The Ruin of Kings

Series: A Chorus of Dragons, Book 1
Length: 27 hrs and 22 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (1,080 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Everything epic fantasy should be: rich, cruel, gorgeous, brilliant, enthralling and deeply, deeply satisfying. I loved it." (Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians)

Jenn Lyons begins the Chorus of Dragons series with The Ruin of Kings, an epic fantasy audiobook about a man who discovers his fate is tied to the future of an empire.  

When destiny calls, there's no fighting back. 

Kihrin grew up in the slums of Quur, a thief and a minstrel's son raised on tales of long-lost princes and magnificent quests. When he is claimed against his will as the missing son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds himself at the mercy of his new family's ruthless power plays and political ambitions. 

Practically a prisoner, Kihrin discovers that being a long-lost prince is nothing like what the storybooks promised. The storybooks have lied about a lot of other things, too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, and how the hero always wins. 

Then again, maybe he isn't the hero after all. For Kihrin is not destined to save the world.  

He's destined to destroy it. 

Library Journal Best Books of the Year - 2019
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year - 2019

©2019 Jennifer Williamson (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"A trio of talented narrators tackles the first book in a new fantasy series centered on a man who is destined to destroy an empire...the trio complement each other and elevate an unconventional story filled with intense world-building and vivid characters." (AudioFile Magazine)

Editor's Pick

Bloodlines and battlefields
"There's nothing like getting sucked into a truly epic fantasy story and that's exactly what Ruin of Kings delivers from the moment you start getting to know the cheeky young Kihrin, following his journey from orphaned street rat to long-lost heir to a royal house to on-the-run savior (or destroyer) of the world. Narrators Feodor Chin, Vikas Adam, and Soneela Nankani seamlessly pull you into a world full of wizards, dragons, demons, and witches, all made believably real thanks, in part, to the all-too-human motivations of the characters. It all comes together to make this series starter come alive in the most delicious ways."
Abby W., Audible Editor

What listeners say about The Ruin of Kings

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

Amazing

Wow. It seems 2019 is the year for authors to obliterate my hatred of first person! First, the narrators. Soneela and Vikas are both amazing voice actors with phenomenal range and great tempo and inflections. The one weak link is Feodor. But that his narration is bad, it just isn't as good. He has far less vocal range and when it switched to just him at the end it was a little jarring. Okay, story. Oh, where do I begin? TL/DR version is, think The Wheel of Time meets The Stormlight Archive meets A Song of Ice and Fire. With demons, but without all the boring parts. And with only a single protagonist. Okay, long version: The majority of the narrative is focused between two timelines as related through an interview between a jailer and her prisoner. The recent past is narrated in first person by the protagonist and the deeper past is narrated in third person by the jailer, a creature called a mimic, who has telepathic access to many people's thoughts. Hence, her parts read almost like they are in omniscient third person. And to further complicate things, the entire book is actually a report written by a third narrator that is being sent to the new Empress. If you think all those narrators and multiple frames around the actual story make it complicated, you're right. This is a deep, complex story technically happening in three times at once. But it was brilliantly done. Personally, I would have preferred a purely chronological account, as there were a few times I had to stop and remind myself where we were and what we were doing when a new chapter started, taking us back to the other narrator. Also, there are numerous points where the third narrator interjects things, almost like footnotes. I really could have done without these. Yes, it clarifies when given information is inaccurate or blatant falsehood, but I believe that could have been communicated in better ways. That said, the plot between all sections is seamless and brilliantly put together. Every time I thought I saw a plot hole, it was neatly filled with information I hadn't even realized was relevant. There are so many turns, so many twists, it kept me guessing almost the whole way through. By its very nature (narrated by a survivor after the fact), certain things were predictable. But that didn't detract from the story nearly as much as I thought it would. Definitely not as much as it typically does with this type of story. The world is deep and rich, with a ton of history and a huge number of secret and hidden facets, many of which we barely get a glimpse of in this book. There are so many awesome events, incredible creatures, and killer (pun intended!) land features! Brilliant stuff! The character development is phenomenal. Every act, as far as I could tell, was 100% in keeping with each character's personality and motives. Bythe end of the book, even though we spend so much of the book in only one character's head, I felt like I knew most of the major characters very well. Only one surprised me, but there is good reason for that. In the end, we discover that we never really knew this person. Almost everything we thought we knew was a facade. Without spoiling anything, let me just say that there are some startling revelations waiting in this book and the ending is so phenomenal, I just can't imagine how she is going to top it in the next book. Do yourself a favor and read this book!

44 people found this helpful

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Worthwhile

Good story, nice and long and good return for the money/credit. It's best if you handle non-linear time lines well, I do and I loved it, it made it better. One or two of the character names got tangled in my mind but they were minor enough that it made no never mind. The world building is massive and the exposition of that is mostly handled well. Best part is that despite this being the start of a massive series of epic proportions, THIS BOOK HAS A SOLID ENDING. I'll be happy to read the next book but I'm not punching the wall because it stopped in the middle of a conversation or something equally daft. If the next book never happens you won't feel robbed. It's worth it, and it's worth it now.

13 people found this helpful

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the title grabbed me but

I found my self sitting here after about 4 hours...trying to figure out exactly who's who I'm now 20 hours in and I give up I just cant follow this book.

5 people found this helpful

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Interesting, but I didn’t like it.

I’m a sucker for long stories and this one seemed promising. Also, multiple storylines make for an interesting revelation pace sometimes. However, neither of these weren’t executed very well. The split lines did end up converging, but they never actually had the one event that set the main character onto the second one. It felt missing. As for cursing, this book is full of it. I can shrug off a bit, but it eventually got under my nerves. I feel like Fantasy worlds should come with their own swear vocabulary anyway. Overall, I respect the work that goes into writing, and this book had an interesting reveal, but I never actually enjoyed it. To put it bluntly, I listened to the whole thing without returning it, but I won’t get any sequels. The cast was great, though.

5 people found this helpful

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Great, but...

This has serious potential and I’m looking forward to book 2, but the whole multiple storylines, timeframes and random inputs from a different character’s perspective is frustrating. There were multiple scenarios that played out where I caught myself having to go back and re-listen in order to tie things together. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who hopes to listen while doing anything else

17 people found this helpful

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Too difficult to follow.

I struggle to finish this book. The plot was very complex, and there were far too many characters with unusual but similar sounding names. As you race between multiple narrators, timelines, dimensions, and races it was far to convoluted to keep pace. The rules for magic, each dimension, and race were poorly established and adjusted when it was convenient for the author. I am a fan of the genre and premise, but unfortunately this book missed the mark for me.

10 people found this helpful

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Unnecessarily complicated.

Narrators were fine. I hated how Kihrin had a personality transplant between the timelines. His younger self felt more mature than his older.

4 people found this helpful

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Multiple timelines and a difficult beginning

I think this is just one of those books you have to buy physically. The jumping from narrative to different narrative and input from secondary characters made the beginning impossible to listen to and follow along. I was 3 hours in and had little to no idea of what had happened in those 3 hrs.

16 people found this helpful

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decent story

The main character made it hard to enjoy the book. His character and attitude the whole book was terrible. I continued listening hoping he would improve but he never did. Between that and the subtle homosexuality I wouldnt read again, or pass it on to anyone.

3 people found this helpful

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Epic!

Loving Soneela as Talon! The timeline is confusing in the beginning but stick with it - totally worth it!

13 people found this helpful