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Publisher's Summary

The Wizard's Council of Tarador was supposed to tell young Koren Bladewell that he is a wizard. They were supposed to tell everyone that he is not a jinx, that all the bad things that happen around him are because he can't control the power inside him, power he doesn't know about. The people of his village, even his parents, are afraid of him, afraid he is cursed. That he is a dangerous, evil jinx. The Wizard's Council didn't tell young Koren, because they know what is best for him. Even after their silent deception destroys his life.
Crown Princess Ariana Trehayme will become queen of Tarador on her 16th birthday, if her weak, indecisive mother the Regent hasn't allowed their ancient enemy to conquer Tarador before then. Ariana wants her royal army to strike at the enemy, but her mother knows what is best for her, and the realm.Together, Ariana and Koren can save Tarador, if the adults, who know best, will get out of their way.
©2016 Craig Alanson (P)2017 Podium Publishing
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Customer Reviews

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By David M on 11-22-17

A skeptic entertained

Honestly, I am not a passionate fan of the sword and sorcery fantasy genre. I am a huge fan of the Expeditionary Force series and RC Bray's narrating. So it was with quite some hesitation that I purchased this book after listening to what I felt was a lackluster uninteresting preview. I wasn't convinced the story or narrator would be a worthy investment of my time and money.

I preface this review with my doubts not to troll the author or the narrator but to give context for my review.

First, after having completed this book I can't imagine a better suited narrator for this story. The narrator quickly dissolves away into the story and there are only a wide variety of characters and adept accents left. Production value was very good. There were no noticiable splicing of vocals, popping, lisping crackling "ssss", or sharp audible inhalations from the narrator that are still far too commonplace in audio production these days.

The story is a well tested, well worn one but the relateable and developed characters make it easy for the listener to be absorbed into the environment as an observer. I am pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this story and can't wait to listen to book two.

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111 of 118 people found this review helpful

By Christopher on 11-02-17

Loved it with one constant reservation

This was a really well written first book in a series. It's definitely at the high end of the quality spectrum from the writing and story-telling angle.

My reservation... I have read or listened to quite a few books whose major plot points are repeatedly driven by misunderstandings, characters accidentally over-hearing the exact wrong information at the exact wrong time, and characters inexplicably not revealing pertinent information that otherwise would bring resolution instead of conflict. In other books this usually happens "because reasons" or with no explanation whatsoever. With a book where this happens over and over, I usually make it about 4 hours in and then return it with prejudice. It's almost always lazy story-telling and so frustrating that I find myself wanting to choke the author for wasting what would otherwise be a good book.

In the case of Ascendant, the author manages to make it work (most of the time). These coincidence fails are overtly portrayed and mostly adequately explained. As a result I was able to enjoy the book and was only really in a choking mood a couple times... That said, if the inexplicable repetition of unfortunate coincidences continues through book 2 as the only device to move the plot then I'm pretty sure I won't be able to hang in for book 3.

My fingers are crossed because I really did enjoy this book.

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32 of 41 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By oaklands on 01-18-18

Good story, it caught me straight away.

I enjoyed this book much to my surprise, so much so I bought the second now eagerly awaiting the third hope I don't have to wait to long.

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By Mike on 01-18-18

Really good

The story was interesting but straight forward hence 4 out of 5 stars but kept me listening. Finished the booked in a few days. Well written and performed.
Hope book 2 progresses the characters on alot more, although to be fair this book only covers events over a year.

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Customer Reviews

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By Darren on 01-18-18

Easy to listen entry to fantasy novels

Great for teens upward. Very easy to follow unlike other fantasy novels and very well performed

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By Gareth on 01-15-18

A great listen

What made the experience of listening to Ascendant: Book 1 the most enjoyable?

Craig Alanson exercising his Fantasy skills with "Skippy the Magnificent" like awesomeness.

What other book might you compare Ascendant: Book 1 to, and why?

Gave me a similar vibe to Dawn of Wonder, but that may be because the narrator is the same. In saying that they both gave me the same feeling of discovery and joy.

What does Tim Gerard Reynolds bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He makes the characters both fun and believable. He is a joy to listen to.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The moment in the Church was both funny and heart wrenching.

Any additional comments?

If you loved this and haven't listened to Dawn of Wonder, I suggest you give it a listen.

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