To turn back the tides of war, Queen Mother sent her most trusted warriors on a perilous journey across the Great Sea. But the elves were betrayed by one of their own. Only a handful survived the ambush that followed, only two reached the far shores. But they did not find quick allies. They found a kingdom under siege and a shattered alliance. The elves proved themselves to the men that defended Quashan'. They, along with the mysterious Xith, the would-be mage Vilmos, Princess Adrina, and their friends helped turn the battle in Great Kingdom's favor.
For their support, the elves were granted an audience with the king. Yet great deeds could not undo the past, or change the prejudice of men. Elves and men are enemies, as it has been through time. The Alder King had his own concerns. The kingdom alliance was shattered. An ally, and a great king was dead. War between the kingdoms seemed inevitable. If there was any hope of restoring the alliance, he must rid the kingdom of the enemy's spies. But was such a thing possible without the backing of those he needed the most?
We got in a bit of a bun fight over who would listen. It's hard not to want to join in. It's also remarkably difficult to put this book down, as it flows so well. My only criticisms are that book one is rather like a prequel. The story is incredibly absorbing and exceptionally fulfilling to read. You always want to know what?s going to happen next and the story just keeps building and building. At no point does it disappoint or ebb. There are lots of books I have read and enjoyed, but these really stand out from the crowd. They were a real pleasure to 'read'.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Robert Stanek is a very gifted story-teller. The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches IV is the last book in a great series. This is a must have for your audio collection. I have read all four books, and I could not put them down.
There's a lot to like in these books from magic and mystery to ingrigue and mayhem. The characters are what I truly like that in a series. With the many characters it is hard to pick a favorite. They are all well done. I especially like how Adrina, Vilmos and Seth go through so many changes and come out the better for the wear.
This book with the other three parts offers the opportunity to live for a time in a fascinating world and well described world. I feel as if the world is a place right around the corner from my house that I wish I could reach.
Unlike some books, these books aren't thin on plot either. The plot has plenty of twists and turns, and I was never able to guess exactly what was going to happen. Definitely something you can listen to again and again.
To concluse, this is a satisfying conclusion to a great series. Start at the first one and keep going until this one. It is well worth it.
133 of 136 people found this review helpful
I just finished the series. This fourth book is as well written and entertaining as all the others. I have nothing but high praise for the author. The narrator is good throughout. I am amazed by how much I care about the characters. I am going back to listen to the whole series again.
51 of 52 people found this review helpful
When a book wins as many awards and accolades as these books have, you know they're pretty good, and they are. The writing throughout the series is a sheer delight. The reading is superb as well, with spot on voicing of the characters and the narrative. The author's recent television appears aside, the book is certainly worthy of the high enthusiasm and high praise.
Having read all the novels previously with my sons I can honestly say The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches is one of the best things going. Each book in the series is better than the one before. My favorite of all is this one. The sweeping scenes and rich prose make this more than a good book; it is an excellent book.
The series is four books. The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches #1, #2, #3, and #4. Don't start if you don't plan on listening to them all, because you won't be able to stop. If you start, you have Edward Tallyback, Erravane Queen of the Wolmerrelle, King's Mate, kingdom trios, the elf queen, king cats, eagle lords, a dragon king, and more to look forward to.
With all the dastardly villians and endearing characters, Mr. Potter could find himself with some serious competition. Certainly one of the most richly imagined novels I'm come across in all my years of reading.
Full praise to Robert Stanek.
Simon & Schuster
New York, New York
102 of 106 people found this review helpful
A must listen even if you aren't a fantasy fan. Robert Stanek really draws you in. You see and feel everything the characters see and feel. The story is original and has a fast pace with enough details and depth. My drives flew by, and I found it hard to stop listening. I love how it all comes together. The ending had me on the edge of my seat with every twist and turn. By all means, listen to this series. By far the best I've read/listened to.
19 of 20 people found this review helpful
I've grown so involved with the lives of these characters that I would be on the edge of my seat listening and waiting for what comes next. I got in so much trouble because I couldn't stop listening and was supposed to be doing other things. I found myself hurrying to breaks to plug in my earphones and listen.
To say this book was a great follow-up to the first three doesn't do the book justice. The writing continues to be excellent as the first one. I liked the author's exploration of the kingdoms. Not only are the characters great, they are very well-developed and you feel their pain and angst.
Few books capture your heart and mind so completely. A truly remarkable series that I definitely recommend.
18 of 19 people found this review helpful
I'm a fan of Harry Potter who just discovered this series, and I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed this book, and the rest of the series. The narrator does a truly excellent job bringing the book to life. Looking forward to continuing the saga with "In the Service of Dragons."
15 of 16 people found this review helpful
The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches books tell the story of the peoples of the kingdoms and of the elves of the reaches. Adrina, Seth and Vilmos are the main heroes of the stories and many others play important roles and this large cast of well drawn heroes makes for terrific listening as you follow their adventures and get caught up in the action, suspense and mystery. This book, The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches 4, brings the story of the kingdoms and the elves full circle. Many of the early questions are answered and the questions of the elves are finally resolved. What a fun book for ANY age or anyone who likes books or a newcomer!
13 of 14 people found this review helpful
In the magical world of Ruin Mist, elves who long ago emigrated from the "kingdoms" live in the far off reaches, but have now been forced to return to the lands of men. Stanek does a grand job of world-building, with a fine economy of words-no unnecessary details bog down either the setting or the invigorating story. In his world, everything has meaning and you will enjoy going back through the previous Kingdoms and the Elves books to find new meanings to the events that unfolded previously. Unlike Vilmos who cannot wait to escape from the dark forces that bind him, you will likely find it to be a fantastically engaging adventure.
Vilmos and his ancient friend Xith take the next step on their magical journey through the over world, the under world and places in between. Here in this fantasy world, vilmos starts to come to terms with his magical powers, and because of a mysterious prophecy, realizes he is at the center of what is happening in this mysterious world.
The author bases his book on the relationships between the characters that vilmos meets and Vilmos's own journey of self-discovery. The author's ending is true to the fantasy he has created in his world, with hints regarding Vilmos's next adventure. Stanek's story is an adventurous read for all ages.
The descriptions of magical realms and the book's many characters are so distinct that the reader fully visualizes them and sees them as real. I recommend Stanek's book to readers of all ages who love fantasy and mystical reading adventures.
20 of 22 people found this review helpful
The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches IV is a great book. One of the best Iv'e ever read. It is full of mystery and unknowns, I couldn't put it down! This book is one of my favorites! In the Service of Dragons is awesome too!
10 of 11 people found this review helpful
The Kingdoms and the Elves is a wonderful story, engaging and thought provoking, to say the least. As a story both adults and kids can enjoy, I think it's marvelous. I really enjoyed this book. More like a audio movie! I am hard to please and this is the first book I ever took the time to review. Stanek creates a complex magical world that is well thought-through, believable, touching, and ethical, without being heavy-handed. His characters and their relationships with one another are fascinating, and the reading is fantastic...now, all books in this series rank as among the best I've heard from Audible.
15 of 17 people found this review helpful