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On the Shoulders of Titans

Arcane Ascension, Book 2
Written by: Andrew Rowe
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Series: Arcane Ascension, Book 2
Length: 24 hrs and 46 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (484 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Corin Cadence finally has a firm reason to believe his brother, Tristan, is still alive. Unfortunately, finding more information isn’t going to be easy. Tristan appears to be entangled with a clandestine organization that calls themselves Whispers. And Corin’s last brush with the Whispers didn’t exactly end well.

As much as he wants to follow that lead, Corin has more pressing problems to deal with. Sera is still suffering from a mysterious malady that has stolen her voice and her magic. Corin knows that a portion of that is his fault, and he’s determined to fix it. His mother is still off in another country, and there are growing odds that she’s involved with a conspiracy to overthrow the visages.

Corin has also been branded with a new magical mark on his right hand - one that even veteran climbers don’t seem to recognize. He’s going to need to figure out how it works, otherwise it could be more of a vulnerability than an asset.

Corin still hasn’t finished his first year at Lorian Heights. If he fails his final exams, he’ll be sent off to the military and lose his chance to investigate his brother’s fate. And finally, there’s the issue of enemies. He might have made a few of them.

The biggest problem? He’s not sure if Jin, once one of his closest companions, is one of them.

©2018 Andrew Rowe (P)2019 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Great series<br />

Great narration and good story. Interesting magic system with a main character that isn't overpowered.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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amazing

The performance was unparalleled. Story kept me going all the way through. thanks for the tale.

1 person found this helpful

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Enjoyable

I usually only listen while I am driving but was interested enough to continue listening at home on my day off and finish out the audio book. I find the narrator excellent.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • MJR
  • 2020-05-11

No plot. All exposition.

Pros: great a describing fights and duels. Obviously put a lot of time and effort into world building and the magic system. Good representation of non binary characters and an asexual protagonist.

Cons : no plot. Repetitive first person angstyness. It feels like the story was squished in to have an excuse for a book. Reads like a video game. Lots of levels, grinding for xp will be returning for credit.

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    4 out of 5 stars

A bit slow at the beginning but really good overall

I like the pacing. They just come back from a big adventure from book one. They need to rest a bit before jumping to the big adventure. Lots of explanations on the magic system (I love it!!) and I thought that Cardin made more sense in his motivation the on the first book where he felt like a kid dreaming.

Overall superb. And the narrator is doing an amazing job!!

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    4 out of 5 stars

Impressive MMO Fantasy

The mechanics of Rowe's Magic System (for converting Mana of different types into magical effects) are fascinating. Very well-thought-out, cerebrally explained. It makes sense.
This Second of the Arcane Ascension series still has plenty of Encounters/Magical Battles (which Andrew Rowe is fantastic at relating). But this is the weakest novel in the series. A lot more of it is dedicated to fleshing out his magic system - going in-depth into "Attunements": ascendant attunements, foreign attunements, rare attunements, forbidden attunements, artificial attunements, pre-attunement Sorcery, etc. The Chief character, Corin Cadence, spends HOURS describing the intricacies of enchanting items and learning how to develop his attunements. It gets pretty dry.

Nick Podehl does a great job reading this book - clear, with great pace matching the text, and the perfect degree of humor in his presentation. Very occasionallly, he chooses to read female characters with stereotypical lisping accents, which can get annoying.

This book is worth 2 out of 5 stars.

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like the script of an RPG

which came first the video game or the novel? Rhetorical question. Sometimes a book is written like the author just wants Hollywood to option it for the big screen, but this is the first one I've read/listened to that make me picture text bubbles above NPCs on a screen and what the crafting menu would look like. Entertaining and painfully shallow by turns. If you want to pretent you are playing a video game and like RPGs this series is for you.

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great book

very well written, very well narrated, fun story with good characters. a few plot oopses but quite good.

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Expression of modern themes that keeps me wanting

As this series continues, I am gleefully sitting on the edge of my seat. The story contains the concepts of more than the regular binaries and expresses them in a way that a younger/older audiences can appreciate. The romance and heart break of the first book continue as the drama sparks the idea of non conformist relationships and what it means to be friends and more. The story line instills a sense of imagination and thoughts of how to use your environment to your advantage. Definitely a great story line.

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Awesome

It's a great story of a character dealing with overwhelming threats and trying to find ways to compensate for his lack of power. A refreshing change from characters that seem to just fall into great powers

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert Taylor
  • 2019-01-18

Fills a void.

I was super excited for the second book in the series with the ramp up of the previous. I just couldn't get into this one the same way. There was interesting magic, a few exciting scenes, but it was also very fluffy and dragged in many parts. Corin can get very annoying, and it starts to grate on you. I'm not saying to skip it, but don't expect the same excitement as the first book.

42 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Nick Kasel
  • 2019-01-29

Agenda detracted from the narrative

I think the main plot is great, but there was too much emphasis on the gender neutral topics and a lot of the emotions came off as forced. I enjoy the battle between gods and men, but I also feel like this could start to detract into unreal situations. Kindness and being friendly to fight your way to the top just comes off unrealistic. There are good aspects, especially in book one, but not keen on the second books narrative focus.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Timothy
  • 2019-05-23

Well, yea...

I wanted to like this. I love Nick Podehl's work. After I finished one of his narrations I looked to see more of his work. Found this series and got both books. The rating for it was quite high. While the world was well built. Some of the characters were likable. Unfortunately the likable characters were not the main ones. The sexual orientation and gender neutral elements seemed forced. It feels like the gender war parts were a pushed in as after taught. I should of read more reviews before getting both books.

41 people found this helpful

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  • Geoffrey Dang
  • 2019-01-25

Really wanted to love this

World building is great, characters are unessessarily annoying. That's what makes it really difficult to review this book. There're many times in throughout these first two books where I just mentally cringe at what the main character says and does thinking to myself what? That's not something anyone would actually do or say especially if they are supposed to be some super shy introvert who doesn't like other people. It feels like every other thought he had was thinking about how someone was gonna feel about him doing something which really contradicts his whole supposed introvert persona. Also on the thought on contradictions there are many things that just absolutely made me stop listening and think "wait did he say that he was an unfit bookworm when he had been supposedly training for the past 3 years" only then to have him say later in book 2 that he was fit from training his whole life. It's just things like that, that absolutely ruins and takes you out of the world. Overall characters are one dimensional and hoping for that to change in the next book because the world and magic system has alot of potential to be interesting.

26 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • DJ B Wamm
  • 2019-08-09

Great Story. Distracting elements.

Author deeply interested in pressing an agenda within the story. It was very distracting.

Ending seemed rushed and a bit inconsistent with some of the "power level" rules established throughout.

Nick could read me a cookbook and I'll sit for every word.

12 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • quelSaabOwner
  • 2019-01-19

well performed, good story

Wish there was more, climatic battle not as epic as last one. Feels like a foundation or bridging book to the overall story.

21 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jonathan park
  • 2019-01-16

The author tries awfully hard to be hip and modern

The author likes to talk about using gender-neutral pronouns, and mixes in our cultural biases without any explanation of how it fits into the fantasy society. It's often distracting and haphazard at best. Sarah seems more likable than our main protagonist. Other than that the story is good for the most part. Neat ideas and directions are taken that makes the story still enjoyable. I just wish our author introduced the society a little better, it just takes away from the story when you add in random modern day political beliefs into a fantasy story without even doing it smoothly. I read these kinda of books to get away from all the political stuff on TV today. Not be reminded of it again in a random way that doesn't even fit with a medievalish society.

109 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jared
  • 2019-01-18

Eh...

This book was disappointing after the first one. Never hooked my interest. Also I am all for characters with diverse sexual orientations, but I do not think that that should be a characters defining characteristic. It feels like the author would rather push a agenda rather than tell a story.

36 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dante Mekaj
  • 2019-01-26

A great continuation, just as good as the first.

First off, I think that the other readers who are giving this story 2-3 and even some 1 stars because they are complaining about the political view on genders have completely allowed their prejudice to cloud the splendor of the story. To be clear I am a straight man and literally could not care less about gender politics. For people on the fence about this because of those reviews, I would like to offer that the entire portion other people are complaining about is all of 3-5 minutes long and is literally talked about twice for less than 3 minutes each time. Although I can clearly see how this reflects the authors views and the current political climate I am amazed that people are giving this excellent story such low reviews for all of 4 minutes of audio and one character being nonchalantly referred to as they or them instead of him or her (literally completely unobtrusively) and in addition to that although it was not the most graceful way to include a quick opinion the author does use an at least semi viable way to bring the subject up and uses it in the context of the story. It still feels a little bit forced but I don't think it is as horrible as some reviewers would like you to believe. If you are like me and don't care much for what people want to call themselves or don't really care about politics and other peoples made up problems then i think the story is well worth listening to and is a great successor to the first, and the issue that other reviewers are bringing up is not even enough to make this 4 stars instead of 5. It's like literally .00001% of the story.

As for the actual book, if you liked the first one, you will like this one. More of the mystery unraveled! More mysteries introduced! Epic battles! Structured magic! If you liked the first one this is easily 5-stars. I love that the main character uses intelligence to solve issues with a limited set of hard rules and tools. It's so different compared to some books where the character has a ton of unfair advantages. I have listened to tons and tons of litrpg and although this is a bit more light-rpg I think that this is one of the top books and is very entertaining on top of being well-written, much moreso than many other books in this sphere. Highly recommend.

45 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-03-25

Way too much focus on "woke" themes

The first book in the series was OK. The author tends to spend a lot of time on unnecessarily long monologues that don't advance the story. I decided to give the second book a try to see if his writing improved. This was a big mistake. Big chunks of the book are filled with completely unnecessary monologues and descriptions of socially progressive woke themes that are awkward and add no value to the story. As a result, they're incredibly distracting an annoying. This includes a insane 20 minute long segment describing a transvestite. Don't waste your time or money on the book. It just doesn't work.

2 people found this helpful