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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. 😀

7 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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Great

Loved listening to this book. The narrator had the perfect voice for this story which was gory, sexy and addictive.

1 person found this helpful

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4/5. Very cool Mr. Winter

It was a very fun listen and a fantastic first novel by author Evan Winter. I felt that the book tried to do too much in the space it had, and as a result the character work was weaker than I had hoped. Without spoiling anything, much of the development for the protagonist feels forced and, especially at the end, inconsistent. The setting however makes up for it, both for the place and magic systems built up. It's wonderfully original and feels extremely dynamic, helping keep the pace, meaning I finished the book very very quickly. The audiobook however I felt was let down by the narration. I feel that the big emotional scenes of the book were poorly serviced by the narrator's emotional expressiveness (or lack thereof). Overall 4/5. An original setting carries the story hard, but it isn't like the characters are unlikable either. I'm looking forward to what Mr. Winter puts out next- I'll be very sad if things don't get better with a start this strong given the author's potential.

1 person found this helpful

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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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My new favorite book

The best book I've read in a while. A gripping story of revenge which had me hooked the whole way through. The characters were well written with believable motivations. I can't tell you how much I was rooting for our main man to fight against the injustices of this well built fantasy world. This had such a compelling story and was filled to the brim with action. I've never read such awesome action scenes. You really feel the impact of each battle and the main character's increasing skill as a warrior feels well earned. Our protagonist is an underdog who's mission of personal revenge sets him on a path to becoming a hero. It's an interesting take on the unlikely/unwilling hero trope because rather than having greatness thrust upon him as many heroes do, he strives to become a great warrior because he has a task to do for himself. Thus, he ends up affecting the people and world around him and I can't wait to see where the story continues in the next book. One final note, the narrator was perfect. His voice work and his portrayal of the characters really brought the story to life. I liked his performance so much that I'm going to read some of the other things he's done.

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Need to read the second book now!

Brilliant book. Fast paced (with excellent character building) book, which I cross between game of thrones and Spartacus. Fires of Vengeance just released so can't wait to read that. Well done Evan.

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Absolutely brilliant!

I know this book had a lot of hype prior to me finally deciding to read it. I always tend to be skeptical of such hype, and tend to avoid things given such high praise. however, the praise for this is absolutely deserved in every way. I normally like to space out my listens every day, yet, I utterly blasted through this. Prentice's narration was brilliant, so much so that I want him to narrate my books one day. The story, although a simple story of revenge and how ones determination can transcend race and birth. It is truly a magnificent tale worthy of your credit. I was thrilled with the action and how Evan put this story together. The magic system is also fascinating, while Tau's story was fascinating. To top it off, the African asthetic was a breath of fresh air in this genre, one of which I didn't even think I'd enjoy as much as I have. I cannot wait for the sequels release next month. Needless to say, you will not regret buying this!

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Best debut novel I have ever read

I couldn't stop listening to this audiobook. the themes in the story are motivating and sad. Tau is a complex protahokist whether you hate him or love him you understand why he is what he is. as an African history enthusiast, fantasy fan and amateur author this book makes me proud. I can't wait to see where book two leads us now.

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Superb

There are many ways in which this story excelled, but the greatest feat was in keeping every silent promise made. If there were any obstacles, goals or tasks to be accomplished, once introduced you could be sure the Author accomplished it, with style. Brilliant narration as well, it really brought the realm to life.

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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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  • 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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  • A fellow human being
  • 07-11-20

Interesting idea, bad execution

In short, this reads like an action movie, or a video game, There aren't a lot of deep ideas in this book, The main character doesn't really pay any discernable price for it's actions, and the solution to almost every problem the protagonist face is try harder. That being said the book has it's fight scenes and cathartic closures, mostly in it's midpart, which is probably the best. The setting and worldbuilding are unreal in the sense that they wouldn't hold in an actual scenario. The economy is illogical and a lot of details don't really make sense. The characters get wounded and come back to battle to quickly for it to matter that they have been almost mortally wounded a few hours back and that kind of makes everything not matter some times. That being said, if you understand that it's not a book to think about too deeply, it's a fun ride and has it's fair share of cool fight scenes. If I pick up the next installment, it's because I want to turn my mind off, not on.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-12-20

W is for WOW!

Fantastic! and an unexpectedly much better start to this series : ' The Burning ' . I thought it was hype but from the moment I started listening to this fresh take on the high-fantasy genre,with it'sAfrican themes and very action packed pace, I was hooked. Starting the sequel right away. 7; stars! *******.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-10-20

mind blowingly, motivation sparklingly brilliant

absolutely incredible, possibly my favourite book ever, am about to start it for the 3rd time, if you have read David goggins cant hurt me and got motivated this book will give you 100x motivation

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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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  • 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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  • 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.