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Visions of Zarua

Narrated by: Guy Barnes
Length: 15 hrs and 46 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Two wizards, 350 years apart. Can they save the realm of Paltria from Zarua's dark past?

An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria. Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city on the brink of annihilation. When his master Kalesh dies in mysterious circumstances, the royal order of wizards refuses to investigate. Helped by his childhood friend, the skilled tracker Varnia, and her lover Leyoch, Paddren vows to find the killer. The investigation leads Paddren down a sinister path of assassins, secret sects, and creatures conjured by blood magic. But he is guided by a connection with a wizard from centuries ago - a wizard whose history holds the key to the horror at the heart of the abandoned city of Zarua. Can Paddren decipher his visions in time to save the Paltrian people from the dark menace of Zarua's past?

©2015 Suzanne Rogerson (P)2019 Suzanne Rogerson

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Sword and Sorcery with a suspenseful mystery!

I grew up reading fantasy novels so I've always had a huge soft spot for works of epic fantasy. It's been ages since I had the chance to read a good old fashioned "sword and sorcery novel," and Visions of Zarua was so much fun to read. The author's writing reminded me of one of my favorite authors, Ursula K. Le Guin. In many ways, this book reminded me particularly of The Wizard of Earthsea. It follows the adventures of a wizard as he fights to save his home from an ever growing threat of darkness. 

I found this book to be fresh and unique because the author combines my favorite elements of fantasy with an engaging and suspenseful mystery. I was on the edge of my seat and I couldn't stop listening as I waited for Padren and his friends to unravel the suspenseful plot that involved murder most foul in the wizarding world. 

The narrator was excellent. I have low vision, so I do a lot of my reading in audio format. Guy Barnes had distinct voices for every character and his reading helped to bring the book to life. I particularly enjoyed hearing him narrate the three main characters. His voice acting made their friendship feel vivid and real.

My only gentle criticism is that I found the book to be a little bit slow in the beginning; however, i understand that is par for the course in epic fantasy. Once the world building and characters were established, the narrative took off at a ferocious pace. and involved a mystery that I couldn't wait to see solved. If you are in the mood for an epic fantasy with a a great underlying mystery, I strongly recommend Visions of Zarua! 

*Note: I received this book from Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources. in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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LOVED this book!

I absolutely loved Visions of Zarua. It was very interesting to go back and forth in time to the two different stories and then see how they intertwined at the end. I almost felt like I got two stories for the price of one! Not gonna lie, I was kinda rooting for a poly relationship between Varnia and the two guys, Paddren and Leyoch, but of course that didn't happen, and I wasn't actually expecting it to. I do think the triangle between the three of them was well handled though. But this isn't a love story. Paddren has terrible visions of a time passed, and doesn't understand them or know what to do with them, if he can trust them, or if they will help or hinder him dealing with the current conflict/threat in Paltria. When the book was over, I was well satisfied and was hoping for a sequel, but it's a wonderful standalone book, which is a rare treat for me as I tend to mostly read series. I highly recommend this book to any fan of fantasy stories.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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generally good

I wasn't pleased by the sound effects used every time a character had a vision, this is definitely one of those places where less would have been more.

Otherwise this story was quite good, and had some very interesting world building. The arcane lore was built very nicely.

It was mostly an interesting if somewhat predictable heroes journey. Some of the characters were a tad plain in the beginning, but start to round out a bit.

I recieved a free copy of this book for review purposes, my review is voluntary and unbiased.

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  • James
  • Powderly, KY, United States
  • 09-25-19

Very Good

Really enjoyed this book. At first the going back and forth in time was a little confusing, but after a chapter or two really began to tie the story together. Great characters and fantastic narration.

“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

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  • Taylor
  • 10-01-19

Tries something new but doesn't fully wow me

I give credit to try something I've not read in many books with the split between two separate timelines. At first it was a bit jarring and confusing but I got used to it.

I did like the friendships in the books and the characters should some development. There was parts I would have loved to hear more about (the spying and infiltrating but that is probably personal preference).

My biggest grip was for the MC being a wizard there was barely enough magic for my liking and most of it wasn't explained well. This is probably me coming from a background of reading good hard magic systems and loving how it's explained and then how it is creatively used.

I enjoyed the 1st half of the book more the 2nd half as the scale of the plot escalated and the pacing seemed a bit too rushed.

Overall a pretty good listen, especially with the good narration.

[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

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  • Helen
  • 08-24-19

amazing book

Two wizards, 350 years apart. Can they save the realm of Paltria from Zarua's dark past?
An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria. Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city on the brink of annihilation.
amazing book I was hocked by chapter 1 l can't wait for book 2