The Rage of Dragons Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Game of Thrones meets Gladiator in this debut epic fantasy about a world caught in an eternal war and the young man who will become his people's only hope for survival.
The Omehi people have been fighting an unwinnable fight for almost 200 years. Their society has been built around war and only war. The lucky ones are born gifted. One in every 2,000 women has the power to call down dragons. One in every 100 men is able to magically transform himself into a bigger, stronger, faster killing machine. Everyone else is fodder, destined to fight and die in the endless war.
Young, giftless Tau knows all this, but he has a plan of escape. He's going to get himself injured, get out early, and settle down to marriage, children, and land. Only, he doesn't get the chance.
Those closest to him are brutally murdered, and his grief swiftly turns to anger. Fixated on revenge, Tau dedicates himself to an unthinkable path. He'll become the greatest swordsman to ever live, a man willing to die 100,000 times for the chance to kill the three who betrayed him.
The Rage of Dragons launches a stunning and powerful debut epic-fantasy series.
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|Listening Length||16 hours and 15 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||July 16, 2019|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #2,642 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#14 in Military Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#29 in Dragon & Mythical Creatures Fantasy
#44 in Military Fantasy (Books)
Reviewed in the United States on August 9, 2020
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Top reviews from the United States
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And this is one of them.
The prologue captured my attention immediately. It took a little time to absorb the new vocabulary and mythology, but it was integrated into the story well enough that the foreign became familiar and then unremarkable.
The story centers on Tau Tafari, a commoner who, by dint of perseverance bordering on psychopathy, becomes one of the greatest swordsman of his time (or so the reader is lead to believe). He is ordinary in everything other than his obsession with seeking vengeance, which by the third act of the book has turned into something else.
The book engages with standard themes of sci-fi/fantasy works that I’ve seen. The macro issues of conquest, colonialism, inequality, and micro issues of family, fidelity, loyalty, and love. It touches on morality and ethics, as the best of these books do. The book, like the best of the genre, also introduces the reader to a large cast of characters, each with their own motivations, perspectives, and murky and shifting intentions.
At least two things make this book a bit different, however.
First, the book is structured to encourage binge-reading. It is episodic. Each chapter takes a little less than an hour to read and has an arc of its own. My time is limited these days, so that’s particularly satisfying to me. By the end, I was shutting my office door to steal a few pages during the work day. Second, unlike a lot of fantasy I’ve seen, it’s not set in some generic Dark Ages/medieval world. It’s set in an African landscape. I’m Black, so that was also interesting, although, to be honest, the African setting didn’t really play into the story much for me. On the other hand, it was satisfying for me to imagine characters in this world that might look like me.
I write for a living. And I could write hundreds of words about this book. But your time would be better spent reading it.
If you want a complex, compelling and captivating story, but your time budget doesn’t allow for hours of uninterrupted reading, this is the book for you. Buy this book. I did. You won’t regret it. I don’t.
Disclosure: I read an advance copy of this book prior to purchasing it.
This was the coming of age portion of the tale, but it didn't feel like the obligatory boy makes enemy, goes to academy, grows powerful and attempts to slay his enemies simplistic stories. There was so much more, the social struggle, the love interest, the cosmos creation story, the demon plane, and it all intertwined beautifully. The story was told and developed without any of that clumsy monologue'ing. It's a complex story and it evolves organically from the actions and words.
A very well written book, and that's coming from a crusty old guy who's read a thousand or so books in this genre.
This was pretty enjoyable, in a can't-put-it-down-thriller kind of way, not at all in an "epic fantasy" sort of way, so don't go in expecting that. It's a revenge story, and a thriller. And for the most part, it was a pretty good one.
Then the author decided to trade in his strong female character for a bit of angst to drive the protagonist onwards towards the sequel, and used the disposable women trope for nothing more than to give him one more thing to be angry about. No, this isn't a GoT everything is gritty and everyone can die kind of thing. This is the only female character in the entire story, that is built up just to be consumed for the protagonist to have more to cry over. It kinda snapped me out of the thriller trance and made me realize it was just pure male revenge fantasy.
It's really dated and out of touch, and doesn't hold up well anymore. This isn't 1990.
The writing is of good quality and mostly error free. btw: 5-star ratings are reserved for literary masterworks only
Top reviews from other countries
So, what is Rage of Dragons about? Well, yes, it does have dragons in it, but not as many as you might think. In fact, they’re positively scarce, albeit making something of an entrance at the most important moment. Anyway, enough about the dragons. This book is actually about a young man called Tau, and Tau lives a familiar life in fantasy circles. He is of a lower class background, destined to be little more than battle-fodder, but when he suffers a great loss, he sets out to change all that. He sets out to change the way of things, and boy does he do that. Let the action commence!
There are lots of things to admire in this book, but one of the best things is the pace and quality of writing. It does seem to take a little while to get going, but once we’re in, we’re in. I genuinely found myself wanting to read onto the next chapter, such was the quality of setup. Perhaps not something I stayed up all night to finish, but certainly a book I was looking forward to picking up again.
The second great thing was the world itself. Now, this was a familiar fantasy world in that it is full of class systems, the downtrodden, dragons, magic, and all that good stuff. But despite holding common themes, it was all wrapped up into something quite unique. The world definitely seemed different, even though it was familiar, and this added to the engaging read. Nice.
And finally, there are some great political twists here too. This could easily become a bash-crash novel with a very focused objective, which may have left it somewhat flat. But it is not only that. There is a higher political agenda here, and Tau finds himself getting caught up in it, which ramps up the story. This is good for the tale.
Contrary to all this is the start. I really don’t know what it was, but until about a quarter of the way through, I struggled a touch. There is certainly action and excitement up front - the epilogue is a battle scene - but for some reason I just didn’t quite get the point. It may have been because I was fighting the challenging terminology (see below), or it may have been something else, but I urge you to read on. This is a great book once it gets going.
As mentioned above, there is some challenging terminology here. Fantasy naming can be a bit wild at times, and here it is probably less wild and may actually be quite well structured. The problem is that I couldn’t see the structure, and so there were a lot of similar words that I didn’t have a proper handle of until quite a way through the book. Yikes. It’s certainly possible to get on with only a passing understanding of the local language, but it might have been nice to have had a bit of an easier ride!
And finally, the fighting. Overall the fighting was really excellent, and I enjoyed it very much. And it is certainly an important part of the book, given Tau’s journey. But on reflection, I do wonder whether some of it pushed just a little too far. I like the rise of an underdog as much as the next person, but this underdog was something quite else. I just fear that he may have stepped a little over the line of realism (noting of course that this is a fantasy novel!)
Overall, I really liked this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone who reads fantasy. If you are not keen on swordplay, then it might not be for you, but otherwise give it a go.
As to the plot Tau the son of a ordinary soldier finds his life ripped apart by tragedy seeking justice in a world where he belongs to a caste that is literally called lesser by those above them , the nobles who are gifted with magic and gifts that make them superhuman
Working his way into the military under a gifted commander and finding a new home and family among his comrades Tau has one goal to seek vengeance and become the greatest warrior his world has ever known, while unbeknownst to him his empire is under threat as sins of its past come back to haunt and the bill for its crimes is coming due just as its magic always thought to be invincible begins to fade.
While the world is familiar enough castes, nobles magic and dragons all feature but with enough of a stamp by the author that they stand on there own while the author draws on African myths and history and myths and legends for inspiration i wouldn't say it’s that far removed from what you would be used to as a fantasy fan it's a lot of The same tropes just through a different cultural lens a different flavour then the normal European or occasional indian/eastern inspired fantasy but still very recognizable even if the titles and ranks ext were not familiar . I must salute the way the author uses dragons which is sparsely and for impact in this world Dragons are the magical equivalent of weapons of mass destruction destructive on a vast scale with numerous consequences both intended and unintended.
The other difference and by the far the most distinctive and appealing aspect of the story is the protagonist Tau a son of a solder and a high class common a tragic incident makes him seek justice the only way a peasant/common can by becoming a member of the military and seeking revenge through blood duels the only legal recourse open to those not of noble lingeage, to do that he must become the greatest swordsman to ever walk. This is where in my opinion rage comes into its own because while Tau is driven to a near inhuman degree to reach his goal that's all he is he isn't the long lost son of a king, doesn't possess any great natural aptitude is smart but definitely no genius all he has is the willingness to work longer and harder then anyone else to sacrifice and endure more to get more and the author spreads that across the book makes the process of becoming special part of the journey rather then a throw away paragraph or two. in a fantasy world where they are literally chosen one's whose blood makes them bigger stronger and quicker then those they literally call lessers Tau is better simply because he wants it more with the willingness to put in the work it's almost unique in epic fantasy where being special is almost always down to who you are born or somehow being bestowed a gift. It's fresh exciting fantastically well paced and left me hungry for !more. If I had to compare it to someone then I think I would hark back to someone like David Gemmell, well developed characters some humor and a band of brothers albeit with modern senseablity and a more multicultural approach and while violent and gritty it's a long way from being depressing or overwhelming dark, for those newer to the fantasy scene Sebastian de castel greatcoat series would be another with a similar vibe as in telling a somewhat old fashioned tale but a bit gritter and with modern senseablities and a emphasis on the family you make yourself albeit in that authors case a far more European influenced fantasy series. I genuinely hope to be reading this author for many years to come.
Not enabling you to emotionally connect with the characters and it can be quite jarring.
That is what this author does well it focuses on one central character and builds the world around him,I found the book to have a good pace to it some fresh ideas, I found myself finishing the book and looking forward to the next book,that for me is a good thing I am a fussy reader.
Highly recommended to those who like a book with plenty of action with some fresh ideas to boot an author to watch,Stands out amongst a crowded stagnating genre.
It’s quite original in that the main character isn’t born special, there’s no chosen one or destiny. It’s just a raw hard story of hard work and perseverance, a quality that makes him quite endearing. We can all sympathise with struggle, and his story of surpassing his natural talents has us rooting for him.
The pace of the book, is quite fast, it doesn’t let up until the very end!
One caveat however, would be that there are quite a few book specific words and fantasy names to remember. However on the converse this adds to the authenticity of the book. It’s not a traditional white lead. But one of a darker ethnic origin, and the language reflects this introduction of a completely new unknown culture to us.
Overall I couldn’t recommend this book enough. An excellent debut... and I cannot wait until the next one!
The Rage of Dragons is one of those rare books that I can really see jumping into the stratosphere in terms of popularity. I’m talking face-out in airport bookstores, with the name “Evan Winter” in a font bigger than the title. It’s the sort of book that the right reader will adore. And, well… I guess I’m the right reader.
There’s a lot here that feels familiar. We have a main character, Tau, who is training be a warrior. When those closest to him are murdered, he swears revenge, and dives back into his training with a ferocious determination and devotion. There’s a military school, there are mock battles, and in the background there is a never-ending war.
But it’s the setting that sets this book apart. With an Africa/Xhosa-inspired world, a caste system, a freaky and intriguing magic system, demons, and of course, dragons, this book feels wholly original despite those familiar tropes. Winter shows you just enough to make you want to know more, but never over-explains or drowns you in exposition.
The pacing is bang on the money, too. It ramps up throughout the novel, keeping your eyes glued to the pages as the action gets faster and more intense. But never once while reading did I feel like things were getting too fast. Winter knows where to place his character moments, and knows how to tie them into his fight scenes so that it feels like one continuous, smooth ride. Only Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy has ever nailed that all-action-almost-all-the-time approach for me in the past, and actually, there quite a lot of similarities between Red Rising and Rage of Dragons. From the ever-present anger of the main character, to the team-based war training, to the progression in combat abilities.
Honestly, if you’re a Pierce Brown fan, then you should probably do yourself a favour and just buy this book right now.
I should note that I’ve actually read The Rage of Dragons twice. I picked it up as a self-published book before Orbit acquired the rights, and really enjoyed it on my first read through — though admittedly I did feel that some sections felt a little clunky. But on my second read — this time with the Orbit edition, fresh edits and all — everything was so much smoother. A great book was suddenly a fantastic book, and I don’t know what sort of magic the Orbit editors practiced to make that happen.
I should note that are a couple of things that some readers may not be too fond of, but I don’t know if these are flaws so much as things that will come down to taste. As you’d expect from a book with a single male POV in a male-only military school, women characters are unfortunately in short supply. Those that do show up are well-rounded, and the world is far more gender-equal than most epic fantasies, but this doesn’t change the fact that there might be too few women here for some readers’ tastes. In addition, those readers who have a hard time meshing with “overpowered” characters might want to give this one a miss.
But for those who love to follow a character with a strong sense of progression, to watch them grow stronger, and to rage with them and seethe at the injustices of their world… this is the book for you.
The Rage of Dragons is exciting. It’s action-packed. It has twists, it has growth, it has pain, and it has joy. And it has dragons.
What more do you need?