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Publisher's Summary

One man. One game. One adorable baby dragon.

Two weeks ago, Hector Park cheated death by uploading his mind to the ultra-immersive fantasy RPG game, Archemi. After exposing the rotten heart of an order of dragon knights, he’s now on the run with a young queen dragon who could one day become the most powerful mount in the game. 

To get strong enough to face their enemies, they need a quest - a big one. Fortunately, trouble has a way of finding Hector, and it does - in the form of a series of brutally murdered priests, a king in desperate need of a hero, and a beautiful, fiery berserker. The risk? Huge. The payoff? More gold than a dragon’s hoard.

There's only one problem - Archemi is haunted by the ghost of a mad developer bent on making the game his personal playground. And now that the world outside has vanished in a storm of nuclear fire, there's no one left to stop him.

Or at least, that’s what he thinks. Because Hector isn't the kind of man to take this shit lying down.

©2018 James Baldwin (P)2018 James Baldwin

What listeners say about Trial by Fire: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great performance, decent writing

The audio performance made by the studio and the performers are excellent enhancing the words of the book greatly.

However, the plot and the writing becomes frustrating with the main character showing falling for the tricks of the antagonist over and over again with the same tricks. The author attempts to bring political intrigue and conflict for the main cast to wade its way through, but the antagonist is so simple and incompetent that he is forced to bring down the intelligence of the main cast to make it dramatic. The greatest frustration is having a competent character from the first book not learning anything from his previous experiences and suddenly taking an extra dose of stupidity.

***Spoilers***


The main antagonist of the story is a usurper of the throne in a country bound by honour. A medieval city where the honor or at least the pretense of honour is important and the main antagonist humiliated the rightful ruler with what is essentially a recorded porno. The main cast are introduced to the evil ruler as a benign and rude but slowly the readers learn that he is dishonorable, will mouth that he is honorable, but acts in bad faith. I say the readers learn, because the characters say that they know this man is unreliable and deceitful but still trust him anyways. They know that he sacrifices loyal honorable men that are loyal to the throne but willingly walks into the same traps over and over again.

They learn he's a racist. Okay that's fine, racism is an issue that many medieval cities had.

They learn he had an honorable older brother that killed himself. Okay here's the hook

They learn the story of how the honorable older brother was kicked out of the family under suspicious circumstances.

They find the older brother who reveals clearly that the younger is evil, in a cult, has no honor. They decide, maybe this guy is not too good

They get wrongfully arrested by the younger brother and receive a mission to complete for the return of his dragon. The main character learns this mission was a trap. The main character completes the mission and returns to the ruler and expects him to behave honorably and receives the escort of a high ranking member of his court to retrieve the dragon. At this point, we saw the ruler stake a high ranking member of his court with no explanation given to the main cast. Why would the main character believe that retrieving his dragon would not be a trap?

I had to stop listening at this point. I love the main cast, but by partnering an incompetent villain, the author has to bring down the competency of the rest of the cast making it difficult to listen to.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing from start to finish!

By far the best LitRPG book I've ever read. The performance is amazing, it truly draws you into the characters. Another amazing book by Baldwin. Can't wait to read the next one!

3 people found this helpful

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loved the story and interplay between characters

I absolutely loved this book from the interactions between characters to the plot twists. there was only one spot I found I didnt really care for near the end of the book but I dont want to say to much about it because some people might enjoy twist and I dont want to ruin it for them. 100 percent worth getting this book though.

3 people found this helpful

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Loved it.

This book was truly amazing. I absolutely loved the story, it was engaging and kept me enthralled from start to finish. The characters were also very well written, and the voice actors did a fantastic job bringing them to life for me. I just started this series and I cannot wait for book three to come out.

3 people found this helpful

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Great continuation of the story

The story continues on with this book. New characters are introduced while old ones lurk in the behind the scene. Bonds are created and weather through several trails. The narrative is spot on with just enough sound effects to be distracting. I highly recommend this series to anyone look for a great epic story

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Thought it would be better

The story is very predictable, with juvenile protagonist who acts more like a high school child that a harden veteran. The love interest is typical anime character with big boobs. The dragon was the only one that was endearing and you wanted to win in her struggles. I don’t think I will be getting the next book.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love it

I love this series. The characters, the world, and the story. Keep it up.

2 people found this helpful

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another great book

I have really enjoyed this book. Great book #2 love the progression of plot

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Most parts are awesome

So far I have enjoyed what I have heard but sometimes I feel like the story lacks fun side mission or just part of grinding like the first book had moments of I know not everyone enjoys that type of content but I do if all they ever deal with is big main “story quests” it makes the story a bit less enjoyable and a bit stressful.. for me a steady I know everyone has their own taste, good continuation just hoping for more “adventuring”

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great story

I love the series and it's story however you could lay off a little of the mc perving out Everytime he see a woman. It really turns me off from the book for a minute when it's being overused. So when your trying to make it mean something the reader just brushes it off not even the nerdest man would just perv out on every woman he has a interaction with

1 person found this helpful

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  • MK
  • 09-25-19

sound effects

unfortunately this book has sound effects which make it hard to enjoy otherwise the story is very good and would be a five star review

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Reid
  • 09-18-20

A great improvement

I enjoyed the first book but the 2nd works even better as we get to see all of Hectors relationships change and a bit of good interaction between politics, action and a bit of sexual tension. The story flows along well and the narration by SBT is spot on as usual which makes this a big bonus using multiple narrators.

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  • james mcadam
  • 06-26-20

loved it

great second book love the series and excellent narration as always from soundbooth theater .carnt wait for the next one

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  • John
  • 02-20-20

Trial by Fire

This book was bloody brilliant Can't wait to buy the next book in this series. James Osiris Baldwin has done a fantastic job with this story and I Can't wait for the next book in this series.
And with the voice acting talents and skills of Jeff Hays, Laurie Catherine Winkel and Justin Thomas James. who's narration makes the characters and world come alive with the narration. 12/ 10 stars

1 person found this helpful