Review: Rain Oxford – Book of Names (Audio)

Rain Oxford: Book of Names, J.Scott Bennett (Narrator), 10:36h, audible, $24.95

Synopsis:

The brothers Nathan and Luca are mysteriously transported to a foreign world which is very different to Earth. The new (to them) world is called Syndrial, and it is ruled by priests and gods and goddesses.

Nathan finds that he has magic, and that he is considered to be the saviour of this world if he can learn to control his magic and find a powerful book: the book of names.

He and Luca face great danger in trying to achieve that goal.

What I think:

Although the idea that the real, secret names hold power, and that whoever knows them can wield power over the person holding them is not a novel idea, the way it is presented in this book is novel and intriguing.

Syndrial is a colourful world, and it is a world of inequality. The ruling priests pretty much do what they want, and they don’t shy away from being very cruel in order to get even more powerful. The gods don’t usually interfere, and it is up to a couple of semi-gods to stop the priests.

I was drawn into the book right from the start, and there wasn’t a dull moment.

There are very many twists and turns, and nothing is as it appears. Poor Nathan has to learn the hard way, and in the end he has to make a very difficult decision about a loved one.

Scott Bennett did a marvellous job at narrating the story, his characters were convincing, his pace exactly right, just the way I like it.

Going by the subtitle (Casters of Syndrial, Book 1) it seems to be the start of a series; however, it can well be read as a standalone — there’s no mean cliffhanger, which is great.

This was my first book by both the author and the narrator, and I’ll certainly check out more of their works.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this audio book and I chose to willingly post an honest review.

Rezension: Isabell May – The Chosen One – Die Ausersehene

Isabell May: The Chosen One: Die Ausersehene; Bastei Lübbe; Okt. 2017; ebook; 244 S., €3,99

Klappentext:

 

Die 17-jährige Skadi ist eine Ausersehene – dazu bestimmt, dem Königreich Kinder zu schenken. Eine Seuche löschte vor Jahrhunderten einen Großteil der Bevölkerung aus und machte fast alle überlebenden Frauen unfruchtbar. Maella, die Regentin, ließ die wenigen fruchtbaren Frauen in eine Burg bringen, wo sie seitdem im Luxus leben und für den Fortbestand des Reichs sorgen. Skadi aber will sich nicht einsperren lassen und flieht.
Verzweifelt irrt sie umher, bis sie zufällig auf den freundlichen Finn trifft. Ihm und seinen Gefährten, darunter der rätselhafte Jaro, schließt sie sich an und erkennt, dass mehr in ihr steckt, als sie bisher überhaupt ahnte …

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Audio Blogtour/Review: Colorless – Rita Stradling

Author: Rita Stradling

Narrators: Lauri Jo Daniels

Length: 9 hours 22 minutes

Publisher: Rita Stradling, Lauri Jo Daniels

Released: Oct. 2, 2017

Genre: YA Fantasy


In Domengrad, there are rules all must live by: Fear the Gods. Worship the Magicians. Forsake the Iconoclasts.

To Annabelle Klein, the rules laid down by the Magicians are the mere ramblings of stuffy old men. As far as she’s concerned, the historic Iconoclasts, heretics who nearly destroyed the Magicians so long ago, are nothing but myth. She has much more important matters to worry about.

Heiress to a manor mortgaged down to its candlesticks and betrothed to her loathsome cousin, sixteen-year-old Annabelle doubts the gods could forsake her more.

Then Annabelle is informed of her parents’ sudden and simultaneous deaths, and all of the pigment drips out of her skin and hair, leaving her colourless. Within moments, Annabelle is invisible and forgotten by all who know her.

Living like a wraith in her own home, Annabelle discovers that to regain her color she must solve the mystery behind her parents’ murders and her strange transformation.

Meanwhile, hundreds of the Magicians’ monks, with their all-black eyes and conjoined minds, have usurped control of Annabelle’s family manor. An Iconoclast is rumored to be about—a person who they claim goes unseen, unheard, and lost to memory, yet is the greatest threat to all of Domengrad. For the first time in a hundred years, the monks plan to unleash the dire wolves of old.

Their only target: Annabelle.

Rita Stradling is the author of Ensnared, Making Bad Choices, The Deception Dance series, the Dakota Kekoa series and The Fourteen Day Soul Detox Novella Serial. She has a BA in Art History and a particular love for modern and medieval art.

Rita lives with her husband and son in Northern California.

She has an insatiable novel addiction and mostly reads young adult and adult: romance, paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy.

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Narrator Bio

Lauri Jo Daniels has had her nose in a book since before she started kindergarten and has been reading stories out loud to anyone who would listen ever since. Her mom has always said that from the moment she was born she has never shut her mouth, so it just makes sense that she would make a living with her voice.

It was this love of reading that inspired her to major in English Lit and later to become a Young Adult Librarian
and it was this career that introduced her to the wonder of audiobooks. She began dreaming of narrating them one day herself. Today that dream has become reality.

​Lauri Jo has a very versatile sound and a knack for character voices, both skills that truly bring a story to life. Those skills and her passion for storytelling have made her dream a reality.

When she’s not busy trying to organize the chaos of 2 teenagers and 6 animals at home, Lauri is producing material from The Huffington Post, Slate, and Playboy for SpokenLayer’s news podcast, SpokenEdition, voicing Alexa flash briefings for Biden’s Briefing, and narrating news and short stories for Medium Members while working on her next audiobook masterpiece.

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I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Rita Stradling. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

The beauty of the fantasy genre is, that no matter which book you listen to (or read for that matter), you can always discover something completely novel. Colorless is no exception. Here, we have a strange world, with magicians, priests, nobles, and dangerous beasts, and iconoclasts. I really love that word, it was a new one to me, but I didn’t have to look it up because the meaning was very clear.

We’re thrown into Annabelle’s transformation straight away. At first, nothing makes sense, information about why it happened, or how, is as inaccessible to the listener as it is to Annabelle herself.

Little by little we get more and more information as Annabelle sets out to discover what is behind it all.

She has a few companions who help her in her quest, most notably Dillon, the stable boy. He is one of the very few people who can actually interact with Annabelle and isn’t intent on delivering her to the monks. His siblings aren’t too pleased, but think they can use Annabelle for their own purposes.

The monks are very creepy, a bit like the Borg from Star Trek. They seem to have a collective mind, they’re threatening and powerful. The whole society has been brainwashed and subdued, and those who try to resist just vanish at some point.

Annabelle’s cousin Tony is one of them: he has to choose between giving Annabelle away, or suffering from what the the monks threaten him with, and it is interesting to see his choice.

At first, he isn’t very likable: snobbish, and paranoid, but by and by we get to know a bit of his past, and we learn that he is just another victim of the circumstances.

It will be very interesting to see the story unfold further in the next book, because I think that something more is going to happen. It was a fulminant finale, but I don’t think this can be all.

Lauri Jo Daniels did a very good job with the various characters. At times, I had to listen very closely to understand certain words, but that is due to my not being a native speaker, and the narrator’s strong American accent sometimes getting in the way.

I would rate the story and the narration at four stars (out of five) each.

Q&A with Author Rita Stradling
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • I’ve worked with a couple different narrators over the years, and each time it’s a little different. This time around, I had very little work to do. Lauri asked me some questions in the beginning, and we stayed in contact throughout. She sent me a publish ready product, I reviewed it and pressed publish.
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • I was so impressed with Lauri, I basically told her to have at it. She’s such a talented actress, and I didn’t want to squash her talent.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • Lately, I only ‘read’ in the audiobook format. Between writing and life, I just don’t have time to read physical books lately.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I’d say that it’s not a competition. Do you read books to feel accomplished or just because books make you feel and think (and escape to new lives and worlds)? If it’s solely the first, then, sure, read the books. But, don’t snub the people who read or listen for other reasons. We can all be book lovers together.
  • What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
    • I’d say the same answer for both: writing or reading in a different genre or sub-genre. I often hop between genres. Some of my favorites are: Urban Fantasy, YA Fantasy, Contemporary Romance, Cozy Mystery, Epic Fantasy.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
    • From a marketing perspective, there’s no advantage to writing a standalone (in my opinion). But, I do it because I like to move onto my next crazy idea.
  • What’s your favorite:
    1. Food – Tie – Kraft mac’n’cheese and steak & lobster
    2. Song – Anything by Imagine Dragons
    3. Book – how much time do you have? Oh my goodness . . . I’ll just give you my favorite author: Ilona Andrews.
    4. Television show – Veronica Mars
    5. Movie – V for Vendetta
    6. Band – Imagine Dragons
    7. Sports team – Sorry
    8. City – Victoria, BC
  • What’s next for you?
    • One of my books is part of the Sigils and Spells boxed set. Sigils and Spells is a collection of over twenty Urban Fantasy novels that we’re selling for $0.99 for a limited time. It comes out January 2nd. There are parties and lots of giveaways planned.

      Here’s the blurb:A dangerously beautiful vision of unique worlds that’s sure to leave its mark.
      Cross through the looking glass into Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Dystopian realms where you’ll meet valiant heroes, kick-ass heroines, and dangerous creatures waiting to unveil the hidden corners of the universe.
      SIGILS & SPELLS includes more than twenty exclusive novels that roam the sands of Egypt, slip into the shadows of 1940s Los Angeles, voyage to the mystical land of Mabi, and dare to traverse the stars.
      From the deserts of Africa to the streets of San Antonio, mythological adventurers strike out to discover brand new worlds and unravel the mysteries of Earth in a limited edition boxed set offering the diversity and originality you haven’t been able to find before now.
      Dare to enter forbidden realms of unexpected beauty and peril? Secure your copy of SIGILS & SPELLS today – before it disappears forever!
      You can learn more on the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sigilsandspells/

Ruelle – Where Do We Go From Here

Aurora – Runaway

Skott – Porcelain

Jetta – I’d Love to Change the World

Katy Perry – Rise

Imagine Dragons – Rise Up

Sia – To Be human

NF – Can You Hold Me

Colorless Giveaway: $20 Amazon Gift Card or Colorless Swag

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Akram El-Bahay: Bücherstadt

Akram El-Bahay: Bücherstadt – Die Bibliothek der Flüsternden Schatten; Bastei Lübbe, 384 S., €14,00

Mit dem Auftakt zu der Bücherreihe um die “Bibliothek der flüsternden Schatten” ist Akram El-Bahay ein sehr schöner Einstieg gelungen. Wie der Titel verspricht, dreht es sich tatsächlich um eine Bücherstadt — und die gefährlichen Geheimnisse die diese in sich birgt.
Das orientalische Flair kommt sehr gut herüber, man fühlt sich ein bisschen wie in 1001 Nacht. Wir lernen diverse Fabelwesen kennen, manche sind gefährlich, andere sind eher hilflos, und gefährdet sind sie alle.

Was mir nicht so gut gefallen hat, sind die Charaktere, bzw deren Entwicklung. Einige sind nicht wiklich glaubwürdig, andere haben viel Potential, werden dann aber mehr oder minder ‘fallengelassen’ — möglicherweise, um in einer der geplanten Fortsetzungen eine wichtigere Rolle zu spielen.
Einige Fragen werden geklärt, aber die Art und Weise wie das gemacht wird hat mir persönlich nicht so zugesagt. Irgendwie überschlägt sich am Schluss des Buches alles. Das hält zwar die Spannung hoch, ist aber unbefriedigend gelöst und auch etwas verwirrend. Außerdem bleiben sehr viele Fragen offen, und der zweite Band ist noch nicht einmal geschrieben. Dafür ziehe ich generell einen Stern ab, denn als Solo wäre mir das Ende zu schwach.
Ich habe mich aber trotzdem sehr gut unterhalten, bin abgetaucht in eine orientalische Fabelwelt mit tollen Ideen, und würde das Buch trotz kleiner Schwächen weiterempfehlen, aber vermutlich wartet man besser auf die Fortsetzung bevor man sonst am Ende eine sehr lange Wartezeit hat.

 

Ich möchte mich ganz herzlich bei Bastei Lübbe für das Rezensionsexemplar sowie für die Leserunde bedanken.

James Maxey: Greatshadow – Review and Giveaway

Author: James Maxey

Narrator: Jake Urry

Series: Dragon Apocalypse, Book One

Length: 13h 20m

Publisher: James Maxey

Released: May 29, 2017

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Greatshadow is the primal dragon of fire, an elemental evil whose malign intelligence spies upon mankind through every candle flame, waiting to devour any careless victim he can claim.

The Church of the Book has assembled a team of twelve battle-hardened adventurers to slay the dragon once and for all. But tensions run high between the leaders of the team who view the mission as a holy duty and the super-powered mercenaries who add power to their ranks, who view the mission primarily as a chance to claim Greatshadow’s vast treasure trove. If the warriors fail to slay the beast, will they doom mankind to death by fire?

 

James Maxey’s mother warned him if he read too many comic books, they would warp his mind. She was right. Now an adult who can’t stop daydreaming, James is unsuited for decent work and ekes out a pittance writing down demented fantasies about masked women, fiery dragons, and monkeys. Oh god, so many monkeys.

​In an effort to figure out how Superman could fly, James read a lot of science, books by Carl Sagan and Stephen Jay Gould and Stephen Hawking. Turns out, Superman probably wasn’t based on any factual information. Who would have guessed? Realizing it was possible to write science fiction without being constrained by the actual rules of science proved liberating for James, and led to the psuedo-science fiction of the Bitterwood series, superhero novels like Nobody Gets the Girl, and the steam-punk visions of Bad Wizard.

​In 2015, James was honored as the Piedmont Laureate by the United Arts Councils representing Orange County, Durham County, and Wake County. This is almost certainly a sign of the ongoing cultural decay gripping the nation.

​James lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina with his lovely and patient wife Cheryl and too many cats.

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Narrator Bio

Jake Urry has been narrating and producing Audiobooks since February 2016, and in that time has released 17 titles, including The Cryptic Lines by Richard Storry, White is the Coldest Colour by John Nicholl, and the PI Harlan Ulrich series by Ambrose Ibsen. His narration work is often dark and suspenseful, and he developing a reputation for Mysteries, Thrillers and Horrors. In 2017 Jake will be working on more work by John Nicholl and Richard Storry, along with a sprinkling of Fantasy adventures.

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Jake Urry does it again!

My first book narrated by Jake Urry was a psychological thriller, and his way of narrating really got to me. I then listened to his performances of an occult thriller series; so when I found out that he was the narrator of Greatshadow, and fantasy being my favourite genre, I absolutely ‘had’ to listen to it.

Now, the brain is a funny organ: when starting Greatshadow, at first I couldn’t help but picturing Harlan Ulrich, the main protagonist from the occult thriller series. I hasten to add, that this is none of Jake Urry’s fault, his narration was immaculate, as I’ve come to expect from him. So, I had some serious talking to myself, and after a while, Ulrich faded, and Stagger and Infidel came to the fore.

I thoroughly enjoyed the narration, the various characters and voices. The good thing is: I enjoyed the book as much as I enjoyed the narration!

Being an avid reader/listener of fantasy stories, I sometimes wonder what new stuff authors can still come up with, cause it seems I should have read it all by now.

Far from it! On the foreground, this is a book about mankind’s fight against the evil dragon, but there is so much more to it.

The world building is excellent, and the world is populated by very strong and different characters and fascinating races. The narrator’s perspective is a bit of a funny one, because he is dead. Yes, you read that right. And he isn’t the sort of ghost I would have expected, either, because he can still feel like a living being — only he can no longer act like one, which causes him a lot of frustration.

Then there’s Infidel, an invincible woman who doesn’t let anyone push her around.

There are mercenaries with various special abilities, there’s the knight in shining armour (and he isn’t as boring as I expected him to be, either). And of course there’s a representative of the church who claims to hold the one and only truth, and there’s his (and the church’s) antagonist, some sort of Antichrist. And then there’s the mysterious — well, sort of wise man, or wizard — who knows it all.

These are only the main characters, but the sidekicks are just as fascinating and memorable. I hope in a sequel we’ll get to know more about the Black Swan, for instance.

All these characters make for a hell of a mix in their common goal to slay Greatshadow, the most powerful dragon on earth, not least because their motivations for the mission are so very different.

The story is full of surprises, and it is funny in parts, too. The mix of action and reflection, disputes and building of friendships makes for great entertainment, and I highly recommend it.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jake Urry. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

 

 

 

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Review: The Malaise Falchion by Paul Barrett

The Malaise Falchion by Paul Barrett, narrated by Jack Wayne, 8:33h

 

Synopsis:

Dwarf Spade is a private investigator in Mage City. He is not ambitious, all he needs are a few easy jobs to buy booze and pay for his living.

A beautiful elven woman offers him a job that sounds easy enough, and although her brother tries to scare Spade, he accepts the job.

Soon he finds himself in one dire and dangerous situation after the other, and without his partner Crizz, and his friend Liz, he’d be helpless.

Suddenly, they have to save the world from total annihilation.

 

 

My thoughts:

 

This book is very difficult to rate. I’d give it 3.5 stars, but since that isn’t possible, I mark it four.

When I volunteered to listen to the book for review, I didn’t know what to expect, but the synopsis made me curious. However, the book failed to draw me in from the start.

I can’t say why, though. To me, all the references to The Maltese Falcon felt just a tad too forced.
I don’t mind a genre mix, and the idea of a detective story set in a fantasy world appealed to me, but it didn’t work for me.
I found it entertaining in parts, but in other parts my mind drifted, the story couldn’t really keep my attention, and often enough, I had to wind back to listen again, only to find that I hadn’t actually missed anything.
I didn’t root for any of the characters, though I liked Liz and Crizz, Spade’s sidekicks.

What I liked, was the idea of the various races overcoming their animosities and prejudices and working together, even starting to like each other.

Jack Wayne did a fine job with the narration, which is no mean feat, because there’s quite a range of characters. The sound quality was excellent.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher. As always, this did not affect my review.

Review: Dawn of Wonder – The Awakening by Jonathan Renshaw

Jonathan Renshaw: Dawn of Wonder – The Awakening; narrator: Tim Gerard Reynolds, Podium Publishing (audible); 29:36h,

Synopsis (taken from book cover):

 

When a high-ranking officer gallops into the quiet Mistyvales, he brings a warning that shakes the countryfolk to their roots. But for Aedan, a scruffy young adventurer with veins full of fire and a head full of ideas, this officer is not what he seems. The events that follow propel Aedan on a journey that only the foolhardy or desperate would risk, leading him to the gates of the nation’s royal academy – a whole world of secrets in itself.

But this is only the beginning of his discoveries. Something is stirring in the land, something more ominous than the rising threat of hostile nations. Fearful travelers whisper of an ancient power breathing over Thirna, changing it, waking it. In the very heart of these stirrings, Aedan encounters that which defies belief, leaving him speechless with terror – and wonder.

My thoughts:

Usually, I subtract one star if a story isn’t finished, and this absolutely needs a sequel, but it was such a great story that I deviate from my own rule.

It’s a powerful story about all sorts of things, and although there is a war in the making, something else seems to be happening, too, as the title says.

We don’t know what it is, but it could be something grand, not disastrous.
It’s one of the rare fantasy novels where no magic is involved, and none is needed.
What is needed is training, perseverance, and skills.
I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in Aedan’s education, his struggles, his weaknesses, and his strengths — and at times I could have shaken him — then again, his friends were there to help him do the right things.
Aedan is a strategic mastermind, but has to learn that theory and practice are very different.

I love the idea that the education doesn’t just comprise weapon skills, but all other aspects, too, be they boring or not.
I like the idea of getting to know not only different languages, but cultures and traditions, too. This should be mandatory for every school, imo, maybe then there wouldn’t be so much war and hatred in this world, most of which is based on ignorance.
Aedan has to overcome his hatred and prejudices in order to learn about his enemies, and I hope I won’t have to wait for a whole year or longer to find out how he’ll cope.

Tim Gerard Reynolds does another perfect job at narrating this story. When listening to him, I’m really deep into the story and out of this world.
He was the perfect choice for the book, and I hope he’ll be commissioned to narrate any sequel.

Review: David A. Wells – Thinblade (Sovereign of the Seven Isles #1)

 

Thinblade (Sovereign of the Seven Isles Book 1) by [Wells, David A.]

This had been on my tbl list for more than six months now. I finally started listening to it, and I’m glad I did. I’m a fantasy buff, and it never ceases to amaze me, that with each fantasy book I read or listen to, there are always new ideas.
Well, OK, so the subject is nothing new: bad versus evil, but then you can’t reinvent the wheel.

The world building is nice, though, and the magic and how it is used is yet different from all I’ve read before.
Then there are the characters. A handful of people who set out to save their world.

I love Lucky the most, the alchemist mage, with his joyful nature, his amazing skills, his appreciation of good meals, and his never ending optimism.

The enemy, Phane, is driven, and I wonder whether he’ll be saved, or just defeated.
I have six more books to find out.

The narrator, Derek Perkins, is doing a great job,and it is a joy to listen.

Review: Sabaa Tahir – A Torch against the Night

Sabaa Tahir: A Torch against the Night, narrators: Fiona Hardingham, Katharine McEwan, Steve West; audio, 15:10h, 16,58€

 

This is a wonderful sequel to ‘An Ember in the Ashes’.

Laia and Elias try to reach Kauf prison, where Laia’s brother Darren is being tortured, but they’re the empire’s most wanted enemies, there’s a large reward on their heads, and Elias’ best friend Hel is after them, too.
How will they reach the prison? Will Darren still be alive if/when they do? The Commandant seems to anticipate their every move.

Both Laia and Elias feel guilty for all the deaths they caused, but there doesn’t seem to be an end to that.

We have here another wonderful story about tyranny, torture, friendship, love, trust, and betrayal.

I’m looking forward to reading/hearing more from Laia, Elias and all the others, but that will have to wait at least a year. Still, I didn’t subtract a star, because the book could well end here.

The three narrators were perfect and their narration was wonderful.

 

Dies ist eine großartige Fortsetzung von ‘Elias & Laia – Die Herrschaft der Masken’!

Laia und Elias versuchen das Kauf Gefängnis zu erreichen, wo Darren gefangengehalten und gefoltert wird, aber sie sind Feind Nr. 1 des Empires, und Elias’ beste Freundin Hel ist ihnen auch auf den Fersen.
Wie sollen sie das Gefängnis erreichen? Wird Darren überhaupt noch am Leben sein, wenn/falls sie dort eintreffen? Der Kommandant scheint jede ihrer Handlungen vorauszuahnen.

Laia und Elias leiden beide unter Schuldgefühlen wegen der vielen Tode, die sie verursacht haben — aber da scheint kein Ende abzusehen zu sein.
Besonders Elias und Helena müssen folgenschwere Entscheidungen treffen, deren Konsequenzen sie kaum absehen können.

Auch hier liegt wieder eine wunderschöne Geschichte vor über Tyrannei, Folter, Liebe, Freundschaft, Vertrauen und Verrat.
Ich freue mich schon sehr auf die Fortsetzung, auch wenn ich bis 2018 warten muss.
Obwohl es weitergeht, habe ich diesmal keinen Stern abgezogen, denn die Geschichte könnte hier zu ende sein.

Review: Michael J Sullivan – The Death of Dulgath (Riyria Chronicles#3)

Michael J Sullivan: The Death of Dulgath (Riyria Chronicles #3), audio book, narrator: Tim Gerard Reynolds; audible studios, 13:57h, € 23, 58
Michael J Sullivan: The Death of Dulgath (Riyria Chronicles #3), audio book, narrator: Tim Gerard Reynolds; audible studios, 13:57h, € 23, 58

 

I had intended to wait until shortly before the launch of the 4th sequel in the Riyria Chronicles before listening to this one, but then I felt I just had to return to Hadrian and Royce now.

I do love the Riyria series, and I love Tim Gerard Reynolds’ narration. I enjoy the foreword, spoken by the author himself, too, giving us some information about what he’s doing etc. Michael truly seems to love interacting with his readers, and I appreciate that.

The story is another great one, humorous like the other Riyria stories, and giving us an ever clearer picture of Royce and Hadrian and the world they live in. I couldn’t help but rolling my eyes at Hadrian on occasions, wishing he would listen to Royce every now and again. But his naivety and his belief in the good in humanity is what makes Hadrian so lovable after all, and I wouldn’t want him any different.
If you’re curious about the series, do yourself a favour and start with the Riyria Revelations before moving on to the chronicles. It’s not because you couldn’t read each of the books on its own — you’d be perfectly able to follow the story and all without knowing any of the other books, but, at least for me, it just enhances the reading experience with the knowledge I have of all the other books — plus, they’re all really great.