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Nightblade: A Book of Underrealm

The Nightblade Epic, Book 1
Narrated by: Garrett Robinson
Series: Nightblade Epic, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 31 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

Loren's dagger holds incredible power - but something keeps her from using it.

Loren dreams of escaping her cruel parents and becoming a great thief: Nightblade, a warrior of darkness and a champion of the light. Following the fugitive sorcerer Xain out of her forest home, she wears a stolen noble's cloak of fine black cloth and carries a dagger the world has not seen in centuries - a blade that can turn enemies to allies when she least expects it.

Yet something keeps her from using that dagger to take a life.

Soon she crosses paths with the smuggler family of Yerrin, invoking their wrath by stealing their most precious treasure. Yerrin’s reach is long, and they will not stop until they silence Loren forever.

If she can survive, Loren may become the most infamous thief in the world. But if she fails, she will be only the first to burn in a war that threatens all the nine lands.

©2014 Garrett Robinson (P)2018 Legacy Books

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  • Kai J B
  • SALFORD, Greater Manchester
  • 25-06-19

Simply Amazing

My first Audiobook, came here from Legacy Book's free spotify podcast reading this book bit by bit as I was just too impatient! So so absorbing and in depth, with a gorgeous narration. Can not wait for the second!

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  • Sheathd427
  • 11-05-19

My Favorite Series, Now in Audio Format

It is fair to say that I am not an unbiased viewer when it comes to the works of Underrealm. I first discovered the series in early 2018, and I've gone on to devour every piece of content in the world and much more besides. It is easily my favorite book series, and I eagerly await each new entry. That said, I am perfectly capable of setting my own biases aside, and more than once I've called Garrett out on some parts of the series that didn't quite work.

Nightblade is the first of (as of this writing) eleven books in the series, and for most readers/listeners, it will be their first foray in the world of Underrealm. Though the world is well-developed and complex, it is not immediately overwhelming, because the main character Loren is just as much a stranger to the larger world as we are, and Garrett takes care to slowly weave in the worldbuilding details. The characters are richly developed, with a depth that is rarely seen, particularly for a introductory novel in a larger series. Everyone from the constable Bern, to the cobbler Markus, and of course, Loren herself, are fully developed characters, with their own wants, needs, and lives outside of what we directly see.

As mentioned, Nightblade is part of a larger series, and nearly every scene lays the groundwork for the future. Tiny, almost irrelevant detail, can come into play in later books, and particularly sharp readers/listeners will be rewarded as they delve deeper into the series. I have read or listened to Nightblade at least five times, and without fail I have found another detail that I had somehow missed before.

From a performance standpoint, I was genuinely surprised and impressed at Garrett's skill at narration. Characters had distinct and consistent voices, and he made excellent use of vocal inflection and pacing to bring the story to life in a completely different way for me. As the author of the series, there is nobody better to determine the correct mood a scene should carry, or just the right way a particular character should speak. Though I have read through the entirety of his works multiple times, I eagerly look forward to experiencing Underrealm again, through the voice of its author.

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  • J. Chris Waters
  • 03-04-19

A refreshing fantasy story

I actually regret getting this audiobook as soon as it came out because now I have to wait to listen to the rest. It takes some getting used to the peculiar way the characters talk but once I got into it I found it enhances the worldbuilding. I’ve read the entire Nightblade epic series (what’s been written so far) and it is a captivating story that turns clichés on their head. Would definitely recommend to any fan of fantasy!

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  • Kendra
  • 19-02-19

Love the Nightblade

Nightblade #1 is awesome I can’t wait for the next story and the Academy Journals

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  • Joshua Kluender
  • 16-02-19

One of my favorite books/series

This has been one of my favorite books/series since I first found Garrett’s vloganovel on YouTube. Not only is this a great novel but Garrett as the narrator of his own characters brings them to life in a way only he can. To hear their voices the way they were written is something only the author could bring to light. A phenomenal job and I can’t wait to get the audio book versions of the rest of the series.

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  • Oral
  • 08-08-19

Fantastic Story

Well defined and engaging characters. Every chapters l was full of suspense. Will read again.

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  • MasterTorian
  • 29-03-19

Great story!

Though a little back story heavy, here we have an interesting story and complex characters that feel real.

After recent experiences this year, I'm a bit more open to books narrated by the author than I used to be.

In fairness, Garrett Robinson is a skilled narrator. He has a solid assortment of character voices and good use of tempo changes and vocal inflections.

Unfortunately, there was an ongoing slip near the end that prevented this from being a solid 4🌟 performance.
Around 75% or so into the book, the main character's voice changes. Would have been no problem if there had been descriptions in the text suggesting she was altering her voice. Unfortunately, there was not.

Now, we do have an interesting world that, while unrealistically conservative in some ways, feels authentically medieval in others.

The main character, Loren, starts out as this country bumpkin of a girl with big dreams that have been shot down all her life.

Of course, she soon discovers the "real world" isn't all she thought it would be and I love the play on her expectations versus reality as she comes into all this.

There's very little of the world's magic system in this book, but what is there is really interesting. As is the shadowy "underworld" (my word, not the author's) organization that seems to have their hands into everything.

There is a wide cast of characters (considering the length of the book, at least), and even the ones who are shallow or only present for a short bit feel like real people with their own lives and reasons for all the things they do. With possibly one or two exceptions, no one really feels like a prop just to suit the needs of the plot.

The ending, while some aspects do feel a little too convenient, was well put together and satisfying. And I feel like the way things conveniently come together is actually a feature of the magic system rather than a flaw in the writing.

There are a couple of twists that were a little too obvious, and the complete lack of contractions (even among the common folk) does come off as a little stilted. But all in all I really enjoyed the story and I'm looking forward to the next one being released in audio.