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.
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Disappointing Second Installment
In the first book the characters developed individually and in their relationships in a moderately satisfying way. The protagonist's naive nature and feckless enthusiasm were excusable because he had grown up in a sheltered environment. In this book ,however, all of the characters just act as foils to progress a very predictable plot. Caldan is shocked, over and over, that he isn't taken seriously by people in power. This is really painful to read. It's like watching a bad horror movie where the irrational actions of the characters just make you want to punch them. And it is made worse by the fact that Caldan is supposed to be this strategic genius who is great at reading patterns and people. And he shifts between offhandedly slaughtering enemies, and being appalled that he has done something so callous as to strike a lady! (The lady in question being a murderous sorceress).
All this ends up just making it impossible to understand his motivations or maintain respect for a character which the first book managed decently. Hogan got lazy with this book and instead of working on character development and finding ways to flow forward the plot from there just makes up absurd situations and conclusions to ram forward to the next story line.
Also, he repeatedly uses the "I don't have time to explain right now" ploy to avoid characters from understanding what they need to, when there is never actually a shortage of time. Usually these phrases occur during the middle of journeys or preparation periods that are days or weeks long, and the explanation would take maybe 30 seconds. No time while making a campfire, or during eating, or before sleep? I don't mind suspending disbelief but it's much easier to get lost in a story if you maintain realistic premises for inter-character tension and lack of clarification.
Wyman has a good voice and keeps dialogue going smoothly. He isn't as good as some in switching between male and female characters, but overall does a pretty good job of processing the story.
The healer. She just whines and moans and has really flimsy motivations. Basically playing the part of "moral compass" (badly) to keep Caldan from treating Bells like the villain she is and getting crucial info out of her.
If the author stayed true to the characters. Makes me cringe when Caldan is reduced to being a worthless and useless hero. I thought Caldan was excellent in dominion but in thiis book his actions falls short. Makes me want to give up on this book and several times i had to stop listening. This is the longest time i finished the book. There's no page turner. The heros are reduced to bunggling fools.
Perhaps not. That remains to be seen with the 3rd book.
Caldan used to be my favorite character until the author destroyed his traits.
The only redeeming quality is the 3rd book. Hopefully the author wakes up from this nightmare of character destruction. If not then the author just wasted my time and credits.