Get Your Free Audiobook

Ascendant: Book 1

Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Series: Ascendant, Book 1
Length: 17 hrs and 23 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (284 ratings)

Non-member price: $51.25

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

The Wizard's Council of Tarador was supposed to tell young Koren Bladewell that he is a wizard. They were supposed to tell everyone that he is not a jinx, that all the bad things that happen around him are because he can't control the power inside him, power he doesn't know about. The people of his village, even his parents, are afraid of him, afraid he is cursed. That he is a dangerous, evil jinx. The Wizard's Council didn't tell young Koren, because they know what is best for him. Even after their silent deception destroys his life.

Crown Princess Ariana Trehayme will become queen of Tarador on her 16th birthday, if her weak, indecisive mother the Regent hasn't allowed their ancient enemy to conquer Tarador before then. Ariana wants her royal army to strike at the enemy, but her mother knows what is best for her, and the realm.Together, Ariana and Koren can save Tarador, if the adults, who know best, will get out of their way.

©2016 Craig Alanson (P)2017 Podium Publishing

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    209
  • 4 Stars
    50
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    214
  • 4 Stars
    39
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    177
  • 4 Stars
    55
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

loved it

what a wonderful adventure and the narrative voice I could listen to for hours
thank you

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Frustrating

I liked it until the amount of crap that piled
up on Corrin is beyond credible belief. It just gets ridiculous.

Seriously Craig??? It just pissed me off.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved every part of this book

I could not stop listening, I loved every part, would even sit in the car listening after I got to my destination, it’s descriptive and detailed and I love a good British accent

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shayne
  • D:\My Documents\AudioBooks
  • 30-12-2017

When's the next one

1st one down can't wait for the next one. wondering how many are in the series

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Generic

Misunderstood teenager gets embroiled in an adventure. The storyline is fine if a bit slow. An easy listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Simple and brilliant

The story is a casual walk in the park with little ups and downs to move the story along its relaxing and interesting I listen to dozens of audio books every year and rarely do I find characters as interesting and engaging as ones found in this book a fantastic read and I can’t wait to start the next book.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Teenage book

A book for young teenagers and not for adults. Wish I knew this before I bought it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Easy listen, perhaps better for teens

The book is delivered very well. I enjoyed the story, though it is a bit repetitive at times, but I assume it's aimed at a younger audience.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Unbelievable

One of the best books l've ever listened to!!! You just have to buy it!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book for first time Audible user

As a first time user of this app i thoroughly enjoyed this book. The narration was good, it kept me engaged throughout. The story had some cliche areas but was still able to bring fresh content to the story and keep it interesting. I would reccomend for those who enjoy fantasy/magic and era's set in kings and queens and also for a first Audible book if your looking for Fiction.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for David M
  • David M
  • 22-11-2017

A skeptic entertained

Honestly, I am not a passionate fan of the sword and sorcery fantasy genre. I am a huge fan of the Expeditionary Force series and RC Bray's narrating. So it was with quite some hesitation that I purchased this book after listening to what I felt was a lackluster uninteresting preview. I wasn't convinced the story or narrator would be a worthy investment of my time and money.

I preface this review with my doubts not to troll the author or the narrator but to give context for my review.

First, after having completed this book I can't imagine a better suited narrator for this story. The narrator quickly dissolves away into the story and there are only a wide variety of characters and adept accents left. Production value was very good. There were no noticiable splicing of vocals, popping, lisping crackling "ssss", or sharp audible inhalations from the narrator that are still far too commonplace in audio production these days.

The story is a well tested, well worn one but the relateable and developed characters make it easy for the listener to be absorbed into the environment as an observer. I am pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this story and can't wait to listen to book two.

418 of 440 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Brett
  • Brett
  • 13-11-2017

A great coming of age fantasy tale

I have to say this isn't like Craig's other books. Instead of aliens this is a deep rooted world of magic, wars and outlaws. I guess it just goes to show the imagination of the author is quite wide. The book is entertaining and I found it enjoyable. However it could due with a bit more humor. But then again i'm a Skippy fan.

AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

159 of 177 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Christopher
  • Christopher
  • 02-11-2017

Loved it with one constant reservation

This was a really well written first book in a series. It's definitely at the high end of the quality spectrum from the writing and story-telling angle.

My reservation... I have read or listened to quite a few books whose major plot points are repeatedly driven by misunderstandings, characters accidentally over-hearing the exact wrong information at the exact wrong time, and characters inexplicably not revealing pertinent information that otherwise would bring resolution instead of conflict. In other books this usually happens "because reasons" or with no explanation whatsoever. With a book where this happens over and over, I usually make it about 4 hours in and then return it with prejudice. It's almost always lazy story-telling and so frustrating that I find myself wanting to choke the author for wasting what would otherwise be a good book.

In the case of Ascendant, the author manages to make it work (most of the time). These coincidence fails are overtly portrayed and mostly adequately explained. As a result I was able to enjoy the book and was only really in a choking mood a couple times... That said, if the inexplicable repetition of unfortunate coincidences continues through book 2 as the only device to move the plot then I'm pretty sure I won't be able to hang in for book 3.

My fingers are crossed because I really did enjoy this book.

105 of 121 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John Hammon
  • John Hammon
  • 04-05-2019

Had to try it a second time.

The narrator took a little getting used to. I actually returned this book once. I bought it based on the Craig Alanson ExForce series. Anyway, when I tried it the second time I really got into it. I"m giving it 5 stars because it really pulled me in. The perspective and detail of the story really gave me a unique experience on the adventure. I was constantly amazed at how the author gave me some detail that was surprising but interesting and relative.l

Anyway, I really liked this series. Seems like a simple 3 and done series, but still really cool.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Scott O'Bryan
  • Scott O'Bryan
  • 28-05-2019

Frustrating book

This book was entertaining and the reader did a great job, but it suffers from some of the issues I have with Craig Alanson as an author.

In an effort to sell more books he has a tenancy to not complete a story and to leave the story mid-stride for his next book. This whole book seemed like it was a set up for the next book.

Additionally Craig Alanson has the tenancy to stick with a single theme. While the interaction of Bishop and Skippy in Expeditionary Force is entertaining, the theme of misunderstanding in this book got annoying and burdensome. We all know that a simple misunderstanding can lead to some epic things, but this book contained so many that the misunderstandings became predictable.

Craig is great with the written word. His characters are believable, but sometimes his plot or theme seems flat and his ending a book mid-story is annoying. I’m really struggling with whether I can endure book 2 in order to see what happens or if I should cut my losses.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for E. Collins
  • E. Collins
  • 06-05-2018

Best fairy tale

I bought this book without reading the reviews because I love the author’s other works, and I’m so glad I did. While this is a traditional fairy tale it lacks the evil forces and monsters, which made it far more enjoyable. The magic is present but the book isn’t just about good vs evil. It’s a character study with abundant, likable characters facing challenges and finding discoveries. Misunderstandings and secrets, nearly always win the best intentions, made this a truly good book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for KAG
  • KAG
  • 15-11-2017

Pretty good listen...another teen saves the world

The whole premise that a 13 y/o saves the world again in fantasy fiction books is getting very old. With that said the book is actually a good listen. the performer is really good once you get used to his style. I found the story good, "Spoiler" and of course there is a 13y/o to 13y/o love interest (peasant meets princess) and the 13y/o princess has a superb tactical mind...whatever. I will listen to the next one because I like the author's previous books and I could use a little Joe Bishop and Skippy right now the whole teen down on his luck but is really the most powerful mage history is tiring.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mitchell
  • Mitchell
  • 10-01-2018

.....Not Impressed..

STORY
First, I did not like the predictability of the story, there was never a twist in the story that made my think "wow didn't see that one coming".

Second major issue is the simplistic 2nd characters. Since the whole story is based on characters misunderstanding what happens around the main character, all the characters come across as complete idiots. A good example is the court wizard. The wizard is supposed to be 180+ years old with vast magical power, knowledge, and cunning intellect. Instead he comes across as a complete fool as he can easily prevent a lot of the misunderstandings that happen to Koran by simply communicating with other characters or using common sense. His actions in the book completely contradict how he is described and presented. This happens with almost all the characters as well. They are described in one manner but then their actions, through simplistic thought processes, contradict their initial description just so the author can easily find a way to blame Koran in an effort to illustrate how his life is unfair

PERFORMANCE
I have never been a real big fan of Tim Gerard Reynolds in the first place,it just drives me crazy how he just always seems to read so slow. Like he always pauses after every sentence or phrase for a few seconds longer than it needs to be. i have listened to many other books that Mr. Reynolds has performed in, including Riyria Revelations, Riyria Chronicles, and The White Tower and only noticed it when i played it along with, or back to back with other readers.

OVERALL
Unfortunately this initial installment kept beating us over the head with just how unfair Koren Blackwell’s life is. Seventeen hours of misunderstandings and lies all to keep one very likable young man from his destiny! This book simply needed a good editor.

It just seamed like The whole premise that a 13 year-old saves the world again in fantasy fiction books is getting very old.

55 of 79 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Derek Schlegel
  • Derek Schlegel
  • 13-06-2018

I have never been more frustrated...

Jesus Christ. No payoff, arbitrary cliff hangers, and all of the characters are completely useless. When I read or listen to a story, I really, really want payoff, not become enthralled halfway through only to find the characters see no real personal growth, and that the extremely cringy and convenient 'misunderstandings' the MC goes through make me want to not only delete the audio book, but burn the entire damn computer it was streamed on. I have never been as frustrated or as disappointed with a story in book form. It's only literal saving grace is that the ending of this book is still not as bad as the terribly written ending to Mass Effect 3. But as God is my witness, Ascendant is a close 2nd in my eyes. I do like Expeditionary force series by the same Author, and as long as the Author doesn't muck that up with cringy plot convenience, I will buy it. But not one more from this series. I'm still mad as I write this review at 11pm when I have to be up in 4 hours.

28 of 42 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for K-R Lewis
  • K-R Lewis
  • 10-11-2017

Definitely not something Joe Bishop would like.

Obviously this story is not anything like ExFor and I didn't expect it to be. Alanson's foray into fantasy is interesting nonetheless. I'm actually only a little past halfway through and the story is dragging. Luckily Alanson is a good enough writer and T.G. Reynolds is a good enough vocal performer to make "run-on" interesting enough to keep listening. I know there's a good story in here. I just wish it would develop quicker. Unlike GoT there is only one storyline following a 12-13 year old boy and I'm starting to wonder if this series will be written in real time. Imagine listening to a Game of Thrones novel and it only followed one character and lasted just as long. However if you're looking for a long audiobook so you have something to listen to for a long while, you could do a lot worse. T.G. Reynolds makes it a pleasant listen and the story is good albeit a little too drawn out in places.

17 of 26 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mike
  • Mike
  • 18-01-2018

Really good

The story was interesting but straight forward hence 4 out of 5 stars but kept me listening. Finished the booked in a few days. Well written and performed.
Hope book 2 progresses the characters on alot more, although to be fair this book only covers events over a year.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paul J.
  • Paul J.
  • 16-12-2017

I liked the authors other book series

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, the story around the main character didn't progress and each time another character made a decision in 'his best interest' or to 'keep him safe' it was like those poor horror films where the scantily dress teenage girl answers the door just past midnight. You know what is going to happen, in fact there was very little mystery.

Would you recommend Ascendant: Book 1 to your friends? Why or why not?

Please see above.

What didn’t you like about Tim Gerard Reynolds’s performance?

Slow and I felt I was listening to someone trying to make the story sound interesting. First time I accelerated the reading just to get through the book. Also maybe I got spoilt by other readers who are so flexible with their voices, you forget it is a single person reading the book.

Did Ascendant: Book 1 inspire you to do anything?

No

Any additional comments?

The story had hooks and I am interested in progressing with the next one, but I expect to play it at x2 or 3 just to get through faster. There are such big hints about dangers, the enemy, powerful wizards etc. all the stuff I like, but nothing really happened in this book. Just got book 2, wish me luck.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Stanley Hughes
  • Stanley Hughes
  • 16-10-2018

Anticlimax

If I had to describe the trilogy in one word it would be 'anticlimax'. I felt the first two books and much of the third were constructing an interesting story, and nearing the end of the 3rd book I was wondering what the next book would bring. But then, in a few chapters, the story suddenly came to an end in an utterly disappointing way, almost as if the author couldn't be bothered to continue the story.

I read other reviews on the first and second book and saw some people described them (especially the second one) as page fillers. At the time, however, I thought the author was creating an extensive world and story. I was wrong. When I finished the final book, I realised most of the first and third book as well as the entire second book, are completely irrelevant to the overall story arch.

I endured what I thought to be minor imperfections in the first and second book (mistakes, needless repetition, slow pace, derivative naming of places and characters) because I felt the story had potential, instead I should have realised they where symptoms of something more problematic, an author who only half heartedly threw together a fantasy story.

*SPOILERS*

It takes two books for Koren to realise he is a wizard and he receives no training at all during the third book, and then suddenly it comes to an end in a way that also could have happened exactly the same way at the end of book 1.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Adrian Harvey1
  • Adrian Harvey1
  • 10-09-2019

A bit of slow burner.

First book takes a while to warm up , but stick with it I think it's going to be a good series, just downloaded the next book , need to see what happens next.Thats the sign of a good story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for PurpleBird
  • PurpleBird
  • 05-07-2019

A compelling adventure

I am thoroughly hooked! the best thing about this book is the characters. Right from the start you feel for Koran. This series is going to be great!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lungsford
  • Lungsford
  • 07-06-2019

Confusion

I love Expeditionary Force, I have a weird love hate relationship with this book, I can't handle how annoying I am finding this story. I can't get my head around how much stupidity is going round the intellectual characters in this book. It feels like the author is trying to force the characters down a certain route. Also why are all dwarves welsh or scottish

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 22-04-2019

Fantasy without imagination

A mostly generic fantasy story. After listening to both Ascendant and Transcendent I will not continue this story, there must be more interesting stories out there.

The lack of anything unique in this story is its biggest flaw. The story is cast from the same mold and many of the modern fantasy classics (D. Eddings, R. E. Feist, Robert Jordan, ) of the young wizard and a kingdom on the brink of war. Alanson does not however add anything unique or interesting to the story, the characters or the world but just copies the basic formula making this a watered down work at best.

Feels like this series was was written just to write a fantasy story, not because the author had a story to tell.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ulstergirl
  • Ulstergirl
  • 22-01-2019

Good story but a bit slow & repetitive at times.

An enjoyable listen & I want to continue with the next instalment. the action could be a little faster & I felt some points of each character were over laboured & pointed out rather than letting the reader draw their own conclusions.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-12-2018

Just finished the series and really enjoyed it.

Having read the expeditionary force series I delayed downloading this series. I’m so glad I did as it shows Craig Alanson has a lot of depth in his story telling. From space to a full fantasy series is quite a leap.

I loved this series and fell in love with the characters.

It was well written and it’s suck a shame this series was finished after 3 books but I did like to see a solid ending rather than dragging out the story.

To the author. Keep it up, I loved this series and now starting on aces 👍

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for 39!
  • 39!
  • 29-10-2018

Another great for this author

This starts off a little slow but as the story builds you will become hooked, and left wanting more.

I started with this author by listening to expeditionary force They are fantastic too.

I highly recommend these books enjoy. I have become an audio book connoisseur. I love them.