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The Sixth Strand

A Pattern of Shadow and Light, Book 5
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Length: 36 hrs and 34 mins
5 out of 5 stars (257 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"The strands are as interwoven as the visible spectrum, yet upon closer inspection, one may be found to bind the rest." (Isabel van Gelderan, Epiphany's Prophet) 

The First Lord's game has reached a critical apex. For the first time in millennia, the teams are equally matched. The field itself holds a kind of equilibrium. It is the task of Björn's Players to unbalance the field in their own favor in their great game to restore Balance to the Realms of Light. But with Malorin'athgul and now Warlocks returned to the realms, the game - and the stakes involved - has elevated to an entirely new order of magnitude, requiring Björn's Players to do the same. 

In Illume Belliel…after millennia of exile, the Demon Lord has regained a foothold in the Realms of Light, thanks to his ally, Shailabhanáchtran. Shail is expecting Baelfeir to stay in the cityworld, but the Lord of all Warlocks doesn't need Shail's help to reclaim the realm of Alorin - or his permission. 

In T'khendar…the last bastion between Chaos and the Realms of Light is being unmade. The Malorin'athgul Rinokh has been voraciously deconstructing the realm's fabric, and without the drachwyr to counter his efforts, the world is coming undone. Björn and Isabel val Gelderan and their allies are doing all they can, but will their efforts be enough to withstand the onslaught until the Balance can shift? 

In Shadow…Ean val Lorian has finally recovered his memories from his life as Arion Tavestra, but what may prove even more lifechanging is his new binding to Darshanvenkhátraman. If Ean can learn to wield deyjiin through Darshan's binding - an ability Arion never even envisioned - might it shift the entire balance of the game? 

In M'Nador…Trell val Lorian succeeded in rescuing his father's soldiers from the fortress of Khor Taran, but he also learned at last what the Goddess Naiadithine requires of him in return for her many graces: ending the war between M'Nador and the Akkad. But what chance has he of ending a feud that's been raging for decades when he can't even convince his own commanders to get along? 

From the dimension of Shadow to the realm of T'khendar, from the Empire of Agasan to the fire deserts of Avatar, Ean, Tanis, Trell, Sebastian and the rest of Bjorn's Players will be holding their positions against immortal enemies in a game where mortal consequences hang in the balance of every choice. 

Melissa McPhail's epic fantasy series A Pattern of Shadow & Light has won a collective nine awards for outstanding fantasy and (even more importantly to the author) the devotion of thousands of listeners and readers.

©2019 Melissa McPhail (P)2019 Podium Publishing

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

Had to stop 10h in.

Had to stop about 10 hours in. It's a shame because there's so many story lines that I absolutely adore but I feel she's expanded the story to a point she can't control. I'm just not invested in the characters anymore. The other books were a 5 star to me and maybe this will be too if I come back to it some day, so I'll leave it at three.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Story is beginning to feel dragged out

I love the series, but I’m beginning to feel like the story is being dragged out with too many view points. The story didn’t really pick up until the last 6 hours, which was a long road to get to that point.

1 person found this helpful

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Well Written Story, Masterfully Performed

I have ALL the books in this series, and ALL the Audible recordings too! The story is engrossing and you just don't want to put it down - so the Audible enables you to continue wherever you are, whatever you are doing. Nick Podehl does a masterful job reading this: there are so many voices that he needs to keep track of, yet he makes them all so unique. He does credible female voices as well. The names and locations are so difficult to pronounce and while reading it's tough to get your mind to remember them. But Nick's recording helps with that. When I read the series now, I hear it in Nick's voice, even if I'm reading :)

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful story!!!

I have loved every book in this series. This one is no exception. Although not every character gets a lot of time in this book, the story moves forward in a very satisfying way. I have to admit that I shed a tear at the end of this one, which is a good thing. That said, I’m not sure why McPhail chose to include so many explicit sex scenes in this book. I’m not offended by any of the scenes or anything like that. It just seems to be a shift in style that doesn’t add much to the story itself. In the end, though, it’s a minor quibble for me. Podehl’s performance is amazing, as always. I’m always awed by his accents and his ability to differentiate characters. I highly recommend this book, and every other book in the series. I can’t wait for Book 6!

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I love this series and the narrator is amazing

I am a sucker for a good series and anything Nick Podehl narrated. Its a bit long and some unnecessary flash backs but a great listen

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Another great book

I have been very happy with the way the story is progressing and feel like a lot of questions are being answered in this book. It's top notch vocal performance and loveable character's are a joy to return to. If somehow you are not already in love with this world this book will seal the deal.

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Top 3 fantasy series you'll ever read

what happens when you put one of the most talented narrators reading one of the most talented fantasy authors? you get this series. definitely top 3 series ever. up there with Brandon Sanderson Stormlight Archive and Rober Jordan's wheel of time.

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Another gem in the saga

Mellisa will take you to another world that flows with no dead spots no matter whose thread your on

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Loved it!!!!!

I finished listening to the Sixth Strand yesterday. I was getting disappointed because I knew I was getting closer to the end. I didn't want it to end. Such an amazing book. I can't wait for the next book.

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The epic story continues

And with every word written and performed latched me tighter to the pattern of binding that this book surely must hold. I found myself wanting to hear more every day, seeking those times even I could just relax and listen to the book.

The writing is excellent, great characterization and an enchanting, mesmerizing story that keeps unfolding. Nick Podehl's performance is once again to notch, he has quickly became one of my favourite audiobook performers.