Kings of Paradise: Ash and Sand, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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A deformed genius plots vengeance while struggling to survive. A wastrel prince comes of age, finding a power he never imagined. Two worlds are destined to collide. Only one can be king.
Ruka, called a demon at birth, is a genius. Born malformed and ugly into the snow-covered wasteland of the Ascom, he was spared from death by his mother's love. Now he is an outcast, consumed with hate for those who've wronged him. But to take his vengeance, he must first survive.
Across a vast sea in the white-sand island paradise of Sri Kon, Kale is fourth and youngest son of the Sorcerer King. And at 16, Kale is a disappointment. As the first prince ever forced to serve with low-born marines, Kale must prove himself and become a man, or else lose all chance of a worthy future, and any hope to win the love of his life.
Though they do not know it, both boys are on the cusp of discovery. Their worlds and lives are destined for greatness, or ruin. But in a changing world where ash meets paradise, only one man can be king....
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|Listening Length||25 hours and 31 minutes|
|Audible.ca Release Date||October 05 2018|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #42,386 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#661 in Dark Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#2,133 in Epic Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#2,857 in Dark Fantasy Horror Fiction
Top reviews from Canada
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The only con I have about this book (and it isn't much of one) is that the Ruka character is so interesting, so unique, and like none I have experienced before, I found myself almost wanting to skip over the other POV sections to get back to his story. This isn't to say the other characters are bad, not at all, it is just that the Ruka character in my mind is something special in this book, and shines above all the others.
Saw a few reviews from people, I wasn't sure what to expect. But I did not expect to sit here for hours reading and not eating or drinking until I finished this book. Epic is the only word I can think of. Not too many character POVs that might confuse some people which is always nice, but holy crap I'm sitting here just thinking about this book. Especially Ruka, I don't think I've ever read of a character like him. Such new an interesting view, I can't wait to read more about him. I honestly found myself reading other POVs maybe a little too fast because I wanted to get to Ruka again.
I want to rant about how good it is and what I loved about it, but anything I say would take away from the mystery of it. Pick it up, give it a chance. FTLOG try this book.
And author, keep up the work. I will now buy anything you write.
I've come and gone from fantasy novels over the years, sensing that the genre was stale and that the books weren't really different from one to the next. This has been a refreshing change. Right from the start it's clear that the author has spent a lot of time on the world and creating a different and unique experience. The characters inside that world feel alive and engaging and make the book tough to put down.
A really refreshing addition to the genre and one I would highly recommend to everyone.
I can't say enough good things about "Kings of Paradise." Great characters, great pace, great story arc - great reveal as it draws you in. I do not believe it is wise to give details / spoilers about a fantasy novel of this type as it would show too much of its craft.
As the blurb suggests it reminds one of " Game of Thrones" but with a unique voice, style and world.
I can't wait for the second book. I miss the characters already and what is happening.
You will not be disappointed.
I'm not sure who's 'camp' I'm in - Ruka, Kale, or Dala's - but I've become invested in all three story lines and am definitely looking forward to seeing their stories interconnect and their characters continue to develop.
Hurry up and release the next book so I can start reading it, Richard!
Top reviews from other countries
Ruka turns this book into a partially grimdark tale. From the onset, it limits itself on how dark it can get: as it comes to women, Ruka mysteriously decides to adhere to the setting's societal rule that "women shall not be harmed" even though he has no moral compass whatsoever, blasphemes the gods, wants to upturn the entire system on its head, craves for the wanton destruction of society, and generally breaks conventions. Not that convention though. To me, it seems the author wanted to find plot reasons to avoid writing too dark of a book, and it feels artificial/not well thought out. Nonetheless, Ruka's chapters are everything one would expect out of an interesting book of the genre genre, which were the highlight of this compound tale.
The other two parts are weak. You've seen the like done better in a million other books. They are your typical YA angsty fantasy of our teenage characters finding love at first sight though not being able to fulfill it while fighting misguided or outright "bad" people that are one-dimensional.
Prince Ratama is a teenage boy who has a perfect moral compass, is clearly the good guy you want to be rooting for. Yawn. Everyone going against him is clearly in the wrong, or a bad guy. He does everything better than everyone else because he's the chosen one. Clearly inspired by the likes of Name of Wind and similar books in the vain "teenage boy growing up being the most powerful character but slowly developing his powers" cliche, the author can't get enough of introducing him to some school or progression system where the GRRR BAD GUYS will try to do everything to keep him down but he's the chosen one, so... he'll progress despite everything. What a shock.
"Dala" is the author's attempt at saying that not all book is combat and there's some political intrigue. It's the weakest and most uninteresting part of it. Dala is poor, but that's just an anecdotal inconvenience: she's more attractive, smarter and better than everyone else. She's lived a sheltered life and suffered tragedy, yes, but while she's supposed to be cutthroat she's overall a goody-two-shoes and everyone going against her is morally bankrupt or a generic bully. Unlike the Prince, she does explore some morally gray avenues, but the author decides not to delve on the consequences in the same way one can eat a steak without seeing the animal slaughtered. Due to the societal rule of "women are untouchable" that exists in this world, sometimes it does not feel the character is in real danger which goes in stark contrast with the idea the author is trying to sell us that she's underpriviledged -- she's absolutely not. The love interest is a little more fleshed out than Ratama's, but not too much: it's whole point seems to be being Dala's attack dog. Lastly, it gets a bit weird how every character Dala meets or every time she's described we're reminded that despite modest clothing "dem curves tho;" yes, Mr. Author, we get she's a full grown woman, and there's no need to be reminded of that in every chapter.
I was on the fence about reading the next book, but luckily the author dedicated the last part of the book to its biggest selling point, Ruka, so I will apprehensively give it a try. Overall, there are good parts to the book, but as a complete package it's sometimes a chore to get to them.