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  • Mark of the Fool

  • A Progression Fantasy Epic
  • By: J.M. Clarke
  • Narrated by: Travis Baldree
  • Length: 19 hrs
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (157 ratings)

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Mark of the Fool cover art

Mark of the Fool

By: J.M. Clarke
Narrated by: Travis Baldree
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Publisher's Summary

The gods chose him. He said no.

After his parents died, Alex Roth had one desire: become a wizard. Through hard work, he was accepted into the University of Generasi, the world’s greatest academy of wizardry....

Fate, however, had another plan.

On his 18th birthday, he is Marked by prophecy as one of his kingdom’s five Heroes, chosen to fight the Ravener, his land’s great enemy. But his brand is "The Fool". Worst of the marks.

Rather than die or serve other Heroes like past Fools, he takes a stand, rejects divine decree...and leaves. With his little sister, his childhood friend, and her cerberus, Alex flees for the university, hoping to research the mystery of the Ravener. He’ll make lifelong friends, learn magic from mad wizards, practice alchemy, fight mana vampires, and try to pay tuition.

There’s one small problem. The Mark insists on preventing the Fool from learning and casting spells, while enhancing skills outside of divinity, combat, and spellcraft...that is, unless he learns to exploit the hell out of it.

Explore a coming-of-age magic academy fantasy with a weak-to-strong progression into power, a setting inspired by D&D, detailed world building, and magical science, action, comedy, slice-of-life, and GameLit elements.

With nearly 10 million views on Royal Road, this popular web serial has been completely revised and relaunched into this definitive version now coming to Audible, narrated by Travis Baldree!

©2022 Aethon Books (P)2022 Aethon Audio

What listeners say about Mark of the Fool

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Top notch

Mark of the Fool is a literary gem that transcends the boundaries of traditional fantasy. With a stroke of genius, the author weaves a mesmerizing tapestry of words and imagination, leading readers into a realm where the lines between reality and fantasy blur into delightful obscurity.

The protagonist, a seemingly ordinary character, is endowed with the mark of the fool, an enigmatic symbol that promises both power and peril. As the story unfolds, we are drawn into an intricate web of characters and events, each layer revealing unexpected twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat.

The world-building in this book is nothing short of remarkable. The vivid descriptions of landscapes, magical creatures, and mystical realms transport you to a place that feels both enchantingly foreign and comfortingly familiar. The author's ability to evoke sensory experiences through words is truly remarkable, making it easy to get lost in the sights, sounds, and scents of this extraordinary world.

Mark of the Fool excels in character development, with a cast of characters so diverse and well-crafted that you can't help but form a deep connection with each one. Their struggles and triumphs become your own, and their growth throughout the narrative is a testament to the author's storytelling prowess.

But what truly sets this book apart is its theme of duality. The mark of the fool symbolizes the fine line between wisdom and folly, power and vulnerability. This overarching theme invites readers to explore the shades of gray in life, the complex interplay between light and darkness, and the choices we make in between.

As you turn the pages, you'll find yourself immersed in a thrilling adventure that is part quest, part coming-of-age, and part exploration of the human psyche. Mark of the Fool is a spellbinding blend of mystery, magic, and self-discovery, a literary triumph that will leave you yearning for more.

In conclusion, if you're seeking a truly unique and enthralling reading experience, Mark of the Fool is a must-read. It's a remarkable fusion of art and storytelling that will leave an indelible mark on your heart and mind. Prepare to be captivated, enchanted, and ultimately, transformed by this remarkable tale.

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1 person found this helpful

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

Enjoyable world. Will read the next one.

Dialogue and structure issues, but overall worth a read. I’m going to read the next one, which says it all.

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

Engaging

Thoroughly enjoyed, story was engaging and kept me interested throughout. Alex is a relatable main character with a good balance of humour and wit.

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

10/5 that's how maths works

I loved the story and totally expect if any of the books are adapted into a film, have Travis Baldree at least play as 1 if not all of the characters

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

Great! Reminiscent of the KingKiller Chronicles

Great world building, characters and story. Quite reminiscent of a more YA style KingKiller Chronicles. The book is pretty self away as it even alludes to the Kvothe and Ambrose Archives fiasco in one scene. Has some high stakes but perhaps not as many of the lows as the KingKiller Chronicles so is a good listen if you're after something that's engaging but not going to absolutely tear at your emotions. Impressively well paced and I've quickly made my way through the series so far. The narration is also excellent. Highly recommend!

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

This series is fantastic!

I was really put off by the summary of this book but I could not have been more wrong.

The MC is interesting and intelligent, he has agency in his own story and works towards achieving his goals, the supporting cast is similarly great and fairly well fleshed out, they have their own lives and ambitions and don't just exist to support the MC.

I was expecting given the description of "worst of the marks" something similar to "Rising of the Shield Hero", where actually his mark is super powerful but everyone just calls him weak and holds him in contempt as if he isn't a total badass. Not so! The mark he receives does have downsides unlike the others in the set but it also had advantages which the MC is intelligent enough to leverage in pursuit of his own ambition to be a wizard, he hasn't overcome the downsides yet but half the fun is seeing the creative ways he works around it.

This story also deserves props for its depiction of the university, so many progression fantasies or LitRPGs depict schools as places of horrors, where kind characters go to get their lunch money stolen and their heads dunked in toilets while teachers look the other way. Fortunately J. M. Clarke has a different idea and the University of Generasi feels like a place I would want to attend despite the dangers, there are risks but it is a place of learning and wonder, there are 'bullies' but the teachers are competent and dedicated to their jobs. It so refreshing and I can't get enough of this series.

Travis Baldree continues to be Travis Baldree, 5 stars.

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

A Fun Fantasy Story

I have read the first 3 books and am having a blast!
It's a good mix of world building, action, humour, fantasy and wholesome. I legitimately laughed out loud at certain parts.
Though if you're looking for something really action packed then maybe not for you as it focuses more on character development and intrigue- but there is definitely still plenty of fighting.
The characters are 3D and excellent- even the side characters. And the narrator is really nice to listen to.
Highly recommend if you're looking to dive into a new world and learn all about it!

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

Really great book

I've only just got to part two of this. Really entertaining to listen to. The characters are very easy to relate to.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ida
  • 08-06-2023

Good

Good to listen to but lost interest after the third book. Has amusing conversations but the main characters are a bit too young for me to keep me interested.

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

A good book

A good story line very well narrated also good to see a hero that has an impediment to overcome, can tend to waffle at times but gives it more credence in the long run.
Thanks for an entertaining book

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