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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

Most Helpful

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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103 of 108 people found this review helpful

By Mitchell on 01-10-18

....Not Impressed ..

First off, the predictability of the story has got to go. there was never a moment in the book where i was like "wow didn't see that one coming".

Second major issue is the simplistic 2nd characters. Since the whole story is based on characters misunderstanding what happens around the main character, all the characters come across as complete idiots. A good example is the court wizard. The wizard is supposed to over a 180 years old with vast magical power, knowledge, and cunning intellect. Instead he comes across as a complete fool as he can easily prevent a lot of the misunderstandings that happen to Koran by simply communicating with other characters or using common sense. His actions in the book completely contradict how he is described and presented. This happens with almost all the characters as well. They are described in one manner but then their actions, through simplistic thought processes, contradict their initial description just so the author can easily find a way to blame Koran in an effort to illustrate how his life is unfair.

I have listed to many books that T.G. Reynolds has performed in, including The Riyria Chronicles, Riyria Revelations, and The White Tower, and have never been a real big fan. My only complainant is, how he reads so slow. like after every sentence or phrase he pauses for a few seconds longer then it needs to be, so it makes the story.... drrraaag.

The whole premise that a 13/14 year-old saves the world again in fantasy fiction books is getting a litil old. Unfortunately this initial installment kept beating us over the head with just how unfair Koren Blackwell’s life is. Seventeen hours of misunderstandings and lies all to keep one very likable young man from his destiny!

I believe that Craig Alanson has potential and i will probably get his next book but this one i was just not impressed with.

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12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Stella Woolhead on 01-10-18


Excellent book. Quite slow to start but gradually captures your imagination to want to hear more.

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By Paul Chipperfield on 12-16-17

I liked the authors other book series

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, the story around the main character didn't progress and each time another character made a decision in 'his best interest' or to 'keep him safe' it was like those poor horror films where the scantily dress teenage girl answers the door just past midnight. You know what is going to happen, in fact there was very little mystery.

Would you recommend Ascendant: Book 1 to your friends? Why or why not?

Please see above.

What didn’t you like about Tim Gerard Reynolds’s performance?

Slow and I felt I was listening to someone trying to make the story sound interesting. First time I accelerated the reading just to get through the book. Also maybe I got spoilt by other readers who are so flexible with their voices, you forget it is a single person reading the book.

Did Ascendant: Book 1 inspire you to do anything?


Any additional comments?

The story had hooks and I am interested in progressing with the next one, but I expect to play it at x2 or 3 just to get through faster. There are such big hints about dangers, the enemy, powerful wizards etc. all the stuff I like, but nothing really happened in this book. Just got book 2, wish me luck.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By connor on 01-09-18

Simple and brilliant

The story is a casual walk in the park with little ups and downs to move the story along its relaxing and interesting I listen to dozens of audio books every year and rarely do I find characters as interesting and engaging as ones found in this book a fantastic read and I can’t wait to start the next book.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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