The Barrow

  • by Mark Smylie
  • Narrated by Michael Page
  • 21 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When a small crew of scoundrels, would-be heroes, deviants, and ruffians discover a map that they believe will lead them to a fabled sword buried in the barrow of a long-dead wizard, they think they've struck it rich. But their hopes are dashed when the map turns out to be cursed and then is destroyed in a magical ritual. The loss of the map leaves them dreaming of what might have been, until they rediscover the map in a most unusual and unexpected place.
Stjepan Black-Heart, suspected murderer and renegade royal cartographer; Erim, a young woman masquerading as a man; Gilgwyr, brothel owner extraordinaire; Leigh, an exiled magus under an ignominious cloud; Godewyn Red-Hand, mercenary and troublemaker; Arduin Orwain, scion of a noble family brought low by scandal; and Arduin's sister, Annwyn, the beautiful cause of that scandal: together they form a cross-section of the Middle Kingdoms of the Known World, united by accident and dark design, on a quest that will either get them all in the history books or get them all killed.


What the Critics Say

"Genuinely inspired, shockingly erotic, and completely fantastic." (John R. Fultz, author of Seven Sorcerers)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Scallywags and Ne'er Do Wells

Here's what I love about this book: scoundrels. Fantasy has gotten pretty dark of late and many books feature anti-heroes and dark or grim types but the members of the underworld featured in The Barrow have have uniqueness and panache. They enjoy their dastardly deeds and they carry them out with a bit of flair. Whereas Game of Thrones (which I enjoy) is largely peopled with bloodthirsty pragmatists the heroes and villains in The Barrow like to take risks and have a bit of fun.

Any chapter with Leigh is a good one. The narrator gave him the most interesting voice. The narrator also did very well with Erim who (as the book's description points out is a woman disguised as a man). That's a tricky one to convey but Page did this beautifully

I spent a few moments at one point wondering if there wasn't just a bit too much of the lurid and prurient in this story; it seemed gratuitous and there seemed to be one too many brothel scenes early on but this was balanced out nicely. The characters were surprisingly complex (which is an absolute rarity in Fantasy).
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- Charles Harrington

Not for the faint of heart...but a good story

Let me preface this by saying that I love the new genre of fantasy called the "anti-hero" (joe abercrombie is one of my favorite authors) and when I read the blurb for this I thought it would a story similar to that.

It is an it isn't. This story has more sex, more violence, and more treachery (if you can believe it!) that kept you guessing up until the end.

If you like dark fantasy give it a try, but as my title indicates this story is definitely not for the faint of heart!
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- T. Menefee

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-25-2014
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio