• Darkstorm

  • The Rhenwars Saga, Book 0
  • By: M. L. Spencer
  • Narrated by: Simon Wright
  • Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 01-22-18
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Stoneguard Publications
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.1 (19 ratings)

Regular price: $19.95

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Publisher's Summary

Braden and Quin Reis share a tragic past, but it’s now up to them to save the future. When a secret conspiracy resorts to harnessing the powers of the Netherworld to save their legacy, Braden and Quin are the only mages capable of stopping them. But these two would-be heroes are compromised, harboring terrible secrets.
Can Braden and Quin put aside their differences long enough to prevent the unsealing of the Well of Tears? Or will they relent and join the conspiracy?
Darkstorm is the prequel to the epic grim-dark fantasy series, The Rhenwars Saga. If you like morally gray antiheroes, page-turning action, and mind-boggling plot twists, then you’ll love Spencer’s award-winning series.
Pick up Darkstorm to begin Spencer’s epic adventure today!
"A thrilling read, fast-paced, and bitingly entertaining." - Romuald Dzemo, San Diego Book Review
"An engaging and heart wrenching tale of love, loss, deceit and desperation." - Melinda Hills, Readers' Favorite
"Powerful action." - D. Donovan, senior reviewer, Midwest Book Review
©2017 M. L. Spencer (P)2018 M. L. Spencer
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 02-23-18

Entertaining dark fantasy.

It all starts with a young mage, Merris, who overhears something from her master and a stranger. It causes her to have to flee and take refuge in a place where she never thought she'd be. Seeking help from two brothers, one a battlemage and one a drunk, they need to figure out what exactly is happening, how deep it goes and how to stop it.

It took me a little while to fully immerse myself into the world the author was setting up, but once I did, I ended up really enjoying this. This book doesn't believe in happy endings or sparing characters, and I really liked that. I liked that all the characters are flawed and the world is muddy, is good really good and is bad really bad or worse!! The plot itself was fast paced and intriguing. We are brought into the story right from the start when Merris hears her master talking to a stranger, and it's pretty much none stop after that. There was plenty of things happening to keep me hooked and I'm looking forward to seeing where the author takes it from here.

All the characters were well written and developed and, for me anyway, were the best part of the book. Each of the characters were flawed and each has baggage and seeing them grow and develop throughout the story was awesome. I feel like Quin had the most growth during the story and he was my favourite! Merris grew a lot too, though I'm still not too sure how I feel about her!!

In all this was a great read. Filled with magic, intrigue, demonic plots and so much more, it has made me excited to read more in this series. This author is one to watch!!

Simon Wright read this well. His tones and cadences worked well to bring the atmosphere to life and I enjoyed his performance. I did find though, that his female voices needed work and he sometimes didn't differentiate who was talking enough that I found myself confused at times.

I was given this free audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By C.T. on 01-25-18

Excellent Dark Fantasy novel

DARKSTORM is the prequel to the THE RHENWARS SAGA which was a series I enjoyed when I read it in Kindle format.

The premise of this novel is how the broken divided world of the original series came to pass with a conflict between the forces of evil who are trying to save the planet with the forces of "good" who are willing to lay down and accept destruction. It's an unusual reversal and one which M.L. Spencer exploits for all its worth.

The characters are morally ambiguous, the storytelling well done, and the twists multiplied before things finally come to their tragic but inevitable conclusion. I didn't dislike any of the characters in the novel and they were all realistically flawed. If I were to summarize this book, I'd go, "A ragtag bunch of misfits are recruited to save the world and fail miserably because they would have done better with people who weren't horribly broken."

Simon Wright does a decent job as the narrator and he's particularly good at playing the more salty Quin but I think he could have been a bit more posh in his accent for the higher class characters. Either way, I found the book working well and he reminded me a bit of Kit Harrington/Jon Snow when he was narrating.

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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 Rob Hayes on 06-15-18

Fun fast-paced sword & sorcery

Time for a little disclaimer. It is, unfortunately, impossible to really separate the narrator from the words when reviewing an audiobook. But I have tried.

Darkstorm is a prequel of sorts to M L Spencer’s Rhenwars Saga. The author told me this when I started the book, and pointed out that it’s probably not the best place to start the series. However, I was after an audiobook, and book 1 was not yet ready (I believe it will be soon and is probably a better place to begin your journey into the Rhen). She was not wrong. There are points where I found myself a bit lost and confused, and I feel if I had a broader knowledge of the world, it would have all made a bit more sense.

Right, so Darkstorm is the story of 2 brothers, Braden and Quin Reis as they struggle to stop a corruption within their order of mages from opening up a portal to hell. Yup, that pretty much sums up the plot in a single sentence. It’s a mad ride!

The story is fast paced and frantic, with a few big twists along the way, and a hell ( 😉 ) of a lot at stake. I mean, let’s be fair, the stakes rarely get higher than ‘the world’.

So normally I’d have given this book 4 stars (just keep reading). It’s fun and dark, sword and sorcery, short and very enjoyable. BUT! I am a picky audiobook consumer. Narrators can make or break a book. Some really bring the characters to life, and others… Well, I’ll just point out here that I did NOT get on with the narrator. He made everything sound like a breathy whisper, and I don’t think he captured the tone of the story at all. Honestly, he made the book sound like a romance novel rather than a fantasy.

So I’m giving Darkstorm 3.5 stars (yes, I’m knocking off 0.5 of a star for the narrator), but as always, I round up. So technically it still gets a 4 stars from me. I think I’ll pick up the next book in written format.

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