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Summary

**A note of warning from the author;

I waited until the book was finished before writing this foreword. Now I find it difficult to encapsulate the book in a short summary, but I felt the need to forewarn you, The Reader. Many of you have probably read my previous series, Mageborn, which is set two millennia after the events in this book, so you may have some misconceptions about what you’ll find here.

Unlike Mageborn, this story encounters more adult issues. The main character does not always do the ‘right’ thing, and in fact, cannot be called a hero. Events conspire to darken his future and twist his morality, but his choices are his own. Most importantly, the story delves into some topics of a sensitive nature, particularly sexual abuse and violence, though there is nothing graphic in the telling.

I didn’t set out to write a book about those things, but they came up as part of the course of this tale, and I couldn’t avoid them. Before allowing some of the situations in this book, before writing them, I sought advice from a number of friends; people who have confided in me over the years. Several of them have been through experiences that correlate to a surprising degree with some of the darker elements within this tale.

Fortunately, they had much better outcomes, and in fact, I doubt any of them would condone the choices that the main character in this story makes. My main purpose in writing this foreword is to make sure that my audience understands that I don’t take the subject matter lightly.

- Michael G. Manning

©2014 Michael G. Manning (P)2015 Podium Publishing

What members say

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Can These Embers Grow To An Inferno?

What an excellent start to a series. I was intrigued by the author's "warning" so decided to give it a go. I think he overdoes it a bit and this is far from the darkest fantasy I have read but yes this is no soft wizards and elves story. It does contain some very adult themes and as the adolescent Daniel tries to come to grips with all the normal challenges of teenage life he's also getting to grips with some rather disturbing abilities. It develops extremely well as Daniel's naive and blase approach to what he can do leaves him open to accusations and he begins to grow mentally and develop and lose empathy in equal measure. There is one excellent moment when the coldly logical alien mindset of another race forces him to confront the true meaning of some of his actions.

The story builds things very nicely but in these kinds of coming of age tales the acid test is whether the author can maintain his story's qualities once their lead has done his initial growing. If Manning does this and keeps its throught-provoking and challenging nature in the remaining books then it will be a pretty hot series!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Been a long time

It's been a long time since I've been so captivated by a story! It's nice to fined a book that doesn't throw a hero that can do no wrong at you!!

As the authors note said he doesn't always do the correct thing, it's true but in some way it gives you the ability to connect with the characters in a way that most books fail to do, although you know what he is doing is wrong you can understand and from an outside point of view and sympathise with his reasonings! And if I'm completely honest I probably wouldn't have done much different if given the tools he has and faced with the same situations!! That's not to say there are a few parts in the book that didn't annoy the hell out of me due to the stupidity of the main character, but I guess without it there wouldn't have been the fantastic story that is portrayed here!!

Overall anyone that is looking for a story full of adventure and with a dynamic plot full of twists and well conceived idea that isn't all "moral high ground" this is a really good place to start, and anyone that isn't sure, give it a crack, I did and don't regret it 1 bit!! Looking forward to the next in the series

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Dark, Gripping, Emotional and yet uncomplicated.

What made the experience of listening to The Mountains Rise the most enjoyable?

Michael G Manning captured the essence of the adolescent brilliantly. The writing was straightforward but at the same time managed to convey plenty of emotion.

The writing was also done in a show me rather than the descriptive manner in which many of the books I've read lately use. I very much believe that with strong characters this style of writing is perfectly balanced and leaves some things up to the readers imagination/interpretation. This leads me to the next point which is there wasn't needless pages of descriptive scene setting, you were given enough but the story was allowed to flow much better and at no point did i feel like any of the writing was used just to fill out pages.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Daniel as he is the star of the show although so many others were just as good. His growth from boy into the dark and sometimes terrible figure he became was excellent and kept me listening long after i should've being asleep.

Have you listened to any of Alex Wyndham’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No this is the first. I thought he was good, characterizations were diverse enough as to make it easy to distinguish each character. I look forward to him narrating the next book in the trilogy.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Many of the scenes in the book carried a real emotional weight. I don't want to spoil it for anyone so i won't say anymore than that.

Any additional comments?

Really glad i tried a new author. Lately i have been disappointed in many of the books I've started listening to but this one really grabbed and held my attention throughout. It's a dark story to be sure but i never felt it was needlessly twisted like some other dark fantasy books in recent memory. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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absolutely brilliant loved it from start to finish

kept me hooked from the beginning haven't been enthralled like that for a long time

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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The best of dark.

Iwas abit cautious starting but the second the forest gods were mentioned I was hooked.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wow...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

One of the most original stories I've read.

What about Alex Wyndham’s performance did you like?

He's no Michael Kramer but then who is. However, once I got used to him I'd be happy to have him narrate the books.

Any additional comments?

This has to be one of the most original ideas for a fantasy book I've ever come across. I was so hooked that once the story got started, and the concept behind the book became apparent I couldn't stop listen. My only complaint is I now have to wait for the second book to come out.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Written in similar fashion to Eddings. Note to self..yes for next book.

Brilliant from the start.
Mostly from the main characters point of view, just the way I like it. Well paced.
Cannot wait for the next book. Great, non irritating narration. 100% give it a go.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Very entertaining. Need the next in the series!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Good story and an original idea.

Any additional comments?

My only negative is that the narrator seems to give everyone a Cornish farmers accent. Still, get past that and a thoroughly entertaining listen..

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Like it.

still like it ...now im just filling. i wonder why i still fill reviews in .

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Imaginative and dark

I found it surprisingly imaginative and not full of the tropes I was expecting. It’s dark with violence, sex, and other mature themes, as well as being very gripping.

Only minor criticism is condescending to the reader as if we wouldn’t understand the nuances of the character, by explaining obvious things to children who are being read to. Also I dislike that the narrator gives the main characters a soft cockney/London accent which is incongruous for country people and also just a bit off putting.

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  • Dallas
  • 25-04-15

Dark and heart wrenching beautiful.

Here you will find an expertly crafted world with story that will surprise you. The dark story only enhanced the moments of profound beauty, in my opinion. This was the first Michael G. Manning book I have read and I'm excited. to have found another excellent author. The Narrator, Alex Wyndham gave an awesome performance. I honestly did not like his voice at first but his undeniable talent was apparent in the first few minutes. I'm a fan now. I am more than satisfied with my purchase.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • joseph
  • 06-05-15

the world isn't black and white

I took immense pleasure from this story. Love the narrator. My favorite parts were the development of his powers, the strategy and battles in the arena. I also really enjoyed his ability to create attachment between you and the characters at the beginning of the story, and the very realistic view of the drama that ensued. the world that was created was complex enough to be believable while not being bogged down with so many details to be grasped. all in all a very entertaining story

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike
  • 08-05-15

suspenseful . you keep wanting more.

wonderful detail with a storey line to match. Not for younger readers. A wonderful magic system that grows through the whole story. All the characters have a genuine personas. I really enjoyed the whole experience.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-05-15

A great book

Loved it it was an amazing book it had you hanging on every word I just wasn't able to put the book down even

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joe
  • 07-04-15

Excellent continuation of the Illeniel story

I really enjoyed this book - I especially liked how Manning went back to the past to tell about the origins of the Illeniels without losing any of the characters from the previous installments and keeping these "present" characters involved in a believable, realistic and meaningful way.

It was thoroughly enjoyable. I look forward to the next installment.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-04-15

Read and listened

love this book it's a great addition to the series and keeps you enthralled through out the whole story. As I stated It was so good I had to get it on audio book too so I can listen to it again and again

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • SMAC
  • 13-04-15

I mostly liked this book...

Only, a few this bothered me. The story is told by a character who is a father retelling it to his children. The kids would complain about the sex. All of which was fine, until I started thinking and noticing the level of detail invoked in some of the recountings. That's when things got off center for me. Nothing wrong with sex. Nothing terribly wrong with gratuity if one must. Nothing even with a father educating his children. But when he explains why he's adding such details, he tells them it's integral. Whether or not the protagonist placed his hand on her bum is integral? Again, I don't mind that it happened. The explanation, however, didn't fit the level of detail, and that eventually highlighted EVERY instance. I found myself thinking too much about it.


Also, the system of power was cool, but seemed unrefined. Obviously, one need not focus on such things to write a great story, but the manor and rate of the lead's growth in his ability seemed...a little...convenient. That might be too harsh, but near the end I couldn't understand how the lead was figuring things out. Likely the author knows where he's going, and perhaps our narrator and family dropped hints, but that's how I experienced THIS book.

Otherwise, the story and players are RIFE with conflict! Some may find it melodramatic at times. And there were a couple turning points near the start that had me shaking a furrowed brow, but nothing unbelievable IMHO.

I do look forward to the next. There are diamonds in this story, and I will try the other series.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark E. Evans
  • 06-04-15

Great Listen!!

Would you listen to The Mountains Rise again? Why?

Oh yes, I would listen again and probably will before I listen to the next in the series after it comes out. Thoroughly enjoyable, I so appreciate a writer who can bring out the required tension in a story without reverting to having the characters making ignorant choices. This is written very well.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Daniel & Katherine are favorites. Daniel, because this is his story and Kate because of her strength, courage and compassion.

What about Alex Wyndham’s performance did you like?

What a wonderful performance. It's amazing how you feel like there are multiple readers, one for each character all done by the same person.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I cried multiple time in this book.

Any additional comments?

Just a great listen. The best I've had in awhile. I'm just sad that I have to wait for more.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bob-o
  • 03-04-15

Much better than the Mageborn series.

Much better than the Mageborn serie, both the story and the narrator. Although, Mageborn is a good series, if you ger through the first 1/4 of the story when it gets better.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • nnnnn
  • 03-08-15

it could have been perfect

Have you listened to any of Alex Wyndham’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no

Any additional comments?

a minor problem I had with this story is that the author seems hesitant to fully embrace the mature/dark fantasy genre. the story has these interludes which try to rationalise certain events before they happen. "our hero is not really a bad man, he had no choice...". this only manages to interrupt a great story as well as spoil the plot for the next few chapters. I ended up skipping the next 2-4 minutes whenever this happens. great story overall

9 of 12 people found this review helpful