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The King's Henchmen

Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
Series: Henchmen Chronicles, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
4 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A washed-up pro athlete is transformed into the deadliest warrior in the world.

Still reeling from the tragic events that threw his life into turmoil, Abraham Jenkins now rides the lonely roads as a delivery man. Until one day fate intervenes....

Abraham is suddenly catapulted into a bizarre fantasy world unlike anything he's ever imagined. A world of assassins, monsters, and brutal lords. To survive, he must lead a notorious group known as the King's Henchmen on a do or die mission.

Surrounded by henchmen who don't trust him, and a ruthless king’s death sentence hanging over his head, Abraham must do whatever it takes to live long enough to save a kingdom in chaos and figure out how to return home. Because even a humdrum life on the road beats braving a bloody kingdom in chaos.

This one-of-a-kind gritty fantasy adventure series offers everything from the classic Chronicles of Thomas Covenant to the savage world of Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

©2019 Craig Halloran (P)2019 Podium Publishing

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Incredible series starter

I have been a big fan of Craig Halloran's writing ever since I discovered his Darkslayer series. When I heard he was writing a completely new series I was excited to see what he was coming up with. When I found out it was portal fantasy, I had flashbacks to books like Joel Rosenberg's Guardians of the Flame and really got psyched about where he would take the book. I can happily report it keeps the best traditions of those others, while blazing its own path.

Abraham Jenkins, ace pitcher for the Pittsburg Pirates, had it all. A hugely successful career, a beautiful loving wife and a son he loves to death. That is until they are killed in a car crash, and he's left alone in his misery. Walking away from baseball and his former life, he is now driving a beer truck, just trying to forget his past. Passing through a tunnel in West Virginia, Abraham's truck ends up in a cave. As he exists the truck, a man runs past him, and Abraham is stunned. When he recovers, he discovers himself in a new body, that of Ruger Slade, leader of the King's Henchmen.

The King's Henchmen are the King's troubleshooters, expendable hunters of the kingdom's enemies, but they have been on a bad luck streak lately. Their missions have been failures, and they are facing increasing pressure for success, or its back to prison for most of the Henchmen. Joining the Henchmen in the middle of a mission to return a group of evil witches alive to the king, Abraham finds himself in a world where people live and die by the sword, quite literally. Having to establish himself in his identity with the Henchmen requires him to assume a brutal aspect. He desperately needs to get the witches back, or the Henchmen are done for good.

When things go terribly wrong, Abraham and the Henchmen must face the wrath of the king, as well as the king's son, a prince who will do anything to bring the Henchmen down. Luckily for the Henchmen, the dying queen intervenes, and they are given an impossible task to redeem themselves: Get a supposedly mythological item that can save the life of the queen. Well, if anyone has a chance of pulling it off, it's the Henchmen, if they can only recapture the magic that made them so successful in the past. Adding a new ally, they make their way towards their goal, and what they discover will change their lives forever.

Like his other series, the author relishes creating complex characters, and The King's Henchmen is no exception. Abraham is a great character, trying to move on after an awful tragedy, all while adjusting to a world not his own, and suddenly being responsible for more lives than he's comfortable with, some of which would rather see him dead than follow him. The secondary characters are fleshed out well, and you get a good feel for motivations. The plotting is taut, and you never feel as though scenes are just filler. The world building is some of the best the author has attempted so far, and you really feel right there on the ground in the various scenes in the book.

This was the first time hearing Alexander Cendese narrate, but I was not disappointed. He has excellent pacing, and really does a great job nailing the various characters, bringing them all to life. I look forward to hearing him narrate book 2 of this series.

The overarching storyline has plenty of room for expansion, and I am very excited to see where the author takes it. I highly recommend this book, and will be following up on the subsequent volumes. Definitely a good addition to Craig's writing portfolio.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Frae
  • Wonderland
  • 09-05-19

The King’s Henchmen

The first book in the Henchman series is an introduction into the world of Abraham. Abraham is a mature man, who has lost his family in a tragic accident. Abraham is from the near now, but is magically teleported to a land of fantasy and lawlessness. He finds himself in the body of a man, Ruger, who is in charge of a group of brutes who work for the king.

The series of Henchmen is a bit darker than Mr. Halloran’s typical work, but it is clear that he has a lot of fun writing it. Craig has grown as a writer, and continues to do so. It has been a great honor to watch him gain his voice, and confidence.

The King’s Henchmen is easily my favorite book that Halloran has written, and I highly recommend it. If you’re a fan of Robert Bevan, Stranger Things, Classic DND, and all things fantasy with an epic twist, you’ll enjoy this one.

Alexander Cendese has a great voice, which matches the work very well. It sounds like he connected with the work, and embraces the characters. This is my first time hearing Cendese perform, and it is a pleasure to listen to him. Cendese seems like he could be an up and coming star of audiobook narration.

I cannot wait to listen to the next installment of The Henchman Saga.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent!!!

As always, Craig writes a stellar story! I was not sure if I would like a departure from Nath Dragon. I was rewarded! And the narration embellished the storytelling! Keep 'em coming Craig!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Meh in the beginning, middle, end does not exist

Why do so many writers use naivety or dumbness to move stories A man who played pro baseball who fell into some of the pitfalls that go with that is so naive and trusted everyone never questions if people are using him he never questions anything

The performance was great but the material did him no justice

5 of 11 people found this review helpful