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City of Kings

Narrated by: Rosa B. Watkinson
Length: 11 hrs and 51 mins
3 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)
Regular price: £22.89
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Summary

War makes monsters and corpses of us all.

For generations the blooded have ruled the Wilds, cultivating a lawless frontier and bleeding the good folk dry. The Black Thorn, once the most wanted outlaw the world has ever seen, is set on stopping them, and bringing an end to the great game that oppresses them all.

Crucible is the only blooded fortress left, but not for nothing is it called the City of Kings. Its defences are unbreakable, its walls unassailable, all built so one hundred can hold back a thousand. Worse yet, the Black Thorn is running out of time and there are darker things hiding underground, looking to turn the city into a tomb.

City of Kings is a stand alone novel set in Rob J. Hayes award winning First Earth setting. It is designed to be read independently of the other books in the setting, and is a fast paced look at a kingdom on the verge of regime change.

©2018 Robert Joseph Hayes (P)2019 Rob J. Hayes

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    5 out of 5 stars

quality of writing in some grubby hands

I've not read (yet) the earlier books (bar ye pirates yarr) so I came on this as a standalone audiobook having failed miserably to make inroads into my kindle TBR.

It is a very, very good audiobook production, marred from perfection by just a few duff words.

I enjoyed the novel, it certainly mangled up the characters in a way Season 8 of GOT seems to have adopted - in how to get your army decimated and drop the main characters into it.

Interestingly I'm not sure I have a favourite character, as they all had their moments and there are several scenes of utter barbarity to keep Grimdark fans entertained and up the ante on Anna Stephens' Hammertime. I have to admit, I expected the hand, but the hostage scene was especially clever as a shock tactic and how it influenced the end of the novel, even anticipating someone not staying down.

What I especially enjoyed, was how the ending wrapped the book up. With the pirate duology, the ending was abrupt - a bit too much, too lean. With City of Kings the novel had a natural conclusion, with a typical drastic twist and it worked for me much better (without feeling indulgent) as a reader. The end execution scene went on a little long as the only criticism, with the lack of a perfect happy ever after landing a healthy dose of realism and creating a wealth of future opportunity.

Many indie books get hyped up and finish flat, this one comes across as more understated, but do not underestimate the polish and quality of writing as this one is a rosy gem hidden within some grubby hands.

It also means I have to get off my arse and read the author's initial trilogy as I'm now curious about the backstory. It is a nice problem - but I need more hours in the day. Cracking stuff from author and narrator both.

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Below par, terrible narration

Past audiobooks of the ties that bind series were far better in story but it is hard to tell as the narration is that badly done I carn't be sure.

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