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Publisher's Summary

"All things are composed of patterns...." And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross.

In Alorin...300 years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centuries past earned him a traitor's brand. It is the Adept Vestal Raine D'Lacourte's mission to learn what Bjorn knows in the hope of salvaging his race. But first he'll have to find him....

In the kingdom of Dannym...the young Prince Ean val Lorian faces a tenuous future as the last living heir to the coveted Eagle Throne. When his blood brother is slain during a failed assassination, Ean embarks on a desperate hunt for the man responsible. Yet his advisors have their own agendas, and his quest for vengeance leads him ever deeper into a sinuous plot masterminded by a mysterious and powerful man, the one they call First Lord.

In the Nadori desert...tormented by the missing pieces of his life, a soldier named Trell heads off to uncover the truth of his shadowed past. But when disaster places him in the debt of Wildlings sworn to the First Lord, Trell begins to suspect a deadlier, darker secret motivating them.

©2010 Melissa McPhail (P)2016 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about Cephrael's Hand

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Captaviting story!

It does admittedly take some time to get into the story for a first time listener but after about 5 hours I was so hooked I bought the remaining 3 available books. I highly recommend you go about 10 hours before you judge the book, it's complex and has intriguing plots spanning multiple books.

5 people found this helpful

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Amazing!

Nick has done an amazing job bringing the cast of this epic tale to life. If you love the wheel of time or any of Brandon Sandersons work, give this a try!

3 people found this helpful

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Couldn't Make It..

I listen to books usually while at work and unfortunately this one is front loaded with a lot of fantasy style information (complicated names, countries, political machinations), zoning out for even a couple minutes left me confused and rewinding, especially when combined with quite a few character jumps in the first few hours.. Hopefully will get some focus time and come back to this one with an edit. Nick's narration is spectacular as always

2 people found this helpful

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Engaging and exciting

I'm on my fourth listening of this series and I'm still learning more about this engaging universe. The magic system is in-depth and explored thoroughly. Nick Podehl makes this book come to life and I couldn't recommend it more.

1 person found this helpful

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A whole new world of magic and creatures

I love this series, currently in book 3, and I still have wonderful questions due to the mysteries yet to be uncovered!! I will admit I nearly gave up after the first 20 chapters, cause it was so complex with soo many new characters as well as trying to understand the rules of magic that are introduced in this world! BUT, I am glad I pushed through, it is amazing and the storyline starts to align the more you push through. I love soo many of the characters, very relatable. and Nick Podel does an incredible job of bringing characters to life :)

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Sodomy is always gonna be good.

It took me until the 3rd book to really start to enjoy this series. I dont jest when I say that there is so much gayness its really hard for a hetero straight guy to be comfortable. Seems like all the bad guys like anal sex, LOTS of anal sex. But also there is hetro sex and other good stuff. But the anal rape is kinda hard to get used to.

That being said, once you lube up and get into the story its really good. I found that I wanted to listen more and more as it gave me a different perspective into the life of love. Maybe opened my legs a little (But not enough for unwashed anal) to that kind of story telling. I think its a good mix for female and male listeners. But not so good if you dont want to put the time in to learning about all the strands.

Learning about the characters and all the magical theory is hard. But once you understand it its good. The love scenes are really good. Be it anal or not anal rape. Some times there is consenctual hetero sex. But not often. Mostly is anal.

1 person found this helpful

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How have I missed this series!

On the scale of the Wheel of Time, the Lord of the Rings, or any of the other greats; this book & series should be counted amoung them.

- Yes, you need to invest time and thought
- No, you won’t understand everything after the first 20 pages
- Yes, this is brilliantly written and narrated
- No, it’s not homoerotic. (Read that in a review…)
- Yes, you will be richly rewarded

The book was advertised on Facebook and I couldn’t stop thinking there was a catch - why would this title be flogged in this manner when all the other greats get picked up and have ground swell because of their brilliance.

I’ve just finished the 4th book in this series, and plots and hints raised in this 1st book are only now being fully brought into light.

Get over the fact that there are difficult names, the magic system doesn’t immediately make sense, & you can’t figure out the plot in 20 pages. THIS IS NOT Harry Potter or some young adult brainless basic drivel (btw, I love the Harry Potter series).

If you enjoyed Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera, The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson, then give this a read. This is on par - if not better. You will not be disappointed!

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Hard work

Found this disappointing, long winded & the characters are hard to engage with, especially in the early stages. After persisting for hours I gave up & abandoned what was potentially a reasonable story.

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Confusing gibberish

unfortunately the story lines isnt set before it introduces long languishing names and places exotic gibberish titles of rulers, mages and adepts that becomes a mishmash of confusing codswallop. shame, so much potential but lost interest.

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Slow....going to swap this one

Has potential but when is it going to get somewhere. As always Nick Podele ruins female voices, I liked him in The Land books but haven't warmed to him in anything else....he just tanks doing female voices.

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  • Benjamin Haymore
  • 07-02-2020

Worst start to a series ever

I read a lot of books in this genre. Over 50 in the last year alone. I disagree that this fits in with Robert Jordan or Brandon Sanderson. The fact that this book touts this claim makes me even more upset after having given it a chance specifically for that reason.

I had to force myself to even get up to chapter 9, and that is with my absolute favorite narrator of all time reading this story too. By 9 chapters you have at least 6 or 7 different viewpoint characters already, all separately off and on their own, only tangentially connected to each other. Maybe it all comes together eventually, but it was too dull and slow.

The tone of the writing also constantly felt off in a very grating way. The author constantly puts in frivolous details and references to give a very dry, boring, and completely unneeded sense of a larger, more complicated world. 9 Chapters in and maybe a bare quarter of it had anything remotely interesting. I gave up after an excruciating 10 minute dialogue that served absolutely no purpose other than to give a useless account of court rankings and politics completely disconnected from every character you've met except the current viewpoint character, who the reader just met. Sounds like it would be relevant since we only just met this character, but it wasn't.

Had the author had any sense to actually stick with a character for more than a single chapter, then maybe I could have pushed through this extremely high learning curve and eventually enjoyed the story. Sanderson's novels sometimes have high learning curves too, but his tone is sure, his characters are interesting, and his plot progresses. This story failed in all those counts. Too many viewpoints, sacrificed plot progression in place of setting and confusing and incomplete world building, with dull characters that felt hollow.

26 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 08-09-2016

Great Start to a new series

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, anyone that's a fan of the Stormlight series by Brandon Sanderson, or patrick Rothfuss' Name of the Wind series, this is what you want to read next

Who was your favorite character and why?

Trell. I just enjoyed his parts of the book the most out of the other characters. He wasn't as prevalent in this book but hopefully he has a larger part in the second one.

What does Nick Podehl bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He reads each character so well and distinctly. If you liked his narration of the Name of the Wind than you'll like this.

Any additional comments?

This book is very big. There are a LOT of characters and for some, like Trell, you can go a long time before returning to a character's tale. Just beware of that and pay attention or you'll get a few story-lines mixed up.

74 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-10-2016

A sub-par fantasy.

This is only for the hardcore epic fantasy enthusiast that is 20 series down and can't figure out what to read next. Cephrael's Hand might hit the spot, but the writing suffers heavily from telling and not showing. The story isn't bad, just overly familiar, with far too many ideas I can trace a straight line back to Wheel of Time.

The narrator does a great job with the material he is given.

Full disclosure: I got about 60% through and quit reading, so maybe the ending is worth it? Also, there are great many people that seem to love this book, so maybe it just wasn't my shot of whiskey. (It should have been - I'm nothing if not an epic fantasy enthusiast)

82 people found this helpful

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  • William
  • 09-05-2017

Harlequin Lovers Delight - I could not get thru #2

What did you like best about Cephrael's Hand? What did you like least?

Interesting and overwhelming with almost too much depth- I was hoping to catch up with some great detail in book 2 but ended up with a lot of harlequin bs that made me drop this series like a rock. Almost too much detail, but I followed with the story through book 1 - and then jumped into 2 -- then it went too far for me to give a damn about the story. done, done, and done--

Would you ever listen to anything by Melissa McPhail again?

probably not

What does Nick Podehl bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

best thing about the book

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

never

43 people found this helpful

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  • Tony
  • 06-04-2017

very promising start to a series.

....and Podehl is one of the very best narrators out there today. He is incredibly entertaining and versatile. He has literally thousand different voices, all of which are convincing period you cannot go wrong listening to a book narrated by Podehl. And, this author shows a great ability to weave story details, character development and complexity into a very entertaining story

12 people found this helpful

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  • Pro Woodworker
  • 04-07-2017

almost a good book

I'm not sure why I finished this book. It really wasn't worth finishing. this book has many likeable elements, but many more shortcomings. the overall plot isn't bad, but the execution is horrible. many of the characters make out of character decisions, or in character decisions that are stupid but are only there to advance the plot. The tone of the book is off for an epic fantasy book. it reads like a romance novel masquerading as epic fantasy. The author has an ungodly love affair with the word "for" and a few similar conjunctions. ie, for the day was long, for he was true of heart, etc. there are probably well over 1000 instances this in the book. I was frequently wincing at phrasing and word choices while listening to this book. on the flip side, there were several dozen places in the book where I found myself admiring the vocabulary used, but perhaps I was just happy not to here the word "for". The most redeeming part of this book is the narrator who does an amazing job. unfortunately, it's not enough.

34 people found this helpful

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  • Rachael Saad
  • 07-10-2016

I'm having a hard time following this book

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I'm an avid audible member and have listen to hundreds of books, but for some reason I can’t seem to follow this one. It seems like the book skips around from character to character so fast that it’s difficult to follow the story-line. I’m all for complex but this seemed convoluted to me. Soo sorry but I had to throw this one back and move on to a different book.

What was most disappointing about Melissa McPhail’s story?

I could not follow the character's - right when I started to understand and follow along the book switched gears to a different character and you had to start all over again to learn the location, the background and what direction the book is heading.

What does Nick Podehl bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I love the way Nick can bring a character to life with all the voices he uses. I'm sure they had to make a list of characters and figure out who went where before they could even begin to develop the characters style or persona. He is wonderful!

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Cephrael's Hand?

Build the story background slower, I felt bombarded by it. Too much to absorb in such a short time with out any reference. Stop hopping between characters, give your reader time to familiarize themselves with the story and who the characters are. I get the idea the author is trying to create mystery, but the way it was presented just added to the confusion. I'm no writer and cant begin to know how difficult it is... Best of luck

51 people found this helpful

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  • Dason
  • 30-07-2016

This is a great book!!!

If you don't like large fantasy novels expertly written, then this is not the book for you

The start is a bit hard to keep up with, because from page-one you hit the ground running, there is so much going on and it keeps its momentum through out the book.

I had seen an advertisement for this book saying "if you like Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan you will love this book."
I am always skeptical when people say things like that, but in this case it was true.
Robert Jordan is dead, Brandon Sanderson completed the wheel of time based off of his notes, (I am a big fan of Brandon Sanderson.) But Melissa McPhail is the closest I have come to experiencing a story that has the feel of The Wheel of Time.

For many years epic fantasy has been a boys club, ( there have been many woman fantasy writers but none of them had the depth or complexity for me to see them as one of the top fantasy writers)
I am glad to say this is no longer the case, (in the past for years alone I have gone through about 1000 books, and I have found great female Fiction writers, science fiction writers, but until now I had never found a great female Fantasy author.
This series deserves its place in the top 10 if not the top five great epic fantasy series out there.

135 people found this helpful

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  • Michelle Carroll
  • 20-12-2016

could not get into the story

struggled to get past chapter 10. I understand the thrill of mystery and trying to figure out characters and there past and purpose but it felt like I was dropped in the middle of a series. I felt like there were books before this I had missed. To many characters thrown at the reader all at once. This book has gotten some good reviews though. As for me It did not hold my attention.

41 people found this helpful

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  • Kallaway
  • 19-11-2016

Good Performance, good language, ADHD writing

What did you like best about Cephrael's Hand? What did you like least?

Skilled voice actor, with characters that apparently have rich histories within a vast world with nice descriptive language.

What could Melissa McPhail have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

After listening to the book for 5 hours I was unable to immerse myself in the world and was left with the distinct impression that while Melissa McPhail has a rich imagination and has created diverse character, she could not decide on a story or series of events to follow.I feel too much was attempted in this one book, and it would have been more useful to either use other narrative techniques to convey events, or to split this story into separate concurrent narratives or sequential narratives following only a couple of primary characters each.More time should be spent with each character before jumping to another so as to better understand who each character is, and to become invested in the events surrounding each individually.

Have you listened to any of Nick Podehl’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the first, though I enjoyed his performance.

Was Cephrael's Hand worth the listening time?

No.I regularly read & listen to books ranging from 10 to 60+ hours each with various pacing and styles.I listened to this one for 5 hours and simply could not bring myself to continue nor care about the characters or the world, as the narrative was jumping to drastically different characters & places with little sense of coherence and without any sort or resolution or proper introduction, this is a shame as I really tried to immerse myself in this book.I went so far as to see if this was a continuation of another series in the same world that should be read/listened to first, with no luck.

Any additional comments?

Compelling VA performance let down by authors writing which shows great descriptive potential but fails in so many ways. I could not recommend this to anyone, unfortunately. I may try picking it up again but I see this as a prime example of a good author attempting to encompass too much too quickly within one book.

41 people found this helpful

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  • El
  • 18-02-2020

I just hated it

"i don't understand why!" she said in an echoic of a purr akin to a growl with a raised brow! Believe me when I say this will not be the first time you hear this said, perhaps with an even bigger eyebrow manoeuvre.

I was told this book was amazing and I was so disappointed with the repeated kidnap of the main weak female, who just fell in love with every "strong" male lead, the homophobic rapey gay characters, the evil obviously POC characters, the ridiculous stereotype jack sparrow character that it really hurt to hear it making accords with everyone. And then the even more obvious plot points and reveals that were presented as surprises when they were more obvious than the eyebrows on the faces of every character.

I feel lesser for having listened to this grossly tropey tripe. I feel angry that I finished it. But most unforgivable of all was the use of the same adjectives and ways of speaking in every chapter. It's like Ms Mcphail wrote a chapter then didn't proofread/edit/check it and wrote the next one and thought "gosh this sounds good I should use it!" not realising she used it in the last chapter....and the one before that....and the one before that until it gets used inevitably in the next one. I know more about the characters eyebrows than I do about their motives, but hey just let them get kidnapped and have evil bad guy exposition rants. That'll progress the story instead of, you know, actual story writing.

I spent longer editing this review than clearly this book did and I didn't get kidnapped once! Go me!

Let let me save you from this terrible book and say don't read/listen to it. The only thing that got me through it was Nick Podehl. I hated it.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Patrick
  • 22-12-2016

Massive!

At first was so much information and characters to take in and keep track of... But The narrative of Nick and the story are just Mind blowing. I dont know how many days I have been at work looking like a zombie all because i couldnt bring myself to pause :D

8 people found this helpful

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  • Mads
  • 23-08-2016

Worth it

What did you like most about Cephrael's Hand?

It was a decent story with more or less alright writing. The narration was great.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Cephrael's Hand?

Most probably the ones with the pirate. That's all you're getting, no spoilers.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

There were quite a few, yet, some of the fight scenes were pretty neat.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Movie 1 of 10 in an epic saga of family, friendship and clumsy attempts at love.

Any additional comments?

Be warned... For all it's good points, the writing is lacking in a few key aspects. Among other faults is the authors habit of repeating words. There is a limit to how many times in one sentence I want to hear the phrase "tawny eyes". That limit is once. Once per sentence.
Other than that, it's good.

17 people found this helpful

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  • mitchell
  • 05-04-2020

no idea who anyone is

the story throws 35 characters at you and switches between them so often its impossible to know whos perspective you're following

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Rosetta Edmonds
  • 07-07-2019

Alright, but not enthralling.

It was good to keep me entertained purely through having such a long story line, but I wasn't all that impressed. Just rather underwhelming.

2 people found this helpful

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  • iainw
  • 12-11-2018

decent screenplay for TV but a poor book

The problem with this book is that it has the very thinnest of overarching plots and is composed of a series of mini-adventures which do not add to or advance the plot in any meaningful way. It feels like it was written as the screenplay of a tv series and is very much the worse for it. I cannot fault the narration but the dialogue is often mangled by the flowery use of language which again adds nothing.

Serious readers of fantasy fiction will tire of this as realisation dawns.

2 people found this helpful

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  • MJP
  • 06-10-2016

Mixed feelings

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Only after warning them that it had weaknesses, however it's not a bad story and is very well narrated.

Would you recommend Cephrael's Hand to your friends? Why or why not?

I was happy listening to it as I was doing so in the garden or doing jobs - if I'd sat to listen to it, I should have got very irritated by the writing style and given up.

Have you listened to any of Nick Podehl’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, I don't think so but it was the performance that kept me listening.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, not really - found bits of the parts with the pirate amusing though.

Any additional comments?

This book really needed a severe editing. Lots of cliches and over-use of adjectives/adverbs, sometimes oddly - weird use of the word 'subtlety' and lots of repetition. An over fondness of elaborate description and names, both of which are pretty unoriginal holds up the narrative. The basic story is quite good but the writing is a bit ponderous. Hence I shan't follow up with the next volume as I don't care enough about the characters to persist with the heavy narration style.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • bdg
  • 08-08-2018

Both fun and yet not!!!

I found listening to this book both rewarding and frustrating at the same time. On one hand, you have an interesting world with basically relatable (if a little overly zealous, pious and unrealistic) male characters, a nice interweaving of plot lines and a fun if a little formulaic narration style. On the other, you have lazy creativity, particularly around names, languages etc which use French and Arabic words amongst others rather than creating unique races and traits.

However, I could easily have glossed over these details and just given a positive all round review if it weren’t for the clumsy, adolescent handling of the female characters and anything resembling romance or lustful behaviours. It seems to me that the writer has very limited experience of both romantic encounters with women or strong female influences in his life. As such, the female characters are weak and formulaic - being either simpering idiots, obsessed with the approval and heroic masculinity of the male characters or bitter shrews with a lovely, sweet girl hidden deep...... And the painful, vomit-worthy descriptions of love and lust could come straight from the mind of a frustrated 15 year old who has yet to experience them first hand.

Finally, the narration whilst great for the male characters is read by a good reader with a nasal style of speech which makes the already whiny female characters sound unbearably whiny!

It’s a real shame, I’m a huge reader and listener of this style of fiction and the bones of what is here has a lot of potential, I just wish his writing wasn’t so stereotyped. That said, it’s fun enough that I’ll certainly continue listening to the series and will just keep the sick bag close at hand.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Elizabeth
  • 21-10-2016

Looking forward to more!

I've been looking for a new book series to listen to and this is has real potential. Fantastic start to this series and great narration.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Poppey
  • 09-05-2020

Enduring

Nearly gave up on this book as I found it very slow to start, the list of characters and information is vast and difficult to get a hold of initially. However, it has turned out to be a gem. World and character building are intense, although I found Alyneri to be really annoying.

The realm of Alorin is dying as are the Adept race. Two brothers, Princes of Dannym, Ean and Trell, separated as children through treachery; Sebastian, the eldest brother is thought to be dead, also through treachery. Trell has no recollection of who he is after his ship was wrecked and was adopted by Zafir bin Safwan al’Abdul-Basir, Emir of Akkad, whilst Ean was taken far way by his mother. Both will be drawn onto the game board and pawns will have to become players if they wish to survive and, more importantly, if they wish their race to survive.

POSSIBLE SPOILER: I have a sense we have not heard the last of Sebastian (Eshot?). Indeed I feel he may be alive and has been imprisoned, suffering from amnesia and under compulsion by .... to forget who he is! Perhaps in a later book all will become clearer?

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.