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Cage of Souls

Narrated by: David Thorpe
Length: 23 hrs and 10 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (45 ratings)

Non-member price: $45.57

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Publisher's Summary

The sun is bloated, diseased, dying perhaps. Beneath its baneful light, Shadrapar, last of all cities, harbours fewer than 100,000 human souls. Built on the ruins of countless civilisations, Shadrapar is a museum, an asylum, a prison on a world that is ever more alien to humanity. Bearing witness to the desperate struggle for existence between life old and new is Stefan Advani: rebel, outlaw, survivor. This is his testament, an account of the journey that took him into the blazing desolation of the western deserts and into the labyrinths and caverns of the underworld. He will meet with monsters and mutants. The question is, which one of them will inherit this Earth?

Humanity clings to life on a dying Earth. 

Epic, far-future science fiction from an award-winning author.

©2019 Adrian Tchaikovsky (P)2019 Head of Zeus

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Fantastic from start to finish!

I purchased this book after listening to the Children of Time books hoping it was similar.. It wasn't, but that's not in any way a bad thing. I loved how each stage of his life was completely different from the last, but all meshes together beautiful at the same time.

Adrian may be my favorite new writer!

EDIT: months on and I've come back to listen to this a further 2 times. This is without a doubt my favorite book.

1 person found this helpful

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brilliant performance. top quality writing

my only draw back is that the story is a common one, we don't find out a lot of interesting points, and the story, while wondrous, doesn't make me think about anything greater than myself in the same manner that children of time / ruin / dogs of war does

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent narration

This book was full of nteresting ideas, enjoyable prose, and had fantastic narration. Highly recommended.

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  • Guy
  • 23-08-2019

A great story telling

Always interesting, no annoying over description. Truly easy to enjoy. I would easily recommend to anyone who wants a great classic story

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  • Roy
  • 27-07-2019

Sheer listening joy, a story you will remember!

A treasure trove of interesting well narrated characters and a story that keeps you spellbound.

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Painful slow and an ineffective lead character

It was looooong listen. The story was much like a lukw warm cup of tea. Looked promising but fail to deliver.

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  • Matt
  • 22-06-2019

Surprised by a good book

judging this book on the one review it had, I was expecting a boring tale. instead I found something of a hidden gem. it loved it, the story and the narration. the upbeat and chirpy voice of the narrator annoyed me at first and then I came to understand the he was perfect and that his characterizations were also spot on. Adrian Tchaikovsky is quickly becoming a favourite author of mine as I have yet to listen or read a book of his that I didn't like or enjoy.

4 people found this helpful

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  • mr
  • 23-10-2019

Satisfying far future tale.

Stylistically similar to Rosny and Mieville, a decadent setting richly detailed. Hopeful, desperate. Wryly humorous.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Thomas Rosin
  • 28-09-2019

An amazing world to visit again and again.

If a character from a Jack Vance novel wrote a first person account of weird prison economics, it may read something like this. Thorpe perfectly evokes narrator, Stefan Advarny, as a pompous academy boy stuck in a vile and dangerous prison at the end of the world. The other characters like rogue, Peter, and the chilling underworld characters/creatures are equally on point.
I loved Tchaikovsky’s Children series so took a chance on this. They could be in the same universe, but they are very different in tone. I think I liked this more, as there is as much humour as weird, unsettling horror, and I will carry these characters with me for some time.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Constantgardner
  • 26-09-2019

Strange tales from a strange world

While lacking the epic quality of Children of Time/Ruin books this quickly draws one into its bizarre end-of-times world. Set way into the future as the last remaining city awaits the death of the Sun, the unreliable and deeply flawed narrator recalls his banishment and incarceration in a hellish prison located in an even more hellish jungle. The author revisits his favourite themes of intelligence, evolution and language, again interweaving them in a plot full of intriguing characters, vivid landscapes and action. He's rapidly becoming my favourite sci-fi author and the reader does a good job too.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bob
  • 24-06-2019

After a slow start a real engrossing tale

David Thorpe did a good job of performing this book. A decent narrator can really make a book. The story itself is set in the last city of humanity and a prison island up river in the vicious jungle.

As befits the last city on Earth it is a bit run down. Old technology is scavenged and held together by mechanics who don't know what they are doing. The last days are evocative and atmospheric.

Surrounded by deadlock desert and poisoned seas, this is no Jack Vance fantasy future. Yet the author still creates a functioning society with nobility and politics worthy of the Medicis.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Preben Joker Thorsen
  • 09-01-2020

The new Tchaikovsky

Warmer, weirder and more humorous than his previous books, Tchaikovsky has written this quirky, dystopian post-post-post apocalyptic epos to keep me entertained and make me think. Nice! Fine performance by Thorpe who has had to summon his most scholastic British accent- you will soon see why.

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  • Iain
  • 21-12-2019

Wow. Fantastic!

What a great story. I enjoyed every second of it. Brilliantly narrated, the colourful characters were sympathetic and brought to life.


I can't believe I'm saying this but I think this is Tchaikovsky's best work.

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  • olympian
  • 02-12-2019

Enjoyable sci fi/fantasy tale

Enjoyable story with some great ideas and concepts, and characters felt quite well developed. Also some really thrilling descriptions of certain scenes in particular that paint a vivid picture, sometimes of quite horrifying sights! However, as with other books by Adrian Tchaikovsky the final act felt a bit anticlimactic and a lot of interesting plot points never got developed or went anywhere. Would still recommend to anyone that finds the premise interesting.

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  • Raharley
  • 16-11-2019

Excellent World Building

The story is a mixed bag for me, the characters and the overall plot are good, but not on the same level as books such as "The Blade Itself". The element that kept me going was the world, the creatures and the setting. The world is easily imagined and the creatures, people and places are very easily pictured and very interesting. This was the hook for me and I would be excited to see more in content in this world.

The narration is slower than im use to, but it worked for me and I would not change it. The voices are excellent and the slower pace helped me to take in all the details, which in my opinion is a great improvement to the experience.

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  • AReader
  • 07-11-2019

Excellent listen

This audiobook creates a whole world which is coherent and full of incident. The fantasy somehow has enough resonance to make it feel real. The behaviour of the characters, once set up, is believable. There is humour and (unless I am oversensitive) some implied commentary on society and politics in our own world.

The reading brings the whole thing to life - each character has a different voice which suits them perfectly. I really rooted for some of them against others, though as in real life the nicer people frequently lost out to the more selfcentred and the protagonist Stefan - as he himself admits- is far from all-seeing or unbiased.

I enjoyed the whole 23 hours.Looking forward to more of the author and the narrator.