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The Tainted Crown

Books of Caledan, Book 1
Narrated by: Jack Voraces
Series: Books of Caledan, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Summary

The kingdom of Caledan is in turmoil after the queen’s murder. Her son and heir, Soren, is framed for the killing by his uncle, who seizes the legendary throne of the Dragon Kings and rules with an iron fist to crush rising dissent.

Soren is a fugitive; his only friend a broken, old man. The dragons, ancient allies of the throne, may hold the answers, but their whereabouts is a mystery that died with the queen. If he can find them, will they be the allies he seeks?

Soren must discover whether the price of kingship is worth paying, and whether he is worthy of the throne, yet far more is at stake than a crown, for ancient and dark magics stir.

Across the kingdom, Soren’s cousin Eve takes matters into her own hands and journeys to the ethereal Eldarkind on his behalf, where she discovers an inescapable fate. As she comes to terms with the gift and the curse of magic, Eve risks her life to help Soren. Will it be enough?

Before the fragile peace shatters, can Soren unite Eldarkind, dragons, and men to secure peace for Caledan? Step into Caledan, a land of swords, sorcery, and betrayal.

©2017 Megan Laura Amy Jolly (P)2019 Eldarkin Publishing Limited

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  • TJ
  • 12-04-19

Capturing Story, Great Naration

Sped through this book in no time, the story grabbed me from the start. Enjoyable narration and easy to follow characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Promising start

The main strength of this book for me is in the world-building, the author creates an interesting and well-realised world that comes to life quite strongly, the plot is also an interesting one overall.

In general though the characters do not quite match up to the other elements of this book, the main bad guy is so stereotypical that you would expect him to spend much of his time twirling his moustache and the main character is not very memorable, some of the supporting cast are much more interesting than either of them.

The narrator gives a good and distinctive performance, always staying on the right side of being dramatic rather than drifting into the realms of over the top and nicely enhancing the story.

Overall, I enjoyed this book in it's own right and it also encourages me to listen to the next in the series.

[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

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A captivating story

How do you write a captivating story? It's easy; you start with regicide and then the tension only increases.

I really enjoyed listening to this book, and just can't wait to start the next part. The writing is solid, but the voice acting really brings the story to life.


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A good beginning

The story is a classic fantasy adventure that's well written and narrated. The book does feel very much like an introduction to the world and characters, however, having also listened to the second book I am not disappointed by this as it has established a fantastic base that the second book really builds upon.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Dragons are fun as always.

The female characters are good but ultimately I didn't feel strongly about the main leads at all. The story was fun to listen to during my commute.

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A good solid fantasy tale

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

The Book

This was a good fantasy tale with some nice world building and interesting characters although at times they were a bit pigeonholed and the good and bad was very black and white. The story is interesting and though it's not amazingly unique (what is in fantasy today?) it has enough good points to keep you listening and wanting to find out what happens beyond the first book.

The Production

The narration was good enough, clear and well spoken.

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My Honest Review

I enjoyed this book, I liked the way Meg created a magical world and I always enjoy when the story is from multiple POV's.
My only bad point I have is that I listened to this for the first time on audio book and disliked the narrator, his over acting and breathy delivery took some of the magic away, when I read this book again (and I will re-read it), I will do so on Kindle or Paperback.

However I do recommend that you give this book a chance, I do not think you will be disappointed

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Necdoo
  • 15-06-19

Elves, Dragons, Magic, family drama

Soren is a likeable character and he has morals. Unlike his uncle. Soren is stubborn and strong willed but listens to his elders. He learns that dragons are more than just guarding the throne. Hi cousin Eve learns more about her mother's family. She is someone I would love to learn more about. His sister is sweet. These young adults are all fairly level headed but have some growing to do. I recommend this book for those that enjoy magic, dragons and coming of age novels with some evil for good measure.

The narrator does a great job.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Roger Fauble
  • 21-05-19

AN EPIC IN THE MAKING

From the opening pages, you could tell this was an epic in the making. Wonderful characters, detailed settings. Very good read! Narrator Jack Voraces talented narration added greatly to the listening enjoyment. (RIP Marley January 20, 2014 - July 24, 2018).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dewey Gough
  • 29-03-19

Great story and Narration!

As always Jack Voraces brings another book to life with a knock off performance, he has a large spectrum of voices he is capable of bringing to any story making for an excellent listen everytime! highly suggest picking up any book with this narrator, the effort is there and he really adds another level of depth to the stories he is a part of.

This book itself had a compelling story, not to ruin it for future readers but, yes there are dragons. Yes they are awesome. The main players of the story add to the compelling tale being created and help hash out a much larger scale world in this first entry in the series. Magic is introduced, although in this entry its not a main aspect it seems like it will grow in importance down the road as the characters continue to develop. Personally other than the dragons, the socio-political aspects of the world and how the characters have to deal with them is one of the best parts of the book, im excited for future entries in the series! I definitely suggest picking this book up if you enjoy the fantasy genre!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MasterTorian
  • 27-03-19

Fantastic all the way around!

Here we have yet more evidence that (at least for me) audiobooks provide an entirely different experience than traditional reading. 


In fairness, it is possible my lesser enjoyment when I read the ebook could be on account of it taking me so much longer to read it, but there's more to it than just my inability to remember the details from the ebook. 


As a matter of contrast, I am including my original review at the bottom of this one. But let me state, unequivocally, that my opinion of this book no longer resembles my original impression. 



Okay, to begin with the narrator (as I typically do). 

I cannot overstate this, I love, love, LOVE what Jack Voraces did with this book! I'm not sure that he quite took the title from the likes of R. C. Bray, Scott Allen, Michael Kramer, and Will Patton, but he's definitely in my top ten favorite narrators of all time. 


The single critique I have for the audio is there is a point toward the end where the text repeats two or three words. 



The story. 

In Stark contrast to my previous experience with this book, I absolutely loved the world and the characters. 


While the world view is somewhat tamer than what I usually read, it is a fascinating world. I love the history and mythology and the way the Eldar, dragons, and elementals all tie into the history of the world. 


There are a few dichotomies between characters that I loved reading and feel so, so real in the reading. 


Soren and Edmund have this fantastic mentor/student relationship that evolves on several different levels over the course of the book, from its beginning as a very grudging respect while Soren tries to do his teenage "what-eva, I do what I want!" thing and gradually grows into something much more natural that could end up being a tragic loss later in the series (I'm just speculating here). 


Similarly (and yet not), we have Luke and Eve. These two lived their young childhoods together and while both feel that loss keenly, each responds to it in their own way that somehow adds something special to each character and builds up the other even more. 


I do feel the magic system is a little simplistic (the fact that a character has a whole language of magic words suddenly inserted into their mind when the magic "awakens" creates some problems for me), and I would have liked to get to see more of Naisa and Brithilca, but I have no other complaints. 


My favorite scenes (of course, me being who I am) are those in the Dragon Isles, where we get an awesome glimpse of the Dragons and their hierarchy. 


While I do find the relative peacefulness of the climax a touch on the unsatisfying side, we still have a wonderful blending of the various plot threads and everything ends up coming together beautifully. 


I'm definitely going to be picking up the audiobooks coming later in this series, as well as other of Meg Cowley's work. 






And now, for anyone interested in seeing my original review from when I read the ebook:



In many ways, this book was a pleasure to read.

The major characters are well developed, the plot is solid, and the setting is intriguing.

That said, there really weren't any *awesome* character moments, there are some clunky sentence constructions, and a handful of typos (a small number, considering the length of the book).

Some of the supporting characters are a bit flat, and I found the general pacifism a bit unrealistic.

However, much like Brandon Sanderson (so obviously it's not a bad thing), Meg Cowley seems to approach her world building from a very optimistic world view, which does reduce the difficulties faced by the characters.

My last point of contention is the way things I would think of as important get glossed over. In some parts of the book, there is much detail devoted to descriptions and events, while in other parts we get only a broad overview.


In closing, if you're a fan of George RR Martin or CS Friedman but aren't fond of the sex, graphic violence, and grittiness, this is exactly the series for you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex
  • 26-03-19

A great listen!

Thoroughly enjoyable listen. Great characters contained within an exciting plot. It was nice having the 3 different perspectives. Looking forward to see how it pans out in future books. Great narration by Jack Voraces. Varied character voices and a solid performance throughout.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Oleksandr
  • 14-11-19

High quality fantasy

First of all I want to say that so far I have immensely enjoyed every narration done by Jack and The Tainted Crown is no exception. This book is a well rounded classically written fantasy, that kicks off strongly from the very first chapter. The story though is fairly straightforward and, in my opinion, lacks some extra action here and there, but overall I enjoyed it.

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  • J. R.
  • 08-10-19

A fun YA book about regicide

OK fine there's probably more to it than that. The story follows the paths of various young adults following a coup to take over a kingdom. the story reminds me of a Princess Bride has it has a little bit of everything.

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  • CAP
  • 02-09-19

Dark--gloom--Political Intrigue

The Queen is murdered. The daughter is shipped off. The son, well, now, he must run. He has allies everywhere, including the dragons, and he has to fight his uncle (Lion King--he's SCAR) to take the kingdom back, with allies. The only thing missing here is the hippies telling him to have no worries for the rest of his days. This was a fun book, though dark and gloom at times. It is full of action and political intrigue, though it's not this author's best work.

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  • Seth
  • 21-08-19

Good politics, needs more action

I received this book for free, though this review is left of my own accord.

This book was...alright. I prefer my fantasy stories with a bit of action in them. Swords and spells and dragons and such. And this story has all of those. They just dont do much fighting. Without the fighting, the medieval fantasy setting is irrelevant and the conversation would just as easily be in a scifi story or one set in modern day. That said, the story is fine. The politics are pretty clever in a couple points, something Id expect to see in AsoIaF or something by Sanderson. Plus the story leaves off in a good place for the main characters, giving them plenty of options for the next book.

I've heard Jack Voraces narrate before (in the Limitless Lands series and Im pretty sure he's the one who gifted me the book) and he does an impressive job as the narrator. I was a bit distracted by a couple of the voices cause it just reminded me of the other books I'd heard him do, but he is still good. I knocked a star from Performance due to what I assume are a couple of editing errors where Jack read a sentence twice to get a better go at it but they didnt bother to remove one.

Read this book if you enjoy politics more than action.
Read this book if you enjoy the talky parts of A Song of Ice and Fire.
Read this book if you enjoy listening to Jack Voraces.

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  • Cyphers Fallen
  • 15-08-19

Epic!

Jack Voraces is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators. He is very talented and does an excellent job with this book. Listening to this you can tell it is going to an epic story and i definitely recommend.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.