Raised and trained in seclusion at a secret fortress on the edge of the northern wilds of the Kingdom of Ashai, a young warrior called Rezkin is unexpectedly thrust into the outworld when a terrible battle destroys all that he knows. With no understanding of his life’s purpose and armed with masterful weapons mysteriously bestowed upon him by a dead king, Rezkin must travel across Ashai to find the one man who may hold the clues to his very existence.
Determined to adhere to his last orders, Rezkin extends his protection to an unlikely assortment of individuals he meets along the way, often leading to humorous and poignant incidents.
As if pursuing an elite warrior across a kingdom, figuring out who he is and why everyone he knows is dead, and attempting to find these so-called friends and protect them is not enough, strange things are happening in the kingdom. New dangers begin to arise that threaten not only Rezkin and his friends, but possibly everyone in Ashai.
This is the first installment of an ongoing series. This book is intended for adult readers. It contains graphic violence, creative language, and sexual innuendo. This book does not contain explicit sexual content.
©2015 Kel Kade (P)2016 Podium Publishing
This was a very very enjoyable book. The likes of caricatures witch I have not come across since the books of David Gemmell. Extremely detailed and well researched. I for one, can not wait for the next instalment!
I couldn't stop listening, can't wait for the next instalment. The author does such a great job at creating a believable key character and why he would be so unaware of how the emotion of loss and sadness would feel. He is a contradiction played beautifully by the author.
Yes, I would and will a number of times. The story is so well written, and the character is built up in a way so that you know how and why he acts even in simple interactions is true to his character, not just a plot device like so many authors do.
Also the narrator is stunning in his execution of the characters individual voices and expressions of emotion
All of it, I genuinely laughed a dozen times through out the book. Its not a comedy per say, but so well written that the way peoples concepts of each other are almost enjoyable confused and written so well it does not seem forced i any way and is a very fluid read. I finished it within 24 hours of buying it.
I don't know to be honest. It had everything i enjoy in a books main characters. Bad people are not spared because the people who should act aren't cowards, people don't have convenient spontaneous genius assumptions then go back to being innocent and stupid - well over played in so many other books that I am thoroughly sick of it. And there's a refreshing lack of bravado in the main character when usually people in the story will let something slip to make them seem better than themselves through happenstance of the writers choice.
I don't know if a movie could do the book OR the narrator credit
Now my new Favorited book and narrator. Each character has a distinct accent, there were appropriate emotion and pauses in the sentences that you would expect in any conversation. Love it
"Nick Podehl kicks this great book up a notch!"
I read this book shortly after it came out and greedily jumped into book 2 afterwards. It is a great book! Funny, smart and an all around great read.
I have followed Nick Podehl's narrating for some time now. He has a great voice and a strong grasp of the characters in anything he reads.
This book, with Nick's voice-overs and timing, really kicks it up to the next level of enjoyment! Nick seems to have only improved and increased his repertoire of voices and it makes the listening to this wonderful story enjoyable beyond anything I have heard before.
"Wow!! This book..."
I really want to write a review to do it justice. I can't express how much I love Rezkin and his adventures in the 'outworld'. Watching Rez shift from being totally isolated all his life in brutal training to being thrust into the populous is touching and often times comical. There is tons of action, a minor magic system and a bit of romance on the side.
I am a huge fan of Anthony Ryan, Michael J. Sullivan and Patrick Rothfuss. If you like these authors, you should really give this book a try. It is a great addition to the genre of epic fantasy.
Nick as narrator, as usual, is brilliant and truly brings the characters to life.
This story is a wonderful blend of action, comedy, and suspense!!!! I can't wait for the next audiobook to come out. I know the Second book has already come out but I am waiting for it to come out as an audio book because I am also a fan of Nick Podehl and and thought his performance added much to the first book over all.
I absolutely wholeheartedly recommend this book!
"A TRUELY AMAZING FANTASY!"
I had my doubts, but Nick Podehl is one of my favorite narrators and after just a few minutes I was hooked on the story. It kept me captivated from beginning to ending.
"An Unexpected Journey!!!"
Ok, I plagiarized my title but it got your attention. So now you need to know that this book is unlike anything you've read or listened to in years. The exposition surpasses that of Kingkiller (which isn't easy to achieve). The prose is on level with Koontz and King.
Then you have Nick Podehl to deliver an amazing performance as always!!! Someone please give that guy a raise.
"A refreshing change."
So many fantasy books you read the main character spends the entire story finding his abilities. It was nice to see the main character start with his abilities and see what he does with them. Instead of having a single chapter at the end of the other books with his full abilities. The quick change of point of view was also a nice change. Felt like a movie where you have the dialog and thoughts of that person in the moment instead of just one point of view for the chapter or story. Was a nice change and a great story as of now. Very well read and produced also. Looking forward to book 2.
"simply put. a book worth the credit in every way"
well written. I was engaged and excited to find out what happend next the whole time.
"Truly a new classic."
The book is one to compete with that Game of Thrones and even Lord of the rings in greatness. The performance of Nick Podehl is that of few comparisons. One of the most enjoyable books to listen too. It will consume your life until you finish.
I greatly enjoyed King's Dark Tidings--Free The Darkness. The story premise is utterly hilarious while providing a deep sense of ironic justice for the main character's brutal loveless "childhood". The concept of nurture over nature is clearly but brutally conceived. The miss understandings between characters is highly effective for not only comic relief from the violence but also helps the over arching storyline. By interacting with his commoner " friends" Rezkin finally has some normal life experiences. This humanizes a young man who may have become a true monster. I sincerely hope he and Frisha work out, not least because he deserves to have at least one person truly love him. This author rocks. The narrator is beyond good too.
"Played safe and too typical"
No, but it shows that the writers are aiming at a particular demographic for sales
Nick Podehl is flawless. Of 2 dozen favorite narrators, he breaks the top 5.
I wanted to like it but it just wasn't risky enough. Everything has been done before in this book elsewhere, it was also at times aimed at a younger female audience which stole from the main protagonist's badass character.
This could have been a great assassin story with vivid imagery but the characters are forgettable and loathsome at times. The cringe factor is too real as an adult reader/listener. Nick Podehl carried this book along for me, and without him narrating I would have put it down alot sooner.
This one one of the most enjoyable fantasy books I've listened to in ages. It was a super fun fantasy adventure tale. Truth be told it felt a touch like a superhero story in a fantasy setting. Rezkin was just that skilled! Not that I really considered that aspect of the story to be a flaw. The real fun in this story came from Rezkin's dealings with the "Outlanders". There was hilarious mishaps aplenty but also a few touching moments. Rezkin was an easy guy to like despite his weird outlook on life and the fact that he could be quite scary at times.
This world lacked the depth of something like WoT or Malazan and lacked the originality and wonder of something like City of Stairs, but it had a charm all of its own and I loved it.
Nick Podehl likely deserves a lot of credit for that as his performance was absolutely fantastic. His voices were excellent and he really captured the spirit of the story.
"very fast paced book with lots of action"
you get to discover the world he moves in as he moves through it, without the need for pages and pages of back story
Great performance bought the second one straight away :) Read the books before this but still greatly enjoyed it
"Simplicity is key."
I found this story to be very enjoyable. Simplicity of the story makes it an easy listen.
I've read reviews for other stories, were the reviewer will complain that the protagonist is too string and perfect, but in this case it's the whole point of the story and is so blatant, it's brilliant.
Many books in this genre have a very similar story line; young man suffers tragedy, then goes to train with masters, comes back to kick some butt. This one has a refreshing angle; our guy is already kicking butt by hour number 3-ish.
The pace of the book is excellent there are no points where the story drifts into nothingness for a while, but keeps going on string with action around every corner. There is however only one story line, making the book easier to follow if you're the type to be listening to books while engaged doing this else.
I think if you're into books that world build for hours with incredibly well drawn out characters (a-la Joe Abercrombie), this isn't it; but it is well written and has (so far) an excellent story with an original twist.
It's seems to be getting more difficult to find good books in this genre; of course it's all personal preference, but similar-ish stories that I consider good recently are (hopefuly can help someone also looking);
Dawn of Wonder
Cycle of Arawn/Galande
"Why don't more people know about this?"
A fantastic story with characters you care about and detail in every sentence.
I can honestly say I have no idea what to compare it to, in a class all by itself.
I felt he was a fantastic choice to narrate this book and he was more than adept at all the characters. But if I had to pick one I would say Tam. He really made them all feel real but Tam had a certain something.
I didn't want it to end, if I could have I would have but at over 15hours I don't have many uninterrupted 15 hour stretches!
I cant wait for the next in the series. And following that the TV show or Movie as this is a show/film I would love to see.
After wasting several credits on 3 truly awful books within this genre. What a relief! My faith in epic fantasy has been restored as I eagerly await the next book released soon!!
"Kel Kade's debut, and what a start it is!"
Fun, distinctive and covetous!
Rezkin - I really enjoyed his thought process about every day occurrences, which caused me on occasion to smile and laugh to myself. As a guy, I got pretty envious of his perfection, which is weird considering he's a fictional character, but that shows how much I enjoyed the book.
I believe it's the first time I've listened to Nick's narration, and believe he is stellar in his performance of the various characters.
Pretty much, and that's a rarity. I was staying up later than usual and listening to it during every spare moment.
The only qualm I have is with Rezkin's love interest, which I can sometimes find a bit annoying and too much.
Other than that, buy it, read it, listen to it.
"A solid start"
This is a very strange book. Normally a fantasy story follows the premise of a hero overcoming difficult enemies or obstacles. Not here, here the main character(Rezkin) is effectively a god, capable of inhuman feats on a regular basis and without much effort. This is unusual because author could be in danger of making a boring story as there is no risk to any of his actions nor does the author impose any restrictions on the character. The story is purely driven of the fact that Rezkin does not know who or what he is . And while there is enough clues that allow you to have a good idea it did manage to keep me engaged all the way through .
The great appeal of this book for me is that it is very easy to listen to, which I found a refreshing turn of pace considering the shift in fantasy to a more dark and bleak style over the last 7-8 years in particular. If you are able to disconnect yourself from the ubsurd premise and enjoy the well paced story ( really it's probably the best paced book I have read) it is really good fun. If you are unable to disconnect then I can freely accept that you may detest it.
As for the next book. It appears to be getting released in October of this year and I can't wait.
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