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Eve of Snows

Sundering the Gods, Book One
Narrated by: Maximillian Breed
Series: Sundering the Gods, Book 1
Length: 15 hrs and 11 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

Five hundred years ago the world shattered, banishing the gods from the Sister Continents and stealing the memories of the mortal peoples in an event known as the Great Forgetting. In 17 days the stars will align, and a religious cabal will summon the gods back to the realms of men.  

In the northern tundra priests search the Steaming Lakes, a place tormented by the Wakened Dead. Deep in the mountains, demonic shadows assail priests at a holy shrine. In the south, the clans know something foul is afoot, and dispatch warriors to seek answers, but instead they find horrors.  

A young priestess named Eliles stands in the heart of this conspiracy; on her shoulders rest decisions which could prevent a holy war or demonic genocide. Through lies, manipulation, and murder, everyone is on a 17-day march to fulfill or defy prophecy; the world will end or begin anew, come the Eve of Snows.  

©2018 Lee James Rice (P)2018 Lee James Rice

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Profile Image for John G III
  • John G III
  • 19-02-19

Well worth the listen/read

Dark epic fantasy. One of my favorite novels. It's at the level of any of the Tolkien reads. It starts out with each chapter covering the various characters and groups that will all get intertwined later in the story. L. James Rice sets up a new land and era that is fascinating. I highly recommend this adventurous story because it was difficult to put down (or in the case of the audible version, to shut off the iPhone). The action starts and builds then explodes! The twists and turns. Outstanding novel. A must read.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kevin Potter
  • Kevin Potter
  • 23-01-20

Did NOT live up to the hype...

I'm very sorry to say that for me, this book did not live up to the hype.

Between the exceptionally high praise from major publications and winning the EFF Reader's Choice Awards, I was expecting a very satisfying, entertaining experience that just might pull the heartstrings.

What I got instead is... complicated.

Now, this was my first exposure to narrator Maximillian Breed and I have to admit that he was fantastic. He has an array of excellent voices with great vocal inflections and excellent tempo throughout. It's always very clear who's speaking and how much tension is in any given scene.

As is my wont, I will forego a summary of the plot. I'm sure there are plenty of other reviews that will do this.

The story opened with an exciting scene that had me on the edge of my seat waiting for more. It really was a great start.

And then it just sort of... stagnated.

There are so many shifts in point of view that happen so quickly, I really couldn't develop a connection with any of these characters. There are several who seem interesting, I just didn't have the time to connect with any of them. By my (possibly incorrect) count, there are around ten point of view characters, some of which have only one or two chapters from their perspective (which is something I really dislike. Barring rare cases where there is no other way to present vital details, if they are important enough to be a point of view character, they should be so throughout at least a major section of the book).

For a 15-hour audiobook, ten POV characters is a LOT. It means that each character only gets a limited amount of "screen time" for lack of a better term.

Which is, I believe, most (if not all) of why I felt myself unable to connect with any of them.

It was almost like watching "The Witcher" TV show, in that there are so many things happening in so many different places that don't appear to have any bearing on any other character that after a while it becomes difficult to care who's doing what.

In the end, I'm fascinated by Soulennius mostly because he is an enigma, though there are some strong hints as to who or what he might be that I find very intriguing. But none of the other characters grabbed me at all.

The world building, such as it is, seems well crafted. There are some really interesting things going on, even if there is a VERY strong resemblance to pre-cataclysm Dragonlance.

The magic system is only superficially investigated, but again seems well thought out and interesting, though its lack of any apparent cost to its wielders feels a bit unrealistic to me.

Now, the writing itself is exceptionally good. I didn't spot any errors or typos, and other irritants I typically call out are largely absent. My only real critiques are (as above) the lack of real depth to the characters and there is a romance subplot that comes completely out of nowhere and I can't for the life of me fathom why it's there. It doesn't seem to serve any purpose and there isn't nearly enough explanation for it.

Anyone who's been following my reviews for any length of time will be aware, however, that I am absolutely an opponent of love-at-first-sight and other forms of "insta-love." The whole concept of it irritates me to no end.

Expressions of lust and desire I have no issue with, but it's made very clear that it's more than just that.

Now, the ending

I'll be honest, I found the ending more than a little disconcerting.

WARNING


*****


*****


SPOILERS AHEAD


*****


*****


STOP NOW AND GO READ THE BOOK IF YOU DON'T WANT TO HAVE ANYTHING SPOILED FOR YOU


*****


*****


STILL WITH ME?


*****


*****


OKAY


*****


*****


While I absolutely agree that the heroes don't always have to win, and in this case it makes sense that they would not win the day (at least, not entirely), the way that it all comes about just smacks of nonsense to me. The fact that any of them even survive seems highly unrealistic, considering the circumstances and the opposition.

My complaint though, really, is that this doesn't feel like the ending to a book. It feels like a very bleak mid-point climax.

And if I'm being honest, the book would probably have been much more satisfying if that had been the case. I think if this was the middle rather than the end, then I might have gotten to know the characters well enough to care by the end. But as it is, I just don't.

Needless to say, I will not be continuing this series.

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Profile Image for Nic Sweet
  • Nic Sweet
  • 14-07-19

could not stand the narration

I could not stand the narration, but the plot was intriguing enough to power through.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-07-19

could of been better... a lot better!

the narrator was not bad but he was not very good either. some Charters lacked emotions...
the writing quality was up and down! I liked the Tome of the touched parts, but opportunitys to elaborate on Characters and for world building were wasted...
and the "love" story was superficial at best...not sure if it was for very young readers or just poorly done! again no emotions or development. Could have just left it out of this book.

there is a lot of potential here but I will not be continuing the series at this time.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for L. James Rice
  • L. James Rice
  • 09-12-19

Loved

Loved this book. Very well written. Will be starting the second book later on tonight:-)