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The story was great. Dungeons and dragons style story from the view of the orcs. Loved it. I had heard another novel by Mather that was a children's/young adult. His voice was MUCH better suited to this story. His voice had the perfect gruff gravel tone to it that one would imagine for an orcs voice. The tale was well written and
Well read. These two made a great pair. I look forward to more from both. Swords sorcery goblins trolls and humans and orcish intrigue. Great stuff! I received this audiobook from the author narrator or publisher for free via audiobookboom in exchange for an unbiased review
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Wow, what a great fantasy story from a very different perspective than one I was expecting. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in fantasy or even wants a primer on orc culture and social interaction. I feel I have been given an education in a culture that has never been shown to me until now. I will never watch “The Lord of the Rings” series the same way after reading this story. I never liked orcs in previous fantasy stories I read as they were always brainless and cruel, however the author may change your mind about these creatures after hearing his tale.
Sean-Michael Argo writes a high-fantasy story covering more than a century of time. This world has the standard fantasy tropes one would expect in a fantasy story like humans, dwarves, elves, goblins, trolls, and of course orcs. What makes this story unique is that it is written from the point of view of a marauding orc tribe as the hoard battles across the territory in search of a specific goal; it’s a surprise so go and read the book. The book also contains some magic, wizards, however it is mostly focused on the brutality of the hoarding mentality of orcs. I also liked how the author gave these often perceived vicious creatures’ emotions and feelings. We see that these creatures even have long-term goals and aspirations. As I said earlier, I will never look at an orc the same way after reading this story.
The author does a good job of pacing the story and the action by including some past cut scenes or backstory to help relieve the tension experienced during the journey. The story takes about 225 pages to tell, however when you are done it feels like a journey of over 1000 pages. The story is very concise with little fluff, which in many ways this is difficult to accomplish. Did I want more? Yes. Did I feel the author short changed me to get me to buy another book? Not at all. I was well satisfied with what I read in this book.
Although the book does contain some graphic violence, like that of other well-known fantasy stories, it is not over the top or highly descriptive. I also want to commend the author for writing a story that does not contain any vulgar language. It seems like it is more difficult to find books and authors capable to telling a story without resorting to foul language. Because of these two points, I would say that the book is rather safe for a teenager to consume and enjoy, and yet the story is rich and deep enough for adults. It is not written as a YA book; however, it could be used as one.
With regard to the book’s narration based on the audiobook version, let me first say that I was unsure if I was going to enjoy the book when I first started it. If you have the same feeling when you start the book, I beg you to continue until the end. I often find myself listening to books at 1.25x their original speed. When I started to listen to the book at is original pace (1x), I found that I could better enjoy the story and was not rushed to get through it. Mr. Mather’s voice is deep, rich, and after completing this book I would not want my orcs to sound any different. I have a feeling that every story containing orcs that I see or read will have Mr. Mather’s voice attached to it from here on out. He currently has over 104 titles narrated on Audible, and I would believe they are all as well narrated as this one.
Great job both of you for taking me on a journey full of adventure, magic, and mayhem.
This book was provided to the reviewer by the author, narrator, or publisher in exchange for a non-bias review.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This is a fairly brave attempt at something a little off the beaten track, hence why I was attracted to it when Audiobook Boom listed their latest offerings. The story follows one of the last great Orc tribes of the ancient races as they struggle for survival against the races of men, dwarves and elves. So these are not your basic orcs, they are just a bit out of the ordinary. They’re intelligent, have magic and despite being very susceptible to battle rage they have pride, custom and history.
It actually works pretty well overall, I found myself rooting for these orcs as they fought hard and with deadly intent. They certainly aren’t exactly lovable rogues but it’s an interesting take on one of fantasy’s very traditional monsters. There is lots of action and despite the book’s brevity the author manages to pack in a decent amount of background into his story fleshing out the motivations and social structure of his version of Orc-kind He has a brusque style which means that there are no slow sections or points of drag.
Philip J Mather’s voice is a richly deep gravelly rumble and hugely cultured. When I first heard the audio sample I really wasn’t sure but it is a fabulous voice and I genuinely enjoyed listening to it despite my initial reservations – take a listen though to the audio sample and you’ll see what I mean. The only problem, and I hope he’ll forgive me for saying it, is that his very cultured tones made the monsters just sound too “posh” to me. Of course this book gives them pride and dignity but ideally I would have liked to have had my orcs, goblins and trolls just a bit more visceral as they spat their hatred. In any case though, it remains a great voice to listen to.
So a valid effort that’s worth considering for anyone fed up of seeing orcs just used as so much sword-fodder and wants them to have their own moment in history.
This audiobook was provided to me free via Audiobook Boom by the author or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful