Son of the Black Sword: Saga of the Forgotten Warrior, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Audie Award Finalist, Fantasy, 2016
After the War of the Gods, the demons were cast out and fell to the world. Mankind was nearly eradicated by the seemingly unstoppable beasts until the gods sent the great hero, Ramrowan, to save them. He united the tribes, gave them magic, and drove the demons into the sea. Ever since, the land has belonged to man, and the oceans have remained an uncrossable hell, leaving the continent of Lok isolated. It was prophesized that someday the demons would return, and only the descendants of Ramrowan would be able to defeat them. They became the first kings, and all men served those who were their only hope for survival.
As centuries passed, the descendants of the great hero grew in number and power. They became tyrannical and cruel and their religion nothing but an excuse for greed. Gods and demons became myth and legend, and the people no longer believed. The castes created to serve the Sons of Ramrowan rose up and destroyed their rulers. All religion was banned and replaced by a code of unflinching law. The surviving royalty and their priests were made casteless, condemned to live as untouchables, and the Age of Law began.
Ashok Vadal has been chosen by a powerful ancient weapon to be its bearer. He is a Protector, the elite militant order of roving law enforcers. No one is more merciless in rooting out those who secretly practice the old ways. Everything is black or white, good or evil, until he discovers his entire life is a fraud. Ashok isn’t who he thinks he is, and when he finds himself on the wrong side of the law, the consequences lead to rebellion, war - and destruction.
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|Listening Length||16 hours and 21 minutes|
|Narrator||Tim Gerard Reynolds|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||October 27, 2015|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #8,276 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#69 in Sword & Sorcery Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#113 in Historical Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#327 in Action & Adventure Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from the United States
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I've enjoyed Larry Correia's other series (Grimnoir and MHI), which were entertaining and well-written (if nothing incredibly deep and a bit on the "pulpy" side but very enjoyably so), so I decided to give this a try. I'm quite glad that I did.
This is unequivically Larry Correia's best work yet. While the prose in his prior series can be workman-like at times (and the focus on some of the details of action sequences can detract slightly from the narrative), the quality of writing here is a clear improvement beyond the solid efforts of Larry's previous series. The characterization is also Larry's best work, with the protagonist significantly more nuanced and complex than in prior series (with the possible exception of Franks in MHI), while still being heroic and sympathetic and acting rationally, given his outlook, knowledge, and constraints. The plotting is extremely well-done and well-paced, and the periodic flashbacks (especially in the early going) were well-placed and of well-tailored length to slake the reader's thirst for backstory and worldbuilding without giving away the whole game or detracting from the overall narrative arc.
Overall, the world is close enough to ours to be recognizable and not so different that it and its characters are unrelatable. Their motivations are well-established, and even having read Larry's two other fantasy-ish series, the plot twists and events were not the least bit predictable, other than insofar as characters in novels should act in a manner true to who they are. Side characters are filled in as necessary, again, without giving away too much information or giving us full insight into their plans and motivations for those whose arcs are not resolved in this book. While there are hints as to some of their motivations, particularly for the more minor characters whose arcs are resolved -- the hints provided regarding the "string-pulling" big bad behind the scenes and the "dirty work" big bad implementing things, and the inferences that the reader can draw, are tantalizing, and make me wish that this whole series had already been completed.
Continuity is also well-established, as are the laws of unintended consequence -- in several instances, characters are appropriately forced to deal with the results of their earlier choices, both for good and for ill. All-in-all, its a very promising start to the series. Is it Brandon Sanderson's "The Stormlight Archive"? No, it's not -- more focused on action, narrower in scope, less concerned with the overall magic system and worldbuilding. But it's thoughtful, creative, interesting, coherent, consistent, well-paced and well-plotted -- a damn fine fantasy book.
My only complaint -- though it's a good problem to have -- is the wait before the next book in the series comes out. Nicely done, Larry -- and keep up the great work!
But I found the book to be “OK”.
I think it has to do with two issues. Our protagonist is pretty bland. The first 150 pages really only focus on him. It starts in the present as Ashok fights some monsters. Then it jump back to fill in his backstory. It does this for about 150 pages. Then Ashok kind of disappears and we’re introduced to several more characters. None of these characters are given time to develop before the climax of the first book. There’s enough cool stuff happening that I’ll probably read the sequel but it won’t be near the top of my must read pile.
Wonderful world building. Great plot, believable characters, nasty villains and flawed heroes. Above all, his best writing yet. Considering my last read was the ponderous "Hell's Foundations Quiver" - which I enjoyed (bit of a masochist I guess) - "Son of the Black Sword" was a rippingly good read. I've seen elsewhere that the first third of the book was slow, but compared to Weber's prose it was positively speedy. As always, Correia writes great action sequences, but it was the world building that stood out. Outstanding. I know these things take time, but more and sooner would be much appreciated!
4-stars plus. Not perfect but damned good. Highly recommended.
Mr. Correia has set himself a formidable task in fleshing out this intriguing world, it's history and it's future. I look forward to the next installment with annoyance born of desire to dive into it immediately.
Top reviews from other countries
I didn't name Gemmel in vain as this book has a very similar feel to his novels with the story revolving around the theme of the imperfect but unstoppable hero in a familiar yet completely exotic world. As usual, Correia isn't afraid to borrow myth and culture from many unlikely sources but the sauce takes and the world and its inhabitants are complex and completely believable. This is the first book in a series but it has a satisfying end and feels complete on its own.