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  • Ascendant

  • A Dragon Rider Fantasy (Songs of Chaos, Book 1)
  • By: Michael R. Miller
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 17 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (356 ratings)

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Ascendant cover art

Ascendant

By: Michael R. Miller
Narrated by: Peter Kenny
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Summary

From the author of The Dragon’s Blade Trilogy and the narrator of The Witcher series, comes the start of a new dragon rider epic combining the best of Eragon and Pern with the hard magic of Brandon Sanderson and Will Wight.

Holt Cook was never meant to be a dragon rider. He has always served the Order Hall of the Crag dutifully, keeping their kitchen pots clean.

Until he discovers a dark secret: dragons do not tolerate weakness among their kin, killing the young they deem flawed. Moved by pity, Holt defies the Order, rescues a doomed egg and vows to protect the blind dragon within.

But the Scourge is rising. Undead hordes roam the land, spreading the blight and leaving destruction in their wake. The dragon riders are being slaughtered and betrayal lurks in the shadows.

Holt has one chance to survive. He must cultivate the mysterious power of his dragon's magical core. A unique energy which may tip the balance in the battles to come, and prove to the world that a servant is worthy after all.

Winner of the 2021 National Indie Excellence Award for Fantasy!

Bronze Medal, 2021 YA Epic Fantasy in the Reader's Favorite Award

Finalist, 2022 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Fantasy

Gold Medal, 2022 Science Fiction & Fantasy eLit Awards

©2020 Michael R. Miller (P)2020 Michael R. Miller

About the Creator

Hailing from the wet and wild west coast of Scotland, Michael enjoys writing stories as sweeping in scope as the ancient landscapes he grew up in. His writing is known for rich character arcs, tight pacing, and layered magic systems. Songs of Chaos is his love letter to the dragon rider sub-genre, drawing inspiration from the classics like Pern, Dragonlance, and Eragon and combining them with the harder magic systems of Branden Sanderson and Will Wight, creating an epic tale all ages can enjoy.
Michael is also ‘that guy’ who enjoys-well, enjoyed-discussing the mad fan theories of Game of Thrones even more than the books or show, and knows more about World of Warcraft than is probably healthy.

About the Performer

Peter has been recording short stories, abridged, and unabridged audiobooks since 1993 and has recorded upwards of 300 titles from authors as diverse as Iain M Banks, Andrzej Sapkowski, Claire North, Neill Gaiman, Kate Atkinson, Mo Hayder, and Robert Louis Stevenson. His recordings cover a wide range from factual, technical books through historical fiction and science fiction, to mystery thrillers, epic fantasy and biographies. His first recorded short story was "Ansell" by EM Forster for the BBC. Most recent recordings include: Ascension by Nicholas Binge, Defiant (Songs of Chaos Book III)by Michael R. Miller, and in the shortly to be recorded list, The Observant Walker by John Wright and The Prophet & The Idiot by Jonas Johnasson.

What listeners say about Ascendant

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YA story

This is a young adult coming of age story so most mature listeners might not like it. Excellent narration but Holt is young, too naive, curious, and submissive which makes it hard for me to engage with. Maybe book 2 will be better.

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7 people found this helpful

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Fabulous

Amazing narrator and amazing story. Had me sucked in straight away. Couldn't stop listening to it!

Haven't read a dragon book this good since Eragon

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6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Recommend for lovers of dragon rider fantasy

I really enjoyed this book, though it did take a couple of chapters for me to get into it, but I’m glad I stuck with it and to be fair it set up the background and personality of the main character.
I recommend it to any lovers of dragons, dragon riders, magic, magical adventures and interesting character progression with a medieval flavour, basically most fantasy lovers.

Before I continue I have to mention that I experienced the book in audio book format and the narrator Peter Kenny was a pleasure to listen to and complemented the story beautifully.

All the characters are believable and very relatable, even the peripheral characters.
The world this story takes place in, has undoubtedly been inspired by medieval history and tradition and incorporates a wonderful magic system centred around the dragons.
There is a wide divide between high born and peasants and to maintain order everyone knows where they belong and know not to cross the line.
Your place in society and opportunities are predetermined by birth, such as the protagonist Holt, who works in the kitchen and will apprentice his father to become a cook, but dreams of becoming a dragon rider – the knights of this world.

Dragon riders come only from high born families and are held in high esteem, because they protect the world from the scourge; a hoard of huge, bug-like monsters that threaten to kill every living thing. The riders undergo rigorous training and are chosen by a dragon to bond with and develop a deep magical, life-long bond. Human and dragon mutually benefit from this connection, and it makes them exceptional fighters.
The dragons of the order only tolerate strong and healthy individuals, and any imperfect offspring are identified during a ceremony and destroyed before they can hatch from their eggs.

Holt witnesses one egg being selected and saves it by stealing and hiding it. Inevitably the dragon hatches, but he is blind. Holt feels guilty and vows to take care of the dragon; the baby dragon and Holt bond immediately and their connection is instinctive and very strong.

A surprise attack by the scourge and treachery leaves Holt and his dragon, whom he names Ash; to save the world from destruction. He is joined by Talia, a young dragon rider, her dragon Pyria and Brode. They aim to get to the capitol to warn of the impending danger and to identify and expose the traitor.
Talia was a princess; who had to forswear her heritage to be accepted in to the dragon rider order, but is conflicted when she finds out her brother the king has been murdered. Brode is an older, dour man. He was a dragon rider, but since his dragon died serves the dragon rider order by ensuring the riders are received and accommodated as they expect.
Now he finds himself as travel companion to Talia and Holt and he has to train Holt and Ash in all aspects of a dragon rider and to come to grips with the drastic change in his life on the trek to the capitol. Despite their common goal Holt and Talia are at odds and have to learn to work together.
All five characters (Holt and Ash, Talia and Pyria, and Brode experience growth and you witness how they become stronger, more trusting and appreciative of each other for who they are during the adversity they face along the way ...

The whole story is well structured and could be read as a standalone, since the adventure does come to a conclusion, however the ending gives enough of an encouragement to find out what happens next to the characters and I’m looking forward to the second book.

The Author was so kind to let me have this audio book for free, however I am leaving this review of my own volition.

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5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful dragon rider fantasy!

if you're looking for fantastic dragon rider fantasy look no further. You could scarcely spend your credit on anything better.

I thoroughly enjoyed this and am waiting with bated breath for the next installment.

5 stars, absolutely no question.

If you're looking for more amazing dragon rider fantasy I also highly recommend 'dragon mage'.

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Best dragon fantasy book I've come across.

A great story if you like fantasy tales. Well read in the audio version. Plenty interest and une pected turns of event.

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3 people found this helpful

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Love a good dragon rider story

Enjoyed this story from start to finish. Peter Kenny does an excellent job of narrating and adding voices for the characters.
Miller keeps good pace through the story and as i only listen whilst running i can say my mileage has definitely increased so i could hear the next chapter! Whilst predictable at points, very much enjoyed seeing the relationships develop between characters. Eagerly awaiting book 2!

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3 people found this helpful

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Amazing

Amazing good so fulfilling to listen too, I enjoyed this very much and I hope and wait for more of this excellent series, I am very excited to hear the next chapter of Ash and his rider Holts adventure!! 😁😁😁😁

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A very enjoyable start to a series

This is a very enjoyable dragon rider book, excellently presented with an engaging story. I look forward to the next book.

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Masterfully profomed

Peter Kenny could suck me Into a reading of the phone book. So it's a blessing when he is profoming a fantastically written story. The writting sucked me in right away. Making it hard to pull myself away from even quite moments.
I will definitely be getting more of his work and I always can't help myself when I see it is narrated by Peter Kenny.

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1 person found this helpful

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Excelent book! Dragons, magic and a great story

Thanks for this great book Michael!

Really good fantasy book. Packed with action , great character, dragons, so I just couldn’t stop listening.
Definitely recommend for fantasy fans.

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