A Plague of Giants: A Novel Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
From the author of The Iron Druid Chronicles, a thrilling novel that kicks off a fantasy series with an entirely new mythology - complete with shape-shifting bards, fire-wielding giants, and children who can speak to astonishing beasts
Mother and warrior
Tallynd is a soldier who has already survived her toughest battle: losing her husband. But now she finds herself on the front lines of an invasion of giants, intent on wiping out the entire kingdom, including Tallynd’s two sons - all that she has left. The stakes have never been higher. If Tallynd fails, her boys may never become men.
Scholar and spy
Dervan is an historian who longs for a simple, quiet life. But he’s drawn into intrigue when he’s hired to record the tales of a mysterious bard who may be a spy or even an assassin for a rival kingdom. As the bard shares his fantastical stories, Dervan makes a shocking discovery: He may have a connection to the tales, one that will bring his own secrets to light.
Rebel and hero
Abhi’s family have always been hunters, but Abhi wants to choose a different life for himself. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, Abhi soon learns that his destiny is far greater than he imagined: a powerful new magic thrust upon him may hold the key to defeating the giants once and for all - if it doesn’t destroy him first.
Set in a magical world of terror and wonder, this novel is a deeply felt epic of courage and war, in which the fates of these characters intertwine - and where ordinary people become heroes, and their lives become legend.
Includes a bonus PDF with a map, the Dramatis Personae, and additional resources.
“A spectacular work of epic fantasy...an absolute delight.” (Shelf Awareness)
“If you’re looking for some entertainment before Game of Thrones returns to television, this could be the series you need to read.” (Newsday)
“A genuine page-turner.” (Kirkus Reviews)
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|Listening Length||22 hours and 14 minutes|
|Narrator||Luke Daniels, Xe Sands|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||October 17, 2017|
|Publisher||Random House Audio|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #20,541 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#637 in Paranormal Fantasy
#1,231 in Epic Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#2,112 in Action & Adventure Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
Reviewed in the United States on October 21, 2017
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Top reviews from the United States
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I will admit it took me a little bit of time to get into the book, but that's because I am always a slow reader at the beginning of a new fantasy series because there's a lot to learn about the world itself and a lot of characters to meet. Personally I love the book and can't wait to see more.
This is not a thriller. While the pacing was good, there was time for contemplation and consideration.
I can't imagine how frustrating it must be for authors to have many creative ideas but not know if readers will follow them down new pathways. Shame on me for wondering if I'd like it. This is a fascinating epic fantasy. It doesn't have the same amount of humor as the Iron Druid books, but humorous nods to those are embedded in an unobtrusive way. This book definitely cuts the mustard!
The overall story has the relatively peaceful nations of Teldwen facing an invasion by giants both known and unknown. It's a lot more interesting that that blurb suggests - I'm trying to avoid any hint of spoilers. Much of the tale is revealed by a bard who takes the form of other characters in order to tell their stories. How he learns those stories is revealed as the book progresses.
It's a story-within-a-story implementation that really worked for me. We see how the invasions unfolded in different nations and impacted characters from different walks of life. We see some of the events that led up to the invasions. I'm not fond of flashbacks, but this was a deft use of the concept.
The magic system is interesting, and I still have questions. Describing much about it would spoil parts of the story. I'll just say that it's different, possibly spiritual, possibly innate, maybe some combination, and I'm really curious to find out more about it in the sequel. I have some theories, all of which would be spoilers and probably incorrect, as well. :)
I had trouble putting the book down. Every character was interesting, and each of their experiences was relevant to the plot. Events started off with a splash and became even more interesting as other characters' perspectives were revealed. Some questions were answered by the end, but others are still out there, driving me crazy, making me wait very impatiently for the sequel.
One caveat: don't go into this expecting a Tokienesque epic fantasy. You'll be disappointed - not because this is worse, but because it's different. I love Tolkien, but it's refreshing to read an epic tale that's not yet another variation of The Lord of the Rings. A Plague of Giants is part political intrigue, part mystery, and part war story - but it adds up to a fantasy that's much more than those three things. I really enjoyed it!
OK, one more comment. If you, like me, are immediately leery of books that start off with a list of characters, don't let that scare you off from A Plague of Giants. My initial reaction to seeing "Dramatis Personae" prior to the story itself is "uh oh, the story must be confusing." Not so with this book. This was a fun bonus with lovely drawings of the characters.
A wonderful first installment in the series, I can't wait for the next book!
Once I let go of my expectations let the story take me away I found it hard to stop reading. Mr Hearne has a definite knack for building entire fantasy worlds and making you feel you are right there. The characters are interesting and easy to relate to (except perhaps the viceroy). All of their stories just draw you right into their world.....
I look forward to the future books in the series, honestly, they cannot happen fast enough for me!
Top reviews from other countries
Does Hearne succeed? I’ll be honest – A Plague of Giants took some time to grow on me. Himself immediately was drawn into the world and kept imploring me to keep going, not that I was tempted to DNF it – the writing is too good, for starters. But I was about 20% into the story before the world seeped into my bones and I was reaching for my Kindle with eagerness. Once I was familiar with the cast of characters and the narrative had taken root, I was won over. Because of the structure, this epic fantasy is completely character-driven and I’m a real sucker for character-driven plots.
As we drew closer to the climax, I was holding my breath because we already knew that the giants had very little wriggle-room – they couldn’t return to their homeland due to the volcanic eruption devastating their island. And because a significant number of the giants also wielded fire as their kenning (read magical talent) they were lethal. I also have to warn you that not all the eleven protagonists survive to the end of the story – I was shocked to discover who doesn’t make it and the manner of their death. Inevitably, the story is somewhat fragmented, given it is told piecemeal by a variety of characters – some of them not human. But I grew to really enjoy this world and the diversity of species who are caught up in the conflict caused by the giants’ invasion.
The ending was suitably dramatic and despite the book being 600+ pages, when I got to the end I was genuinely sorry this instalment of the tale was over. While I’m aware that there has been a mixed reception to this one, if you enjoy well-written epic fantasy that gives an insight into the political machinations as well as plenty of action, both military and magical, then go looking for this one. While I can’t guarantee you’ll love it – if it does tick your box, you’ll really, really thank me.
The story is of a world where various nations have “kennings” a sort of magical power only processed by a few. Each kenning is different. When these peaceful nations are invaded by bone giants, who have their own kenning of power over fire, it seems nothing can stop the invasion.
So far this would be your typical fantasy of a small group and their courage against the odds, but no. Mr Hearne tells us his story via a bard with the ability to present the perspective of various participants. The downside is too many perspectives and it is hard to really invest in such a vast cast of characters and to also keep track of who is who and where they are in the story.
It’s okay but more hard work to read than it should have been. Not sure I can face the follow up.
The magic system is also well thought through as using magic takes a physical toll on the wielder. Strengh has to have a drawback or penalty. No penalty makes many other magic systems unfair and unbelievable; not so here. Thoroughly looking forward to more to come.
This book clearly sets the scene for the series and the plot gathers pace and clarity as it progresses. Well written and thought provoking it gathers momentum along the way. My concern was that with such a plethora of characters it takes longer than usual to recognise and empathise with the individual stories being told. That said it is worth the commitment for an unique and engaging story. Will definitely be awaiting book 2