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The Last Grand Master

Champion of the Gods, Book 1
Narrated by: Joel Leslie
Series: Champion of the Gods, Book 1
Length: 13 hrs and 13 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Summary

In a war that shook the earth, the six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, God of Evil. For 3,000 years, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity and Neldin's evil was nearly forgotten.

But then Meglar, wizard-king of Zargon, unleashes the dark magic of the underworld and creates an army of creatures to carry out his master's will. One by one, the sovereign realms fall as a new war between the gods threatens to engulf Nendor.

Leading the opposition to Meglar is Grand Master Farrell. Young and untried, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar - or it could destroy the world.

Farrell is joined by Nerti, queen of the unicorns, and Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen as Farrell's mate. As Farrell and his new allies make plans to counter Neldin's evil, Meglar forces their hand when he invades a neighboring kingdom. Rushing to help their ally, Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Cut off from help, Farrell attempts an untried spell that will either turn the tide or cost him and Miceral their lives.

©2015 Andrew Q. Gordon (P)2017 DSP Publications

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enjoy this book

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I like the character development and the story to go along. I look forward to reading the whole entire series and we'll be doing so soon.

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Loved it but disappointed about Book 2 Narration 😞

Excellent, thoroughly enjoyed!
Especially as Joel Leslie was narrating, made the story for me.

Just started to listen to book 2 ‘The Eye & The Arm’ and so disappointed.
Joel isn’t narrating it! After hearing a particular narrator bring to life the characters with different accents, personalities and capturing the ‘essence’ of each character, you would expect them to be narrating the complete series.
The replacement narrator has ruined this for me sadly, and was so looking forward to listening to the complete series as they were released and the story unfolded.

I do not know why the author has changed narrator, and why he thought no one would notice such a deficit, but I would suggest they try and get Joel to finish the audiobook series (if they can’t get him to re-read book 2).

I think some authors think that people that listen to audiobooks will listen to anyone, but when you have a narrator such as Joel’s calibre reading, substituting with an inexperienced (that’s how they came across) narrator just ruins the plot, characters and storyline for the listeners. We all know Joel’s style and I am sure I am not speaking just for myself here, but we were all looking forward to Joel taking us on the adventure in subsequent instalments.

All I can say is, this book is excellent because of how Joel interprets and conveys the story, but for anyone who unfortunately is in the same boat as me, and relies on an audiobook format for whatever reason, (and because Joel was narrating it), will be sadly disappointed and discouraged from listening further because of poor substitution. Bring back Joel and all may be forgiven!!

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Profile Image for Aislinn Wolfsong
  • Aislinn Wolfsong
  • 09-09-17

Ooops?

This review is for the audiobook.

I can't believe I never reviewed this. Andrew Q. Gordon is a new author to me but I have always been a sucker for high fantasy and the reviews were positive. The clincher for me though was the person performing it. Joel Leslie is easily one of the best audiobook performers out there. It really does his talent a disservice to simply call him a narrator. His ability to bring a story and it's characters to life is absolutely fantastic.
The Last Grandmaster is no exception. the story itself starts off with a bang, and is instantly captivating. Even if I had read this rather than getting the audiobook I'd be highly satisfied. Add in Joel however, and it turns a great story into an epic one.

I'm dieing to get my hands on the sequels. I haven't heard if the rest of the series will be released in audio format but I'm keeping my fingers crossed and ears perked because I can't wait.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Riva
  • 24-09-17

Excellent story great performance

I really loved this fantasy mm book. To me it seemed like a combination of The Belgariad meets the Star Wars mythology; only with gay characters. It is one of those books where the romance is there, but the saga has equal billing. Farrell and Miceral are a solid romance, complete with OTT sappiness; which I loved. Sometimes that can be annoying, but I was so invested in this couple that it just came off as sweet. There is some wonderful world building with unicorns, giant falcons, good and evil gods and humans. Farrell's destiny is front and center of the story; the romance almost a subplot. I loved the courting, although it is kind of an insta love/destined lovers thing. But their banter and shyness comes off really sweet. However, this is not just a sweet romance. There is action at the beginning and the end of the story, with the middle primarily around the romance and setting up the relationships that I am sure we will see in the subsequent books. As a result, it tends to drag a little in the middle as we get to know all the characters.

That said, there is conflict, death and destruction throughout the story and Farrell comes off sort of blood thirsty at times; he is more Belgarath in that way. He has his eye on the "long game" and if people have to die to achieve it, so be it. I really look forward to the next book, especially in audio format. Joel Leslie is a master performer of these type of characters. His range of voices and accents lends itself very well to the fantasy genre.

8 people found this helpful

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  • MikeP727
  • 24-09-17

Epic story and Stellar performance

So original; Joel Leslie is a master storyteller. I await the next installment eagerly. Mr. Gordon's world building skill is unmatched.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Paul J.
  • 02-03-18

Wonderfully Written, Wonderfully Told!

What a fabulous story!

Romance, adventure and truly round characters (even the minor ones are so vividly drawn!) make this one of the finest books I've listened to in a long time. There was humor and pathos too; on a number of occasions I laughed aloud, at other times tears welled up. These are characters you can't help root for. Farrell, for instance, has such a giving, selfless heart, yet despite his being a prince and one of the most powerful wizards of his age, he thinks of his own failures and doesn't realize the depth of his courage or the true nobility of his soul.

The plot drips with intrigue and suspense and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. Absolutely riveting from start to finish. I just couldn't stop listening.

It's so refreshing to find a book driven by a thrilling plot and rich wonderful characters, and isn't just another collection of graphic sex scenes cobbled together and masquerading as a story.

Happily, the excellent writing by Mr. Gordon is accompanied by an equally stellar performance by Mr. Leslie, who breathes life into every character. Together, writer and reader make for a work that's just plain superb in every way. I'm so glad I stumbled on this book! Already it's one of my favorites.

When oh when are the sequels coming out??

2 people found this helpful

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  • Robert B Hiatt
  • 24-03-18

A favorite story of mine.. <br />

I appreciated the character development - - the soul of a selfless hero whom gives whatever he must for the safety of all. If you enjoy fantasy/action adventure /Gay Character development was focused more on relationship development verse explicit sex acts (I thought it was well done) .. I have read all the books in this series and look forward to their Audible presentations!

1 person found this helpful

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  • B J
  • 30-05-20

Worth the listen

Entertaining story creates an interesting and detailed picture of this fantasy world. The story drags a bit, but that is more than made up for by the incredible reading performance from Joel Leslie. All told, it is uplifting, The story is at times light and romantic and at times more dark and somber. You will feel truly immersed in this world. Can't wait to listen to Book 2!

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  • Bob
  • 22-11-19

Great story, Really great performance.

What a fun listen! Gordon weaves a story that's keeps you engaged the entire time. You cheer for the hero - and his mate. It's a fantastic fantasy world without being too sweet or juvenile. The beginning of a great epic series. If you like Robin Hobb, you'll enjoy this book.

Leslie does a really great job with multiple characters and multiple accents. Leslie kept me engaged even in periods of complexity. His performance ensured you absorbed all of the detail that makes the story so great.

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  • SMC
  • 13-08-19

Frustrating

It’s like the author had a brilliant story in their head, but didn’t really want to take the time to fill out their story. So instead they got it to the outline stage and just polished that. You can see it in how time jumps around randomly with out and lead up or explanation. It’s also obvious in how overly powerful the main character is compared to everyone else which makes the story less believable and more unbalanced. And there are allot of short cuts like oh we want there to be a relationship but we don’t want this to just be a story about that so god said this was the person. So day two of meetings we are moving in together. It’s just not completed well. Don’t get me wrong I like the general ideas allot. It just has an overwhelming feeling of being a work in progress instead of a completed book. I almost wish I hadn’t read it because I really want this to be completed and then read the final product. But as it’s published that means it’s done. It’s a cool and interesting story though. This book should have been broken intel at least two books. And possibly had a novella telling us about the parents and grandfather. If I were the author I think I would be mad that the editor didn’t tell me that all I had was a great outline, then have been more upset with the publisher for letting this be published before it was done.

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  • Blondie astronaut
  • 29-04-19

This book kept me intrigued for 13 hours straight

I’ll be perfectly honest… I started this book about five times before I could commit to listening to it... once I started paying attention I was hooked!!! I had to finish it in a single night... 13 hours later and a pot of coffee… Thank goodness it was my day off! I got emotionally attached to the characters… I enjoyed the storyline the premise and the complexity of the characters. It’s worth checking out. I enjoyed it… I love the fantasy genre… Super happy! That there’s more to the series. And I can’t wait to finish them! Treat yourself to a decent book series!

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  • AngelC76
  • 25-01-19

Amazing story!

This is my second time through this book, but my first listening to the audio version. The performance was entrancing. I didn't want to turn it off!