problem is the reader, he will pronounce a word correctly then in the next sentence pronounce it totally different then swap back and forth between the correct and incorrect pronunciation he does this regularly and it's really annoying. I also dislike his performance of the female voices they're a little grating.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Samuel Kings
  • 01-14-21

An excellent start to a trilogy

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book, only made better by the great narration. The three main characters were all likable and endearing and I eagerly anticipated there eventually meeting.

The world building was also great and the magic/leveling system was coherent. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-13-21

Pretty good

I like the book and will continue the series, but it doesn't get me excited to think how the story will progress, just a pretty good listen. Core system made me feel like I was listening to the cradle series tbh, but it's not so similar. There are fewer LitRPG elements with the characters than I wanted. It's cradle meets dungeon core with dragons, pretty good just not 5/5 atm, the story has potential to make it truly epic. The dungeon's persona is perfect though.

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  • Kisieju
  • 11-22-20

Dnf

the book for me is to easy, where is the struggle and reward?
maybe I'm just a cynical old man reading ya fiction. go figure

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-15-20

Dragon? Draaaaagon!

Good book, well performed with a story which was very enjoyable. Some litrpg elements but honestly you could write this book without and it would be just as good. Characters are good, looking for some solid development in the next novel!