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Spellmonger

Spellmonger, Book 1
Narrated by: John Lee
Series: Spellmonger, Book 1
Length: 18 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (764 ratings)

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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 members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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).

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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I want to be a spell monger

Great story with a touch of humour I want the rest of the remaining series

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Nick
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
  • 22-03-17

A most promising first novel in the series.

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

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

epic

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

7 of 8 people found this review 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 ?

36 of 46 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

I won't be listening to the next...

Yeh not my bag, as someone else said it just seems a bit like the account of one mans life who has an extremely large ego. If someone is going to be the saviour of the day, don't write it in 1st person. It's just not appealing to the British sense of modesty.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Interesting idea, slow delivery

What would have made Spellmonger better?

The "sex magic" was too much. I get the later description of pulling on the power of life rather than death (with "blood magic") but it was too crude. Sounded like he was bragging over his conquest of women. Even the strong women in the story, except maybe one, were made to look like they could only survive with his help.

Would you ever listen to anything by Terry Mancour again?

Probably not

Would you listen to another book narrated by John Lee?

Maybe, he has an odd intonation with this book that made it hard to listen to for long periods.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The story was actually not bad, it had an interesting twist along the way too which made it quite enjoyable. I just wish the main character didn't sound so misogynistic and the strong women were strong and didn't fall apart when things got tough and "needed" him to protect them.

2 of 2 people found this review 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).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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did not finish

it may be that this story improves but it's so dull. The narrator is so dull. I think the sex storyline is maybe to find some excitement but again, dull.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Zer0Sum
  • 11-05-17

Shockingly good, best book in years

Any additional comments?

Pros:
-Great engaging story
-Skillful narration
-Protagonist has a sense of humor that was very unexpected for the genre but makes him so much more relatable.
-Manages to be unique in a crowded, tired genre. Mancour wrote a masterful book.

Cons:
-Some listeners might not like the long descriptions of scenes/settings/events/etc (I do, however)

Verdict:
This is the best book I've listened to/read in YEARS! Minalan is funny, interesting, complex, horny, has a sense of humor that I've found to be unprecedented in the genre, and is just a very real character in a detailed and exciting world. You will not regret this purchase.

168 of 189 people found this review 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.

251 of 283 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • 13-02-17

A great start to a new fantasy series.

If you have read the publisher's summary it might seem, as it did to me, that this is just a mindless fantasy war story. Fortunately, it is not.

The 18+ hours of writing are put to good use in developing good characters as well as world building. The characters have distinct personalities and motivations with a Harry Dresden like main character. That is, he's a smart, decent, and powerful wizard who becomes very sarcastic whenever he's in a jam (which is often).

The action scenes are all very well written and spaced out nicely throughout the book keeping things from getting to dull. In between the action you learn about the characters, the magic system, and that there is more to the story than a simple warmongering horde of goblins.

If you enjoy fantasy this book would be a good edition to your collection.

134 of 153 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 14-02-17

Finally. I've been waiting for the audio version of this series for two years.

I'm not going to review just this book. The entire series is a work of art. And what surprised me at first is the fact that the first few books are the boring ones yet they contain a lot of action. When the author really gets into the world building (especially Minalan's property, best I can describe without spoilers, is where the story really takes off. ) that makes the long books worth it. Listen to it or dive into to reading them, you can't go wrong. I've read them all up to date and I will still purchase the audio because they are that good.

81 of 93 people found this review 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.

96 of 113 people found this review helpful

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  • GW
  • 16-05-17

Shocked at the positive reviews.

I really am shocked. Rushed conclusion, endlessly repeating explanations, gratuitous lechery, and inconsistent characters. The setting and the world building have potential but the actual text feels completely unedited from original manuscript. I might not have been so annoyed if the entire last chapter had been removed, as it literally just rehashes everything that was revealed to the main character in the previous chapter. The whole time the rehash is happening the main character is obstinately refusing to understand basic concepts he knew all about throughout the book. Absolutely aggravating. Horrible finish to a below average book.

The performance was fine, if a little stiff. Maybe that was the intention, it matched the character well.

170 of 201 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas
  • 22-05-17

This book was painful.

The narrator does a great job on a terrible book. The story is lackluster, the magic system is dreary, the names and places are not interesting. I would stay away from this one, if you like authors like Robert Jordan, Shae Ford, or Brandon Sanderson.

121 of 143 people found this review helpful

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  • Ken Denmead
  • 20-03-17

Immature Storytelling Makes This a Thin Read

Any additional comments?

The world-building here is decent, but the use of anachronistic language pulls you out of the story a lot. The author falls into the old trap of telling us everything, rather than showing us via imagery. It's very much a "this happened, then this happened, and then I had a genius ideas and we won" kind of narrative.

Also, the "hero" is kind of arrogant, woefully underdeveloped, and sexist. Pretty much all the female characters are there to have sex with the protagonist, whose behavior isn't much better than a frat boy. If a female character shows up, she either had sex with him in the past, or is going to have sex with him, after he's either peeped at her using magic, popped her bodice open using magic, visited her shop while her husband is out in the fields (and she's pregnant), he's part of an occupying army, he pays for it, or she's so grateful he saved her country, she just shows up naked in his bed.

261 of 314 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Logan
  • 09-08-18

pretty good

There was some lazy writing when it came to some of the details and a lot of repeat phrases, in earnest... other than that, it was very engaging and addictive. Just a pleasure to listen to.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rhonda
  • 01-04-17

Great Book

What made the experience of listening to Spellmonger the most enjoyable?

Enjoyed the story telling writing narrative with the humor thrown in. Narrator added depth and interesting character voices.

What did you like best about this story?

A different twist on the castle, magician, mid-evil story.

Which scene was your favorite?

The battle tactics were nice, not gruesome but the planning and implementation were an added benefit.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful