Dominion of Blades

  • by Matt Dinniman
  • Narrated by Andrea Parsneau
  • 12 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For over 30 years, Dominion of Blades has been the hottest online role-playing game in the world. Any gamer with an immersion rig can enter the world of sword and sorcery, of goblins and dragons, and they can hack and slash their way to glory. But the game is too real for some, and after an epidemic of real-life fatalities, public use of the immersion technology has been banned, causing the game to be shut down.
Jonah wakes to find himself in-game, level one, with no memory of how he arrived and no way to eject. With only two companions, trapped in a world that once hosted millions, Jonah must battle his way across a treacherous landscape, fighting virtual monsters, all too real pain, and a very human enemy in a desperate bid to survive.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Far more interesting than the name suggests

To summarize, I am very happy that I decided to spend my credit on this one. After a string of disappointments, this was what I needed. It was a healthy serving of the familiar LitRPG romp, but with an honest, intimate perspective. There's a sense of closeness to the protagonist's struggles, and it channels something that many of us struggle with - the concept of our own identity.

Personally, I don't read the genre for the stats or the grind, nor for the levelling or the quests. I've always felt that quests in these kinds of books seem like a form of exposition - they don't need any kind of believable motivation, because hey - it's a game. That's the way they are designed. I read LitRPG because I feel the genre provides a fantastic backdrop for the interactions between the characters. Usually the player characters, but even those particularly well written NPCs. That, combined with the speculations on virtual reality and AI has made for quite a few exceptional stories that have really brightened my day.

Dominion of Blades, despite its uninspired title, certainly did just that. It gave me characters to connect with, with problems I cared about. It gave me a strikingly beautiful world with all kinds of interesting little quirks. It somehow made me fear death, in a world where it is only temporary - and I don't even mean the particular case of the protagonist. I mean for all of them. Whenever death came, it did so with a moment of panic. It was thrilling.

Lastly, unlike too many LitRPG titles these days, this one tied up all of its major loose ends, and felt complete. There's certainly room for a sequel, and I'd be glad to listen to it, but this ending left me quite satisfied.

Story aside, the narration was also superb. Andrea Parsneau's range brought each character to life, and kept me engaged throughout.

Long story short: you should probably buy this. It's not my favourite LitRPG book (which may be odd considering how I have only positive things to say about it), but it's definitely up there.
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- Irshad Karim

Best book in the LitRPG Genre

Most LitRPG novels are little more than a pleasant, formulaic diversion, and I love them for what they are. I purchased Dominion of Blades on Audible expecting more of the same.

I was wrong.

Dominion of Blades is the best LitRPG book I have ever read. It stands out in its genre in many ways - quality writing, fresh and complex characters, humor, inversion of tropes - the list goes on. I would absolutely recommend the book on those grounds alone, but Matt Dinniman has done even more. As far as I can tell, he's the first LitRPG author to employ the genre to talk about bigger issues. What better genre to use to discuss identity?

I truly hope that this novel will be expanded into a series - I will be first in line if it is. To the author: keep up the great work, and don't let criticism of your themes or subject matter deter you. If I could give more than five stars, I would.
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- James Foster

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-22-2017
  • Publisher: Matt Dinniman