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A Mark of Kings

The Shattered Reigns, Book 1
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Length: 18 hrs and 38 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Despite his youth, Declan Idrys knows of the evils of the world. He knows of the bastards and brigands who plague the King's lands, of the monsters skulking in the wooded depths of the realm. Together with his companion, Ryn - a beast of rather peculiar talent - he has spent the last decade of his life beneath the bloody banners of a half-dozen mercenary guilds, hunting precisely such festering wickedness within the borders of Viridian.

Unfortunately, fate is quick to pull on the leash of its favorite children. When one particularly troubling contract goes sideways, Declan and Ryn find themselves thrust into a war thought legend and long-ended, a conflict so old it is synonymous with a time in which dragons still ruled the western skies. Now, as dead men rise from their graves and the terrible beasts of the northern ranges descend into the kingdom with an appetite for savagery and flesh, Declan is faced with a profane choice. He can turn, can flee an ancient rising horror that would see the realms of man left as shattered death and wind-blown ash.

Or, Declan can face this mounting threat, can come to terms with the fact that his oldest friend might just be more than he appears, and learn to wield an ageless power all his own.

Centuries pass, after all, but the Blood of Kings does not fade....

©2019 Bryce O'Connor and Luke Chmilenko (P)2019 Podium Publishing

What members say

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lanfear
  • 12-09-19

A Hero Who's Hard to Cheer For

This book started off with promise. It was dark, gritty and had elements of high fantasy mixed in. I was ready to fall in love. However, it quickly became clear that the main protagonist, Declan, is a bit dense. At first, you understand and sympathize with him but after every moment stuns and stupefies him, it starts to get old. It got to point where I found myself laughing, I started to feel bad for the poor kid, as I felt the authors turned against him. I know by the end of the book I sadly had.

For those who are looking for grim dark fantasy you may want to skip this one. Nick Podehl's narration is great but alas, couldn't save this book for me. Poor Declan.

59 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-02-20

awesome book

I loved the book. it had so much excitement in it. can wait to listen to the next book

5 people found this helpful

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  • Melissa
  • 24-08-19

Good Book, hope the next one is better.

i really enjoyed the overall story but believe that even in a series a book should be able to hold its own weight. This one was cliff hanger ending which I feel was unnecessary when we could've had 5 more pages to finish up what was there and lead into the next book.

TL;DR Great book, but unnecessary cliff hanger ending.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 21-08-19

Incessantly awed, shocked, & stunned into inaction

Plot 10/10
Characters 10/10. ( all but the main protagonist)
Narration 10/10

Wanted to love this story! The world is well developed and makes sense. Most of the characters are deep but not boringly so.

But then there is our hero, who is supposed to be a battle hardened mercenary, spends nearly whole book completely ignorant of what's going on because the writer is trying to build some unnecessary suspense. Not because the information isn't there but because his friends think he is to fragile to hear the truth. Which is probably right because he manages to find something in every battle to get shocked, awed, stunned, or overwhelmed into inaction and he just stands there while everyone else saves him. There is one battle he does himself at the beginning and that's it. seems like the side decides to search his feelings every time the Gore starts to fly.

I am in doubt if I will continue with the sequels.

53 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 27-08-19

This book is absolutely terrific.

One of the best things about reading fantasy novels is that every time you encounter a new magic system it's like an adaptation to physics this book has got a pretty good one.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-09-19

only one good character

female lead was obnoxious and just whines all the time, main character is dull. at least the wargs were cute

3 people found this helpful

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  • Dustin H
  • 24-04-20

Wonderous Adventure

A melting pot of epic adventure, narrated by one of the best of a generation.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Danny Moody
  • 21-04-20

The makings of something great

I love the epic feel of this book. There is a lot of action and that is balanced with good world building. The characters are distinct and interesting. Nick Podehl does a fantastic job, as always. This book is a win!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Laura Glenn
  • 28-10-19

Boring, stuffy, needlessly complex

Very well read pile of horseshit. A complex failure to arrive at a meaningful narrative. Lacking in purpose or direction, filled to the brim with meaningless detail. A coarse story where volumes of events happen quick, and no chacter feels even the slightest bit developed inspite of sticking to the narrowest sterotypes. As if braveheart and lotr had mentalliy ill offspring.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Benjamin Wieser
  • 17-09-19

Pretty bland story.

Pretty bland attempt at having the reader express a wide range of emotions on character's they don't even know right in the beginning of the book. No real sense of the world and pretty much evil is as evil is and no attempt with any struggle.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-08-19

Show, Don't Tell

Ive never been so annoyed about the lack of agency in a book. The "hero" of the book is constantly getting shocked by every thing he encounters without taking any significant initiative.

Half of what I've read so far is either info dumps or incredibly descriptive travelling information.

The only thing I've enjoyed about this book so far is Nick Podhel's Narration.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Maylil
  • 03-09-19

One of the best I've recently read

I think i might shortly find this author on my hard to get on top lists. One less star only because some of the times the background expose was interrupted became a touch stillted and there was a lot of it. That said I still thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and feel it was giving nods to our favorites without being too obv or stealing (like some 'sword' books we might love/hate). I think it was just me noticing the freshness of a new author shining through, but if so, a damn good one.
Heartbroken the sequel isn't out, and looking forward to being really wowed

1 person found this helpful

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  • kian
  • 18-08-19

Good setup

Good start, its setting up the scene and back story for the series, but I felt more should have happened instead it's lot of story telling of the past and travelling on the road, still I have faith it will get better in the next book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Leigh Tottle
  • 04-02-20

Thrilling and descriptive

Between the realness of the struggles and the descriptiveness of past history and magic it really got my attention. Main character wasn’t over powered from the start and the steady rise in power is believable.
Would recommend to anyone a fan of magic or dragons.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-01-20

The main character is a bit slow minded.

He always get shocked by everything or confused. It's really annoying when I can understand whats happening but the MC can't.

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  • John
  • 06-02-20

A Mark of Kings

Two bloody brilliant Author's Luke Chmilenko and Bryce O'Connor did a awesome job with this book . And with the voice acting talents and skills of Nick Podehl who makes the characters and world come alive with his narration . A must to buy and own and I can't wait to buy the next book.