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Phoenix Unbound

The Fallen Empire Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Katharine McEwan
Length: 14 hrs and 2 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)
Non-member price: $43.89
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Publisher's Summary

In this USA Today best-selling novel, a woman with power over fire and illusion and the enslaved son of a chieftain battle a corrupt empire in this powerful and deeply emotional romantic fantasy.

Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire's capital - her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village's tithe has been the same woman. Gilene's sacrifice protects all the other young women of her village, and her secret to staying alive lies with the magic only she possesses.

But this year is different. 

Azarion, the Empire's most famous gladiator, has somehow seen through her illusion - and is set on blackmailing Gilene into using her abilities to help him escape his life of slavery. Unknown to Gilene, he also wants to reclaim the birthright of his clan.

To protect her family and village, she will abandon everything to return to the Empire - and burn once more.

©2018 Grace Draven (P)2018 Penguin Audio

What members say

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  • DeRae
  • 26-09-2018

Grace Draven is a master at world building!!

I loved it! Of course I love all of her books and have recommended them to all of my friends who are avid readers and they've loved them too. This one will be no exception. I didn't want it to be over. I wanted more.

At the beginning I was so made at the hero. He was kind, gentle, and caring but was selfish. You understand his reasons but you just want the smack him!.

Minor spoiler - don't read if you don't want to know anything about the book - I loved that the author gave the heroine true emotions over being taken by force by the hero. I read so many books where she is kidnapped and just instantly fall for the hero and forgives him immediately. In my mind I'm going...really? She was mad and she let him know it. She tried to escape and made no promises that she wouldn't do it again. She was genuine with her emotions. As was the hero.

So worth the credit. The narrator was excellent! She was easy to listen to and didn't grate on my nerves with accents like others sometimes do.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • IreneMBBT
  • 27-09-2018

Taste of epic

If you’ve read Draven, you know this is an automatic Yes! It has the characters with gentle dignity, innate nobility, commitment and determination; who are called upon to live through, or bear witness to, events that are greater than anything they dreamed. I was satisfied at the end with a quietly happy HEA.
The book details on Amazon and Audible is descriptive and accurate enough to determine if you’re interested in the basic story.
From what I’ve read in the last ten years, this reminds me most of Jacqueline Carey’s Naamah series, or Lois McMaster Bujold’s Curse of Chalion/Paladin of Souls/World of the Five Gods -or- Sharing Knife series. I’ve read and enjoyed Draven’s Radiance and Eidolon; after this book, Master of Crows has just moved up on my reading wish list.
McEwan does a very good job with narration.
Happily recommend on all levels!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Jennifer OBrien
  • 03-10-2018

Between a rock and a hard place

Listening to this story made getting the work done fun. I spent a few days saying things like “I can’t watch that show with you. I need to do yard work... dishes... walk the dog (and listen to my book).” When the last word was spoken I loved the ending but hated that the story was over.
The protagonists are both caught between a rock and a hard place for much of the story. I’ve read this theme play out before but the shifts in pressure and character development made it feel new. The character’s backstories are fraught with terrible times but once they join forces willingly and not, their lives change for the better. Due to the hardships they persevered, I was emotionally invested in the first chapters so their adventures, battles, trials, happy moments and each success felt very satisfying. The love developed at a slow burn that got pretty hot. I also appreciated that if there was no adventure in the journey the reader didn’t have to travel with the characters over every hill and dale.
I enjoyed this story and definitely recommend it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Bubblebt22
  • 02-10-2018

Loved it!

Master of Crows by Grace Draven was one of my favorite books. When I saw Phoenix Unbound, I just had to buy it. The book did not disappoint with a great storyline and likable strong characters. I especially liked the fact that the two main characters gradually developed feelings for each other instead of love at first sight which makes a romance story more interesting in my opinion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • J. C. Schmidt
  • 10-10-2018

Nothing special. Highly predictable

I didn't hate this book and I didn't love it. It was kind of boring. I didn't find the characters compelling. The first third was the best. Some character development but overall not enough to make me feel connected.

I hate the "man abuses/abducts/rapes the woman, they fall in love" thing. A trope that should die.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Readsalot
  • 23-02-2019

love story with a story

A improbable pair and envolvement of the persons involved. love lost and found. what more to wish for.

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  • Michael Tuccillo
  • 14-02-2019

Great storyline, but…


I enjoyed the storyline but the narrator did not have good alternative voices. Also, the writer was definitely too much into feelings and guys just don’t think like that. In that way, it was definitely written by a woman.

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  • catkit
  • 09-02-2019

Complete World and Strong Characters

The world created by Grace Draven was complete and amazing. I could hear the horses and smell the ashes. The story was also enveloping, although it took me a while to get into it. By the end I cared about these characters and wished I could stay in touch with them.

The ending felt abrupt. Yes, the story was over, but it needed an epilogue. I can't say more without spoilers, but this was disappointing.

I was also disappointed that there weren't any lighter moments. Yes, the plot overall was dark, but I bought this because one of my favorite books is Radiance. In that book the H/h often good-naturally teased each other, amusing each other and the reader.

The narration was not great. Acceptable, but her tone and cadence was similar throughout. I couldn't clearly distiguish voices of many of the characters, but didn't have an issue following the story.

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  • K
  • 06-02-2019

Another great story, worth it!

good plot, believable action, narration easy on the ears, Draven & McEwan take me away...

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-02-2019

So good!

This is a wonderful story. The ending will have you gripping your seat in anticipation. I could not put this book down. I just had to finish. Grave Draven writes wonderful stories and creates memorable relationships and this book is no exception.

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  • Leonie
  • 19-01-2019

A timeless story beautifully told

There are no words to adequately describe how much I enjoyed this book. Having it on audio prolonged that joy.

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  • susan
  • 30-12-2018

Really good

I’m not usually a fan of this kind of historical-ish fantasy (I usually find it to be obvious & kind of cliche) but this was actually really fun & epic. The characters were interesting, the names weren’t impossible to remember, the world was original & well put together....all in all a good read.
I’ll be looking forward to the sequel 😊

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  • Sibhy
  • 12-12-2018

interesting

it was a very good story I would reccomdendations to all lovers of fantasy and magic.

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  • Nobuhle Gumede
  • 01-10-2018

A must have

listened the whole night till morning. could not stop a very good book. loved the hero and heroin