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The Rage of Dragons

The Burning, Book One
Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi
Series: The Burning, Book 1
Length: 16 hrs and 15 mins
5 out of 5 stars (219 ratings)

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Summary

The Omehi people have been fighting an unwinnable war for generations. The lucky ones are born gifted: some have the power to call down dragons, others can be magically transformed into bigger, stronger, faster killing machines.   

Everyone else is fodder, destined to fight and die in the endless war. Tau Tafari wants more than this, but his plans of escape are destroyed when those closest to him are brutally murdered.  

With too few gifted left the Omehi are facing genocide, but Tau cares only for revenge. Following an unthinkable path, he will strive to become the greatest swordsman to ever live, willing to die a hundred thousand times for the chance to kill three of his own people.  

The Rage of Dragons launches an unmissable epic fantasy series about a world caught in an endless war and the young man who will become his people's only hope for survival.

©2019 Evan Winter (P)2019 Hachette Audio UK

Critic reviews

"A captivating epic fantasy from a major new talent." (Anthony Ryan, author of Blood Song)

"Intense, inventive and action-packed from beginning to end - a relentlessly gripping, brilliant read." (James Islington, author of The Shadow of What Was Lost)

What listeners say about The Rage of Dragons

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    5 out of 5 stars

A fantastic start to a fresh new epic fantasy

What a fantastic start to a fresh new epic fantasy tale.

So let’s start with this. The blurb says Rage of Dragons is Game of Thrones meets Gladiator. Well it’s very like Gladiator in many ways, but to say it’s anything like Game of Thrones is doing a disservice to both parties. This book is nothing like GoT. Nothing.

I think this is my first African-inspired epic fantasy book. I certainly can’t remember reading another one. It has a distinct flavour to it from the beginning through to the end, and it really helps to focus the immersion. In a market still largely populated by euro-centric settings, this made the book very fresh to me and I loved it. It felt new, different, and unique.

The narrator, Prentice Onayemi, was fantastic. He really helped bring the characters to life and put a lot of heart into the performance. A narrator can make or break a book when it comes to audio and Prentice certainly helped make this one. It’s fair to say I’ll be continuing the series in audio when future installments release.

So RoD is the story of a civilisation at war with its neighbours. The Omehi people are refuges/invaders and have been fighting against the native population for two hundred years. The war is unwinnable. They’re also a people who have built their society around not only war, but a rigid caste system designed to benefit those of strong blood (basically people who are taller and stronger in this case). Oh, and 1 in every 1000 (I think) women are born gifted which gives them magical powers that can tear a person’s soul out of their body into the underworld, enrage a person to make them giant killing machines, or even call down dragons. Thrown into this world we follow Tau, a commoner with no gifts or special power, or any prospects other than being just another expendable soldier. But Tau has something no one else has… a singular purpose, a drive that makes him push himself beyond his abilities and beyond his station.

There’s a lot of fighting in this book. The world Winter has created revolves around war and we follow a young man training to be a warrior. The fighting is well done with a good balance between description and narrative flow. It works well.

We only really have the one character arc. Tau is our only Point of View (mostly) and he develops naturally. At times he is frustrating as the hells, but then you don’t want your character to be perfect. Still… I wanted to crawl inside the book and slap some sense into him once or twice.

There’s quite a few twists and turns throughout and though a couple are obvious, others are not so much. It also does a fantastic job of setting up the conflict and world for the next in the series. This one is epic fantasy and makes no apologies for it. I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes next.

I have a couple of gripes. There’s some single chapter point of view swaps that make no sense to me. The rest of the book is told through Tau’s perspective and swapping heads just twice was odd and jarring. There’s also a few turns of phrase that were so awkward they pulled me out of the story to scratch my head and in one case laugh… in the middle of a gruesome battle scene. Oh and a sexy-time shaving scene. Ok, that last one is a personal niggle because shaving scenes aren’t sexy, they’re weird and awkward.

I enjoyed the hell out of RoD and can’t wait to continue with the story. I’ve no idea when book 2 will be coming out, but I’ll be picking it up as soon as it does.

I’m going with 4.5 stars for this one so I can round it up to 5. 😀

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A slow burner

I do like my fantasy books but am normally fairly vanilla with them in that I like the basic premises people associate with them.
I bought this on the basis of others reviews and am really pleased I did. It's a slow burner and can take a while to understand some of the words used to describe classes and people, however it is well worth sticking with.
The fallible hero and other characters are very well done and you care about their individual personalities.
The set up for the next book is excellent and I am already chomping at the bit for it.

As far as the person reading this, they are just....just..excellent. they have a soft voice that draws you in and help bring each of the different people to life.

Well worth listening to and sticking with.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic, rich, unforgettable

I finished this 5 weeks ago and intended to review it then. It still leaves an impression now. Why oh why isn't the next one ready?

Tau (I may have misspelled it) is brilliantly drawn. If you like to see a character grow and change because of what is happened, because of his choices, and because of the situations he is propelled through, then this swordsman will grab you.

He grinds through hell and blood to gain any scrap of skill he grows into, and you feel his hurt, his experience, everything.

The start is a slow burn, it will take you a little time to feel why the first chapter is at it is but give that rich warm narration the patience it deserves and you'll be rewarded.

This isn't a shallow piece of brain candy, it's an involving detailed brain feast.

The central characters are not dragons themselves, but the people and their fight. It doesn't have simple good and evil, but you will feel a sense of right and wrong, through every slash and blow.

Swordplay is a major part of Tau and of the story but don't let that fool you. If a well developed character battling his way through the problems of his world in a manner that is far from simple has any appeal, then read this.

I loved it.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fast-paced and action-packed

You'll love this book if you like battle scenes, lean and focus storytelling, and revenge drama.

The strongest point of the book is its pacing. The author worked in film, and it shows. There's never a dull moment, every chapter has events happening, the plot is always going forward.

Its focus is very narrow, it doesn't have the scope of Game of Thrones or Malazan. It's more of a John Wick of fantasy. The world building for such a small scale, however, is absolutely great: atmospheric and original.

The Narrator is doing a phenomenal job, especially with accents.

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Really great listen

This book is sooo good. I thought the style was unique. And I didn’t want to put it down. What really got me was the unpredictability of the book. You won’t know what will happen next.

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Wow, Wow, Wow!

I was unsure about this book after the first hour or so, but as the story grows and grips you I could not put the book down, I have been listening veery chance I get and I devastated its finished cant wait for the next. the Narator is excellent and would praise him as high as Steven Brand!

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Really enjoyed!

I really enjoyed this book!! I am gutted that the next book isn't out yet!

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brilliant

tried it twice, once I got into it I was hooked. looking forward tonthe next one

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Not what I expected, was the hype too much?

I was super hyped to read/listen to it due to youtube reviewers, but it fell flat... I wanted to continue past the 2nd chapter, but it was taking a lot for me to care about the characters... the prelude was long to get to the obvious end, then none of the characters is in the second chapter, which made me wish I skipped the prelude.

It's like being promised look what can happen, then left me with but you won't enjoy it, you have to do the game tutorial first.

Performance and audio quality of the narrator are top-notch.

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I'm hooked!

I want more... Please! Brilliant story, fast paced, actioned packed and well narrated. There's got to be more!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-11-19

Five Stars It Is

My friends usually tell me, I am too harsh with criticism and I'm a naysayer. They say I should suspend my disbelief if I am to enjoy a book. Sometimes I think they maybe right. But not right now. Not after finishing this book. This is a debut novel from a first time author and now it's also how I tell my friends to fuck themselves.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-09-19

WOW

A wonderful book, so much so that 60 odd books later on Audible this is my first written review.

2 people found this helpful

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  • david
  • 03-03-20

I really loved this book

I am giving it 5 stars because I ended up loving the story and the main characters arc.
it is a revenge story where the main character trains harder than anyone else and is ready to sacrifice himself to accomplish his task.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • travis
  • 07-08-20

Amazing

From start to finish, I loved the book. The only real issue I had was how the chapters were formatted. Each chapter could have been divided into like 12 smaller ones, and that would have made the reading smoother.

Still, despite that, I loved it. The characters, world and conflicts were amazing.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-07-20

GoT meets gladiator meets David Goggins.

I had high expectations which it exceeded. The fact that it's Winter's debut novel is bloody unfair.

I'm glad I waited until the sequel wasn't that far off.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Matt Frese
  • 01-07-20

A gripping tale with fantastic narration.

I'm confident Evan Winter will be a major voice in fantasy in the upcoming years.

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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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  • Carlos Raoni Kachille Cidrão
  • 05-06-20

I hate and love Tao Solaren

man this book is a wild ride, the narration is superb, and the author portains ptsd on a beliavable way, but the protagonist that suffers from it make some choices that screams stupid, i found my self cursing his stupidity a few times. But like i said it could be explained by his traumas. hoping that the next book comes soon, and that its gonna be this good.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Samuel David Batista Ruiz
  • 22-01-20

not perfect, but really fucking good<br />

not bad at all, well pace, nice dialogue, interesting support characters, but for being a military fantasy, the the lack of creative weapon is disappointedly Short.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Geoffrey de Kock
  • 19-10-19

Best book of 2019!

Just brilliant what Evan Winter has been able to pull off here considering that this is his first book. Amazing performance by Mr Onayemi!

Cant wait for book two!

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  • Tiisetso
  • 16-10-19

Must Read!!!!

I rarely write review but for the this book I had to. Stop what you doing and get this book now

Too good, very good. The narrator just amazing.