We Ride the Storm: The Reborn Empire, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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As an empire dies, three warriors will rise. They will have to ride the storm or drown in its blood.
"An exciting new author in fantasy." (Mark Lawrence, author of Red Sister)
Seventeen years after rebels stormed the streets, factions divide Kisia. Only the firm hand of the god-emperor holds the empire together. But when an unexpected betrayal destroys a tense alliance with neighboring Chiltae, all that has been won comes crashing down.
In Kisia, Princess Miko Ts'ai is a prisoner in her own castle. She dreams of claiming her empire, but the path to power could rip it, and her family, asunder.
In Chiltae, assassin Cassandra Marius is plagued by the voices of the dead. Desperate, she accepts a contract that promises to reward her with a cure if she helps an empire fall.
And on the border between nations, Captain Rah e'Torin and his warriors are exiles forced to fight in a foreign war or die.
War built the Kisian Empire. War will tear it down.
We Ride the Storm is the epic launch of a bold and brutal new fantasy series, perfect for listeners of Mark Lawrence, John Gwynne and Brian Staveley.
The Reborn Empire
We Ride the Storm
For more from Devin Madson, check out:
The Vengeance Trilogy
The Blood of Whisperers
The Gods of Vice
The Grave at Storm's End
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|Listening Length||17 hours and 4 minutes|
|Narrator||Katharine Chin, Fajer Al-Kaisi, Barrie Kreinik|
|Audible.ca Release Date||June 23 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #107,906 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#1,460 in Dark Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#2,007 in Action & Adventure Fantasy
#4,148 in Epic Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from Canada
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Oh, and of course, there is magic. The kind of magic/mysticism you roll with- maybe it’ll get explained but maybe not, but I’m not one of those that needs my magic to make sense, especially in this sort of setting.
I, personally, really enjoy this type of fantasy. I liked seeing how the characters choices affect other things/people and I love trying to think ahead a few steps wondering what will happen if they do this or that, and where the author is going to take a story. I like to have characters to root for and I need to have good things and good people, to happen occasionally amidst the bad, to make me want to continue. The author struck that balance very well between the good, the bad, and the ugly.
So, there are three mpov’s, all first person.
Miko- young princess, trained in fighting and everything that a noble would need to know to run a country even though technically it would never be hers to run (what can I say- her mom was ambitious and hoped for her to run from the background of her marriage). I liked Miko’s sections for the political maneuverings. She may be young but she’s clever- she still feels like a teen, at times unsure and at times cocky but always trying to prove herself. I appreciated she didn’t become all knowing as soon as she had to be. The wondering if she was going to manage around the council and nobles, without getting herself beheaded kept me coming back. I really enjoyed her. And as a side-note I hoped for her to win the Emperor over as easily as she did me.
Cassandra- the assassin/whore. I liked Cassandra’s sections because she was interesting- when her story-line lagged she had companions that held my attention. Also, The Death Call and her ride-along, a Gouald type presence (without the worm) that shared her mind, had me intrigued and wanting to know more about her and her abilities. Her ride-along’s nicer nature (most of the time) helped balance out the cold-heartedness of being an assassin/whore. Cassandra kept me reading when things were slow elsewhere.
Rah- the nomad/plainsmen/warrior- Rah took me longer to like/enjoy than any of the other pov’s. His sections seemed to have a bigger cast of people that was harder for me to get to know (especially with my terribleness at names) and his rigidness in sticking to his tribe’s ways, pushed away a lot of his tribesman and even started to frustrate me at times. It wasn’t until they started the march and the Dom joined that I enjoyed his sections more. Also, his sections had some pretty distasteful circumstances with the beheadings, rape, brandings, and slavery etc.. they were tough to read at times. I think Rah’s unerring goodness helped to balance these out. But I still felt lost more often than not trying to keep up with who’s who.
Now, my very favorite character didn’t have a pov but managed to intersect all the pov characters lives at some point (oddly resulting in the same outcome all three times). This person added some humor to Cassandra’s section, some admiration for Miko in her section, and made Rah likeable and gave me a reason to root for him. I am hoping the nature of this person will mean a return in the next book.
Or I can do this the Easy Way, and tell you to just go read the darn thing because it’s worth your time
-If you don’t have a strong stomach the beginning of this could be a determent in continuing on- bear with it, it’s worth getting past the slightly grisly beheading scenes, especially when you realize it’s not for cruelty’s sake. I personally found the voluntary branding later in the book, harder to take than the beheadings- at least they’re post mortem.
-Pretty happy about that turn of events with Grace.
-Loved Minister Manshin- One of those good things, in the bad I was needing.
c/p from my GR's
The stories tells of three pawns, caught in a series of events that will change their world. However, even the lowliest pawn can topple the mightiest of kings.
Rah eTorin is a captain of the Second Swords of his tribe, one of the Levanti nomadic peoples who roam the plains. Rah and his band are exiled for a year from their tribe for trying to maintain tradition. Rah believes in the old ways, and goes to great lengths to preserve them, despite the changing times. When he and his band are captured and forced to fight in a foreign war, Rah's beliefs are put to the test.
Cassandra Marius is a whore and an assassin, and a damn good one at that. She chooses her jobs carefully and is highly regarded in her field. However, when a high risk, high reward job comes her way, Cassandra jumps at the opportunity. She finds though, that not all is as previously advertised, and she holds off on fulfilling her task initially, only to find that she may have made a terrible error in judgement.
Miko (my favourite) is a woman living in a man's world. She is the daughter of the former reviled emperor, and now step-daughter of the current emperor. Trained as a warrior and politician from an early age, Miko and her twin brother Tanaka are groomed to rule by their mother, also wife of the former emperor. But when Tanaka makes a grave mistake, Miko is unsure not just that she will lose her chance to rule, but her life.
This book was a blast. It starts fast and never lets up, at times ratcheting up the tension to the degree that you may find your heart pounding (I sure did). One might think that sounds like there is plenty of action, but that would not necessarily be true. I found most of the action was verbal, and some of the scenes in Miko's court were simply stellar. All of the characters were terrific, not just the leads, and the breadth of each character is vast. The author covers each event in great detail, and draws the eye to the visual cues and unspoken words that we often miss out on in the written word.
If you want to nitpick, people who find first-person narratives to be jarring may want to give this a wide berth, as we get three, and the individual chapters give no hint as to who is next. Can't say I found this a problem, but I've seen some moans about it (no pleasing some people).
One of my favourite books of 2018, and in some good company. 5/5 stars
Top reviews from other countries
The story is told through the eyes of three uniquely distinctive characters. You would think I would have a favourite. That I would mourn the passing of one character-driven chapter to pick up the thread of the next but I didn’t. I was so invested in each character that it just flowed. That is a really hard and really impressive ability to maintain throughout an entire book.
I particularly liked the Asian feudal feel to it. It was refreshingly different from the medieval European fantasy that is the standard trope. The nomadic Levanti, horse lords and fearsome warriors were reminiscent of ancient Mongols and the Khans only instead of Steppe ponies they rode towering horses. The Empire of Kisia had hints of ancient China but woven into a unique creed and history.
The story is left on a knife-edge for all three of our protagonists and I can’t complain having been guilty of a few cliffhanger endings myself. It just means I’m going to have to buy the second book….oh wait I already have.
If you love fantasy then I highly recommend this book. ‘Take a look inside’ and if that first chapter doesn’t grab you then maybe you need to take a long hard look at yourself.
I'm very much looking forward to the next book
Devin makes the bold choice of using three first person POVs for her narrative style. At first I didn't know how this would work, but I can now confidently say it works very, very well. Each idiolect is distinct and unique to that POV, so that within the first paragraph or two, it's clear who is speaking. She also cleverly refers to place very early on, which grounds the POV further, and each POV has its own little symbol on the opening page of that chapter. It took me a while to catch on to those, but they're also a handy guide if there was ever a time you weren't sure which character was narrating.