• We Men of Ash and Shadow

  • The Vanguard Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: HL Tinsley
  • Narrated by: RJ Bayley
  • Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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We Men of Ash and Shadow

By: HL Tinsley
Narrated by: RJ Bayley
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Publisher's Summary

We Men of Ash and Shadow is the first book in the Vanguard Series and follows the journey of protagonist, John Vanguard, through the dark and corrupt city of D’Orsee. A Grimdark gas lamp novel, We Men of Ash and Shadow explores themes of redemption, loyalty, and betrayal against the backdrop of a world where survival often means compromising your values.

Amidst the gas lamp shadows former soldier-turned-mercenary John Vanguard hunts criminals at the behest of his corrupt employer, Captain Felix Sanquain. Shamed by his deserter past and seeking to make amends for his many misdeeds, a chance encounter with Tarryn Leersac - a skilled young would-be-assassin fallen from the graces of high society - leads Vanguard to become an unlikely mentor.

Charged with hunting down the killer of two guards left washed up on the banks of the canal, the further Vanguard delves into the underbelly of the city the more he finds himself entangled in a web of secrets and lies. A prominent aristocrat is missing. Crime lords, con men, and harlots run amok and the city teeters on the brink of another revolution.

With his already precarious reputation hanging by a thread, Vanguard must piece together how and why the last war came to pass, find a way to earn redemption for his mistakes, and come to terms with the past in a city where few survive, and even fewer can be trusted.

©2020 HL Tinsley (P)2021 HL Tinsley

What listeners say about We Men of Ash and Shadow

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Perfect

Great Grimdark! Perfect for fans of Ambercombie and gun powder mage. I guess this could be described as gas lamp grimdark. Can’t wait for the sequel to be put on audible.

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Pretty Dark

This is not a happy story. There are broken characters, which make it a very human story. There are some glimmers of hope but overall it's a pretty dark novel.

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Gaslight Grimdark

I read and reviewed this book when it first came out. But after winning a copy of the audiobook, I had to give that a shot as well. It didn't disappoint.

A great audiobook is a nice way to revisit a series book before the next volume comes out, acting as a refresher and a different perspective as we can immerse ourselves in the world again from a different angle. R.J. Bayley was excellent and carries the story nicely.

We Men of Ash and Shadow is also a finalist for this year's SPFBO contest, so the release of such a good audio version sure didn't hurt its chances...

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GREAT

WE MEN OF ASH AND SHADOW BY HL TINSLEY AND NARRATED BY RJ BAYLEY is the first in the Vanguard series. It follows John Vanguard thru the dark and corrupt city of D'Orsee. D'Orsee is dirty,corrupt and for a pittance assassins like John Vanguard will kill.

WE MEN OF ASH AND SHADOW not only introduces the listener to John Vanguard but to his boss Captain Sanquain, as well as a host of really nasty men and women. Fair warning to listeners,if you are not into blood and gore I would avoid this. But me, I loved the audiobook and cant wait to get book two.
RJ Bayley did a really good job at the narration, especially since there were numerous male and female characters.

I recieved this audiobook free in exchange for a honest review.

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Compelling, immersive story. Excellent narration.

I had been looking forward to reading this book for a while, needless to say when the audiobook was released I got to it a quickly as possible. And it was worth the wait.

It took no time at all to be pulled into the story, to take interest (for good or ill) in the characters, and to be fully immersed in the setting. I usually listen to audiobooks at work, and nearly found myself doing overtime just to keep listening.

RJ Bayley's narration is amazing and, I think, a perfect match for the story.

I cannot recommend We Men of Ash and Shadow enough, definitely one of the best I've listened to this year! Listen to this, you will not be disappointed.

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A perfect Grimdark story

I was taken by complete surprise with this book. It a perfect book to add to your Grimdark collection. If you liked Lies of Locke Lamora you will more than likely enjoy this book. The characters are gritty and real, and so is the world they live in. The prose are elegantly written by the author, and masterfully spoken by the narrator. Since starting this book I have been completely absorbed in it's world and story. Definitely give this book a chance, there is a bit of a slow down about 3hrs in or so, but if you push past it, you'll understand why it's there and what it's trying to set up for the characters. the second half of this book or so is a non stop roller coaster ride of action and intrigue in equal measure. I absolutely can't wait to see what comes from the next book in the series.

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  • paul sparks
  • 02-21-22

Dark and grim for sure

I had read this book compared to Lies of Locke Lamora, having never read that I can’t comment but I can say it’s very good in the way of the Pious Men series of books, excellent character building even though they are not pleasant and the world they inhabit, an occasional bit of humour to lighten the heavy load would have been appreciated but I am no writer just a reader

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  • Elaine Brien
  • 02-28-22

Predicable but worth a listen

Debut novel with interesting ideas and great first chapter to introduce this world, but from there meanders along to the end. I think it would have been ideal as a longer but standalone book, with the main character perhaps appearing in separate stories. Promising debut from Holly Tinsley