Winner 2015 Beverly Hills Book Awards for Fantasy!
Bronze Medal for General Fantasy in the 2015 Reader's Favorite Awards!
Finalist 2015 International Book Awards for Fantasy!
Finalist 2015 Indie Excellence Book Awards for Fantasy!
Sweeping from the majestic city of Ashoka to the perilous Wildness beyond her borders, enter a world where Caste determines mystical Talents, the purity of Jivatma expresses worth, and dharma may be based on a lie.
Rukh Shektan has always understood duty. As a member of Caste Kumma, the warrior Caste, nothing else is acceptable. He is expected to take part in the deadly Trials, to journey the Wildness and protect the caravans linking Humanity's far-flung cities. Though the mission is dangerous, Rukh's hope and optimism are undaunted. Karma, however, is a fickle fiend. His caravan is destroyed by the monstrous Chimeras; twisted servants of their fearful goddess, Suwraith. While Rukh survives the attack, events force him along an uncertain path. Morality becomes a morass - especially when he encounters a mysterious warrior, Jessira Grey, a woman whose existence ought to be impossible. The holy texts warn against her kind: ghrinas, children of two Castes, abominations. They are to be executed whenever discovered, but for the first time in his life, Rukh defies duty. Jessira may be the key to his city's survival.Meanwhile, a secret society seeks Ashoka's demise; foul murders cloak a deadlier purpose; and behind it all looms Suwraith. But it is the Baels, the leaders of Her Chimeras, who may hide the greatest deception of all.
Book 2, A Warrior's Knowledge, is also available.
©2013 Davis Ashura (P)2015 Davis Ashura
"The characters, dialogue and action are mature enough to satisfy readers at the older end of the YA range, and the author weaves them all into an attention-sustaining tale...the milieu is markedly original...first rate world-building". (Kirkus Reviews)
loved every thing about this book apart from the main villain reminding me of the wicked witch of the west
Nick led me to this story via narrator search after listening to his previous work
"great author and one of the best narrators ever"
loved the book. very well rounded fantasy. unique magic and society system in this book. author and narrator compliment each other's talents very well. sounds like it was written for nick to perform it. only complaint is you don't get left with enough of a vision of what's to come
"Predigested waste of world"
Made it through 12 chapters before accepting that this would be my first ever unfinished audiobook. The world is interesting, the caste system is a great basis but Ashura makes it VERY clear via all characters what to think of the social structure.
There are a lot of POV characters, most of which seemed to have a one sentence character description on list as a basis for their actions.
What turned me off most is the writing. The nonstop
superlatives and Superheroing via 2nd POV is really a buzzkill. Podehl is an award winning narrator who admittedly did various unique voices well but his constant overemphasis only served to make a bad situation worse.
The endless details that are clumsily revealed of the world in internal monologues are great in breaking any immersion. All in all just about everything in the book is predigested for the reader. Use of own brains not required.
"Very Bad... why all the good reviews?"
I got this because it has around a 4.5 average review. For the life of me I can't understand why. The fantasy genre has some very good books in it, the Warriors Path is not one of those.
Ashura is not a good writer. I could not figure out if this was meant to be a young adult read (and thus I was missing the point because I'm an old codger), or if this was meant to be a serious fantasy read on par with Game of Thrones or Name of the Wind (its not).
The world imagined by Ashura is paltry. It has these clans that can work a sort of magic. The clans co-exist in isolated cities surrounded by a wasteland desert of goblin like creatures that want nothing other than to kill those in the cities. This has been going on for 1000's of years.
The story follows a few different youths that act naively. I wanted to thrash them because they were so annoying.
The plot is goofy. Mostly a coming of age story with sappy B romance thrown in.
The writing is bad. I could not care less about what was going on. Both in the prose and the story structure. Ashura is not a good writer.
So why was this book nominated for so many awards? Why the great reviews? I don't know. I must be missing something.
Not only was the story extremely entertaining and intriguing, but the characters were amazing. Brilliant. The heroes were effortlessly likeable, while the villains instantly deplorable. We'll done.
"Focused story, intense story line"
First, Nick Podehl was bloody perfect for this book. Just, awesome. He brings the story to like in a brilliant, energetic way.
The story stands on its own. I love the progression of the characters and the conflicts they have to overcome. Right from the beginning the story sucked me in. There's no long build up where you have to "just stick with it". Nicely paced!
I'll stand ready to get the next volume.
"A welcome surprise!"
I listen to average of about two or three books a week primarily in the fantasy genre and I was beginning to get frustrated with the books I read recently. This book was a wonderful and welcome surprise. I was unsure about it initially but somewhere around the first quarter of the book I didn't want to stop listening and stayed up way too late because of my investment in the story. I finished the book the following day and I've immediately started the second book. I believe that most fans of fantasy will thoroughly enjoy this series as well. Last but definitely not least is Podehl's performance in the narration. In my opinion he is one of the most talented narrators out there. I hope you enjoy his performance as much as I did.
"It didn't get any better"
Warning* contains some small spoilers, easy to include when you don't like the book.I felt like I was listening to a soap opera. Like many of the other reviews said there is a lot of action and something is always happening but the characters and their interaction is so unbelievable that It made the whole book a disaster. Only reason I stayed to the end was that previous reviews stated it would be better at the end and worthwhile. It didn't, and I don't understand how they could write that in the reviews. You only need to read the first chapters in this book, then you can put it to the side because nothing else story wise happens. It ends exactly the way it started.
Things that bothered me (there are a lot and I wont take all)
Love drama from the start to the end. If I wanted that, I could read the twilight books. Besides the fact that the dialoge between the "lovers" is a disaster and unbelievable the author includes not only 1 relationship, but 3 that we are forced to endure. This of course doesn't drive the story forward but backwards.
The human race is at the brink of extinction, but doesn't allow people from different cast to procreate and thus improve their powers. Unbelievable.
The imagination of the author is unimaginative. The city Ashoka could be any town in modern society, they have theaters, bars, restaurants, prostitutes, police. To make things more annoying, the author spend to much time on describing a society that really doesn't require any further explaining, as it is a copy of ours.
As the city is described in detail, we don't get any description of the world outside Ashoka, and yet the characters spend months outside Ashoka.
The people of Ashoka is given a great tool to fight evil, but no, they won't use it because their culture won't accept it. If any culture is at the brink of extinction they would use it no matter what and in the end, it was this fact that made me hate the book.
It might have if this was the first book I read. Fortunately it isn't and I have read many great works that make me love the genre. I fail to see how this book could be liked by anyone over the age of 20.
This book was recommended to me because I have read books performed by Nick and thus I gave it a try. I don't think he is a bad narrator, but if he continues to perform for these shitty books I might avoid the books he has performed in the future.
Do not read this book. I believed the other reviews, I shouldn't have. If you like me have read the great works available, this book will be a big disappointment.
If you like books like The Warded Man, The Sharing Knife, Wheel of Time, then you will love this book. Only bad thing now is that I have to wait for the next books to be written.
"Worth it! If you like new fantasy worlds, pick this up."
If you're looking for a unique story that has world building, a unique magic system, and characters that keep you involved this book is worth the investment.
I've listened to all of the highest recommended fantasy series in the last year (over 100 books). I'm starting to reach when I dig when I look for a new series. This one is off to a great start. I actually wish I had found it way sooner.
I do wish the magic system was fleshed out with a bit more explanation but you can survive without it. It's unique and well written.
Podel is a fantastic narrator and I think he was probably a great pick for a series like this. Great job on his part.
I am unsure if its just Nick or Davis's work that made me like this book. Its a great read, with a very interesting spin on the ugly undersidr of our own society cast in a different light. However it presents mystery that is very predictable. We have too much insight into what is going on to be fooled, or captivated. Still, I'd recommend this book, if only for the world it created.
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