Keeper of the Keys : Cycle of Fire

  • by Janny Wurts
  • Narrated by David Thorpe
  • Series: Cycle of Fire
  • 12 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For the first time in audio, the Cycle of Fire Trilogy, a stout and epic tale mixing sci-fi and fantasy, by acclaimed author Janny Wurts.
In Book 2, Keeper of the Keys, Ivainson Jaric, Keeper of the Keys, heir of the Firelord, is being hunted down by the Accursed. His blood gifts him with raw power but not enough to overcome the evil forces....
Janny Wurts is the author of several fantasy series, and the internationally best selling Empire trilogy, written in collaboration with Raymond E. Feist. She paints all her own covers, depicting her vision of characters and setting. She is also an expert horsewoman, sailor, musician, and archer.

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"Middle book" of a creative series

Keeper of the Keys is a "middle book," so much of the plot involves Jaric???s gradually increasing realization and conviction that he can no longer deny the world the talents he was given as Firelord???s heir, even though he risks the madness that his father suffered. Though there are many exciting episodes in Keeper of the Keys, they mainly serve to get Jaric ready to prepare himself for the future.

Wurts??? story is creative and I especially like the SFF mix which is reminiscent of Andre Norton???s Witchworld. Wurts??? characters are likable and the transitions they go through, especially Jaric???s, are realistic (though I was really ready for Jaric to man up by the end of this book). I especially like a couple of the gruffer characters: The Kielmark and his captain Corley. Wurts is particularly good with these types of characters and they are a nice counterpoint to Jaric???s occasional whininess.

Thorpe???s enthusiastic voice is charming and I read on Ms. Wurts??? forum that he has all of the names and places pronounced correctly. I have one complaint, though ??? something I???ve realized may be specific to the audio version: Though the dialogue is quite nice and the scenery and action are clearly described, I find that, for me at least, the occasional wordiness and frequent use of participial phrases at the beginning of sentences reduces the vividness of my mental imagery and interrupts the plot???s tension.

Because I???m a Strunk & White kind of girl, the conspicuousness of the style affected my enjoyment of the audio version, but it???s only likely to bother weird people like me. (Weird people such as me, I mean.) I should also mention that The Cycle of Fire is Janny Wurts??? first epic and that I prefer her later style.

I???m looking forward to Shadowfane. I don???t doubt that Jaric and Taen will save the world, but it will be fun to see how they triumph, to find out what happens to Emien and Anskiere, and to learn more about the history of the Vaere and the Corinne Dane.
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- Katherine "I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!"

Interesting but extreamly melodramatic

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The story is very interesting but the author has overdone with drama. The emotions and motivations of the male characters are unbelievably unrealistic and melodramatic and blind to the fault (especially Jarick’s). As a male I cannot phantom them nor relate to them. Wouldn’t be able to finish reading the book because of it, but with audiobook it is possible to disable disbelive and skip those parts with half a ear, to see what will happen next, though it is frustrating.


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- Tomasz

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-12-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios