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Summary

Nominee, 2018 Audie Awards — Fantasy

Minalan gave up a promising career as a professional warmage to live the quiet life of a village spellmonger in the remote mountain valley of Boval. It was a peaceful, beautiful little fief, far from the dangerous feudal petty squabbles of the Five Duchies, on the world of Callidore. There were cows. Lots of cows. And cheese. 

For six months things went well: He found a quaint little shop, he befriended the local lord, the village folk loved him, he found a sharp young apprentice to help out, and, best yet, he met a comely young widow with the prettiest eyes. 

Then one night Minalan is forced to pick up his mageblade again to defend his adopted home from the vanguard of an army of goblins - gurvani, they call themselves - bent on a genocidal crusade against all mankind. And that was the good news. The bad news was that their shamans were armed with more magical power than has been seen since the days of the ancient Imperial Magocracy - and their leader, a mysterious, vengeful force of hate and dark magic, is headed directly to Boval Vale, along with a massive invading army of gurvani. The good people of Boval and their spellmonger have only one choice: to hole up in the over-sized Boval Castle and hope they can endure a siege against hundreds of thousands of goblins. 

When the people look to him for hope, Minalan does his best, but the odds are depressing: there are multitudes of goblins, and they want Boval Vale as a staging ground for a vengeful invasion of the whole Five Duchies. 

Add to his troubles a jealous rival mage, a motley band of mercenaries, a delusional liege lord who insists victory is at hand despite the hordes at his door, a dour castellan, a moody, pregnant girlfriend and a catty ex-girlfriend who specializes in sex magic - all trapped in a stinking, besieged castle with no hope of rescue, and you'll understand why Minalan is willing to take his chances with the goblins. 

All that stands between the gurvani horde and the people of the Five Duchies is one tired, overwhelmed baker's son who wanted nothing more than to be a simple village spellmonger. 

©2011 Terry Mancour (P)2017 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about Spellmonger

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If only a sixth star was available...

Good story, well written. John Lee's narration is fantastic. I look forward to the sequel(s).

16 people found this helpful

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Derivative, tired sleazy male power fantasy.

I couldn't finish this despite the good narration. Initially it reads like it wants to be a swords and sorcery version of Jim Butchers excellent Dresden Files, but it lacks the characters and character of Jim Butchers work.

It's overloaded on exposition and the main character while seeming initially charming is actually a sleazy letch with nothing interesting going on with him, as he seems more interested kissing a woman until she "submits" and "likes it." and at other times reminding the reader of all the times he's manipulated women into having sex.

The whole thing made me feel uneasy particularly as the main character refers to having "thoroughly molested" the the above mentioned woman.

If the story dealt in some way or made commentary of the main characters rapey tendancies it would have been something but after the third or fourth time I said "f*** off" out load at the misogynistic guff presented in the book I had to turn it off.

15 people found this helpful

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Give it an hour of your time and you won't regret it

This took me a few minutes to realise that the performance was matching the character to perfection, brilliantly witty
Can't wait for book two

23 people found this helpful

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A most promising first novel in the series.

Great characters, goblins, epic warfare, court intrigue & magic sex. Works for me on many levels!

6 people found this helpful

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Avoid - condones sex with a underage girls

Tried to listen. However story was beset with main protagonist talking about sex
At times it appears author is condoning sex with 15 year olds. Had to stop
Beneath all that it is a pastiche of more classical fantasy including Tolkien, Brookes and Eddings. This doesn’t add anything new.
The pacing is also odd with frequent jumps between past and present.

12 people found this helpful

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Gripping high fantasy

Excellent story that builds the pace well. At first the reading sounds slightly syncopated but I soon got used to it. Well worth listening to (as are the next 2 books - now eagerly awaiting the rest).

5 people found this helpful

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epic

really good story although lost speed in the middle but hoping next installment won't be too long.

9 people found this helpful

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Takes Soooo Long to Get Going

What would have made Spellmonger better?

The author keeps going on these lengthy digressions about various aspects of the world he has created. Even seemingly minor characters are given their entire back story and it seems the history of every location we visit in the story.

What was most disappointing about Terry Mancour’s story?

The author fails to keep the story ticking over - got bored and lost interest. I feel there's a good story in there but it would've been better if he worked the detail in whilst keeping the story moving rather than stopping the action for long periods of time.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The narrator does a reasonable job with the material he has to work with. Most other books I've returned have been because of the narrator. That's not the case on this occasion.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment.

14 people found this helpful

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Waste of time

Put in a less crude way, the sentence 'let's get this straight you have to have sex with your ex to save us all' should be enough to tell you the level this book is set at. The story line is crude beyond belief with no character development. The main character tells the story, which is basically him bragging for over 20 hours. Magic system is basic although it focuses a lot on sex magic !!!! Maybe the sort of book I would have liked when I was 14. Narrator was good though. Which I could get my money back. Don't understand why it had so many good reviews ?

48 people found this helpful

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  • MK
  • 22-03-20

World building perfection

The world building is the best I've ever listened to. if you don't want to think or appreciate long series with meticulous thought put into it this book may not be for you.

This book has its audience and it keeps to its roots throughout the series. it can drag on at times but its usally with a purpose and even the "filler" seems to always be enjoyable or serve some greater purpose not yet known to the reader.

tldr: really good buy it if your interested in fantasy like this

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-05-20

Why so serious?

I’m sick of reading the nonsense posted about this book and it’s continuing series. Do not buy this if you expect Sanderson, Tolkien, or Jordan. Do not buy this if you plan to get so serious about your fantasy that you’ll be changing the background of your phone to the book cover-art. Do not buy this book if you’re easily offended. Do not buy this book if you expect to glean some sort of grand wisdom or are seeking catharsis to rival Oedipus. This series isn’t offering that.

This series does offer an enjoyable story, a plot based around common and well known fantasy themes, but in a completely different light (mostly a militaristic one). The main character isn’t a white knight, and yeah, he’s a bit of a scumbag. He’s an elitist asshole, but I think that’s the point of the story. If you want to read a story about a hero that’s valiant to begin with, then go read something more serious, and change your phone background while you’re at it.

I had a really long winded bit in here, mostly about reviewers bashing on anything that hints at misogyny, because it’s not allowed to exist or something... All I’ll say on the subject is that in order for a character to develop beyond a flaw, they must have a flaw to begin with. Just because it’s tender ground the author walks upon doesn’t mean the redemption (later in the series) is lessened for it. If you live in a fragile little world that can’t handle anything beyond your moral high ground, don’t buy this book.

Anyhow, If I were to tag a filter onto this series it would go under fantasy candy. It’s not the hardy meal you get from the wheel of time, nor is the author the iron chef that Sanderson is, but if you multitask and want something to pass the time here’s your ticket. It’s not super serious, it’s got some pretty comical moments for sure, dark ones too. It is a fantasy novel, cut right from the same cloth most are cut from. There’s a simplicity in that that really allowed me to enjoy the story, because the theme is already a given. The narration isn’t bad, no heavy breathing or anything, fine sound quality as far as I recall. I recommend this title to anyone that loves the genre but needs an escape from the ever present serious overtone.

218 people found this helpful

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  • Captain Spanky Of Nazareth
  • 26-06-17

Sophomoric ego-porn for 15-year-old boys

What was most disappointing about Terry Mancour’s story?

Prepare to be told how amazing the main character is... by the main character... every 15 minutes, and while you're at it prepare to be told how this makes getting sex from farm maids (married or not) easy as pie, every 30 minutes... because that's functionally all this is. - Sure there are other elements present, too... but if you genuinely hate sexism, and a protagonist droning on about how great he is, without *EVER* encountering any valid conflict... you won't hear any of the other parts, because your tolerance for unbidden bravado will be filled for the day. You'll also find that if lazy or childish anachronisms bother you, (such as King Arthur calling something 'Hella pimp!' in the 11th century etc.) you'll find this book to be a rainbow of pain. Yes, it is a bit annoying that a wizard in a locale that is still developing siege weapons and crossbows understand particle physics, but that's not the stuff I'm referencing. This person *specifically* invokes the northern California surfer vernacular. He calls people a "tool", and warriors go out to gather "intel". The following is an actual quote, "When my name was called as one of the successful candidates, I was amazed. I'd thought I'd screwed up royally!" - "" -Sincerely, Min, Medieval Wizard at War with all of Goblinkind

The prosecution rests.

156 people found this helpful

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  • gamekat
  • 25-12-19

After this, I won't read anything by this auther

Story started out well. Good background on various types of magic. Protagonist develops nicely. He is a skirt chaser, which is fine. But the authors emphasis on the youth (underage) of the skirts he chases is objectionable to me.

44 people found this helpful

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  • W. Lowry
  • 11-03-18

Good story marred

Any additional comments?

A good story reasonably told. I get the impression the story is an excuse for the author's adolescent sexual fantasy, and that distracts from the story in my opinion.

69 people found this helpful

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  • Mike
  • 04-12-19

How Did This Even Get Made?

This book desperately needed an editor. Or just a friend to read it before it was printed. It feels like an early work that needed so much polish that it really should have just been rejected. There are glaring mistakes such as sentences that directly conflict with ones right before it. Redundancy galore. The worst of all is the complete lack of ability to use imagery to describe things. "There are no words" "It cannot be described" "I wish I could tell you about it, but I'll do it later perhaps" are all repeated endlessly throughout the book to try and work past this extreme gap in writing ability.

The main character is downright unlikable. He is full of himself, succeeds in everything, somehow both has strong morals and also lacks them, and is EXTREMELY LECHEROUS. To borrow a like from John Lee "I cannot describe" how often the main character made me cringe. Female characters exist solely for him to have sex with them. The character rarely make a mistake and is almost always awesome, so much of the book is them rolling around on godmode.

The author actually does some decent world-building here, which I applaud. That is the one good thing about this book that never should have been. Somewhere in here is a nugget of something that could have been used, had the thing been completely rewritten.

29 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-07-20

yikes

The goblins are inferior and covered in black fur and skin. The heroes are intelligent and fair skinned. The women are relegated to to birthing children and raising them. The only women of power is a sex mage. Our protagonist hates women who are unfaithful while constantly cheating on his girlfriend with anyone he meets. In later books he marries her, only to continue to cheat on her every chance he gets.

The world building is fairly good but once I realized it's all a cover for some deeply disturbing sexism and racism I was out. We can do better than this. It would be one thing if the protagonist had an arch where these issues were addressed but they only get worse in the later books.

This author belongs on some red pill message board not audible.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Kevin
  • 05-10-19

Mostly Good

Excellent worldbuilding only slightly dampened by a seeming preoccupation with sex. Will be buying Book 2. Recommend to high fantasy fans, but be warned that it gets a little pulpy toward the end.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-03-20

Rapey vibes

Although I’ve enjoyed some of the worldbuilding, the main character comments on female anatomy a bit too often to be comfortable (speaking as a male reader here). When that suddenly accelerated into a kiss with a highly questionable level of consent from the female recipient, I immediately stopped listening.

Also, the Audible narrator had exceedingly good enunciation. Although easy to understand, it felt a bit stilted/formal to my ears.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Virate190
  • 07-01-18

Listen to the Critics

Seriously. I read a lot of negative reviews, but in a moment of temptation I bought this book anyways (what can I say... I have a weakness for crappy high fantasy).

I'm pretty much really sorry I did. This story goes on several hour long tangents that have no relevance to the plot, stars a lead with absolutely no personality, and has two heavily objectified female support characters who seemingly has the sole story function of getting banged so the author can feel better about his life.

there is almost no imagery: the whole story was "then this happened. then this happened. then this happened." there was almost no character growth. the fight scenes felt as dusty and dull as an academic tome on abstract tactics. the magic system had no real definition, and contradicted itself half a dozen times. the scenes that Could have been juicy, emotional, and rich in detail were almost universally exceptionally bland.

none of this information is new: everything I've said has already come up. I just wish id listened.

246 people found this helpful

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  • Eric
  • 27-07-17

Terrific Book! A great adult fantasy series.

Would you consider the audio edition of Spellmonger to be better than the print version?

Do you love a good coming of age fantasy where the young promising lad leaves his tiny village, comes of age and power, returns to marry his childhood love and live happily ever after? This is not that. If you would rate a great book with one star because the "F" word is used, save yourself and the author the bad review and move along. Now, for the rest of the adults, don't hesitate for a second on purchasing this book! I loved it! My wife whom is only mildly interested in any sort of fantasy, loved it. I will go ahead and add a note about the next two books here. Book two is not quite as good as this one in my opinion but still very good. Book three is as good or better than book one. The narrator is excellent.

343 people found this helpful