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Lusam

The Dragon Mage Wars, Books 1-2
Narrated by: Alex Wyndham
Series: Lusam, Book 1-2
Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (144 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Lusam grew up in the relative safety of the Elveen mountains with his grandmother. She taught him the basics of magic and discovered, quite by accident, that he possessed a unique skill never seen before: the ability to hide his magical aura from the mage-sight of others.

Dark secrets surround Lusam's origins, and the dark agents of the Empire will stop at nothing to kill Lusam. But before Lusam can be taught all he needed to know about his past, his grandmother unexpectedly dies of a fever, and Lusam finds himself homeless on the unforgiving streets of Helveel. Unbeknown to Lusam, the only thing keeping him alive is a promise he made to his grandmother to always hide his aura, no matter what. Lusam meets and befriends a young thief fleeing her old city of Stelgad before making a magical discovery that will change both their lives forever, and possibly the fate of the entire world.

©2015 Dean Cadman (P)2017 Podium Publishing

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What listeners say about Lusam

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Great Listen highly recommend

I have really enjoyed this book unable to stop listening the narration is great too. I hope Dean keeps writing more stories - don't change please.

6 people found this helpful

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reading nuances

too often it felt like the reader didnt understand that when you finish a statement your voice should lower slightly with a hint of finality. alex constantly finished sentences in a way that made me think more was coming, theres a coma or he was taking a break to gather his bearings on the page. good with everything else but that one thing kinda butchered it for me a little

5 people found this helpful

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Not a bad fantasy for young persons

The reviews of these two books so far range from "boring" to "top notch", so I just had to find out for myself. The story centres on a pair of 15-year olds, one of who has magical powers considerably greater than anyone else, but whose mentor and teacher died before she could educate him sufficiently. The plot, then, explores this person's growth into his abilities whilst being hunted by an "evil" emperor. It has a good pace, with chase and flight sequences, duels, and moral dilemmas. Much of the story is aimed at the 12-18 year old market, and so there is no apology for many of the cliches used. Despite the above comments, I found the story likeable. The main characters are decent persons, and I find I am interested in following where their destinies lead them. I'll be getting the next book, or two (I haven't found the dragons, yet!).

2 people found this helpful

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Got as far as chapter 3 then gave up.

What disappointed you about Lusam?

The characters are incredibly unrealistic considering their situation with the author taking far too many plot conveniences regarding the story. If you can suspend your disbelief you’ll find that the narrator is decent enough, but I don’t recommend this to anyone wanting an engaging story.

2 people found this helpful

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Hard to listen to

I found the narration on the audible book very hard to listen to at first. But perseverance and a great story line got me through.

2 people found this helpful

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A good read

This is a really good book that I've been listening to and I'm Keen to listen to the next one

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable

I guess it's for kids because the story is simplistic; over explained and predictable. The narrator kept using a strange inflection at the end of every sentence, like surprized, emphatic, excited...all at the same time. And whenever he acted one of the theaves he put on a cockney type accent, but seemed to struggle to actually act at the same time In spite of all this, I was engaged and kept listening

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did not enjoy the narration of the characters

the accents used for the main characters was very oliver twist esk, and i found it distracting to the story. gave up after 4 chapters.

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an enjoyable listen

interesting likable characters introduced in this magical adventure. lacking l humor, but a quest lies ahead

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no bueno

I will start by conceding that I'm sure this book is targeted at young adults, but I still cannot excuse the writing style. Every thought and every action from each character gets explained and then re-explained. Sometimes, and I'm not kidding, there is a third go at it just to make sure you didn't miss the fairly obvious concept the first 2 times. You almost have to listen to it, simply out of curiosity, to see how bad it is. But don't. Other than that, the story is acceptable. The characters are endearing, though thoroughly underdeveloped. The magic system is very simple, but I suppose there's nothing wrong with that. The narration was good, without being superb. Best suited to a 10 year old, in my humble...

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  • Scott
  • 15-10-2017

Thank God it was 2 books!

So I made this purchase knowing it was 2 books, and thank the good lord it came as 2 because I wouldn't have continued on to book 2 with just book 1 to go off of. This is the worst kind of Power comes easy story. Everything about this book (And even the series) comes easy to our main character. Who is a well developed, good kid whom you want to root for the entire series (Although that may be more towards how Cadman gets you to hate the villains, but it's still something), but he struggles with nothing. He's born a powerful mage. He met his soul mate in the form of the first person he talks to in years on the streets. He gets a dream job for a street kid that gives him shelter and food for both him and the girl. At the job, he just happens to find a magical book that grants him even more power just by reading it. The girl just happens to be the best knife thrower in the world. He gets a guardian protector that turns into more of a best friend/father figure. He meets a goddess, that next to nobody has ever seen, but that he sees often and saves his life a few time.

Then, once you get passed all this, you have to deal with the journey. In most stories, you deal with the intro, the Training, the journey, the love and the conflict. However, the Intro is very quick, the training and love are instantaneous, and the conflict is barely mention able. So all we are left with is the Journey. They are always moving from one situation to another. Always something to do but we have to share the entire trip because there is nothing else to discuss as everything else is set. It just becomes very frustrating and dull to listen too.

I be honest, I actually compared this to the "Mageborn"series by Michael G. Manning in the way that I grew bored with everything and eventually disliked the series by the end while not really being able to tell you why I disliked the series. Lusam actually does have everything. I just wish there was some true dialogue and a true battle that the MC's could loose. You never truly get that sense that they're in. They're either running too far a head, or he's just too powerful for them to be at risk.

Also, Wyndham really isn't that great. He isn't bad, just not great.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Kristie Clawson
  • 17-07-2017

No depth

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

better narrator, more depth, etc.

Has Lusam turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, but I will not be continuing with this series

Would you listen to another book narrated by Alex Wyndham?

If it was a very well written book I could handle listening to Alex, but there are so many out there that are better

What character would you cut from Lusam?

none

Any additional comments?

This is an ok book if you just want a story that you can get to the end of. There is no depth to the story and very little character building in my opinion.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Scott
  • 15-05-2017

Sadly this is a pretty mediocre book...

What would have made Lusam better?

Much less exposition, greater character depth, less predictable story arcs. Having the main character simply handed all of his powers was also an incredibly trite and frankly silly plot device that really stretched credulity. As others have noted, this is not two books - it's two sections of a book - which I find to be very dishonest advertising. I also found use of words like "force field" to be very off putting, those are not things a medieval culture has ANY conception of, and it could have been handled more creatively and originally in the world. Honestly the whole book suffers from a lack of creativity, polish, and general effort. It isn't awful... it's just very not great. The main villain is also very unbelievable, which is something I always hate.

Has Lusam turned you off from other books in this genre?

Nope.

Which scene was your favorite?

The "surgery" was fairly interesting.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Mild disappointment?

Any additional comments?

The narrator did a good job - each character has a distinct voice, and the emotions of the characters come across. If you are VERY forgiving about cliches and inconsistencies, it's not a terrible book - I've certainly read worse, but I won't be picking up any sequels.

26 people found this helpful

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  • Skipper
  • 12-12-2017

Needs work, but has potential

Narration is perfect, demonstrating a commitment to excellence. Storytelling is imaginative and vivid, but some plot holes exist. Writing quality is weak. I did read books 3-4 after listening to this 2-volume audiobook, because the books are free with kindle unlimited. There are expected to be six books in the series.

Told in 3rd person through various viewpoints. Set in a fictional world of kings, castles, mages, dragons, and gods engaged in sibling rivalry. Main characters include a 15-year-old homeless boy, a street girl, a warrior paladin, an evil warlord emperor, etc. The main characters form a fellowship, central to the series.

The hero Lusam develops his powers too fast, too easily. Find an ancient book. Absorb its magical gifts. Lather, rinse, repeat. The romance occurs too easily. The kissing and blushing (and implied sex) gets old. As for the marriage proposal, I was almost shocked at the author’s bad timing, given the circumstances.

On the upside, the warrior paladin (Renn) is totally credible.

The story is engrossing at times. However, the writing quality is just mediocre. A bit too much exposition. Misplaced commas and anachronistic language. Renn seems to only know one way to address people: “old friend” crops up several times in short conversations.

The author repeatedly has the comrades roaring with laughter at things that are barely worth a smirk. Laughing until they cry. Nothing wrong with a simple smile. A smirk. A chuckle. Whatever.

Lusam strangely laughs at painful or discomforting accidents, like getting dunked, or getting dragged through the mud by a galloping horse. Saying that characters laugh does not comedy make.

But the big problem is the Empire’s goal, to open a rift to the Netherworld. Are all these mages suicidal idiots?

9 people found this helpful

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  • Business_MD
  • 25-08-2017

Warning is in order

This book is simple. The language and style are about a 4th grade level, as is the plot. I don't think i have rolled my eyes as many times in the last year as i did in the course of this book. The plot twists and progression are astonishingly unbelievable. Direct intervention by gods, more than once, are the kind of plot device used regularly. The author takes an omnipotent view and jumps in and out of every character with abandon, leaving nothing for the reader to ponder except why the author would take such liberties.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Tim
  • 05-06-2017

Strong Narrator, Weak Novel

Flat characters, dubious interactions between them, unbelievable magic systems that the main character cheats to obtain anyways, and irresponsible and inconsistent writing.

On the positive, the narrator was enjoyable, and it gave me the idea that if this writer can succeed, then why not me? I'll be writing my own book series as well!

16 people found this helpful

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  • Logan Wallace
  • 12-06-2018

Overly cliche

Good narration, but very childish, simple and cliche writing, maybe that's the target audience and not me.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Victoria M.
  • 20-03-2017

Love it.

I really enjoyed listening these books. I can't wait until books three and four are available on audible as well.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Yang
  • 03-04-2017

Great Story

I like the story line and character build in this story. Narration is also good. I would recommend this to others. Looking forward to book 3.

12 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Butch
  • 19-12-2017

Amusing, but not the best written book.

There are quite a few things in the story that just don't make any sense. I don't want to give away any spoilers so I won't list them. The dialogue, and narrative, seem a bit amateurish. I would not recommend purchasing this audiobook, unless you get it on sale like I did. I'm kind of regretting my decision to purchase the next couple of books before listening to the first one.

1 person found this helpful

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  • craig
  • 13-03-2017

Compelling listening!!

Eagerly anticipating the next instalment of this series. I especially like the multi angle approach to the story and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. Would recommend to anyone.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sam
  • 21-11-2017

Just awful.

I wouldn’t normally write something like this but as I paid full retail price for, albeit two books and a teaser of the third in one, I expected a much higher level of writing.
Spoilers. Obviously.
Apologies if I misspell any character or place names as I have not seen the print edition.
 
Plot
I found the plot tolerable but horribly derivative. The story follows a group of protagonists including a mage, rogue, paladin and eventually an archer whose adversaries are a heartless guild of assassin/thieves and a group of necromancers. It’s essentially a party plucked out of any fantasy video game or D&D campaign.
Lusam himself is a cookie cutter super hero chosen by destiny. Raised in isolation, unaware of his immense power, by a faux grandparent he lives a humble life in the forest. Scared for his survival his ‘grandmother’ convinces him to conceal his abilities and does not train him, but don’t worry he finds a magic book to download all sorts of grand sorcery into his brain later on. This also saves any time explaining how he actually performs any magic and instead he can just cast spells at will.
Lusam ticks just about every Mary Sue box there is and then some, so virtuous and well raised he lived as a street urchin for two years and refused to steal to feed himself. Lusam always makes the right decision over one that might humanise him and make the character more believable. There will presumably be some extravagant reveal where he is a ‘dragon mage’, or some other supernatural being, and the cornerstone of world survival in a later book that I will not be reading.
The paper thin cult of antagonists (led by lord evil fantasy name generator) may as well have been named the hooded, devil worshiping, demon summoning group of evil. There is a feeble attempt to humanise their interactions by repeated mentions of a family to return to, but they’re bleak and infrequent at best.
Other popular tropes include a forced love story, faux medieval Europe and shapeshifting deities.
I could go on.
 
Writing
This is where the book really fails. The author commits the unforgiveable sin of relaying all the information in long walls of text and through detailed tellings of backstories rather than allowing them to progress organically throughout the novel. We know Lusams entire upbringing from a chapter telling us, it’s far more interesting to let it out in drips during dialogue rather than tip the entire bucket on the reader as early as possible. In addition to this, we are told everything that goes on around the characters rather than showing us, allow us to use our own imagination.
Examples:
“He quickly reduced the temperature within his forcefield and began to freeze the water inside. As the water froze it quickly expanded within the fissure, creating a great force that pushed against both sides of the rock. Until, finally, it split with a loud cracking sound.”
Don’t tell us what is happening to the rock. Show us. The rock cracked like a hatching egg. Shards of rock crumbled from the shell and exposed the block of ice that forced itself through the gaps like an overstuffed sausage. Etc. You get the idea.

 
 
“The boy deftly caught the coin in mid-air.”
The boy snapped the coin from the air like a frog catching a fly.
 
I’ve been presented first drafts asking for advice and editing that have been more formulated than this. Words are repeated sometimes as many as five times in a few lines. I even transcribed a couple of examples.
‘Barrel’
“Skelly walked over to the huge barrel on the left and removed a knife from his belt. He reached around the side of the huge barrel and put his knife into the groove of one of the steel hoops that held the barrel together. There was a loud click and the entire lid of the barrel swung inwards creating a huge round doorway. Hanging inside the barrel were three lantern…”
‘Shield’
“As each blast struck his shield he knew if he was only shielding himself that it would have affected him much less, but with such a large area to protect it quickly sapped his strength. Blast after blast pounded at his shield as they ran on towards their goal. At one point he turned and fired a shot back at his pursuers, only to see it fizzle on their shield with little or no effect. Noticing the bombardment intensify on his shield…”
 
The author may well have been trying to get in every adverb in the dictionary for all we know. Characters could not perform the simplest tasks without doing them slowly, quickly, curiously, gingerly, sheepishly, amiably, suspiciously, briskly, confidently etc. Count the amount of times the group does something ‘quietly’ in the chapter where they infiltrate the Hawk’s Guild. A lot of the times these are just unnecessary. We don’t need to know that Skelly got off the horse quicklyor walked over to Neela slowly. At one point Zed even grins evilly.
 
Rant over. I didn’t want to write such a negative review of this, but I really expected more from Audible when I could have paid the same price and received a Lord of The Rings book.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Chris Mackey
  • 14-02-2020

Generic and badly written

Gave up in disgust that this had so obviously not been edited at all. Very poorly written. Utterly generic characters, unearned romantic plot that has the characters madly in love in almost no time at all. All characters are paper thin and completely unbelievable as people.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim
  • 03-09-2017

Poor narration

I had to give up as the narrator had no variance in his voice. I found this off-putting and annoying

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rosie
  • 24-06-2017

great fun

really easy listening great characters and good story. not to intense or violent. Can't wait to listen to the next book

2 people found this helpful

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  • Glenn C.
  • 19-03-2017

Absolutely amazing!!

What a fantastic audio book - the story is gripping and wants you to hear more and is told with great passion and enthusiasm- can't wait for the next one!!

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dr. B. Bennett
  • 23-04-2019

👍👍👍👍👍👍

This story is fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed it the main characters and very well thought out would totally recommend 😀

1 person found this helpful

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  • NicE
  • 14-06-2017

Maddening poorly written

What disappointed you about Lusam?

Really poorly written. Firstly, it is a garden variety "child with amazing powers that doesn't know his importance and living on the streets". Nothing new to see here.

The second is the sheer poor writing. Everything is spelt out as if they were writing for someone with a memory of a goldfish. Also, there is a huge amount of unnecessary repetition. Thoughts about a subject are then repeated verbatim when talking to another character. It happens in smaller ways. "The knife flew through the air and thudded into his chest. He looked at the knife that had thudded into his chest".
Needed a good editor to tighten up the writing.

Would you ever listen to anything by Dean Cadman again?

Unlikely, unless his writing skills improve considerably.

Which character – as performed by Alex Wyndham – was your favourite?

None really, they were all very one dimensional.

What character would you cut from Lusam?

I wouldn't cut them, just make them more believable.

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • arron hardiman
  • 06-07-2017

Couldn't get past two hours

While the premise of the story and background of lucam seems interesting nothing else does. he has magical abilities that he can apparently do anything with.
He doesn't know any spells, so the author gives him a magical brain download.
Two preteen meet before the girl murders someone else in cold blood, they fall in love within 2 chapters.

also the narrator seems to think that making every single character sound gentile and polite makes sense. when the two main characters are meant to be orphaned street kids. a cliche which while overused can at least lead to interesting stories. this one does not.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • wayne GARRICK
  • 11-09-2020

A lovely theme and backbone to the story

A great voice that let's you drift off into the story, has grit, tension and a bit of a love story. The usual band of misfits coming together to fight the Big fight, but it's well executed and leaves you scrolling to find the next book