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A Mark of Kings

The Shattered Reigns, Book 1
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Length: 18 hrs and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Despite his youth, Declan Idrys knows of the evils of the world. He knows of the bastards and brigands who plague the King's lands, of the monsters skulking in the wooded depths of the realm. Together with his companion, Ryn - a beast of rather peculiar talent - he has spent the last decade of his life beneath the bloody banners of a half-dozen mercenary guilds, hunting precisely such festering wickedness within the borders of Viridian.

Unfortunately, fate is quick to pull on the leash of its favorite children. When one particularly troubling contract goes sideways, Declan and Ryn find themselves thrust into a war thought legend and long-ended, a conflict so old it is synonymous with a time in which dragons still ruled the western skies. Now, as dead men rise from their graves and the terrible beasts of the northern ranges descend into the kingdom with an appetite for savagery and flesh, Declan is faced with a profane choice. He can turn, can flee an ancient rising horror that would see the realms of man left as shattered death and wind-blown ash.

Or, Declan can face this mounting threat, can come to terms with the fact that his oldest friend might just be more than he appears, and learn to wield an ageless power all his own.

Centuries pass, after all, but the Blood of Kings does not fade....

©2019 Bryce O'Connor and Luke Chmilenko (P)2019 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely amazing

What a great book to start off a great series. Hard to put into too many words without giving away spoilers, this book was amazing, so much so I binged all the way from start to finish and I’ve only done that for a few books out of my 200+ audible collection. Great story telling, very well paced and developed plot, great characters you become heavily invested in, there is one great loss in this book so far. And ya, very enjoyable book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

good

Nick Podehl was amazing as always and I enjoyed the story for the most part but the ending seemed very abrupt.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

I just can't

Writing does agree with me nor does this guys voice its ducking terrible. Will return

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Melissa
  • 2019-08-24

Good Book, hope the next one is better.

i really enjoyed the overall story but believe that even in a series a book should be able to hold its own weight. This one was cliff hanger ending which I feel was unnecessary when we could've had 5 more pages to finish up what was there and lead into the next book.

TL;DR Great book, but unnecessary cliff hanger ending.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 2019-08-27

This book is absolutely terrific.

One of the best things about reading fantasy novels is that every time you encounter a new magic system it's like an adaptation to physics this book has got a pretty good one.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lanfear
  • 2019-09-12

A Hero Who's Hard to Cheer For

This book started off with promise. It was dark, gritty and had elements of high fantasy mixed in. I was ready to fall in love. However, it quickly became clear that the main protagonist, Declan, is a bit dense. At first, you understand and sympathize with him but after every moment stuns and stupefies him, it starts to get old. It got to point where I found myself laughing, I started to feel bad for the poor kid, as I felt the authors turned against him. I know by the end of the book I sadly had.

For those who are looking for grim dark fantasy you may want to skip this one. Nick Podehl's narration is great but alas, couldn't save this book for me. Poor Declan.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • tallevast, FL, United States
  • 2019-08-26

I cannot connect with this on any level

You have to be on acid to come up with this concept. A horse that transforms into a wolf? One has hoofs and the other has paws - Right?. So - When Declan communicates with this animal "Telepathically" - He asks the horse to go get the plates for dinner. Ohhh I said that right. The horse goes into the pack and pulls out the plates. No explanation of how this happened.. The story starts off with a melodramatic scene we're are all supposed to connect with? I couldn't get into the opening screen and I was uncomfortable with the entire saga. I don't know what anyone is thinking.. I really tried - But I think the book will be going back.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Diff-edge
  • 2019-08-21

Incessantly awed, shocked, & stunned into inaction

Plot 10/10
Characters 10/10. ( all but the main protagonist)
Narration 10/10

Wanted to love this story! The world is well developed and makes sense. Most of the characters are deep but not boringly so.

But then there is our hero, who is supposed to be a battle hardened mercenary, spends nearly whole book completely ignorant of what's going on because the writer is trying to build some unnecessary suspense. Not because the information isn't there but because his friends think he is to fragile to hear the truth. Which is probably right because he manages to find something in every battle to get shocked, awed, stunned, or overwhelmed into inaction and he just stands there while everyone else saves him. There is one battle he does himself at the beginning and that's it. seems like the side decides to search his feelings every time the Gore starts to fly.

I am in doubt if I will continue with the sequels.

20 of 28 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Charles Grayson
  • Memphis, TN USA
  • 2019-08-22

Typical hero's journey story, but needs an editor

The fact that the author didn't bother with having anyone check his grammar drove me nuts. He seems to have never heard of the objective case, which includes "him, her, them, me". Instead, it's "he gave it to she and I". All through the book.

13 of 20 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Veronica Brogan
  • ARNOLD, MO
  • 2019-08-22

Best thing since The Land

marathoned straight through, left me needing more asap.
exceeded all my expectations.
can't wait for the rest.

11 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Curtis L.
  • Utah
  • 2019-08-31

Starts a bit gruesome and ends on a cliffhanger

If you can get through the first few chapters it's not a bad read. the characters are interesting and the backstories are good. I found that I was more interested in the history than the characters at times.

I have a hard time taking the main character who is a battle hardened mercenary not able to handle a history lesson.

though once I got through half the book things get very interesting but just as it got interesting the book stops on a literal cliff hanger.

notes:
some language
fights can be gruesome

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Adam P.
  • 2019-08-19

Really great.

Loved this tale.

Definitely true to the fantasy genre at its heart and soul. Nick, the narrator, does a beautiful job as always.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kevin R.
  • 2019-09-17

love Podehl but worst book I've ever read

if you want to listen to 19 hours of nothing happening with no book 2 have fun