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The Summoning

Forgotten Realms: The Return of the Archwizards, Book 1
Narrated by: Kevin Kraft
Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
4 out of 5 stars (55 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the depths of the demiplane of shadow comes a new magic so mysterious it confounds even the Chosen of Mystra.

From beneath the dune seas of Anauroch escapes one of Toril's most powerful and ancient evils - the phaerimm. From Evereska, the last elven refuge on comes word of invasion. From nowhere appears a group of enigmatic sorcerers determined to destroy the phaerimm and save Evereska... for purposes known only to themselves.

From the author of Crucible: The Trial of Cyric the Mad, Beyond the High Road, and Death of the Dragon (with Ed Greenwood) comes the most Realms-shaking event since The Threat from the Sea.

©2011 Wizards of the Coast LLC (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

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  • Ray
  • London, ON Canada
  • 07-09-19

mostly good.

the story was great. the performance was, unfortunately inconsistent. I really wish wizards gave the performers decent pronunciation guides. it's evident that they don't.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Interesting topic & world-building, but weak story

TLDR: Only really worth your time if you play Dungeons & Dragons.


"The Summoning" as a book, is a piece with quite a few good ideas, but sadly just as many problems.
The book focuses on one of the most interesting events within the Forgotten Realms canon; the return of the last remains of the ancient Netherese empire, the city Thultanthar, or just "Shade." The author is aware of the great significance of the material being worked on and as a result, spends a lot of time playing around with magical metaphysical theory-crafting of the Forgotten Realms as a fantasy world.

However, the thing about shaping small pieces of interesting lore and trying to explain the different facets of the fantastical is that it steals away focus from traditional storytelling; something "The Summoning" very much suffers from.

"The Summoning" throws around a lot of fun and interesting ideas for how its cosmology works, but whenever it becomes time for the book to tell a story, it continuously finds itself drawn-out and bland, relying on completely uninteresting character-dynamics: It becomes especially bad once the concept of "The Shadow" of the Protagonist becomes a part of the narrative, as it very quickly becomes nothing but an excuse for the characters to be stupid and make obviously bad and paranoid choices again-and-again-and-again.
"The Shadow" is additionally used as an excuse for keeping the Protagonist and Readers/Listeners in the dark about different characters' motivations and goals arbitrarily; however rather than this making the story have a sense of mystery, it instead causes many of the story's plot-points to feel aimless and random, even when they aren't at all.


All around, as a book, there is really no reason for anyone to read or listen "The Summoning," its story is quite simply not worth the lengthy, unnecessary, clichéd slog that it is.
However, where one might want to consider experiencing the book is if a reader/listener is a Player of Dungeons & Dragons within the Forgotten Realms Campaign-Setting. In this case, the book has much to offer in gaining insight into the different facets of life and existence within the Realms, and the book is packed full of appearances by important (and often otherwise never depicted, only hinted at) characters. For a Player, or rather a Dungeon Master, of D&D, "The Summoning" is not a story, so much as it is a Sourcebook filled with ideas for roleplay of magical races and ideas for future stories told within the Forgotten Realms.

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Painful to listen too...

Would you try another book from Troy Denning and/or Kevin Kraft?

No, Author went way over the top in trying to make it seem like a different world by making the characters speak in such an odd way, I mean yes the words are in English but this is like listening to Shakespeare, you need to devote 150% of your attention to what is being said just to understand the story. I have had to re-listen to some sections so many times that it was not work the effort.

If I ever meet this author I would demand he return my money and compensate me for the time I spent listening to his book.

Would you ever listen to anything by Troy Denning again?

No, I would rather stick knitting needles in my ears

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kevin Kraft?

Yes, I have to given Kevin 5 stars, he did not write the book but he did give it his all and he did have to suffer thought the entire 3 books.

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

All of them

2 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Javier
  • 06-06-18

Awful

The story is weak but the delivery was truly terrible, making it even worse than it is on its own. I'm going to listen to the second one, if it's as bad as this one I'll return all three books.