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Web of Eyes

Narrated by: Luke Daniels
Series: The Buried Goddess Saga, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1,095 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Madness sits upon the throne. Rebellion rages in the South. Dark magic threatens all life. The kingdom is desperate for heroes.

When the young king's soul is stolen by a traitorous cultist desperate to resurrect the Buried Goddess, disgraced knight Torsten Unger makes it his sworn duty to get it back. He has one chance to restore his honor. But he can't do it alone. He'll need a thief. 

Whitney Fierstown planned the perfect heist, one that would have made him a legend among thieves, until he got caught. Now, a knight with a questionable reputation is offering a deal: rot and die in a dank cell or join him on a dangerous expedition to put his skills to good use and earn his freedom. 

Whitney and Torsten must put aside their differences and work together to battle unholy cults, demons, rebels, and worse to become the heroes their war-torn kingdom never expected...if they don't kill each other first. 

Get Book 1 of the Buried Goddess Saga today! It's perfect for fans of epic fantasy adventures like King's Dark Tidings, The Riyria Chronicles, and The Hobbit.

©2018 Aethon Books (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Fantastic world building and masterful prose. Definitely a must read for Epic Fantasy fans." (Brian D. Anderson, best-selling author of The Godling Chronicles)

"An interesting and exciting start to a series. I'm looking forward to reading what the authors come up with next!" (Dakota Krout, author of the Divine Dungeon Series and winner of Audible Top 5 Fantasy of 2017)

 “Bruno and Castle built an epic fantasy world that captivates the imagination and brings the reader on a thrilling adventure that will leave the devotees of fantasy eager for the next tale." (Jason Anspach, best-selling author of the Galaxy's Edge series)

"Where Web of Eyes really stood out to me was the distinct narrative voices.... The stick-in-the-mud knight and mischievous rogue partnering together is nothing new to fantasy, but I cannot think of one where it is done with better flair." (Fantasy-Faction)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Fantasy Version of 48 Hours

I saw an early cover for Rhett C. Bruno and Jaime Castle’s Web of Eyes, and knew I wanted to eventually read it. While the new covers each feature one of the three main characters, the original had all three: a warrior, rogue or ranger, and elf mage, plus an ominous drider/Lolth figure (if you’re on this blog, you probably don’t need to be told that this is a centaur, only the lower body is a spider instead of a horse) looming in the background. It screamed heroic fantasy with a Dungeons and Dragons flair.

What I did not expect when reading it was a fantasy version of 48 Hours—the iconic comedy with Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte as a cop and a criminal who are forced together, and mayhem and hilarity ensue. The stick-in-the-mud knight and mischievous rogue partnering together is nothing new to fantasy, but I cannot think of one where it is done with better flair.

Thornton is head of the king’s elite guards, Eeyore in his pessimistic disposition, Joan of Arc in his religious fervor, and Rasputin in his unflappable determination. Coming from a humble birth, he is utterly devoted to the king who rose him up out of poverty, and totally faithful to the state religion.

His foil is the thief, Whitney, who is something of a cross between Danny Ocean and Robin Hood: the titular figure of Oceans 11, because he comes up with outrageous plans where he is always two steps ahead, yet can improvise when plans inevitably go south; and Robin Hood in that he essentially has a heart of gold, motivated more by the challenge and the desire for infamy, than by wealth. With his flamboyance, drama, and snappy dialog, Whitney owns the pages to the point where the story doesn’t even matter.

But oh, what a story. The king is dying, and enemies are circling. His son is incompetent since being cursed by the foreign queen’s warlock brother. When the king dies and the prince falls comatose, it is up to Thornton to recover a doll which supposedly houses the prince’s soul. With no idea of where to start, he reluctantly recruits Whitney to help. What follows is twists and turns, where no mansion or fortress is safe from burning down; and it turns out there is more to the religion than the fervent Thornton wants to believe.

The middle of the tale, where the two go their separate ways for a time, it gets a bit muddled, and I do feel the pacing lost some of its momentum. Still, it moves the plot forward, with Whitney reuniting with his childhood friend, the elf magic-user, Sora. She’s a cutter; inasmuch she needs blood to funnel her magic in the vein (see what I did there?) of Aliette de Bodard’s magic system in Servant of the Underworld. They all reunite as the plot threads weave together into a web, for a creepy, yet explosive climax, worthy of these characters’ chemistry.

Where Web of Eyes really stood out to me was the distinct narrative voices. The authors capture Thornton’s dour inner monologue, and Whitney’s flamboyance. I hope Sora turns out to be just as unique if she turns out to be a POV character in books two and three.

Where Web of Eyes came up just a little short for me was the worldbuilding. It’s a prototypical medieval setting, with rebellions, plotting, and a pantheistic religion. The magic system doesn’t break new ground, at least not from what I could tell in book one.

Still, Web of Eyes was thoroughly enjoyable and made honorable mention in my Top 10 Fantasy Reads of 2018. I rate it a 4.5.

Note: the narrator nails Torsten's and Whitney's voices; I'm not as impressed with Sora's. Still, excellent delivery.

70 of 73 people found this review helpful

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  • Ree
  • Greenville, SC USA
  • 12-08-18

Memorable and Fun Epic Fantasy

This was a really fun story. I enjoyed the world-building, and the characters and dialogue were hilarious. How an obnoxious rascal like Whitney Fierstown can be so utterly likable is a serious feat. The action scenes were exciting, the main characters well developed with distinct narrative voices, the humor was spot on, and the danger real. The story also managed to be clean and family friendly without feeling like it was trying to. Spectacular narration. The various voices, especially of some of the palace guards, were fantastically funny and well done.
There was a bit of a cliffhanger ending but that doesn’t bother me since it’s the start of a series.
Excited to catch the next one!


*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

51 of 54 people found this review helpful

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A must listen/read!

Luke Daniels performance makes for a great listening experience. The story is also very captivating and brought to life thanks to Luke. I will be continuing the series!

35 of 37 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding

Luke Daniels does a fantastic job of bringing the story to life for listeners. If you enjoyed the book then you will thoroughly enjoy listening to the audio book, given great invocation by Luke. Rhett and Jaime have not only outdone themselves with the story but with finding a voice for the tale as well!

33 of 35 people found this review helpful

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I loved this book!

OMG, this book is amazing. I chose this book because Luke Daniels narrates it, so I knew I would enjoying listening to it but I was beyond surprised on how good this story is. I already added the next two volumes to my wish list (coming out in December 2018 and January 2019).

The characters are wonderful and the combination of the head of the Royal Guards and a boisterous thief was fun to listen to. Their characters stayed true to who they are while working together. The dialogue between the two was fun. The other characters added perfectly to the story. The world was well thought out and I liked how the authors combined the traditional fantasy aspects into their story without make it seem like all the rest. I cannot wait for the rest of these books to come out on audible. We'll see if I can wait long enough to do it or if I will be buying the books as well, I think I remember how to read :O)

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

55 of 59 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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loved it!

loves the story. started out a bit slow, but I'm glad I gave it a chance and kept listening.

27 of 29 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Wilson
  • Franklin, PA United States
  • 03-19-19

Kept me listening all the way!

I would not call the book riveting but it is well written with great characters.
I think what made me like the book so much is because of what was missing....and thank you so much Rhett!

So what is missing? The apparent need to turn drama up to 11 that is rampant in both books and video these days and you know what? The book was a lot better for it.

Sure there is plenty of action but it is actually somewhat believable, as much as fantasy can be.

Thank you also to Luke for changing it up a bit. Enjoyed the changes you made.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Epic Adventure Ahead!

4 very enthusiastic stars for both this story and the talents of Luke Daniels.

In this book we follow the unhappy partnership of a thief and knight who are on a quest to save a kingdom in turmoil. Thrown together after a series of mishaps, the two must battle evil magic, foreign wanna-be conquerors, and royals who don't seem to want to be saved from themselves. Filled with adventure, magic, and a healthy dose of humour, Web of Eyes is a very strong start to this series.

I have to admit that for the first 25% of this book I was a bit worried about my friendship with the person who raved to me about this book. I struggled a to get immersed in the story and was starting to think that this story was going to be placed in a position of prominence on my "Where are the strong female characters?" shelf. Thankfully, just before I got too frustrated with the male-dominated story, a great female character showed up, and she was definitely strong. I hope she has an even bigger role in the stories to come.

I can't give this a full 5 stars because I did have a few tiny qualms (beyond the above-mentioned lack of females). There were times that the voices were just a bit too silly/overdone for me, and there was one really rough section that needed an editor's hand. That said, the strengths of the rest of this story more than redeems those tiny issues, and I wholeheartedly recommend this book, especially to anyone who enjoys the Off to Be the Wizard or NPCs series.

A very big thanks to Aethon Books for providing me with a review copy of this audiobook.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Kept me up all night long!

Not usually the biggest fan of fantasy, but I loved this. The character focus was a great change of pace for epic fantasy. I can't wait to see where the series goes. It ends on a very unexpected note.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Amazing Chracterization! Amazing Narrator!

the story took a long time to get started, but once it started it really went full force. whitney was slightly frustrating because his charisma made him similar to a Vash the stampede type character but he was not as loveable as Vash. torsten was a pretty amazing character as the wearer of white and I love noble characters with amazing conviction.

the book suffered from a little boredom at the beginning tho until it got all crazy, lol. I do appreciate twists and I hope the characters can manage to find some form of real friendship as I would rather whitney not be completely frustrating the whole time.

I loved the ending twist!

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • jim.a
  • 11-23-18

A book I could not but fall in love with.

I have never heard a narrator become so immersed in a character, I not only pictured Whitney in all his roguish annoying glory. but I also could picture the fun Narrator Luke Daniels had. The story and a full story (sometimes it can be frustrating when a story just ends to open the door for a sequel,, but in Web of Eyes, what Rhett C Bruno and Jamie Castle has successfully done is open the door to books that could travel forward and backward and to the side depending on the character you followed. (I thing Sir Knight may be busy a while.
The story was swift and entertaining, never in your face more sit back and watch in your mind as The. Worlds professional Theif. (not so professional priest) gets on with it, of as I recal, Plan, prepare, fail - improvise . Good book a definite time zapper.
Jim

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Scott R
  • 11-17-18

A Compelling tale

This tale is either love it or very good as we go on an unusual quest through a new land facing thieves to goddesses to save a kingdom.
Although this is very well written a few might find one of our main characters Whitney a bit too much although the talents of Luke Daniels make him quite tongue in cheek and very engaging. This is a great piece of work by LD but attention is needed for some of the more minor characters as the accents cam be a little too thick for easy listening. I will be keeping a keen eye out for the next in the series as i found myself having a wry smile by the end as i bonded with the writing and the story.
Overall the story is 4.5 and narration brings this up to a 5 .
I requested this audio and have left my thoughts on this for you to peruse.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Morris
  • 12-10-18

Wonderful

This is a book for all. It starts off slow but the pace picks up further along the story. The narration is amazing and there is a solid plot, sprightly and witty. The characters are entertaining and show great character development, one of the MCs is hilarious. The world is filled with magic and mystery, betrayal and friendship. The author has done a brilliant job setting the scene and as a result I will be continuing on with the series. I can recommend it to anyone who's up for some adventure!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Eugene Hughes
  • 12-04-18

A good light-hearted fantasy story

I do try and keep an eye out for books narrated by Luke Daniels as he usually has a good range of voices for the characters. Overall it was a pretty good story and well narrated. Im looking forward to starting the 2nd book :-)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ralph Kern
  • 11-23-18

Fantastic Book

I’ve long been a fan of Rhett Bruno and Luke Daniels, and newly acquainted with Jaime Castle’s work, who is equally impressive.

The story itself is a compelling epic fantasy, with the innate complexity to the world, and weight of history as say GOT, but crucially has the readability that series (for me, anyway) lacks.

The story itself has rolls between an almost heist style quest, and the shenanigans that brings with the undertones of something darker going on.

A word on the characters, and a compelling reason to listen to this on audio. Whitney, is a Sarcastic rogue - somewhat reminiscent of the Bard in, well, a Bard’s Tale. This is wonderfully balanced by Unger - the straight man. A fun dynamic adding levity to what can be a dark story at times.

Luke, as ever, is not just a simple narrator - his voice acting is truly excellent!

A great read / listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Simon
  • 11-14-18

A Web of Accents!

I enjoyed this story, it's a decent fantasy yarn even it doesn't stretch the genre in any sense. A cheeky thief, a sulky female mage and for us old gamers a Palladin in a fast-moving adventure with plenty of action. The story is well constructed and this first volume builds the world and its background very well.

I do hesitate to recommend it though because of the narration. Some people will love it but Luke Daniels really does go to town on the character accents and while for example he gets the tone just right with Torsten, our paladin. some of the other minor characters are almost unintelligible. Our young thief Whitney actually sounds like a seventy year old leprechaun and I'm really not sure what some of the other characters are meant to resemble though when excited some of them start sounding Irish too! It's a very enthusiastic performance but the character voices are maybe just a bit OTT a lot of the time.

The good news is that the audio sample will show you all you need to know and if you are happy with the narration then this one has a decent story to follow and we get a complete story arc plus the setup for the remainder of the series.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MR
  • 12-03-18

Great fantasy story

I really enjoyed this story, it balanced a detailed world with fast action and fun characters. I really liked the thief character (Whitney) and the way that he was able to annoy everybody around him. Luke Daniels performs to his usual high standards and continues to be one of my favorite narrators. I have not read/listened to much of late but I really enjoyed this and I look forward to continuing with the series.

Please note that I was provided with a free copy to provide a non-biased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • C. Rowlands
  • 11-25-18

Solid start to series with entertaining narration

Initially this feels like a fairly conventional fantasy novel, you have the main party being built along lines to carry out a vital quest for their monarch that will be familiar to anyone even vaguely familiar to the genre, but a conventional start can also be looked at as a solid foundation and that is what it seems to be with this one with the characters having enough characterisation to avoid simply being their archetypes of rogue, caster etc.

As this is the first book in a series there is obviously a fair amount of world-building going on, to establish things like the mechanics of the magic system, the people, history and geography of the world, but this is done in a fairly organic manner without disrupting the flow of the main story itself.

On the whole the narration of this book is extremely good, with the narrator giving drastically different voices for all the main characters to the extent that it is more of a performance. A couple of minor criticisms that I have, the accent he chose for Whitney, the rogue was a bit too over the top and could grate a little at times. Also, since his voices were all so distinctive there was no need for him to have read out what I can only assume were chapter headings put in by the author, they have their purpose in a text edition but not here as they disrupted the immersion created by the range of voices.

Overall, this is an enjoyable first book in the series that still manages to be a complete story in its own right too, so you do not feel like it has suffered to setup the rest of the series.

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • IOI-655321
  • 11-13-18

Just couldn't get on with the narrator

The story seemed good and the narrator read clearly and did some voices well but the 'Oirish' accent used for the thief was just grating to me and I couldn't keep listening.

One for me to read and not listen to I think.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carole Cusson
  • 03-12-19

Narration

Enjoyed the story, but the narration of the main character was a little over the top for me.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful