• The Phantom Castle

  • Way of the Shaman Series, Book 4
  • By: Vasily Mahanenko
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
  • Length: 19 hrs and 5 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (3,337 ratings)

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The Phantom Castle  By  cover art

The Phantom Castle

By: Vasily Mahanenko
Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
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Publisher's summary

What can a game clan accomplish without a castle? The answer is obvious: nothing. Therefore, the main objective of any leader in a game world is to acquire a base of operations. Finding himself in exactly this position, High Shaman Mahan, leader of the Legends of Barliona, accepts an offer from the Emperor and the Dark Lord to vanquish the army of Phantoms that has inhabited Altameda, the phantom castle. However, this seemingly ordinary quest sets in motion such a momentous chain of events that the Shaman can do nothing but resort to his intuition and act on instinct. After all, a player who is being hunted by the three top clans of the continent at once can do little else....

©2016 V. Mahanenko; English translation copyright 2016 by Boris Smirnov (P)2017 Tantor

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What listeners say about The Phantom Castle

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

Swing and a miss...

I like the series so far, but this book was about 16 hours of filler and then it ends on a cliffhanger, but none of it was really all that interesting and the main character is a moron throughout the story.

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13 people found this helpful

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

Started strong then went down hill

What disappointed you about The Phantom Castle?

The plot has degraded into being driven by the long chain of stupid decisions by the Main character

What do you think your next listen will be?

nothing by this author

Any additional comments?

The main character started making very stupid decisions in this book. It is a pet peeve of mine, and I can't forgive an author for it. I will not be buying any more of this authors books.

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10 people found this helpful

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

Mahan and his Ego

This entire book seemed more filler than anything else, along with Mahan's (lvl 103 ish ) huge ego. He has turned into a moron throughout the story. Very disappointed.

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10 people found this 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

This book was a little disapoiting

This book was not as good as the other way of the shaman books except maybe the last. this one left of with a cliff hanger and was kind of filled with fillers. but also answered a few questions that might have been on the mind of the reader. but the point that annoyed me through out the book was the main character barely used or did not go into dept in the shamans powers the best you get on his class was more questions. the main character barely fought or did anything but tell people what to do or do test that was half interesting.

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9 people found this helpful

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

19 hours of filler

Any additional comments?

Book is okay...but it's mostly 19 hours of filler, for presumably the 5th book. The previous books where much better, with a more satisfying story arc and ending. I keep waiting for an explanation on why the main character gets so many freebies/perks, but the hints we got in the first and bit in the second book were completely gone in this one. Also, the inconsistency of the main character is getting frustrating to listen to. In one book, he's a brilliant strategist that fights back the hordes in an epic battle. In this book, he has a difficult time understanding dungeon raiding tactics.

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9 people found this 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

Not as good as the second book.

I didn't find the book as engaging as he second, the last 3 hours I listen just to get through it rather than really enjoyed it.

It lost the magic some now that the developers are setting Mahan up for success.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I wanted to like it again.

It just got to be too busy for me. I just finished a few days ago and the events are already jumbled up. Although that could be due to my fading interest. 3 was hard for me to get through too. And it felt like the dialog was clunky. I think this was my last attempt at this series...probably

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5 people found this helpful

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

All the plot for the book was in the last 30 pages

What would have made The Phantom Castle better?

This book didn't have plot so much as a large number of unrelated vignettes.

What was most disappointing about Vasily Mahanenko’s story?

The first 3 books were solidly mediocre. Not great but something to listen to while you waited for better things to come out, but at least it told a coherent story. This book just meandered all over the place and then only advanced the plot in the last chapter. The plot advancement was based around the incompetence of the characters. I am not a fan of manufacturing issues by having characters make stupid decisions that run contrary to their character development.

Have you listened to any of Jonathan Yen’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yen does good work. This is no different.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Phantom Castle?

I would have cut the entire book and divided it up between the 3rd book and the 5th book. There was really nothing in here that needed to be here.

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5 people found this helpful

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

Good book in a great series.

What made the experience of listening to The Phantom Castle the most enjoyable?

This book, while weakest in series so far, was good. What I particularly liked was how they showed the grind aspect of running guild and how tedious those elements can be. For those of us who played MMO's, like Everquest for example, can completely understand. Yen does marvelous job of narrating again and story had some great moments and twists. I really enjoyed the ending. Their were some transition lapses how some events went from A to B which kind of made things confusing. I don't want too many spoilers but their were 2 events were things were skipped and wonder how it got to that point. Still overall, it definitely worth listening to and reading.

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5 people found this helpful

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

Let down.

I was really looking forward to the continuation of this series. This book needs a redo. Total let down.

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4 people found this helpful