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Free the Darkness

King's Dark Tidings, Book 1
Written by: Kel Kade
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Series: King's Dark Tidings, Book 1
Length: 16 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (245 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Raised and trained in seclusion at a secret fortress on the edge of the northern wilds of the Kingdom of Ashai, a young warrior called Rezkin is unexpectedly thrust into the outworld when a terrible battle destroys all that he knows. With no understanding of his life’s purpose and armed with masterful weapons mysteriously bestowed upon him by a dead king, Rezkin must travel across Ashai to find the one man who may hold the clues to his very existence.

Determined to adhere to his last orders, Rezkin extends his protection to an unlikely assortment of individuals he meets along the way, often leading to humorous and poignant incidents.

As if pursuing an elite warrior across a kingdom, figuring out who he is and why everyone he knows is dead, and attempting to find these so-called friends and protect them is not enough, strange things are happening in the kingdom. New dangers begin to arise that threaten not only Rezkin and his friends, but possibly everyone in Ashai.

This is the first installment of an ongoing series. This book is intended for adult readers. It contains graphic violence, creative language, and sexual innuendo. This book does not contain explicit sexual content.

©2015 Kel Kade (P)2016 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

main character massively OP

This book would be way better of the main character wasnt so rediculously overpowered. If nothing the hero does is a challenge then whats the point. Its like when Superman fights bank robbers, you know going in he is unstoppable and the robbers have zero chance, therefore its meaningless. Characters are suppose to grow and progress as the story goes on, not be all powerful from the start.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Kind of a Guy-flick

It's a good enough story but having 2 girls fight over a guy is kind of a cliché, entertaining in its story but having absolutely no one to compete against the protagonist made it a little dry at times.

The book is entertaining enough to get me thorough it but nothing out of this world ; it is a light read.

Performance was absolutely amazing! No complains with that 6/5 stars.
Nick Podehl is one of the best readers I've heard.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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A bad Anime, in book form

This book consists of 3 and only 3 things, really.

1) An invincible main character who knows everything, is the strongest fighter in the world, and is devastatingly attractive.

2) A series of circumstances that allow said character to show off how incredible he is and win the praise and admiration of everyone around him.

3) A cast of flat, stagnant characters who have no initiative or real machinations of their own. They only exist to fawn over the main character or be defeated by them.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I love a good OP

I really enjoyed this book, it kept a good pace and kept me listening. Plus I love Nick Podehl as a narrator, I quite liked the overall scheme of things and will 100% be getting the next book in the series

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Addictive

Addictive and fun. Downloading the next book! I was not sure about the narrator in the beginning, but I'm glad that I didn't give up.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Maybe a bit chezzzzzzy but highly entertaining

I read some reviews on this series and the biggest complaint seems to be how Rez is better than Superman, Batman, Sherlock Holmes, The Hulk, etc... all combined.
That may all be true.
However, my personal feeling when reading/listening to any fiction, but especially fantasy, is I like to just suspend reality in my mind. If the story keeps my interest and leaves me wanting more, I try to make no other judgements & just enjoy it for what it is.

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  • TP
  • 2020-01-11

2 of 5 stars

starts out well enough but the rest of the story leads no where.
the main character is enjoyable but the writing on the others seems lacking

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great book!

One of the best audible title so far! Original yet another "juggernaut" hero fantasy novel

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I Enjoyed This Read Very Much!

I took a chance on this book because some fantasy series for me get boring and hard to follow. Also because reading the reviews people either loved or hated it. I was so happy I decided to give it a try. I loved this book and have continued the series. All the things people seemed to have a problem with I enjoyed. The fact that the main character seems all-knowing and unbeatable was refreshing who does not get disappointed when the advertised badass is not like truly badass. It added fun to the action and makes you smile so much. The fact that he was so isolated from the social world makes for some fun laughs and hilarious situations. It adds a growth for the character that is so enjoyable, refreshing and unique. I am currently on book 2 and enjoying the author's story and world a lot.

Narration: This narrator was such a pleasure to listen to. He added so much to the story and is one of the best so far. He adds to the listening experience so much.

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I could not stop listening to this book!!

Nick Podehl has amazing voice control, which results in perfectly executed accents. During the beginning I felt like it was slow and lacking content so it was hard for me to start, but oh I'm glad that I just kept listening. can't wait to buy the next one!!!

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mbot
  • 2017-03-12

What the heck people?

I couldn't finish this book and returned it. I'd like to focus on 2 main factors that I found very annoying. First, the characters, particularly the protagonist, all seem to be total idiots who are victims of elephant-sized plot holes. For example, the hero had been trained in every conceivable facet of life during his isolated upbringing in order to become a master manipulator, but somehow during that time no one gave him the birds and the bees talk or explained the literal definition of the word "friend." We are left with a protagonist who can dress up as a merchant from some far off land and expertly talk about current grain prices, but has zero concept of love, sex, etc. The effect on the story is maddening and totally unbelievable.

The second issue involves the prose and dialogue. Every page seems to have some lengthy, weird description about how gorgeous and ripped and strong and intelligent the hero is... over and over and over! The discussions the characters have with one another are also very one dimensional. They are basically caricatures of themselves, no matter what has taken place in the story. There is also a burdensome amount of exposition. The hero repeatedly stops to explain or think about everything he has done or plans to do, instead of letting his actions speak for themselves.

If you want a good fantasy book, try Blood Song Raven's Shadow or The Way of Kings.

466 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Em
  • 2016-10-17

Started strong, went nowhere

The narrator is the best in the business; Nick Podehl's narration can strengthen and breathe life into an otherwise weak story, and this book is a great illustration of that part of his skill.

The main character Rezkin is pretty much a composite of Wesley from The Princess Bride mixed with a Chuck Norris joke. Rezkin knows everything, he's more powerful than twenty men combined, he sweats justice, his tears cure cancer/but he never cries. When the author wanted him to be socially naive (about women) he was. When the author wanted him to be a keenly discerning judge of human character and social situations, he was that instead. All the women in the story were charmless, dimwitted, sobbing helpless victims who needed Rezkin's protection and every single woman (and some of the men) immediately fell in love with him from their first glance. All the men in the story were similarly dimwitted weaklings who were jealous of him and bowed down to him if their job in the story wasn't to be killed by him.

In the beginning it was kind of funny - Nick Podehl's narration almost made it sound like at some point we'd get a wink and a laugh about this, but it never happens. At once point Our Hero had broken his leg and the narration went something like, "The river was far too dangerous and impossible to swim across - so Rezkin swam across it anyway with his broken leg trailing behind him" It goes like that a lot.

The story starts out interesting, gets ridiculous but is still enjoyable, gets even more absurdly overblown but is still enjoyable because of all the action, and then stalls out 2/3 through when we get to the house of the Uncle of one of the side characters. (Nick Podehl narrates the character of the Uncle as a pitch perfect Sean Connery!!! This kept me listening to it when I really, really wanted to fast forward the story line.) The characters stay there forever, nothing happens, descriptions abound of various characters drinking tea and feeling socially uncomfortable (except Rezkin, who is never uncomfortable) in the formal living room. Hours of this. It's like listening to music on hold.

Anyway, it finishes in line with a set-up for Book 2. I bought both at the same time and regretted buying the second while listening to the first, but I'll give Book 2 a go because Nick Podehl could make my shopping list interesting, and I hate skipping a book he's got so many good character voices in. I wish he had better characters to work with, but his performance is exceptional.

138 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017-08-05

Simple and drawn out with ridiculous characters

1 - I like my protagonists strong and capable as the next person however this one had my eyes rolling just too entirely much.

2- I am so upset over the poor and ridiculous character development of every female character in this story line. It borders the ridiculous as each female is petty, jealous, demure and incapable of making decisions that inspire respect. I understand if it serves the storyline but even some respectable qualities would have only enhanced the story line. This angered me.

3. Poor storyline. There is entirely too much emphasis on how much of a warrior and perfect the protagonist is from physical capabilities and it gets overly redundant. We get it - wish more time was spent on the actual plot and story development instead of 2/3 of the story spent expressing how amazing the character is...

I was hoping this would get better by the second book. Part way through and it hasnt. I like to finish through with story lines but I am so frustrated at the poor character these people were developed as.

68 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Dylan McDiarmid
  • 2016-10-02

Reader Beware: Worn Out Tropes Abound

I was a bit surprised with what I found, given the many glowing reviews of this book. I listened to the whole thing, which is rare for books I don't like much, so I thought I'd offer a different perspective. This review contains some minor spoilers.

The Bad
The protagonist of this book is the complete Mary Sue package. At 19 years old, he can fight better than anyone, is a master of stealth and subterfuge, is a brilliant scholar in history, a doctor, and has a detailed knowledge of all intrigue and current events. Oh, and nearly every woman he meets is so smitten with his impossibly good looks, they find it very difficult to function. Despite this, the Macguffin used to drive the plot is the fact that he can't figure out what the word "friend" means. Not in a metaphorical sense, but literally.

The author's female characters are something you'd expect out of speculative fiction written 50 years ago. In one scene, two of the main characters get into a catfight (over who gets to woo the protagonist, naturally). The author tells us that possibly due to their "basic female nature", they fail to remember any of their training and just brawl it out (naked while bathing, of course). Female characters who aren't taken in by the protagonist's charms are usually cast as fallen women or Jezebels. The protagonist elevates them or puts them in their place accordingly.

The Good
The pacing in the book is good, and Nick Podehl is a great narrator.

Summary
The cover art, taken along with some of the reviews, may lead you to believe this book is gritty fantasy like Abercrombie, Lynch, or Martin. It's not. It's much closer in tone to someone like Scott Meyer, albeit with a bit more violence. If that sounds appealing to you, and you don't mind some of the well-worn tropes, you may enjoy it.

117 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Viridianscarab
  • 2018-07-15

Narrator is amazing

Nick Podehl makes this book absolutely amazing. His Mastery of being able to not only show the emotion at the point in the book, but also to make EACH character have their own individual accents, voices, and inflections is remakable. The book itself is not as descriptive as I would like, but Nick Podehl again makes a book worth listening to because of his talents.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie P
  • 2018-03-17

It grew on me and now I am hooked!

it started out seemingly flat and one-dimensional, but it slowly unfolded into the promise of a tapestry of stories and characters. My least favorite thing is the female characters in the first book are stereotypical fighting over the man and a bit shrill. However, I speed past this dialogue to get to the more interesting parts of the story.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • New Parent
  • 2018-03-08

A compelling and unique story.





This book is great, the characters are likable and the premise is interesting. There is a lot of violence and it is not for kids.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Courtney
  • 2018-03-07

An unusual but delightful premise

I absolutely *loved* the series (though I have yet to listen to the 3rd book). The premise behind the plot is like something I have never seen before. The main character grows up away from regular society and this has not had typical relationships with anyone (parents, family, friends, girlfriend, etc.). Due to a miscommunication, the main character carries out a purpose which was not actually intended for him. It leads him to interact with others, and due to his lack of social experience, it causes many misunderstandings which are both comical and tragic. His newfound relationships with others also lead to other events which may not have occurred had he not met those people, as he has no control over what the others will say or do. As he meets more and more people, it becomes increasingly difficult for him to have control over everything. During the story, we learn about the character as he learns about himself which he had never known. The main character also seems like a bit of an antihero. One moment, you're cheering for him because of his actions. The next moment, you wonder if they are truly actions worth cheering for. It is a fantastic series! Also, I absolutely love Nick Pohdel as a narrator. I happened to start with him as a narrator and haven't been able to handle listening to anyone else now. He can do so many voices and speaks in a way which is engaging but not overly fast. I actually came upon this series after doing a search for Nick Pohdel as a criterion.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • nathaniel
  • 2018-03-04

SLOW START

I was very hesitant to continue this book but after chapter 2 I was immediately hooked! I feel bad for judging this book so early but it had an unwelcoming start. I'm sure to say that I'm fairly hooked on though and can't wait to listen to the other 3 books.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jesse J. McIntosh
  • 2018-02-14

loved it

very good book, keeps you interested all the way through, The characters are well introduced and have their own stories happening, makes for some funny interactions

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Maarten
  • 2017-01-02

Autore da tenere d'occhio.

Non mi sono pentito di aver provato questo autore. Anche se il protagonista e tropo vicino ad un supereroe di un fumetto (ma meno simpatico) e i personaggi feminili sembrano poco realistici; la storia e il narratore sono riusciti a farmi finire il libro in poco tempo. Sono convinto che la stile del autore migliorerà mel tempo. Intendo leggere il seguito.