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The Phoenix Unchained

Book One of The Enduring Flame
Narrated by: William Dufris
Series: Enduring Flame, Book 1
Length: 13 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory first teamed up to write the Obsidian Trilogy, which was set in a wondrous world filled with magical beings, competing magic systems, and a titanic struggle between good and evil. That world proved so popular with the creators and readers alike that Lackey and Mallory have returned to it again, with The Phoenix Unchained, Book One of The Enduring Flame, the opening volume of a new epic fantasy trilogy.

After 1,000 years of peace, much magick has faded from the world. The Elves live far from humankind. There are no High Mages, and Wild Mages are seen only rarely. Bisochim, a powerful Wild Mage, is determined to reintroduce Darkness to the world, believing that it is out of balance.

Tiercel, a young Armethalian nobleman, is convinced that High Magick is not just philosophy. He attempts a spell and draws the unwelcome attention of Bisochim. Tiercel survives Bisochim's attack and begins trying to turn himself into a High Mage.

Next in line to be Harbormaster of Armethalieh, Harrier instead finds himself regularly saving Tiercel's life and meeting magickal people and creatures. To Harrier's dismay, it seems that he must become a hero.

In The Phoenix Unchained, Harrier and Tiercel begin a marvelous journey to uncover their destinies. Along the way, they meet a charming female centaur, several snooty Elves, and the most powerful dragon their world has ever known.

©2007 Mercedes Lackey; 2007 James Mallory (P)2007 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Sets a lavishly detailed stage peopled with intriguing and well-developed characters whose futures hold both promise and peril." ( Library Journal)

What listeners say about The Phoenix Unchained

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  • Overall
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  • Sarah A York
  • 15-05-2015

Poor narration

It was irritating that the narrator pronounced almost every name for the characters and places differently from the Obsidian Trilogy narration.

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • lahlahlilly
  • 05-10-2018

Love lackey but can’t stand the narrator

I listened to obsidian trilogy, loved everything about it, as well as narration of it. So I started with this book since it is based in the same world but can’t get past the fact the cities name is pronounced differently and the was he speaks for all the different characters. Not a fan of the narrator

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Cindy
  • 03-12-2013

Just Eh

Would you try another book from Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory and/or William Dufris?

I would definitely try other books from Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory and I have already done so. However, I doubt I will try other books by William Dufris. I am just not a fan of his voice or reading style. I'm sorry.

How could the performance have been better?

I would have loved to have Susan Ericksen narrate this series as she did for The Obsidian Trilogy. Her vocals were amazing.

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

Yes. Oh, yes. Both this series and the one before it, The Obsidian Trilogy.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Coleen Johnston
  • 03-09-2018

narrator didn't pronounce things the same

narrator pronounced all the names differently than the first series which made it difficult to follow.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-01-2017

Painful to Listen to

I like the book but the reader is so bad I can't even finish it. Is there another version I can buy?

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • elizabeth
  • 21-06-2010

Narrator Ruins Story

This story is pleasant enough but the narrator's pedantic tone just ruined it for me. His narration is like Chinese water torture: in the beginning, not so bad but it slowly becomes excruciating.

It's really a shame because Ms. Lackey has written a lot of entertaining reads, and there are a lot of very good narrators out there. But I won't buy another audiobook with this narrator.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ElizabethErler
  • 29-05-2008

Good Audiobook

I thought this book was well read. If you enjoyed the previous trilogy, then you'll probably enjoy this one as well. I must say that some things seemed predictable, but it was still interesting enough for me to always want to know what happens next. I'm looking forward to when the next one comes out.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Bruce
  • 14-12-2007

A good book for younger readers.

This book is probably best suited for young adult readers. I enjoyed it. I would have enjoyed it much more when I was 16.

My criticisms are: The viewpoint of the storyteller is that of a very young person. For example, a 17 year old character talks about something that happened to him when he was "a child" as "very long ago." References to "school" seem more like American High School (Lunch for example) then something from Heroic Fantasy. There is nothing wrong with this, but as an adult reader, I stumbled over it and lost my "suspension of disbelief" for a moment. Also, there are so many contractions in the story that the narrator seems to stumble over them. (I didn't so I couldn't.) I counted 7 in 3 short sentences at one point. I think that this is something that we ignore in print but notice in audio book versions much more readily. Also, references to magic spells as if they were something you can look up in an encyclopedia (I tried to cast "Mage Shield" but I failed) come off like Gaming references. I wish the author had invented unique or "magical language" names for these things to avoid that.

Mercedes Lackey seems to be more of an editor then co-writer with "The Phoenix Unchained." She has a very distinct voice, and it does not present itself very often. Her masterful ability to "pace" a story does come through.

Taken as a whole, it was entertaining, and I'll read the sequel.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Molly
  • 27-12-2017

Not my favorite

The story itself isn’t horrible. But it is hard to listen to the reader change the pronunciation of all the cities and names. He should have listened to the first books.

I feel book one and two (and maybe book 3. But I haven’t listened to those yet) should have been combined. The end of this book feels like the end of a chapter not the end of the book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-09-2008

Wait until series is complete

Mercedes Lackey is a favorite author of mine but don't bother with this book until the series is complete. Book one is one long prelude. It's very unsatisfactory to have a book end without any significant story line complete.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Bernd
  • 11-01-2019

Mostly very boring

There isn`t much happening. Two teenage boys are wandering through the lands and meet some other people.
Long discussions without deep sense, action near null and often nerving religious beliefs.
Sometimes one hour nothing is happening, than the dull live in a desert.
For adults, not at all worth reading.
But for teenage females with romantic fantasy, it may be interesting.