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Publisher's Summary

"The world feels oddly strained, like a line pulled too taunt and apt to snap, smashing everything in its path."

Master Mechanic Mari and Mage Alain have survived every attempt to stop them, but their enemies are determined to kill Mari, the only one who can save her world from a storm of destruction. As armies begin to gather and cities seethe with tension, Mari, Alain, and their friends must prepare to confront the storm in the place it first appeared: the broken kingdom of Tiae.

The dangers facing them demand perilous raids, tough battles, and more than a little piracy. Beating the Mechanics Guild and the Mage Guild that have controlled the world of Dematr for centuries will require an unprecedented alliance under Mari's command of rebellious Mechanics, Mages, and common folk who know that together they can change the world, but separately they will all lose.

©2016 John G. Hemry (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Josh P
  • Redmond, WA, United States
  • 01-16-16

Amazingly fast ride while being informative.

Any additional comments?

I assume if your reading this review, you've probably read the previous 3 books. If you haven't I highly suggest you go back to Book 1 "The Dragon's of Dorcastle" as it will greatly improve your enjoyment of this book. There are so many things I enjoyed in this volume.

The first 3 books mainly focused on the Marie & Alain's growing relationship and the reactions from their guild. While others friends appeared in the other books, in book 4 Marie is now truly gaining both friends & followers that will know join Marie & Alain. I am amazed at Jack Campbell's ability to add multiple major characters and introducing their personalities so well. The main group are a bunch of people that Marie grew up with. Even though The author mainly focuses the story being told through either Mariebor Alain's eyes, their friends truly show through the dialogue with witty and sometimes hilarious banter. I really like that these characters growth are even shown a bit.

This book is also a jump from major event/battle at a break neck speed. I usually expect books of this length to have 3-4 major events and battles but in this books 12 hours many more major things happen. I finished this book the same day I downloaded it. As I thought over the book after completing it, I realized that there was a ton for me to digest. So much so that I would have thought, this book was actually closer to 20 hours.

Finally the coming storm that is the lynch pin prophecy of this story, is definitely on its way. While I really enjoyed series like the wheel of time, the fulfillment of the starting prophecies took a great while to take place and we all know how long those books where. This series feels so much faster and while not as detailed as epic fantasy or space opera, this story will keep you interested all throughout. In my opinion, Books 1-3 where mainly about Marie & Alain's relationship, at the end of book 3 some of Marie's friends join them. This book is about the integration of Marie's friends & the starting of the consolidation of her forces.

I am greatly looking forward to Book 5. They could continue to build up Marie's forces or they could start the battles needed to stop the coming storm. Either way we are now probably reaching the meat of this series. It is true that Jack Camobell could try to stretch things out with other matters but as his track work in the released books shows, he seems to be taking this story full speed ahead. I really like this approach. The only other series that I've read that in my opinion ran at a similar pace was David Weber & John Ringo's "Prince Roger" Series which is one my of my personal favorites.

As for the reader Mcloud Andrews, he's never done a book I didn't enjoy. Really looking forward to his up coming reading of Brandon Sanderson's "Calamity" in a few months.

There's only one thing I'm kinda worried about with this Series. Throughout the previous books Marie has made it clear that she doesn't want to kill anyone as much as possible. In this book, her reluctant warrior ideals really come to the front with her contrasting idea of needed to be in the thick of fighting, since she refuses to ask others to do what she would not do herself. I do hope her character figures out how to come to terms with these contrasting ideologies soon. While I think any good moral character will have to face this, if a character doesn't resolve this it can really destroy a book. The Eragon series was ruined in my opinion by this. Books 1 & 2 where great but books 3-4 is where Eragon feels loathing and self hatred over battles he partake a in. It really dulls a book where the hero is fighting in these crazy cool battles, cutting swathes through the enemy, but anytime it turned to Eargons thoughts its some version of "that poor soldiers family" or "I never wanted to kill anyone"... As long as this dilemma is solved for Marie in a relatively quick fashion I will stick with this series to the end.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An epic story continues!

Another highly enjoyable, fast paced chapter in the 'pillars of reality' series. It's fascinating to see how the characters develop and grow together with a truly epic task underway.
I can't wait for the next books to come out.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A transition

What did you love best about The Pirates of Pacta Servanda?

Attention to detail and insites into the minds of Mages and Mechanics. This book strives to answer the question "how is this really going to work" with the goals set by the main characters.

What did you like best about this story?

This is definitely a transition story. It strives to explain how this coalition will function and the trouble created by putting together so many disparate factions. I really appreciate being able to see what goes into organizing the

Which character – as performed by MacLeod Andrews – was your favorite?

Both Mechanic Mari and Mage Alain are great, consistant characters. The addition of the other friends gives contrast and depth by Andrew's performance.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The final discussion at the end of the book, describing the weight of leadership and the loneliness of being a figurehead for a movement was both insightful and thought provoking.

Any additional comments?

This book is a little slower (and shorter) than the others. But is no less necessary and in fact helps to enrich the other books. It would have been easier to gloss over these details but Cambell doesnt shy away from the political or technical and I give him a lot of credit for that. This is a slower, more information driven book. This is not a bad thing, but i hope that it does not color the reviews of others.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Paola
  • Provo, UT
  • 01-14-16

We'll still have a few more rounds to go

Dang it! I thought this was the last book of the series! I actually just found the series about a month ago and I was feeling smug because I thought I didn't have to wait long for the last book. I thought wrong =(

Having said that, it's a great continuation of Mari's & Alain's story. We get to see how this plan of theirs is going to work and we get glimpses of the a future. I can't hardly wait! The only thing is that Mari is whiner and at times it gets old and annoying but I forgive her because it can't be easy to be in her shoes and because Alain makes everything better simply by being ;)

Aaaaaand MacLeod Andrews is an amazing narrator!

Oh and if you're wondering how long its the wait for the last word to be published on this series, it looks like there are two more books scheduled to be published this year, yay!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • K
  • Australia
  • 01-20-16

Keeps Getting Better

If you have enjoyed the first three books from the Pillars of Reality, this book will continue to hold you. Another great book by Jack Campbell. While not the Lost Fleet series, this book continues to keep me entertained from the first minute to the last. While not a literary masterpiece, it is a solid plot, with believable well developed characters which make Jack Campbell one of my favourite writers. There is a good balance between story and battles which doesn't allow either to dominate the story.

Well worth the time. I am looking forward to the next book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Edward
  • Green Cove Springs, FL, United States
  • 01-24-16

The Middle Book... Every series has one

The title says it all. This is basically the midway book. Every series has one. It is the book that consolidates everything up to this point and prepares the reader for the final push to the end of the story. That being said, it is of coarse a must read, because this is the book where all the major characters are finally all brought together to prepare them for the final adventure. The one critique I have with the story line is that it gets a bit muddied as the author sets up the story for the final push to the end. The problem is that with so many different characters being brought together, you kind of loose some of the really interesting and fun interplay between the characters that you had in the first 3 stories. So that is the one let down in this book. The author tries to compensate by having a number of critical battles that Mari and Alaine, with their friends, get involved in, and he does a fairly good job keeping your interest, though with a little less depth than was present in the earlier books.

Like I said overall this is a must read if you are a fan of the series, just expect it to be what you get when you get to the middle of a story. It's important, it's needed, but it may not be as exciting as the rest of the story.

As always with this series, the reading and performance is excellent and really well done.
And I'm really glad the next book will be out soon. I can't wait!!!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Ugh

This could've been a really good series, hence the 3 stars. By the time I got to this book I couldn't stomach the main characters anymore. Constantly rolling my eyes at the demanding, domineering, immature and self-centered Marie. Alain could be a bit better, but he's too pathetic to be a man when it comes to Marie. Bleah!! Ugh!! I'm not going to finish the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Another great addition to the story

Ultimately this book did not move the the over arching story much further past where book 3 left off, but every passing minute was interesting and with cause. As usual, the book ended with some great action, excitement, and a desire to get the next book...I assume there will two more books judging where this one left off. Also, once again, the narrator did an amazing job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyed it

This is another good addition to "The Pillars of Reality" series. The action and character development was well placed, and the book was fun.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Jack Campbell aka John Hemnry strikes again

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes I would, the book continues the exploits of two people who are striving for freedom, justice and love.

What other book might you compare The Pirates of Pacta Servanda to and why?

The Lost Fleet series, The Storm-light Archives,

What does MacLeod Andrews bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

What an outstanding performance, his characterizations of the different players in this excellent book is outstanding.

Any additional comments?

The only negatives about the book. "IT IS NOT LONG ENOUGH". The next book needs to be longer, and, there needs to be more than one release a year.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lynn Worton
  • 08-15-18

Exciting Read!

This story is the fourth book in a fantastic epic fantasy series called The Pillars of Reality. I absolutely loved it!

Mari is a fantastic character. I liked her immediately when I met her in the first book. I love her determination to do the right thing, even at the cost of her own life. A Master Mechanic, Mari has faced many threats to her life from the Guild Masters on the world of Dematr and survived. Mari has been foreseen by Mages to be 'The Daughter of Jules' and fated to free the world of Dematr from the tyranny of both the Guilds - Mechanics and Mages - and to unite the Mechanics, Mages and Commons against said Guilds. This time, she finds herself on a dangerous mission on the sea in an attempt to reach the broken kingdom of Tay and walking in the footsteps of the legendary Jules of Pacta Servanda. Together with her friends, and Alain, she will have to dig deep to survive the oncoming storm.

Mage Alain is also a fantastic character. I liked him a lot from the start. He was one of the youngest Acolytes to achieve Mage status at the age of seventeen. He has been taught from a young age not to show or feel any emotions and that the world he lives in is an illusion, where nothing is real. I love how this character has grown as the series has progressed. He tries to show more emotion, even though his Guild had virtually beaten it out of him. He hides a dry wit under that emotionless mask.

I listened to this story in audio format, rather than read it. MacLeod Andrews once again narrates the story. He does a fantastic job of bringing the story to life. Even Alain, who's voice is meant to be flat and emotionless comes across with subtle hints. You would think that Alain's voice would be monotonous, but it's not so. I love the way he brings all the characters to life with different accents, inflexions and tones. He even makes the women's voices sound perfect for each character. As for his narration, he read the story clearly and concisely, and his pacing was perfect. I would definitely listen to more books read by this narrator.

The story continues from the end of The Assassins of Altis and sees Mari and Alain joining with several new characters as the action heats up. Mechanic Caylou (not sure of spelling as I listened to the story so have no reference and have spelt it phonetically - it could be Kayloo or another variation) makes another appearance. He is one of Mari's friends from the Mechanics Guild, along with his girlfriend, Ally, who also makes an appearance this time. Mage Asha also makes another appearance, but there are also several other new characters that are now integral to the plot. There is Mage Dov, who is Asha's uncle, and Mechanic Dov (no relation) whose relative had once lived in Marandur. Sien, a princess of Tay, plays a significant role in this story, too. There are a few more characters added, but it would take me too long to mention them all.

I love the world building in this series. It is familiar though strange at the same time. It has a mix of steampunk and modern day technology, but this is due to the way the Guilds restricted people from creating new things. The story is full of action, adventure, and danger and I found myself an emotional wreck at times. In this story, the characters travel to the Sea of Backer, where pirates, traders and Imperials rule the waves and danger threatens on all fronts. The action is ramping up as the storyline reaches towards the climax. Have you ever read or listened to a story and felt utterly emersed in it? It happened to me as I listened to this book. These characters have come to life for me and have become my friends. This book ends with a slight cliffhanger, which had me eager to listen to the next story in the series, The Servants of the Storm, as soon as possible.

Jack Campbell has written a fantastic science fiction series. I have added him to my favourite author's list, as he's found a fan in me. I love his writing style, which is fast-paced and descriptive, and the flow of the story is good too.

Although there is now some mention of scenes of a sexual nature, it’s not shown. I do not, however, recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 15 due to some violence. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love dark or epic fantasy, steampunk or action/adventure and supernatural/paranormal romance genres. - Lynn Worton

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • C. Forrester
  • 02-16-18

Best book in the series so far.

Characters are really starting to flesh out now and the world is expanding with them.

Really looking forward to the next one.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • M. WILLIAMS
  • 02-08-16

Most satisfactory of the series so far

The world in which these stories are set is really starting to work well. The characters are forming better and the cast of regulars makes the whole thing read better. I'm very glad I persevered and I'm really looking forward to book 5.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Krzysztof
  • 02-01-16

Very good saga each next book better than previous

What made the experience of listening to The Pirates of Pacta Servanda the most enjoyable?

Interesting Story - in general. Some humor but not too much. Well narrated. Overall good book for Sunday afternoon... or any time you like.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mages - all of them - so many people with the almost "Asperger like disorder". (I mean it in very good way! - mine best friend has AD). I must say that this is second time I've liked mages in any story I've read.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Without spoilers: I'll say only this: interaction between mages and mechanics in well constructed world with good plot. Do you need more? I just can't decide with scene ...

Any additional comments?

I can recommend entire The Pillars of Reality series If you liked previous Jack Campbell books you'll not be disappointed.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-13-16

Best in the series yet

Would you listen to The Pirates of Pacta Servanda again? Why?

I would listen to this again for the humour of the story.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Pirates of Pacta Servanda?

How easily each apprentice that they met automatically thought that the gun in their face was actually just a drill and not real.

What about MacLeod Andrews’s performance did you like?

MacLeod's performance both brought the story to life while at the same time keeping the story and not the performance as my focus. It helps that he avoided my pet peeves - no fake Russian or worse Irish accents instead bringing focusing on using tone and cadence to individualise the character's voices.

Any additional comments?

Hemry has made this my favourite book in the series to date although there are tiny parts that don't quite match the rest of the story. My grips are that Hemry prefers to use the term conference and the negatives that surround that word rather than the feelings of standing before your peers with all the feelings of failure foremost in your mind. He also glazes over who is in the 'conference' without justifying why A is there but B is not. My final grip is that he is making Marie too perfect as a people leader. She is 19 and trained as a mechanic and is seen as a great technical mechanic - technical people usually have a problem when leading other people.

My grips aside this is still my favourite book, starting with the way the title comes forward. In the previous 3 books the title element doesn't appear until the last quarter of the book, in this one the pirates appear before the halfway point and remains the main vehicle for moving the story forward. This also allows Hemry to keep the humour coming even if that humour is primarily around the idea that the actions taking place were risking the lives of the characters. Gone is the idea that Marie and Alain are on their own against the world, instead they are now building a group to enable the actual taking on of the Guilds. Where they recruit the mechanics is well done, the mages not so much. Hemry doesn't ignore the problems of bringing a large number of mages and mechanics together and shows this in a particularly fiery scene in the last third of the book.

While this book could be read as stand alone starting from the beginning of the series will add a lot more to the enjoyment of the series and help better explain why mechanics and mages are more willing to join Marie.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-12-16

just filler

the plot in this series advances so slowly that I think the author is planning 20 books when it should be finished in 3. terrible dialogue. it just pathetic. I'm dropping this series and so should you.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ben
  • 04-01-16

Disappointing

What did you like best about The Pirates of Pacta Servanda? What did you like least?

The world, constructed over the previous book remained reasonably engaging.

The overarching storyline of the series is good.

The narrators voices were average at best and truly awful, story destroying, crushingly bad at worse. The females came across worst, particularly Mari, which is unfortunate, given she is the main character. Allie and Asha were acceptable, for their comparatively limited speaking roles. Alain was poor, too high pitched and almost confused with the women on occasion. Also his name was pronounced as Elaine often, which didn't help. Given Alain is a French name, perhaps some attention should have been paid to how the French pronounce it for reference.

The dialogue was poor. I'm unsure if this was due to it translating poorly from print, or if it was just really badly written, but it certainly needs a lot of work.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Bad tones, particularly for the female characters (Mari was excruciating to listen to, and the female elder in Julesport was seriously bad, like stereotypical old lady/wicked witch hammed up to the max, Carry On bad.

Could you see The Pirates of Pacta Servanda being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

I could, though if the characters were presented as they are in this audiobook it would be really bad. Also, dialogue needs rewriting, it didn't seem anywhere near as bad in the earlier books in the series, though I read those in print form.

Any additional comments?

After enjoying the first three books, this was a serious let down. If this was the first in the series I would not be continuing. As it is I'm torn as to whether I will read the next book.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • jason heap
  • 03-02-16

keeps you interested.

you know what will happen next but it is well done so its fine. great job for my drive to work