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Forging Divinity

The War of Broken Mirrors, Book 1
Written by: Andrew Rowe
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Series: The War of Broken Mirrors, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (105 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Some say that in the city of Orlyn, godhood is on sale to the highest bidder. Thousands flock to the city each year, hoping for a chance at immortality.

Lydia Hastings is a knowledge sorcerer, capable of extracting information from anything she touches. When she travels to Orlyn to validate the claims of the local faith, she discovers a conspiracy that could lead to a war between the world's three greatest powers. At the focal point is a prisoner who bears a striking resemblance to the long-missing leader of the pantheon she worships.

Rescuing the prisoner would require risking her carefully cultivated cover - but his execution could mean the end of everything Lydia holds dear.

©2015 Andrew Rowe (P)2016 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about Forging Divinity

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Read the books out of order, for the best.

Let me start by saying this was a very good book and I really enjoyed it. However I'm not sure that I would have felt that way if I started here.

I always check ok but the reviews before I buy anything and I was disappointed by this ones reviews. so I skipped it and looked into others and selected "sufficiently advanced magic" instead. and I absolutely loved it. Later after 2.5 I look into this one again and notice it has some of the same charecter names and seems similar. At this point I'm already invested in these characters and want to know more.

This is the story of how Karis started out. it doesn't mention that anywhere in the description or the reviews but I was already interested in learning more about the characters so I was more interested before I even started it.

Can't wait to see how all his new friends fall into place and what happens next to form such strong bonds.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Well Read. not much to the book itself

Love the genre, but this didn't have a lot of depth or grand storytelling. The world building is weak, and the characters are poorly developed over the whole book.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Promising Storyline

Could do with a better narrator. Story is good so far, needs more excitment. it's ok

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  • osuushi
  • 2019-03-22

OK magic system, but everything else is flat

First, what I liked:

- The magic system is decent. Not super hard fantasy, but it feels like there's something cool to dig into there.
- The way the smarter characters think systematically is better than par.
- It wasn't very long.

Now, what I didn't like:

- Zero character arcs. The characters' circumstances change, but they are internally static.
- The plot is designed as an unraveling mystery, but it plays out as a sequence of predictable events with a few random turns which feel out of the blue.
- Despite having imperfect information, almost everything goes the protagonists' way. When things take a turn, the tension is almost instantly dissolved, as the protagonists either planned ahead (without the reader's knowledge), or simply turn out to be extra powerful/competent as suits the plot.
- The main characters' motivations and thought processes are spelled out in *excruciating* detail through narrated internal monologues. It is as though the author either does not trust himself to convey motivation through action, or does not trust the reader to infer it.
- At times, non-viewpoint characters suddenly turn in unexpected ways, which would be great if we knew them *at all*. But since we've only briefly encountered them, and their motivations haven't simply been stated to us like the viewpoint characters, these turns feel unmotivated and arbitrary.
- There is exactly one female character with any significant screen time, and the boys all want to smooch her because she has a pretty smile.

Some more random notes that don't fit in list form:

There are scenes where characters quip at each other, which are clearly intended as comic relief to make the characters more relatable. I found these scenes extremely cringey, and did not feel that they integrated with the characters' personalities in an organic way.

I also generally found the writing to be generally clumsy. For example, early on, we see "'Resh,' she cursed lightly, using a popular expletive that literally meant ‘raw garbage’." Inventing universe-specific curse words is, of course, a sci-fi/fantasy staple, but that is by far the most unnatural way I've ever seen it done. This is also another case of the author seeming not to trust the reader to understand anything that isn't spelled out.

On a related note, some of the writing gets a bit… memey. I'll freely admit that whether this bothers you is a matter of personal taste, but I found the use of phrases like "vague note is vague" to be rather distracting.

I would forgive most of these things if the fundamentals were there. If this book had a compelling plot or relatable characters with interesting arcs, I'd be happy overlook almost everything I've written here. But it unfortunately lacks those things.

22 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kristie
  • 2016-06-08

I did want to like it

I started this book with hopes it would be great, but found the characters flat, the action dull, and interactions predictable and shallow.
The Magic system sounds cool, but I wish they did more with it.
the storyline was also so slow I didn't realize we were through till it ended. I kept waiting for it get better and kept hopeing it would grab my attention and take me along for a thrill. it never seemed to get there.
I did manage to get lost several times with my attention wandering because it was so boring. this forced me to backtrack and try listening again many times. it just wasn't worth the effort.

I love Nick Podehl and will continue to support him, but this book just wasn't for me.

55 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ingrid
  • 2017-01-06

Hot and Cold

Would you try another book from Andrew Rowe and/or Nick Podehl?

Yes.

What about Nick Podehl’s performance did you like?

All the voices were very distinctive and fit the character's personality. I thought he really overacted in the first chapter with Taelien, but I got used to his style and it stopped bothering me.

Did Forging Divinity inspire you to do anything?

No. Who comes up with these questions?

Any additional comments?

Pros:
The characters are distinct and colorful- especially Jonan and Lydia.
Lydia was definitely on the same level as the male characters in terms of her roll in the story and her development. There are some raunchy jokes made by both male protagonists, but I never felt like her primary purpose for being there was to be a love interest. And she was not defined by her looks or her sex appeal. A+++.

Cons:
This book reads more like a text book or an encyclopedia most of the time. My goddess, the author will interrupt literally anything to lecture the reader on every little detail of the world. And it feels like a mind-numbing lecture. Most of it is totally irrelevant to what is happening, it's repetitive, it's dull, and it's voluminous. He never has the information come up naturally during the course of the story. Good luck remembering any of it if/when it becomes relevant.
The author over-explains everything, not just the world. A character will say something, and another character will sit there and analyze the statement for 3 pages. He or she will imagine every possible scenario before taking any action. It makes the story drag.
What the heck is up with the main character and wanting to jump off a bridge after killing an enemy in self defense? Wasn't he in military training for 6 years? I just don't find him believable at all. I believe that he would be haunted- heck, just being in the torture chamber seems traumatic, but his reaction was too simplistic.

I am more than half way through the book but I don't know if I will finish it.

43 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • laura
  • 2017-07-15

Enjoyed the tale, but . . .

It feels as if the writer is lecturing to a class of second graders. All of the time-outs to explain the magic system are annoying and uncalled for, a brief explanation would suffice, then let us figure it out as we go along. The thoughts of the characters are the same, they think something, then explain why they think that. The plot was interesting, and the narration was excellent, but the writing style was just not up to par for this type of story.

14 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul Guy
  • 2016-12-05

Meh

What was most disappointing about Andrew Rowe’s story?

i just did not connect with the characters

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

I like Nick's performances, this story was just weak

13 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew
  • 2019-09-24

Eyebrow Raising

How many times can you repeatedly use the phrase "quirked a brow," and/or "raised an eyebrow?" It seemed to be the go-to and extremely annoying/overused reaction to almost everything. I felt the writing was lacking in expressions of character.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • joshua
  • 2017-02-09

It was alright

It was alright, just alright. If your looking for the next big thing keep looking but your looking for a read that fills a gap inbetween series this might do.










15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lawrence
  • 2016-07-09

Definitely a keeper

Any additional comments?

I immediately was swept into this book right from the beginning. The world and character development were nicely done. I like the idea of the use of magic causing a physical cost to the user. The action scenes were incredibly engaging. Nick Podehl is as masterful as ever. I had a hard time putting this one down. Moving on to the second book and I already can't wait for the third.

15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rachel Noel
  • 2016-04-19

Original and engaging

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

Forging Divinity was an excellent read, so I couldn't resist picking up the audio version once it became available. Mr. Podehl really helps to bring the story and its characters to life.

What did you like best about this story?

One of the things I like best about Forging Divinity is the magic system. Where many other books leave their magic unexplained or without consequence, Mr. Rowe has written a setting in which delving into the complicated - and often somewhat dangerous - varieties of magic in the world causes some very serious effects.

Any additional comments?

This book is an excellent read/listen. As the first installation in the War of Broken Mirrors series, Forging Divinity delivers a story that is engaging and fast-paced with an abundance of clever, well-written characters and an entirely unique setting.

16 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 2016-10-06

Too much too fast.

Would you try another book from Andrew Rowe and/or Nick Podehl?

Yes I would. This book was a lot of world building and setting. And the world is very interesting if not all throw at you all at once.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The world it's set in is by far the most interesting.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes,

Any additional comments?

This book throws a ton of names, places, and overall exposition at you right out of the gate and it never really feels like it lets up. The world is interesting and I liked the characters but there was so much to keep straight that I tended to lose track. I still enjoyed the book but i'm hoping the second will focus more on characters since the world was mostly build in this book.

12 people found this helpful