When Caldan’s parents are brutally slain, he is raised by monks and taught the arcane mysteries of sorcery. Vowing to discover for himself who his parents really were, and what led to their violent end, he is thrust into the unfamiliar chaos of city life. With nothing to his name but a pair of mysterious heirlooms and a handful of coins, he must prove his talent to earn an apprenticeship with a guild of sorcerers.
But he soon learns the world outside the monastery is a darker place than he ever imagined, and his treasured sorcery has disturbing depths.
As a shadowed evil manipulates the unwary and forbidden powers are unleashed, Caldan is plunged into an age-old conflict that brings the world to the edge of destruction.
This is an updated recording from the original 2014 edition, also performed by Oliver Wyman, which matches the current reissue of the print book.
Winner of Best Fantasy Novel, 2013 Aurealis Awards
"For a debut novel this is more than a little impressive. Characters are vividly drawn, multi-layered, and in one or two cases, compelling. Hogan joins with the new wave of fantasy authors in his use of morally ambivalent characters, distinct and tight points of view, believable world building, an intelligible magic system, and some edgy, gritty content." (D.P. Prior, author of The Nameless Dwarf)
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A Rothfus ripoff
I would try another book by Mitchell Hogan, but this one was too ponderous and derivative. I kept checking the cover to see if I'd picked up some kind of teen fiction book by mistake.
The voice performance was fine. The story... not so much.
Disappointed with the constant spoon feeding of plot via drawn out, ponderous dialogue.
This was a poor imitation of Patrick Rothfus's Kingkiller Chronicles. All it did was make me want to go back and listen to those again. The main character is... BORING. I quit with about 4 hours left. Couldn't take the meandering dialogue anymore. It takes 20 minutes just to get the main character to go find a jail key and unlock someone. The whole time you're thinking, "he's really building to something here, otherwise this rather mundane task wouldn't be such a focus." Then, another 10 minutes later... NOPE. It just took that much writing to get him to find a key and turn it. Nothing else happening. Just a run of the mill jail break that he turned into a half hour back and forth:
"Where are you going?"
"to get the key to get you out."
"please don't go."
"but I must"
"but you can't"
"I have to get you out!"
"Promise me you'll come back"
"I promise, it'll only be a moment"
in the end he unlocks her cell without incident. WTF?!?! a taste of that is fine, establishes her apprehension and all of that, but it goes ON AND ON AND ON well past the point of meaningfulness.
Parts of it were too delicate, too tame, other parts felt forced. The author is trying to bring several separate stories together, ala GRRM, but I found myself simply not caring about any of them, least of all the main protagonist, Caldan, who just doesn't have a whole lot of personality to care much about. Maybe the guy will become interesting at some point down the road, but it wasn't soon enough for my tastes.
- Joel R. Gerring
Took a chance, hit a home run!