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Publisher's Summary

The world is falling to the burning shadow of the Possessed and only the power of a battle mage can save it. But the ancient bond with dragonkind is failing. Of those that answer a summoning too many are black. Black dragons are the enemy of humankind. Black dragons are mad.

Falco Dante is a weakling in a world of warriors, but worse than this, he is the son of a madman. Driven by grief, Falco makes a decision that will drive him to the brink of despair. As he tries to come to terms with his actions Falco follows his friends to the Academy of War, an elite training school dedicated to martial excellence. But while his friends make progress he struggles to overcome his doubts and insecurity. Even Queen Catherine of Wrath has her doubts about Falco's training.

While the Queen tries to unite the Kingdoms against the Possessed, Falco struggles to overcome his fears. Will he unlock the power trapped inside him or will he succumb to madness and murder like his father?

©2017 Peter A. Flannery (P)2017 Cherry Hill Publishing, LLC

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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    35
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    21
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    1
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Story

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

Pure fantasy

It’s great to listen to a well written book that builds all the leading characters and stands alone without the need to stretch into a trilogy or more. Well done!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Had Potential, But Fell Short of What I Expected

I will start by saying that I enjoyed the story and many of the characters. I would say it is worth purchasing and having a listen, but bear in mind it is not perfect.

The magic system seems to be very odd and inconsistent. A lot of what (battle) mages are capable of seems to be plot tools rather than elements of a well thought our magic system. It works well enough, but fell quite short of what I expected for such a setting.

The languages and names involved needed to be more imaginative. If you look at the Warhammer 40,000 Universe from Games Workshop, their bastardized Latin works and is at least somewhat imaginative. In this book, however, French and German (there may have been more that I didn't notice) got used unashamedly without any attempt to make them original languages of the setting. It worked well enough (especially if you were willing to overlook the copy-paste of the languages), but it seemed lazy to say the least.

The POV changes is something I don't mind at all in principle, especially since it was used well in some scenarios, but it was used to retell a number of situations two or three times from different perspectives which was redundant and annoying more often than not.

The main character - Dante - was not painted as being capable of the things he was doing at the end of the book. Look at Harrh Potter - he was set up for the ability to use magic in the early part of the first installment and in further setup was made for his even later great ability. very little setup seemed to be done for Dante in this book. I wish there was more.

Now for the positives:

There are many concepts within the books that I enjoyed like how dragons are handled, their bond with Battle Mages, and their part in the story. The author seemed to have a number of concepts at the core of his world and story that are clearly good concepts.

Particularly in the early chapters of the books, there were many great characters and mini story arcs that I liked and were well written. Simon and Dante was an interesting dynamic and story, and similar dynamics and mini stories pop up across the book.

How fear was handled could have been better, but there were many cool elements that I think at least partially outweighed the negatives of it.

There are many other elements both good and bad, but I think there was a lot that the book as a whole lacked and could be improved upon. That being said, it does have its saving graces. If you have the patience for a 34 hour book that is of decent but not excellent quality, then it is worth buying.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

A must read!

Amazing book! Totally loved it. Recommend to anyone after a great adventure. Good narrator (:

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

An amazing and incredibly engaging story!

Amazing, single book story. I wish there were more to it and I will keep an eye out for any sequels.

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

Oustanding

Absolutely oustanding. Strikingly original dark tale. Have already listened to it twice!

Purchased after a number of great reviews. Book name had me cringing but managed to push through... very glad I did.

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

Pretty good story. Fairly mundane performance.

I really felt like the narrator had only two voices for every single character in the book, both male and female. The first is the stern voice of Gandalf saying "Run, you fools!" and the second is the raised voice of Gandalf yelling "You shall not pass!!!" So yeah, basically the only character voice you hear in this book is Gandalf.

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

fantastic!!

brilliant book from start to finish. Highly recommend this to any fantasy fan. couldn't put it down.

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

Narrator elevates this book

The author somehow took generic lines and descriptions of characters and a make an incredibly entertaining book. Fantastic work

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

Really bloody good.

Just get it ya pansy... It's one good, long book. Great purchase. Thanks for writing it

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

What a rollercoaster!

This book hook me into the story and not let go until the end. It evoked emotions of joy, outrage and sadness rarely experienced in such extremes. I struggled with the narrator, but even my dislikes of his reading style did nothing to dent the pleasure I gained from this book. I have recommended it to all my friends that like this genre. To sum it up, all I can say is "Wow".

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Loyd Simpson
  • 10-01-2018

amazing book!

I was skeptical about this book with such a mundane cliche title however upon reading/listening to it I can now say it rivals books like The Riftwar saga, Drizzt Dourden books, and even the Dragon Lance books from back in the day.

If you like fantasy and dragons then give this a try

66 of 71 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lazarus
  • 24-12-2017

Stop whatever you are reading and get this one!!!!

Could not drop this book, the action is just draw dropping, it is so well written and The Narration is off the charts, i just wander why lots of people have not checked this book out, and i have to say, i have read over 500 books and this is the first time, i have ever deemed to write a review, that has to tell you something.

98 of 107 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chiron
  • 05-01-2018

loved it.

I hope there is more to come. loved the story. 8m glad I took a chance on a different author.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ANelson
  • 05-01-2018

Fantastic!

Made me laugh, cry, and smile throughout the tale. The emotions are amplifies by the reader's tone. Really great listen!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bluesman1972
  • 01-01-2018

Don’t do that.....

It really ticks me off when a great story which is narrated great has quality issues with the recording. DON’T do such a disservice to the author and narrator. Awesome book, awesome performance, recording people should be whipped.

69 of 76 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nate
  • 12-02-2018

Volume needs to be adjusted!

the first quarter of this book is next to impossible to hear unless you are wearing noise suppressant headphones or have it playing through a much louder speaker system. I typically use my Bluetooth headset to listen to audiobooks. I was nearly unable to do so at the beginning of this book. Also at the end of the book, several times the narrator's voice would just drop off at the end of a sentence and you are left wondering what he was saying. It's a shame about the technical problems, but the story is amazing! it was well narrated and the characters are easily distinguishable. Aside from the aforementioned technical issues, the story was immensely enjoyable and I'm sure is an even better read.

36 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • wjh4256
  • 25-12-2017

A captivating read from beginning to the end.

One of my favorite books of the year. An excellently written book with top notched narration. I was totally captivated to the end.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • @tone0189
  • 21-12-2017

Words lost...

This was a good book and that it was written as a complete story is even better. The only complaint I have was that end of words and sometimes whole words would just dropped.

The narrator would be reading then sudd.... part of a word would drop off completely. This was made worse when ..... words went ........ Fortunately there were only a few places that it was really noticeable.

Overal I recommend the book.

55 of 62 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 03-02-2018

Struggled with audio a bit

Story was good, audio was not great in that the narrator's words cut off randomly all the time. I thought the narrator was pretty good (I know I couldn't do nearly as well). However, I couldn't really get over how every instance of a character speaking with more than an inside voice was portrayed with kind of a choking croak, or a garbled whisper. difficult to understand at times, and hard to take seriously (for me). Drove me nuts.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tony
  • 06-04-2018

Who is your sound engineer?!

A good amount of the book cuts off the last word in each phrase like some sound engineer selected all and applied a sharp fade to the end of each clip and then never listened to the result!

Then there is the obnoxious way in which the voice actor, who is otherwise good, “whisper-yells yelled phrases. I get not wanting to blow out my speakers, but his voice is so low most of those lines are unintelligible!

Further, there was even an entire phrase / sentence/ paragraph that was repeated back to back like the engineer copy-pasted and forgot the duplicate in there.

Decent book, good acting (other than the yelling) and horrible, HORRIBLE sound engineering quality.

Ps, the beginning of the book is fine, halfway through it starts cutting off the last word. Fail.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Avatre
  • 26-05-2018

Fantastic Book - Not so good recording

I absolutely love the book, it's one of the best Fantasies I've read in a long time. The narrator does a good job for the most part- only fault I had there is that the women sounded like wheezy old men.

The main problem is in the recording itself. It's quiet even at full volume and a lot of the words have the endings clipped off which can be quite frustrating at important moments.

Still, it's a fantastic story so I'll hope Audible can get the recording of it fixed.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sandra Azevedo
  • 05-07-2018

Love this book so much!

Loved this book! Found myself listening till the wee hours of the morning, utterly enthralling!

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
  • Chris G.
  • 26-03-2018

Exceptional

What a fantastic book . Really a cut above. Fantasy gold standard I highly recommend it to all . the descriptive writing and character development is the stuff of dreams.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • T. Beran
  • 24-02-2018

Great book, well read mostly...

What did you like most about Battle Mage?

Great value for money, classic sword & sorcery

What was one of the most memorable moments of Battle Mage?

Falco summoning his dragon

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

yes

Any additional comments?

The later chapters are a bit jumpy, some words are mis-read and have obviously not been "proof" listened to. These are a bit jarring and take you out of the story a bit

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • dominic
  • 17-02-2018

Brilliant book very minor issue with performance

Before I explain don’t let this point out you off. This is an amazing fantasy book and it is a very minor point. When the book describes a moment where a character is shouting the narrator can’t ever seem to get the pitch right. Instead of a battle cry it would sound like a crackling death rattle. This would take me out of the moment was quite off putting.

This was my only bad point to an otherwise amazing story.

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
  • Leslie
  • 29-12-2017

Shocked to find such a Gem

Would you listen to Battle Mage again? Why?

of course I am going to listen to the book again, it is going into my...go to books for a good listen... plus there are always somethings one misses on first listen my go to book
authors are the likes of Gemmell, weber, feist, Moon, Weeks and a few others whose books I can listen to over and over again and this one joins that list

What was one of the most memorable moments of Battle Mage?

there are many, many such moments throughout the book and why spoil it for others

Which character – as performed by RD Watson – was your favourite?

all the main characters qualify

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I had to force myself to listen in 3 hour sections, of course that meant having to start re listening 20 minutes or so of the 3 hour section finished, and mostly I listened to two sections a day

Any additional comments?

When I read some of the reviews about the book being pretty good I took it with a pinch, but I love long books that are worth the credit, and be assured this book is well worth the cost of a credit

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mike
  • 23-01-2018

good story but issues in narration

enjoyed the story very much but the narrator mispronounced words intermittently and many sections we're repeated. Greater care needed in editing and quality control

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 28-12-2017

Great story but rather bad performance.

Loved the story it captivated me and I finished the whole book in under three days.
The only draw back was narrator's performance,
He has a very pleasant voice but at times I had hard time keeping up with him.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-11-2018

loved it

really enjoyed this book. narrator was great and story had me hooked. was fairly straightforward storyline but it absolutely captivated me. would definitely recommend listen/ reading

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • barry watson
  • 05-11-2018

fantastic read

what an epic story fantastic well told just awesome loved it hope there will be more