Narrator: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Series: Saga of the Forgotten Warrior #1
Published by Audible Studios on 27 October 2015
Length: 16 hrs and 21 mins
Genres: Epic Fantasy
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After the War of the Gods, the demons were cast out and fell to the world. Mankind was nearly eradicated by the seemingly unstoppable beasts until the gods sent the great hero, Ramrowan, to save them. He united the tribes, gave them magic, and drove the demons into the sea. Ever since, the land has belonged to man, and the oceans have remained an uncrossable hell, leaving the continent of Lok isolated. It was prophesized that someday the demons would return, and only the descendants of Ramrowan would be able to defeat them. They became the first kings, and all men served those who were their only hope for survival.
As centuries passed, the descendants of the great hero grew in number and power. They became tyrannical and cruel and their religion nothing but an excuse for greed. Gods and demons became myth and legend, and the people no longer believed. The castes created to serve the Sons of Ramrowan rose up and destroyed their rulers. All religion was banned and replaced by a code of unflinching law. The surviving royalty and their priests were made casteless, condemned to live as untouchables, and the Age of Law began.
Ashok Vadal has been chosen by a powerful ancient weapon to be its bearer. He is a Protector, the elite militant order of roving law enforcers. No one is more merciless in rooting out those who secretly practice the old ways. Everything is black or white, good or evil, until he discovers his entire life is a fraud. Ashok isn’t who he thinks he is, and when he finds himself on the wrong side of the law, the consequences lead to rebellion, war - and destruction.
©2015 Larry Correia (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
What the Critics Say
"This book has everything I like in fantasy: intense action scenes, evil in horrifying array, good struggling against the darkness, and most of all people - gorgeously flawed human beings faced with horrible moral choices that force them to question and change and grow." (Jim Butcher, creator of the New York Times best-selling Dresden Files)
“I loved the book, it was great, fast paced, with wonderful characters, and also a lot of wonderful scenes that screamed to be painted.” (Larry Elmore, legendary, award-winning artist and cover artist for Son of the Black Sword)
"Correia skillfully sets in motion this story of plots within plots, revealing complex, sympathetic characters and black-hearted villains with equal detail and insight. Full of action, intrigue, and wry humor, this exciting series launch promises many more thrills to come." (Publishers Weekly)
Son of the Black Sword is the first in a series called Saga of the Forgotten Warrior by Larry Correia. Ashok Vadal is a protector in a realm that is ruled by the Law. The Law governs a society of castes from the first and most powerful to the non-people who have almost no rights. Protectors carry out the justice as demanded by the Law. As news of the non-people or the caste-less rebellions against the higher castes begin to increase, Ashok soon discovers a great secret that causes life as he knows it to unravel. As he tries to find his place in the world, he meets a variety of people that test his faith and try to manipulate him. The actions of a variety of unseen people in many different castes and with varied ambitions attempt to shape Ashok’s path in ways that he does not realize. However, he must determine the right path for himself.
I really enjoyed this novel! This is a story that is full of war, politics, magic, and history. Oddly, it felt like a combination of high fantasy and post-apocalyptic stories – the history of the people and the world that they have been living in for generations is seemingly at a breaking point in many different places. The cast of characters reminded me of chess board pieces or an elaborate war game. The actions that the different characters take don’t seem to be that influential until events begin to unfold. As the story progressed, I was engrossed by not only Ashok, who honestly can be a bit flat, but all the different characters. There was a diverse mix of characters from all the different castes and men and women both and they all seemed to have their own motivations and histories, giving them depth. One aspect of the novel that I really liked were the flash backs. They gave insight into the characters right when needed and this was a good way of giving backstory without just stating it.
The narration by Tim Gerard Reynolds was excellent. I couldn’t put my finger on why he was such a good narrator for a while. He is able to add feeling and emotion into the most mundane sentences – it was excellent. He did a good job with voicing and tone, as well. The production quality of the novel was good. One unique aspect of this novel that I wanted to touch on was the south Asian influence in terms of names and caste system. It’s unusual to hear such names and see this influence in novels ordinarily and it was especially refreshing for me. It really would’ve been nice if the accents for the characters weren’t all in shades of European – but I can’t fault the narrator too much the novel isn’t really on Earth. Overall, I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes high fantasy with ongoing action, a complex plot and interesting characters.