In a land where magic is outlawed, a young boy is living a double life.
Although Kay is training to be a knight, he has been secretly studying the forbidden ways of magic with Alamin, a powerful but eccentric wizard. When a band of goblins raids his village and enslaves his family and friends, Kay embarks on an adventure that takes him across the Kingdom of Gaspar and into the dark and treacherous caves of the Goblin Realm. What Kay doesn't realize is that his journey is leading him on a collision course with the Lord of Nyn - a being so powerful that none dare face him...not even Alamin himself!
©2013 Brian G. Michaud (P)2016 Brian G. Michaud
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"Great family-friendly fantasy adventure"
I thought this was a pretty good, family-friendly, fantasy adventure. This is not the usual genre I tend towards, but it grabs your attention and holds it until the end. I listened to the Audible audio version, and I was a little torn on how I felt about the narration. On one hand, the narrator does an excellent job of creating unique voices for each character - probably the best I've ever heard. However, the narrator's normal/narrating voice has a strange quality in that it seems over-enunciated, then the last syllable of each sentence seems to be stretched out (not on all sentences, but on the majority of them). I found that quality a bit distracting (and hence, why I knocked off one star), but other people that don't have my weird sound issues will really enjoy it. I think this audiobook will be great for summer driving vacations with the whole family. If you like fantasy, magic, wizards, etc., I think this would be a great choice for you.
"Magic, Sword fights, and Middle Grade Adventure!"
If you want to have a Tolkien-ish adventure with (or as) a middle grade kid, then this is a good story for you. Kay is following two paths, one toward outlaw wizardry and the other toward honorable knighthood. Then goblins ransack town and carry off his village for enslavement in their underground mountain community. He groups up with his wizard mentor, Alamin and an unlikely group of travel companions with various abilities. He can talk to animals too, which I thought was great.
I received an ARC of this audiobook and listened to it while traveling.
There are a lot of elements common to the High Fantasy genre in this book. There is a dragon who loves sitting on gold, an aloof and ageless wizard, people live like its medieval Europe, pixies are mischevious, and there is a foxy elf ranger. The end was familiar to me thanks to my love of the fantasy genre, though not identical to anything. I think Kay’s magical weapons were unique and the characters were very well described. They jumped out from tropes and became their own people.
We get access to quite a few character’s thoughts through a third person omniscient narrative but the story only follows Kay. I have seen this formerly shunned option appearing more and more in middle grade fantasy. I’ve used it myself in YA books. I think it can be helpful sometimes, but I also think that some things can be showed to the reader through the Protagonist’s observations of other character’s facial expressions, body language, dialogue, and physical reactions.
The tale leaves off with plenty of room for this to turn into a series. It looks like book two, The Ring of Carnac, has recently been released. It will be exciting to see Michaud’s talent and storytelling grow as the series progresses.
I took off one star because a couple things stuck in my craw. We spent a bit of time being told about who went where and what happened rather than sharing Kay’s experience of the event. I think the reason people choose books over other media because they get to have a vicarious experience. We want to see what it’s like to be someone else. Novels have the unique ability to read minds, show a birds eye view of action, and share first hand sensory stimulation like the feel of a punch connecting, the smell of a swamp, and the motion in shadow that might be a goblin. Using adverbs after dialogue tells a reader how a character felt, but describing what the character is doing instead let the reader see and evaluate how the character must feel. I’m sure I put a magnifying glass to a very inconsequential part of this outstanding fantasy adventure. I openly admit that I over-scrutinize this area of writing because it has been a focal point for my improvements as a writer.
I’d like to point out that I’m way older than middle grade, as I have a third grade son who reads in this age group. None of these complaints matter to him, he was very interested in the story. I intend to listen to the whole thing again while driving him around. Check back on this review sometime, I’ll add his comments in after he’s had a good listen.
The Road to Nyn is an action packed fantasy story that will be enjoyed by many ages, from elementary to young adult and even adult listeners. Brian Michaud brought together a memorable cast of characters, from the naive but brave hearted hero, Kay, to the cruel, dark Lord of Nyn. Fred Wolinsky's depiction of the characters in his narration is well formed. The two forces must battle each other in an experience that will keep the listener engaged from the first page to the last. I recommend it for those who like fantasies such as Lord of the Rings or the Chronicles of Narnia, and for those that like adventures such as The Magic Tree House.
"Awesome audio for the family"
Kay is training to be a knight but he gets sidetracked when a group of Goblins attacks his village and enslaves his family. Kay's travels to save his family lead him to all sorts of places and he meets a variety of creatures along the way, even a few Alamin the Wizard doesn't know about, but they always help Kay when help is needed most.
This is a great adventure book for all types of readers. There is a lot of action to hold the readers interest and the Sprite will always keep you guessing. For those who are interested there is a audio version, which is what I had, and Fred Wolinski, the narrator, does a excellent job with all the characters. I don't see how he keeps them all straight, it is a monumental task and one that I am in awe of. Mr. Wolinski really brings this book to life as you listen to it, it is awesome and you tend to forget where you are, here or in Nyn.
Whether you choose to read, listen, or both to The Road to Nyn you won't regret it, it is a great book
"good tween fantasy"
This was a pretty good fantasy novel good for the whole family. The writing style is very simple, which is not what I usually enjoy. This does make it great for the whole family though. If you are looking for a simple tween or family friendly quest type fantasy novel, this would be a great book to get!
I loved the narration! There were so many different characters with a big range between them and he did an amazing job with all of them! He kept them all unique and made the story more interesting!
This was a fun adventure with colorful characters that takes an exciting journey with some unexpected twists.I loved Kay and Alamin, and I thought Felix was a hoot. The story kept my interest throughout, and it moved at a nice pace. The narrator did a wonderful job with all the voices. He has such a range - each voice is very fitting for the character, and is easily recognizable and unique. His narration moves the story along with the proper emotion and pacing. If you want an adventure book for tweens, teens, or even fantasy-loving adults, give this a try!
"Was It Me or the Narrator?"
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I wanted to like it. I did not care for it. It's possible the narrator negatively influenced me, so I'm giving the story the benefit of 3 stars. It put me in the mind of the old Saturday morning cartoons from my youth. The narrator's voice went up at the end of every sentence. I tried to get past it, but I couldn't quite get there.
I did read this with the idea of a possible recommendation to my students. I think my students would like it better of the story were broken into shorter sections with more of each trial fleshed out. They would like more action, and less talking.
I could see this making a fantastic graphic novel along the lines of Star Wars Academy.
Not my thing.
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