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Shield of Winter

Legend of the Gods, Book 2
Written by: Aaron Hodges
Narrated by: David Stifel
Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Alana has been captured. She expected an agonizing death to follow, but instead, she now finds herself a guest of the Tsar. Locked away amidst the wealth and luxury, it isn’t long before she learns the reason she was spared - her entire life has been a lie. Her true identity lurks within, chained by magic, but with promises of untold power. It terrifies her, and yet...she must know the truth.

Meanwhile, ex-soldier Devon plans a fresh rebellion in Trola. But after carving his legend in the blood of their people, he’s a marked man. He’ll have to watch his step if he’s to successfully negotiate the shifting tides of the Trolan cause - and not end up dead in the process. Either way, failure is not an option, because without an uprising, Alana will be lost to him forever....

Grab this all new epic fantasy by New York Times best-selling author Aaron Hodges.

©2018 Aaron Hodges (P)2018 Aaron Hodges

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Al
  • 2018-11-21

An excellent middle book in a trilogy

**AUDIOBOOK AND MINOR SPOILER WARNING**

I was only commenting recently on how tough it can be the middle book in a trilogy. THIS is the middle book in a trilogy (Legend of the Gods), and the author pretty much nails it.

Alana has been taken by Quinn to the Tsar's palace, much to her surprise, and there are more surprises to come as she finds out she is so much more than some brave woman rescuing her brother from the fate of other magickers. Devon and Killian head to Trola to find allies. Maybe not his finest idea, as he is known as the hero of Trola after leading the slaughter of thousands of Trolans years before, but he has found allies are in short supply at home.

So far, so standard as far as plotting goes, but in the author's usual fashion, the characters are far more interesting than meets the eye. Devon murdered thousands of men, women and children in the battle of Trola, and has vowed since to change his ways. His friend Killian had a good life, but gave it all up out of loyalty to his friend. Alana and Braden are on the run from the Tsar, but were never sure why - they find out in shocking fashion. Anala finds out she's not the only hero from The Sword of Light trilogy still alive (she is also unaware she is a character in a trilogy).

The author has this writing lark down. He writes enjoyable, pacy adventures with interesting characters and epic plots, and is accessible to both (older) teens and adults. He throws in a lot of gallows humour, and his heroes don't always get their way. The narrator, who I believe also narrated The Sword of Light trilogy as well as Oathbreaker (I could look it up, but I'm too lazy), does a great job in making distinguishable characters and keeping the story ticking along.

Here's the thing though - I think this series could have ended here. I can see the scope for continuation, but I'm mildly concerned it might drop the ball trying to string out the plot. The author, no doubt, will prove me wrong, and I look forward to the end of the trilogy.

A solid 4.5/5 stars.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Zach
  • 2019-06-17

Great continuation of an engaging story

This is a continuation of Hodges' trilogy Legend of the Gods. And I found it as engaging and intriguing as the first. It does take the path of many center books in a trilogy, complicating the plot as much as it resolves elements of it. In some respects the story concludes with a realization of how much stands in the way of our heroes achieving their goals.

The character development continues, with more depth and even growth for the main characters. The past of Alana and her brother is revealed, as is the past of the Tsar. As I think back over it, Hodges did an excellent job of fleshing out the world and its magical system as the story progressed. We learn more about the war Devon fought in and how the Tsar came to be such a powerful magician.

Hodges kept the pace up, and the consequences of the actions of various characters felt real and substantial. The protagonists do not just innately choose the best path, and their struggle against overwhelming odds keeps the story grounded and relatable.

David Stifel continues his excellent job with the narration. The voices and characterizations are consistent with those of the first book. It was an excellent performance that enabled me to enjoy the story.

All in all, I enjoyed it. Unlike the first book, this one did edge towards more descriptive intimate sexual interactions in a few places. For that I would suggest this for adults and not children. The violence is also described pretty bluntly, but not in an overdone way. Hodges just doesn't flinch from describing a would or injury. If you enjoy fantasy stories with very thorough world-building and well developed magical systems, I think you would enjoy this book. I definitely would encourage you to read/listen to the first in the trilogy before diving into this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Layla
  • 2018-12-10

Love it!

I loved the first book so when I saw this I thought I have to get my hands on it and it did not disappoint.
We see the story through multiple POV's but I liked this since we get to see what is happening with the other characters. They do meet up towards the end but not like you would expect.
I found this book to be a lot faster paced then book one and the author I believe did the suspense really well. It starts off slow but it gradually builds up, a bit like a snow ball at the top of a hill. It is small to begin with but as it goes down the hill it builds up in speed and size. This book is the same. The author had me glued to my head phones and my heart beating really fast in anticipation.
I can not wait for the third book.
Due to situations the characters find themselves in (which is a bit of a surprise because I was not expecting it) this is more for an older audience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Paul Vasquez
  • 2018-12-04

Surprise! The truth is hard to swallow!

This is the second book of the Legend of the Gods series. Alana gets captured and suspects that she does not have long to live. Then everything changes for her. She begins to learn who she really is and the reality is hard to accept. Then the story starts back on Devon, who wants to rebel against the whole kingdom to find and rescue Alana. Devon goes thru a series of fighting battles and should really be dead by now. The only problem with this story is that no matter how many come to kill Devon, he always suceeds to win the fight or barely get by. I did really enjoy listening to the story. I received this Audio book for free in exchange for an unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sairaika
  • 2018-11-21

A fantastic read!

A brilliant sequel! Loved every moment of it.

Action, adventure and the twists will keep you hooked and invested in this story from beginning to end.

Very interesting and exciting.

Perfect for readers of epic fantasy.

The narration was well narrated. Very enjoyable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cleocutie
  • 2018-11-14

Good book

Great book full of adventure and enough twists to keep you interested in the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rusty Miller
  • 2019-10-23

Even better than book one

This second installment in the series picks right up where Oathbreaker left off. In short, all the things that the first book did well were also done well here. While the first book was an introduction to each of the characters, this one explored several of them in much deeper ways, especially Alana and Anala.

One way that this book was better than the first was in the intensity. There was some very well written scenes that were full of emotion, betrayal, and dire consequences.

As a negative, as in the first book, the audiobook narrator consistently pronounced tsar as “tt-zar”.

This book also ends big with a lot of questions about where it will go from here. 4.1/5 stars.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brandy Dalton
  • 2019-10-19

fun and engaging

this is a fantastic story and fun adventure sure to be appreciated by fantasy lovers of all ages

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • merrymacc
  • 2019-10-09

Shield of winter won't leave you cold

Shield of winter won't leave you cold as there is lots of action and dragons to heat things up!! I just finished this audio book and enjoyed it immensely. If you haven't found this author you are in for a treat as well as some trickery from magic. Give this one a try!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shannon G
  • 2019-10-06

A Great Listen

This is a well written LitRPG. There's great world building and character development. It has action, adventure, twists and turns. I haven't listened to the first book but found I was able to follow this one with no problems. After listening to this story I believe I'll see if I can get book one. I have a feeling this one will be even better after listening to book one. I enjoyed the relatability of the characters and the situations they would find themselves in. Not everything was sunshine and roses which helped with the believableness of the story. The narration by David Stifel was well done. He gave each character their own voice and emotions. The only complaint I have is that he could've read at a bit faster pace but overall, he really helped the story to come alive and feel real.

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.