The city of Peradain is the heart of an empire built with steel, spears, and a monopoly on magic...until in a single day it falls, overthrown by a swarm of supernatural creatures of incredible power and ferocity. Neither soldier nor spell caster can stand against them.
The empire's armies are crushed, its people scattered, its king and queen killed. Freed for the first time in generations, city-states scramble to seize neighboring territories and capture imperial spell casters. But as the creatures spread across the land, these formerly conquered peoples discover they are not prepared to face the enemy that destroyed an empire.
Can the last Peradaini prince, pursued by the beasts that killed his parents, cross battle-torn lands to retrieve a spell that might - just might - turn the battle against this new enemy?
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Made me want to buy more credits
- Daniel Olson
Great story, believable characters, and man-bears!
No. I don't listen to audiobooks twice. Nothing against the book, but my memory is sufficient for me.
When the scholar near the end of the book goes hollow and knocks the protagonist off the flying cart onto the riverbank.
When the grunt (hereafter referred to as man-bears) jumps off the tower at the fleeing protagonists. One character pushes to sacrifice himself to save the others and they pool together to save him.
Here are the good aspects of this book:
The characters are believable. This is a big deal for me. I am so tired of reading or listening to books where the characters do something that does not make any sense and is only done to further the plot along as the author wants.
The interactions between local lords and larger empires seem very plausible, especially considering the use of marriage, hostages, metal, and mages as resources to maintain order.
Issues of religion, nationalism, racism, and slavery are all handled in reasonable ways.
The magic system is interesting, powerful with major drawbacks. If scholars (mages) use too many spells they become violent sociopaths.
There are a lot of interesting monsters that are brought up in the book. One of the main ones are man-bears, which is both awesome and hilarious (if you are a South Park fan).
The narrator is great.
Here are some of bad aspects of this book:
You never really get to know as much about magic as you'd like, especially when you learn that all the magic was gained from a set of mysterious people who come to the kingdom every 20 years or so. Who are these guys? What is up with the portal they come out of?
Only two perspectives: an older war veteran and a young 15 year old girl. I feel that some more variety could have been added to include another, maybe as an interlude or something halfway through.
The ending of the book is a cliffhanger. I think that books should end at some form of resolution, even if it is a local one and the bigger global issues remain ahead.
- Jason Grosch