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Publisher's Summary

The White Tree (book one): In Mallon, the dark magic of the nether has been banned for centuries. Its users have been driven out or killed. Its secrets lost.
But the holy book of the nethermancers has just been found by a boy named Dante.
As he works to unlock the book's power, he's attacked in the street. The nethermancers aren't gone—and they want their book back. Caught between death cultists and the law, Dante fights for his life, aided by his growing skills and a brash bodyguard named Blays. Together they're drawn into a centuries-old conflict that brings Mallon to the brink of civil war.
Surviving won't be easy. But if they make it out alive, they'll step down the path to becoming two of the greatest warriors the world has ever known.
The Great Rift (book two): Dante and Blays have averted war against their new home of Narashtovik. But they didn't do so alone. It's time to repay their debts.
The norren who helped them remain enslaved by the Gaskan Empire. While arming the norren clans for rebellion, Dante hears one of them is in possession of the legendary Quivering Bow. If he can track down the weapon, it could secure norren independence.
But the wheels of war have already begun to turn. As Gask moves to crush the rebellion, Dante and Blays find themselves at the head of a campaign for survival—for norren and Narashtovik alike.
The Black Star (book three): Narashtovik has been saved—but Dante and Blays' friendship has been destroyed.
Blaming the Gaskan king for the loss of his love, Lira, Blays infiltrates the enemy nobility. There he schemes to bankrupt Gask and drive its ruler from the throne. But Dante's been waiting for Blays' return. If he finds and exposes him, Blays will be executed as a spy.
As they squabble, strange lights shine in the east. Harbingers of a long-forgotten threat. If the signs go ignored, Narashtovik will be annihilated by an enemy it never knew it had.
©2012 Edward W. Robertson (P)2015 Podium Publishing
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jonah on 06-11-17

In Response to the Criticism from Other Reviewers

I greatly enjoyed the Cycle of Arawn and have continued to follow the sequel series the Cycle of Galand. The most important thing to know about the series is that the plot is secondary to the characters, specifically the two protagonists. The book is built on their relationship and upon their banter and while there is always some exciting crisis requiring their intervention (or caused by it) their interactions and dialog are the main focus. Tim Gerard Reynolds does a fantastic job of capturing their relationship and their banter, and his performance makes this audiobook worthwhile. That isn't to say that the plot is not interesting or engrossing, just that it is not what makes these books great.

The main criticisms I have seen while reading through the reviews fall into two categories. The first is that the readers did not like the main characters and felt that they were not good enough in the moral sense. While the book is entertaining and much of it has an almost lighthearted feel to it, readers should be warned that the protagonists are not heroes. They lie, cheat, steal and kill throughout the series and while there is development and growth, they not become knights in shining armor. The series follows recent trends towards making more interesting, flawed characters (which in my view is a positive.) But if you are looking for champions of good who fight back the dark forces of evil, look somewhere else. Blayse and Dante invariably try to do what they think is best for them and their allies, but a lot of people still end up dead.

The second category of criticism is that the two protagonists constantly find themselves needing to rush off and complete some quest, save some people, yada, yada, yada. This is true and inherent in the genre and eventually lampshaded in later books. But to reiterate, the plots, while fun, are a setting for the main characters to interact, quip and generally be entertaining as they try to "save the day" or at least muddle through without getting themselves or too many others killed. You could toss the two in any setting and still get a book worth listening too, and to some degree this is what the author does.

The book does start off a bit slowly, but if you stick with it, it quickly and obviously becomes well worth the wait.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By jazmaan on 09-05-15

Entertaining and Fun

Would you listen to The Cycle of Arawn again? Why?

I might go back and listen to the first book again, this trilogy is so long I've forgotten some of the first book already!

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the fact that it never dragged over 65 hours!

Have you listened to any of Tim Gerard Reynolds’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Reynolds may have even improved since he narrated the Riyria Chronicles!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Ha ha. 65 hours is too long for any one sitting!

Any additional comments?

I don't agree with people complaining about so many of the characters being smart-alecks. I enjoyed every bit of the wise-cracking repartee and just accepted it as a cultural thing common to this fantasy world. This "Cycle" reminded me a lot of the Riyria Chronicles. I'd say it doesn't quite measure up to Riyria, but it was still quite enjoyable and I hope there's even more to come in this series.

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99 of 110 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Robyn on 02-21-16

Good potential, poorly executed.

I did plough through the whole trilogy (probably only because it all came at the cost of a single credit for 66 hours of story), but have to admit to being rather disappointed. There was so much potential with the world created, but the plot seemed to lurch from event to event, with huge gaping holes glibly glossed over. Similarly, the characters were under-developed, and all seemed to have the same flippant attitude to events of consequence.............all rather disappointing.

I also found some of the story telling quite jarring at times. For example, this is an "old-world"; with sword fighting and horses as the means of travel.....Yet a throw-away quip by one of the lead characters references "zombies"??!!! I had to rewind just to check I hadn't misheard. Felt horribly out of place.

By the third book in the trilogy, I think the author had settled down a little, and the characters were a little more defined (Blays becomes a little more interesting) but the plot was still so frustratingly shallow and with so many gaping holes its a wonder an editor ever let it get to production.

The narration was ok, although very few characters had real differentiation which could be challenging at times.

If you want mindless entertainment and you are aren't too picky about plots and character development, then this is probably sufficiently entertaining to distract...............however, if you choose to pass this one by, you won't be missing anything.

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23 of 27 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Bob on 12-23-15

Gave up half way.

Any additional comments?

I've got no idea how this novel has attained such a high average score. I listened to over 20 hours before I decided I couldn't take anymore and gave up. The only reason I haven't given it one star is because I have not completed it therefore I cannot completely condemn it as something wonderful may happen after the first 30 hours of listening. The two leading characters are criminally underdeveloped. Why does Dante so desperately want to have magical powers - because he saw somebody else do it once, is that it? Why does his eventual side kick Blase seem willing to follow him unquestionably? Again the answer appears wafer thin. The nonchalant attitude the teenage protagonist show to murder and death really shows the lack of true characterisation. I have read some reviewers talk of how they love the way the two characters talk to each other in crudities and they site this as some sort of evidence of good characterisation however when I listen to it all I hear is pithy nonsense, two teenage best friends who never have a real or meaningful conversation, I've never know such a thing, what is the point of a best friend when your at the most vulnerable time of your life if not to share some of that teenage angst? Plot, in the first 20 hours I have not found one, the main characters bumping into people and believing whatever they are told, going wherever they are directed to go, doing whatever they are told to do, does not constitute a plot in my book. We've got protagonist that don't think, how are you supposed to drive a narrative if you don't think for yourself - the answer is they do not. I am a great fan of the fantasy genre, I love gritty realism and I enjoy getting value for money with a long listen but this is really poor.

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21 of 25 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Robert P. Rumball on 04-11-16

Action A'plenty With Weapons, Hands and Magic

If you could sum up The Cycle of Arawn in three words, what would they be?

The first word would be ACTION, the second DESCRIPTIONS and the third has gotta be MAGIC, 'specially the Arawn precursor to Telecom. The LOOM

What other book might you compare The Cycle of Arawn to, and why?

The Shadow of What Was Lost compares favourably, similar protagonists and action, but totally different atmospheres

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Some of the Pub scenes with Dante and Blaes playing up

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Did both at various times

Any additional comments?

Have read it twice already, will read again...

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Simon on 11-15-16

Dissapointed

A long tale but I never felt any connection to the lead character I found it a struggle to get through

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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