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Publisher's Summary

Anasoma, jewel of the Mahruse Empire, has fallen.
As Caldan and his companions flee the city, horrors from the time of the Shattering begin to close in.
With Miranda's mind broken by forbidden sorcery, Caldan is forced to disobey the most sacrosanct laws of the Protectors if he is to have any chance of healing her.
But when one of the emperor's warlocks arrives to take control of him, he begins to suspect his burgeoning powers may be more of a curse than a blessing, and that the enemies assailing the empire may be rivaled by even more sinister forces within.
This is an updated recording from the original 2014 edition, also performed by Oliver Wyman, which matches the current reissue of the print book.
©2014 Mitchell Hogan (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Lenard W Havard on 11-28-16

Hard to Empathize with Main Character

I almost stopped listening to the book after the first couple of hours. The main character, Caldan, made so many naïve/poor choices that were inconsistent with other examples of wisdom that it was hard to empathize, like, and respect him. I suppose it is possible that someone could be that dense and inflexible, but they generally don't survive long. For a while I thought that maybe I am a sociopathic genius unjustifiably applying the fundamental attribution error. But as I thought of the main characters created by Brandon Sanderson, Michael J. Sullivan, Patrick Rothfuss, Kel Kade, etc.... I feel that this critique of the main character is appropriate.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Captain Spanky Of Nazareth on 10-18-16

2 Major Crimes Against The Reader

Any additional comments?

There is a rising plague of this one particular violation of the author-audience agreement wherein, the author does not finish any significant segment of their story at the end of their first book... or second. - Oftentimes there is a fake or unsatisfying ending wherein the hero "survives"... and a "leg of the adventure" has ended via some vague landmark. - But then there's THIS... the kind where the author feels no need to end any part of the story at all. There is no conclusion, and so therefore... you have experienced no story. You have simply been bullied into buying a next CHAPTER in the same unconcluded story... via the not-at-all clever mechanisms of kidnapping & extortion. - "You don't want to waste all those hours you've invested in this book do you??? - No... we thought not."
I'm pretty tired of it.
If you want to sell me a big book DO IT! I'll buy it. Sanderson does it all the time! But please stop this nonsense.

The narrator is good enough to warrant the descriptor of "performance". He's pretty great. So that's not an issue here.

The lead character's IQ consistency though... (meaning the reliability of his intelligence to remain consistent so you don't have to suffer the author moving the plot forward by way of making the lead character suddenly, temporarily, and unfathomably stupid) is lacking in a fairly shameful way.
Moving the story into turmoil by giving your lead (otherwise brilliant) character sudden and momentary bouts of unbelievably low intelligence that are fundamentally inconsistent with the remainder of the book two or three times per novel... is hack-knee writing. No deadline is that important. Don't go to the dark side. You're better than this... but only on days when you consciously and respectfully choose to be.
Is it abysmal??? No.
Am I judging this author against the highest standard because so much of the work is fantastic? - Absolutely. Watching someone give up at mile 25 of the marathon is a lot more painful to me than witnessing someone who never even got off the starting line.
3 stars.
End of rant.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Simon on 08-18-16

A Divisive Series?

I’m enjoying this series. There, I said it. It seems however that some others simply aren’t so why is this series causing such a wide spread of reactions?

Firstly, I do think it has a lot going for it. The plot is building nicely in terms of the conflict. The world and the factions within it are intriguing and some of the character development is actually pretty good. I have particularly enjoyed the slow reveal of the deliciously twisted Amaden over the first two books. The description and use of magic in the books is very well done. A mix of the pseudo-scientific and the bright-eyed wonder of spectacular and at times subtle sorcery. The use of that sorcery in the action scenes is very impressive with no little ingenuity. The whole thing is very, very well performed by Oliver Wyman with an impressive and consistent range of character voices.

So, what’s not to like? Well, it’s not the fastest paced book you will ever read. There is a fair amount of repetitive soul-searching and if Oliver Wyman has a weakness it’s in the narrative away from the dialogue. The lead character Caldan is a baffling mix of instinctively intuitive sorcerer, master tactician and frankly complete pillock. This seems to be at the root of many of the complaints and it’s a fair charge though I don’t think brilliant intelligence and a lack of basic human understanding is that rare a combination.

So, one that clearly splits opinion, and with good reasons. For me the story, the sorcery and Amaden will definitely draw me into following this to its conclusion in what I believe is the third and final book. If you liked the first one you’ll likely enjoy this too. If you were troubled by the first one the chances are that you’ll see the same flaws here too.

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11 of 13 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Rosie on 03-02-16

Good story but slow

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I felt that the writing style changed dramatically in this book, the characters still developed nicely but the plot became a lot slower as a result. So if you like books that have a lot of inner thinking and character points of views/developments then you would probably enjoy this. Still a good story, just drags in the middle.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I think I would have preferred an abridged version of this a lot more. I often only listen in 20 minute chunks so when most of what I am hearing is the same thing explained a little more each time then it can become tedious to listen to. Without adding spoilers, some parts could have had a more dramatic effect by not being so obvious, a little bit more of a twist would be nice.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The start and the end were very good, reminiscent of the first book. The characters are very strong and appealing in the way the develop.

Any additional comments?

I wouldn't listen to this again, which is why I gave it a low overall score. I don't feel like I wasted my time listening to it and would love to find out the conclusion to the plot mainly for the characters that I don't feel apathetic about. I also found the narration enjoyable.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Sam Burgess on 09-01-17

Loved it.

A throughly enjoyable magical adventure. Fantastic intrigue and complex story telling. looking forward to the last book.

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2 out of 5 stars
By Ben on 08-28-17

Find a synopsis, move on to book 3

Drags on, boring. Is book 2 written by he same person? Just find a synopsis and move on to book 3.

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