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Shadow of the Conqueror

Chronicles of Everfall, Book 1
Series: Chronicles of Everfall, Book 1
Length: 18 hrs and 30 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (600 ratings)

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Summary

Who better to fight back the darkness of the world than the one responsible for most of it?

Daylen, once known as the Great Bastard, the Scourge of Nations, Dayless the Conqueror, has lived in hiding since his presumed death. Burdened by age and tremendous guilt, he thinks his life is coming to an end. Unbeknownst to him he’s about to embark on a journey towards redemption where his ruthless abilities might save the world. Many battles await with friends to be made and a past filled with countless crimes to confront, all the while trying to keep his true identity a secret.

Indeed, it might be too much if not for the fabled power awaiting him.

Everfall is a world of perpetual day where the continents float in an endless sky. If one jumps from the continent they will fall for many hours before returning to the same place from which they fell. Skyships rule the air powered by shining sunstone and industrial darkstone. A legendary order of knights bears mystical powers which they use to hunt out the dreaded shade, monsters that regular people turn into if trapped in darkness for the length of a fall.

It is a world of enchanted swords, merciless monsters, mystical knights, and hard magic, filled with tales of wonder and adventure.

©2019 Shad Brooks (P)2019 Shad Brooks

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fantastic world building and coulorfull characters

Shad has proven himself to be a master world builder with his first published book! Even in such a fantastical world, shad has thought out every detail in a way that keeps it realistic and grounded. The various cultures and religions of the world make sense within the context of the setting and as a fan of his YouTube channel its awesome to see him put his "laws against medieval realism" to good use and show how realism, even in a fantasy world can make a setting far more believable. That same believability also applies to the characters. For example a character with new found magical powers acts in very much the same way I imagine many would. I've given the story "4 stars" even though my enjoyment of the book so far I would rate at 5. This is because by giving 5 stars I feel like it would have to be on as good as other books I conider 5 stars such as LOTR or or Got. So why don't I think its as good as those? Well I'd like to give some constructive criticism here but it's something I can't really describe. It's something about the actual writing that just feels a little more sort of clumsy, not quite as perfect. It's not badly written or anything though and still incredibly enjoyable.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

MEH

The idea is interesting, the world as well ( maybe a little too technical for my taste) but... The farther the story the more and more problems are obvious, up to the point where I had to force myself to hear it to the end. My first issue i have is: There is no tension. Not at all. Not event once I thought the main character was in any danger, or that he won't achive what he wants. My second issue is with some characters and their actions ( be aware of spoilers!): The main guy very often acts childlish, not at all as a mature person ( IT wouldn't be a big problem, if not the fact that other characters view him as such). It's a minor thing but only one of many. The other would be that he seems overpowered and too Perfect in any possibile way... The light guy - the one that accompanied our main character. After discovering dylan's true identity he decides to forgive him, let's say it somewhat fits his character. But i really doubt he would stay friendly towards him. Let's be honest here:The guy harmed milions of inocent people (murdered/raped etc.), including your own family! If you are a great person, you might in the end forgive the monster. IT would be very difficult to do so esspecialy taking under consideration your personal losses, but IT is possible. But I have difficulty believing you will become a friend with such a monster... I think, that even with forgivness, you would still persuit the justice. The knight girl, the one the main guy raped ... In my mind, no matter what the rapiest does afterwards - he can save the whole Galaxy if he wants - he is still a monster, there would be no redeeming qualieties for him. Not in her eyes ( her jump after him to save him from spashing on the ground seemed unbeliveble to me.) She wouldn't do it. Not with trauma he costed her... The other knight, the one that was her partner, was iritating and his jokes didn't land for me. His whole character was cringy and not in a good way. The ending itself is unsatisfying, childlish and predictible. The court starts serious but soon IT changes into a farse, when after countless examples of his evilness, one guy steps in and asks to make him a hero... Imagine: People who lost their loved onese, their friends and neighbourse, had their hopes rised once hearing the one responsible for their lost was caught and will finally be brought to justice. ( Plenty of those People will travel days long distance to witness IT, so they can finally have peace... But nope, that's not the case. The sentence seemed forced, especially once you hear how many people he wronged... "But no, he is doing good now, so I guess we will punish him by joining the Elite club"( of which members are respected worldwide)... Poor, poor way of resolving this plot. And a pity, since IT was one of the most interesting things about this book. The funny (not really) thing is, that this girl knight, I've mentioned earlier is the one that in the end is truly punished: can you imagine to be in her situation. Not only her rapiest escaped the justice, but now she Has to look at him on daily bases.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

In the vein of Brandon Sanderson

This was an excellent, well thought out, well explored, & engaging book in all aspects. Character relations, Worldbuilding, magic systems, and an amazing final act where all these aspects culminated in a way similar to Brandon Sanderson’s finales. If you like Sanderson I think you’ll enjoy this too. I greatly look forward to The narrators are talented & perform as well as in the Wheel of Time and Stormlight Archive.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I love shad but there was plenty work needing done

There were times where I was entirely wrapped up in the story but they weren't as numerous as the times I were thinking "what was the editor doing at this section)" there was so much explaining that I think our common sense was being questioned .

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Left me longing for more

Overall, Shad has created a fantastic universe with sound rules for the story and people

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great read and can't wait for the next one

One of the most interesting worlds I've experienced in a long time. All the characters were had so much depth and made me want to keep listening. Can't wait for the next one

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A thrilling story from an inexperienced author.

This book takes a little while to get going, make sure you give it at least 2 hours for it to really hit its stride. The protagonist's angst will quickly get tiresome but is rarely deelt on. I get what the author was trying to do but the endless references to rape and past evil acts really drag after a while. The story lacks a main antagonist to drive the plot and I think suffers for it. This may have been done as the author intends the book to be first of a series but nonetheless the lack of significant challenge and lack of a consistent villain for our hero to come up against makes the story seem somewhat like a prelude rather than a stand alone novel. Bearing that in mind, I think it is a bit presumptuous to call a book, Book 1 of the X Series at first publication. You never saw "Harry Potter and Sorceror's Stone (Book 1 of the Harry Potter Series)" or "Fifty Shades of Grey (Book 1 of the 50 Shades Series)". The book could stand alone but you go into it with a feeling that it isn't meant to. This fic's main problem is the dialogue. It sometimes comes across as clunky and unnatural although that could be the audio delivery. There are also quite a few comments/jokes about characters being gay that are immature and mildly homophobic (although that might be intentional in a fantasy setting). Although they are the power couple of the fantasy audiobook world, I'm not a fan of Reading and Kramer as narrators. Her voice is quite jarring and his quite soporific. The chapters from the female lead's perspective were by far the minority. I'm not sure a second narrator was necessary especially as each character's voice sounded oddly different depending on the narrator. The worldbuilding is great. The fantasy world constructed is unlike any other I have ever seen or read. It is completely original and we are introduced to the different aspects fairly easily. I have seen many reviews complaining about an excess of exposition but that wasn't something I noticed. This may be because I had the audio sped up to deal with Kramer but I hadn't noticed the exposition at all. Once you get caught up in the action it can be really enthralling as well. The mechanics of the realm are straightforward and the fights make sense (although deus ex happens a bit). The main characters seem to logically follow the consequences of their actions (except for Deylan) but the excitement is consistent throughout. Most of the characters are human enough and fairly likeable. The main characters are developed a bit throughout the story and seem to become less abrasive to each other with the passage of time. Deylan/Deyless's character makes the least sense going from wimp accepting guilt for things he didn't do to violent maniac impaling people to death. That was all a bit odd. The lightbringer's story and character actually became the most interesting for me which is odd with him being somewhat tertiary among the main characters. Having said all of that there are two sorts of fics for me. The ones where I see the clock and say "Argh, I've only managed to get through 3 hours." or where I say "Wow, time flies. I can't believe that 3 hours whizzed by so quickly." This story is definitely one of the latter. Once you get caught up in it the story flies by quickly and it is quite compelling.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fantastical Read

The protagonist turns antagonist turns protagonist again approach is such a breath of fresh air. The nuanced approach to the main character is great, especially concerning the fact that good does not outweigh the bad and vice versa. Everyone has evil within them. The Conqueror couldn’t be any more vile... yet more human at the same time. Chemistry between characters are top notch. The themes of redemption, forgiveness as well as the dangers of absolute power and how revolutions and good intentions can go wrong are very nice. The power system is quite interesting, just a tad bit too much physics and maths for my liking hahaha. And need I even mention the worldbuilding? I need to know more about this fantastical world, the Great Redemption Arc for The Great Bastard continues forward! But what about the dragons??

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Blacking Good!

Honestly one of the best books I've ever read! The exploration of right and wrong, the psychology and development of the characters, and an intrinsic but simple plotline, I found it hard to stop listening! Worth your twelve years Shad! Now when is the next one? XD

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Needs a lot of work

This debut novel smacks of childish writing and poor editing. It rambles where it should flow and the character concept, while a good foundation, is wasted with bad writing and repeated pointless description. We are placed into a fantastical universe where description of it is crammed into internal monologues and, worse, little soliloquy that the character "just happens to do", as if he's talking to an imaginary audience. It is an extremely jarring read and should have been at least another two years in editing before it was published. I had high hopes for this story but sorry to say the execution was appalling. I like Shad, I'm a fan of his videos and he's incredibly knowledgeable. But this book was not ready and if he writes again, I would strongly recommend a co-author or a different editor.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-07-19

Shad get a better Editor

I'm writing this on my phone so sorry in advance. I'm a fan of Shad's YouTube channel. I've read Brandon Sanderson's books and Robert Jordan's. There is so much influence in these and it really shows. The premise is very interesting but I honestly think if you want to make a world builder book with this much detail you need to spread it out. As others have pointed out there are big information dumps that don't seem to fit where they are placed. I would rather have the story show me how the world works like Sanderson or Jordan. The main character is very hard to self identify with because he talks about how much he regrets killing people and how his greatest punishment for his crime is living with the guilt. Then he goes and kills a bunch of criminals. The darker themes of the book (sex, rape, murder, and genocide) seem to be delivered awkwardly. The action scenes are done very well and are enjoyable.The narrators absolutely blow me away everytime I listen to them and they do an amazing job like always. Shad, I haven't read any of your other stuff so I'm not sure how this compares but this seems like a great attempt. I enjoyed the ride and was able to finish the book and have listened to much worse books. I did enjoy the book but I think it could use much more polish. I look forward to listening to anything you might write in the future. To anyone looking to purchase the book go ahead and support the author. It was a fun book and would enjoy reading more about the world.

66 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-08-19

Excellent World, Shallow Characters

This book is fantastic in its world building. The magic system is phenomenal, as someone who has an engineering background and an interest in particle physics and quantum mechanics I found the magic system engrossing. The attention to detail and the technical aspects were interesting and I appreciated that the author did not dumb down the engineering aspects of the world. I am highly appreciative that the protagonist is an engineer and brought that direct perspective to understanding the world he lives in. The world has great potential and even the background story would be a fascinating book in and of itself. I do however feel that the characters' backgrounds are rather shallow and I never felt what I believe the author wanted me to feel about the protagonist. The graphic and violent aspects of the story were not emotionally powerful and felt contrived. The fight scenes and the usage of the magic system was excellent, but the motivations of the characters were very muddled. The author tries too hard to tie up lose ends to the determent of the overall story. The conclusion left me wanting to pick up the characters and put them back in the middle of the book where the plot and story were stronger and more entertaining. The end was extremely contrived and did not feel natural, but more like the author saying, "I'm running out of ink, better wrap it up." The creatures of the world and the original driving force of the protagonist was a much more interesting narrative and I was more drawn to the protagonist's past than the story's present. Overall, as an exercise in world building 9/10, character development 5/10, emotional depth 2/10.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • John Henry Mecomber
  • 27-07-19

Great first book

This tale of redemption has great world building and a fleshed out magic system. The story is good but after hearing the main character dump on himself continuously it starts to get a bi et old. There are also a lot of he said, she said, and characters says in this book so that gets old after listening after a while. The voice work is really jarring though when characters are voiced by the other reader after having been voiced by the other. I would have thought the cast would have been divided in half since there were 2 readers here, but no. Whenever it is a male perspective Michael reads and when a female perspective then Kate reads. This leads to wildly different voices for a character. Overall the book is a good listen and I recommend it but be prepared for some drag.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Timothy Wigmore
  • 25-09-19

Great book!

First book from this author I've ever read/listened to. Inventive and unique blend of magic and modern technology , interspersed with elements that I perceive from other universes. I can't wait for the next book. Also, ask always, Michael and Kate do an outstanding job of bringing the story to life

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Rick B
  • 13-09-19

Good premise, but poorly written

While the idea behind the story is sound, the book could do with a good editor.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • O-C
  • 29-03-20

One of the Best Books I've Ever Read!

This book is seriously amazing. Shadow of the Conqueror is one of the best redemption quests I have ever read and has a completely unique world and power system, complexly blending these factors into human society as it provides an fun and interesting world to explore. The number of little, natural quirks this author produces makes Everfall seem like a universe that is truly real in many ways, a feat that few authors can manage. Each character has so much depth to them that could each easily be the Main Character of their own story, and the dialog and interactions between characters are seamless and completely natural. The main character has such a rich and fleshed out backstory that this book could easily be book one in a sequel series, and his personality and motivations are consistent and well thought out . His flaws are real, and his sins and evils are some of the most daring I've ever seen, leading me to often question whether or not I actually support him, despite my love for villain characters. Very rarely have I ever seen a main character that would be just as good if not better if they were a villain, and yet the way the Main Character understands his actions and copes with his trauma and hurt manages to make him one of the most undeniably heroic characters I've ever read of, and is someone who you can truly come to understand through the masterful writing. The author seamlessly proposes several in depth and complex moral issues throughout the story that really make you think, something quite rare in this day and age. The narrations from both Micheal Kramer and Kate Reading are as always wonderful, and never do two characters sound the same. The emotions invested in each word and pacing of both narrators is truly spectacular, flowing perfectly with the rhythm of the story. Everything in this wonderful story seems to flow together, and it leaves me sitting on the metaphorical edge of my seat as I eagerly wait to see how the story will play out, and if the main character can truly find redemption for his sins, both in my eyes and in the eyes of the characters within the book. I can not wait for the next book in this series, and wish with all my heart that our Main Character can stay true to the will of the Light throughout the trials that are sure to come.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • D.C
  • 26-10-19

Amazing start to a series

I hesitated to spend a credit on this at first, Amazing fights, powers and characters.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ben
  • 26-10-19

A Tales of a Conquerers Shadow

It was a fairly simple story, but because of how short every chapter was I enjoyed it almost without stop in pace, leaving me to complete the book within a few days. The story wasn't perfect but damn was it good, I loved visualizing every scene and it happened seemlessly on command. It took the serious subject matters with respect while still being funny with its crude jokes and light puns. To say I enjoy it is more then a truth, all I can say is that the 2nd book better come out soon.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-07-19

world building told much and showed less

the storylines were overall good, the dialogue and exposition were sometimes awkward, overall is was an easy listen and I am looking forward to the next in the series. Kramer and Reading as always were great!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Adam Miller
  • 15-07-19

An enjoyable book with a problematic protagonist

On the whole I liked this book, though there are certain aspects that didn't quite work for me. The world building is in depth and interesting. There were a few times I found the exposition laying out the magic system and the world to be a bit heavy handed and dragged the book down a bit. That said I generally enjoyed the bits where the protagonist explored his powers. I also thoroughly enjoyed the supporting characters. Lyra and Kuseg (not sure on the name spelling as this is an audio book to me) were particularly interesting and I enjoyed Arek's terrible humor immensely. The main issue with the book for me is the protagonist, Daylen. I get that he's supposed to be a former bad guy trying to be good, but I can't help but feel that Shad, the author, went a little too far in making him a monster in his former life and didn't do quite enough leg work to justify him as the protagonist through most the book. The simple fact is that Daylen commits too many brutal and barbaric acts in his new life for me to ever truly root for him. It doesn't matter that he feels bad about them or that he did them to terrible people. It just feels like there's a disconnect, if he is a despicable person who has seen the error of his ways and is seeking redemption, then he shouldn't be so quick to deal death to others. The first time it happened I understood as he is reverting to his old ways, but each time it happens after that it is harder and harder to empathize All that said, I found there to be some legitimately touching moments between him and the supporting characters toward the end and found his over all fate and conclusion to the novel to be satisfying. I would definitely like to see more from this world now that so much of it has been explained and the story can just get moving. I also have hope that I may like Daylen more in another installment.

16 people found this helpful