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Publisher's Summary

Lusam grew up in the relative safety of the Elveen mountains with his grandmother. She taught him the basics of magic and discovered, quite by accident, that he possessed a unique skill never seen before: the ability to hide his magical aura from the mage-sight of others.

Dark secrets surround Lusam's origins, and the dark agents of the Empire will stop at nothing to kill Lusam. But before Lusam can be taught all he needed to know about his past, his grandmother unexpectedly dies of a fever, and Lusam finds himself homeless on the unforgiving streets of Helveel. Unbeknown to Lusam, the only thing keeping him alive is a promise he made to his grandmother to always hide his aura, no matter what. Lusam meets and befriends a young thief fleeing her old city of Stelgad before making a magical discovery that will change both their lives forever, and possibly the fate of the entire world.

©2015 Dean Cadman (P)2017 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

absolutely fantastic

great story great narrator the story grabs you and holds you love all the characters very much looking forward to the continuation

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Skipper
  • 2017-12-12

Needs work, but has potential

Narration is perfect, demonstrating a commitment to excellence. Storytelling is imaginative and vivid, but some plot holes exist. Writing quality is weak. I did read books 3-4 after listening to this 2-volume audiobook, because the books are free with kindle unlimited. There are expected to be six books in the series.

Told in 3rd person through various viewpoints. Set in a fictional world of kings, castles, mages, dragons, and gods engaged in sibling rivalry. Main characters include a 15-year-old homeless boy, a street girl, a warrior paladin, an evil warlord emperor, etc. The main characters form a fellowship, central to the series.

The hero Lusam develops his powers too fast, too easily. Find an ancient book. Absorb its magical gifts. Lather, rinse, repeat. The romance occurs too easily. The kissing and blushing (and implied sex) gets old. As for the marriage proposal, I was almost shocked at the author’s bad timing, given the circumstances.

On the upside, the warrior paladin (Renn) is totally credible.

The story is engrossing at times. However, the writing quality is just mediocre. A bit too much exposition. Misplaced commas and anachronistic language. Renn seems to only know one way to address people: “old friend” crops up several times in short conversations.

The author repeatedly has the comrades roaring with laughter at things that are barely worth a smirk. Laughing until they cry. Nothing wrong with a simple smile. A smirk. A chuckle. Whatever.

Lusam strangely laughs at painful or discomforting accidents, like getting dunked, or getting dragged through the mud by a galloping horse. Saying that characters laugh does not comedy make.

But the big problem is the Empire’s goal, to open a rift to the Netherworld. Are all these mages suicidal idiots?

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Scott
  • 2017-05-15

Sadly this is a pretty mediocre book...

What would have made Lusam better?

Much less exposition, greater character depth, less predictable story arcs. Having the main character simply handed all of his powers was also an incredibly trite and frankly silly plot device that really stretched credulity. As others have noted, this is not two books - it's two sections of a book - which I find to be very dishonest advertising. I also found use of words like "force field" to be very off putting, those are not things a medieval culture has ANY conception of, and it could have been handled more creatively and originally in the world. Honestly the whole book suffers from a lack of creativity, polish, and general effort. It isn't awful... it's just very not great. The main villain is also very unbelievable, which is something I always hate.

Has Lusam turned you off from other books in this genre?

Nope.

Which scene was your favorite?

The "surgery" was fairly interesting.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Mild disappointment?

Any additional comments?

The narrator did a good job - each character has a distinct voice, and the emotions of the characters come across. If you are VERY forgiving about cliches and inconsistencies, it's not a terrible book - I've certainly read worse, but I won't be picking up any sequels.

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Kristie Clawson
  • West Jordan, UT, US
  • 2017-07-17

No depth

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

better narrator, more depth, etc.

Has Lusam turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, but I will not be continuing with this series

Would you listen to another book narrated by Alex Wyndham?

If it was a very well written book I could handle listening to Alex, but there are so many out there that are better

What character would you cut from Lusam?

none

Any additional comments?

This is an ok book if you just want a story that you can get to the end of. There is no depth to the story and very little character building in my opinion.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Timothy Neumann
  • St. George, UT United States
  • 2017-06-05

Strong Narrator, Weak Novel

Flat characters, dubious interactions between them, unbelievable magic systems that the main character cheats to obtain anyways, and irresponsible and inconsistent writing.

On the positive, the narrator was enjoyable, and it gave me the idea that if this writer can succeed, then why not me? I'll be writing my own book series as well!

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Business_MD
  • 2017-08-25

Warning is in order

This book is simple. The language and style are about a 4th grade level, as is the plot. I don't think i have rolled my eyes as many times in the last year as i did in the course of this book. The plot twists and progression are astonishingly unbelievable. Direct intervention by gods, more than once, are the kind of plot device used regularly. The author takes an omnipotent view and jumps in and out of every character with abandon, leaving nothing for the reader to ponder except why the author would take such liberties.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Logan Wallace
  • 2018-06-12

Overly cliche

Good narration, but very childish, simple and cliche writing, maybe that's the target audience and not me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • father_husband_ron
  • Brunswick, MD
  • 2018-06-08

This is NOT a good story.

I actually looked up the author. I was expecting to find an inspiring story about a middle school child that followed his dream and wrote a fantasy series. No one expected the series to be great, but it was impressive enough for an 11 year old. As it turns out, this was written by an adult. It was obviously written by an adult with no writing experience. I imagine that Dean Cadman read a bunch of fantasy and thought, "I can write this garbage and get paid!"...and so he proceeded to write garbage...and get paid. He gathered every trope possible. He borrowed and stole ideas from much better writers and produced a product with no originality and no real imagination.

The story contains no real character development. The characters are ridiculous caricatures of fantasy staples. There is the ridiculously overpowered teen aged mage-wizard hero/savior with the tragic and clouded backstory (that doesn't really make sense)...and boy scout morality. He instantly falls in love with a in impossibly talented knife-wielding teenage thief/rogue...also with a tragic backstory that makes no sense. The Paladin character...This uber-awesome warrior... is a bit of an idiot that needs tactical direction from the boy-mage.

The teen age couple's relationship makes no sense as well. It's awkward and forced. It feels like it was written by someone that has never been in a real romantic relationship...ever. It's hard to stomach.

The overly powerful mage/wizard-boy doesn't really need training. He doesn't have to earn his skill and knowledge. Thanks to a ridiculous amount of plot armor, the boy finds an abandoned treasure in an abandoned/underground room...underneath his workplace...that gives him all the knowledge he needs to be the greatest mage/wizard in the lands.

The author establishes rules for magic use...but thanks to plot armor, none of these rules apply to the hero. He just casually does the impossible and is annoyed that everyone else has rules and questions why he doesn't need to follow them.

The bad guys are just so evil! They wear black cloaks and shiny pendants...but the good guys can't seem to pick them out of a group...except for our hero of course...because rules don't apply to him. He can read their auras differently than everyone else.

Their goddess hasn't been seen in hundreds of years...but she shows up for our hero.

The bad guys worship a baddy that wants to destroy everything...because...ummm...stupidity?

The repetitive writing is enough to drive someone batty. It's almost as if the Dean Cadman is playing a game. He picks a single word and decides to see how many times can repeat that word in a paragraph. A sample might look like this:

Hero Mage/Wizard needed to put his boots on quickly. Hero's boots were in the corner, so hero ambled purposely over to his boots. Hero noticed his boots were surprisingly dirty. Hero put the boots on his feet resignedly, hoping the dirt on his boots would shake off on his walk to his destination.

Oh yeah...and almost ever action needs an adverb. Hero can't just put his boots on. Hero need to happily, resignedly, quickly, stupidly, tightly put his boots on. No one just chuckles or grins...not without an adverb. Actually, come to think of it, almost every action needs a belly laugh according to the author.

This story stunk. I was disappointed with the glowing reviews of this book series. I can only guess that the listeners who gave 4 and 5 stars are friends of Dean Cadman or have no experience with talented story-telling.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Victoria M.
  • 2017-03-20

Love it.

I really enjoyed listening these books. I can't wait until books three and four are available on audible as well.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Yang
  • 2017-04-03

Great Story

I like the story line and character build in this story. Narration is also good. I would recommend this to others. Looking forward to book 3.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Butch
  • 2017-12-19

Amusing, but not the best written book.

There are quite a few things in the story that just don't make any sense. I don't want to give away any spoilers so I won't list them. The dialogue, and narrative, seem a bit amateurish. I would not recommend purchasing this audiobook, unless you get it on sale like I did. I'm kind of regretting my decision to purchase the next couple of books before listening to the first one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful