- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 19 hours and 33 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Recorded Books
- Audible.com Release Date: August 22, 2013
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00EP1C1HK
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Ice Forged: Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
I normally don't buy High Fantasy, disliking the formulaic approach of the quest - gather the friends - travel the lands - etc. Somehow an author writing High Fantasy never quite makes the world or situation real to me, but the world-building aspects of a magical planet suddenly have magic no longer working the way it should intrigued me. I've met Ms. Martin at conventions and the price was right so I decided to go for it.
The first book of The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga focuses on the death of magic and the immediate consequence following. The magic system is just unique enough and is tied to why magic can go from tame and usable in every day life (better tasting beer, a tweak to keep pests out of crops, major magic to use in wars) to a feral, dangerous force roaming the countryside, more ferocious and hungry than any monster.
I liked the Siberian-style prison colony, but wished the continental magic countries and their politics were a little less generic. The world-building fell just a breath below the intriguing I was hoping for. On the other hand, this was the first book of a series. The author needed to define the world, the characters AND the situation. I look forward to book two to see if world becomes uniquely its own as the medieval magical apocalypse continues.
As for the story itself, again just shy of being really good. It just didn't pull me in all the way, but then I am not a fan of High Fantasy so I am not the best judge success or failure in this genre. Some bits are repetitive, but just enough so that if you need to put down this 600-page tome for a day or two (such as for going to work), you can slip into the story again without flipping back.
The ending is anti-climatic. Some other reviewers thought this was a down-point. I, for one, was happy not to see a big final battle that needed to get bigger and badder with each continuing book of the series. This book is about failure: moral good being punished for doing the right thing the wrong way, a good kingdom falling to a bad kingdom because it obeyed the rules of right, a prison at the end of the world overturned by its convicts - and the convicts discovering they still needed to do everything their keepers made them do, coming home in triumph and discovering there is no home left, and finding all the clues they need but still unable to pull things off. Of course the final scene will close in failure; but it sets up the possibility of success for the next book.
A book I look forward to.
Mostly I read in audio since I fly often, so now I had to buy yet another copy of the book. To my surprise, I really liked it. In fact, I liked it enough to go buy the second installment Reign of Ash in pre-order. The only problem is, I'm still reading in audio and my wife is still using print and Kindle so now we have two copies of this book and the sequel. I'm boosting Gail's stats twice as much as I'd expected.
My wife now has Gail on her buy-on-sight author list and she's working her way through Martin's back catalog. I'm still a hard Sci-Fi fan but Gail may yet win me over to fantasy full time.
The book makes you fall in love with the world that you are being introduced to......Martin even made me want to go to Edgeland, althouh cold and desolate it seemed like a place that would be highly unique. No spoilers from me as far as the story goes, but I loved the book from start to finish.....loved the characters, loved the world, loved everything about it. I would highly recommend this new series to anyone who likes fantasy/magic tales. Can't wait for the next book, I only hope it comes quickly.