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Publisher's Summary

A city under siege…. An ancient book of forbidden magic…. A power that will save or destroy all!
The ancient desert city of Al-zora is under siege by a swarm of man eating insects - unleashed by a deposed queen's vengeful curse.
But on the eve of total destruction hope for salvation comes…. In the form of Princess E’feena - the renegade princess who enlists the help of the noble swordsman Alcar, her sworn protector, and Jzemlek the alchemist and thief. To claim an ancient book of forbidden magic.
A book hidden deep in the very heart of the city - a vile swamp haunted by man eating plants every bit as ravenous and deadly as the attacking swarm.
But to save her beloved city from total annihilation E’feena will risk anything - ignoring the warnings of the sages, defying her father, the king -whose word is law! Defying all who fear the uncontrollable magic will bring a far greater calamity!
For E’feena means to unleash the most powerful force locked within the mysterious tome….a force with the power to not only destroy the insatiable swarm….but also create a true nightmare….a fate far worse then the horde encircling the city walls -For princess E’feena means to unleash the dreaded Thol-ra itself!
©2013 Joseph Buzzoni (P)2014 Joseph Buzzoni
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By HeatherY on 07-03-17

Action Packed Novella

A dethroned queen strikes out into the desert seeking an ancient power to take revenge on those who toppled from her throne. She unleashes an army of giant insects who lay siege to the city. The princess E’feena disobeys her father's decree against using magic and goes in search of a magic capable of stopping the attacks. She's joined by her sworn protector, Alcar, and a trickster alchemist, Jzemlek. The source of the magic is located in a dangerous citadel guarded by the murderous Thol-ra. E'feena will do anything and sacrifice anyone to save her city from the insects. But in unleashing the Thol-ra, she may inflect a worse fate on her people.

This is a standalone story with no cliffhanger. There was a lot of action packed into this novella, but it was also full of detailed descriptions. The author really portrayed the world and each setting well. The characters were interesting, E'feena was a ruthless leader, one who would use any means necessary to achieve her end. Alcar was the voice of reason, but limited by his absolute obedience to E'feena. Jzemlek was out to save his own elfish neck. They made an interesting trio.

I think that listeners will either love or hate the narration, there's no middle ground. The writing was quite dramatic, each character snarls or snaps or wails, they never "said" anything. Matt Franklin definitely portrayed that dramatic style, reading the story in a grandiose rolling manner. I found it entertaining, but I'd recommend sampling it for yourself.

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3 out of 5 stars
By ER on 10-02-15

Story Good, Narrator Bad

Is there anything you would change about this book?

It always take a few minutes to adjust to a narrator, especially if I've never listen to them before, but I just couldn't adjust to Matt Franklin. His voice detracted from the story for me. I felt as though he was taking himself too seriously, as though his acting was more important than the actual tale.

What other book might you compare The Thol-ra to and why?

It reminded my of Tigana. Also a bit of Virconium, but I didn't like that book, and I did like Thol-ra.

Would you be willing to try another one of Matt Franklin’s performances?

Oddly enough, yes. I listened to samples of some of his other performances, and they seemed much better. It must just be the way he reads these SnowRaven Chronicles I can't stand.

Any additional comments?

This isn't my usual cup of tea, but I enjoyed the story.

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