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Siege Tactics

Spells, Swords, & Stealth Series, Book 4
Written by: Drew Hayes
Narrated by: Roger Wayne
Length: 15 hrs and 15 mins
5 out of 5 stars (56 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Putting the Grand Quest behind them, the party rides onward in search of answers. Between one member's unexpected new condition and the mysteries of the Bridge, their only hope appears to be gaining entrance to Lumal, said to hold the greatest collection of knowledge in all the kingdoms.   

But when a curious path appears in a seemingly uninhabited forest, the party finds themselves in a place set apart from the kingdoms, and the world at large: a hidden hamlet, filled by unusual people, all of whom have long histories of their own.   

Soon sealed inside the town by unseen forces, the former NPCs will have to uncover what brought them there - and who is keeping them trapped - while there's still time to fight back. Because something more is brewing, something involving the very gods themselves. With unknown enemies to the front and supposed allies at their rear, the party will need more than their usual tricks if they hope to see the outside world once more.

©2018 Andrew Hayes (P)2019 Tantor

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars

Sweet

great story great narration fixed grumbles voice but I think one gods name was mispronounced the entire book could be wrong though

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Fantastic RPG-based fiction!

Man, I love this series so much that it pains me to have to wait till whenever the next installment comes out. The narrator is absolute top notch; it’s hard to believe that so many distinct voices can come out of one man. I guess that’s what professionals do in this field. As an avid RPG gamer, I love how Drew Hayes brings RPGs to life (even moreso than that phrase normaly implies, if you’ve read this series!) and creates characters you care about. I’ve stolen so many ideas from Drew Hayes for the Pathfinder campaigns that I run - these stories are so rich and inspiring. Can’t wait till book 5!

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Impatient

I’ve got an hour and a half left, and find myself incredibly excited for the next

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Another thrilling tale!

Another winner from Drew Hayes! So easy to get completely caught up in the store and very difficult to put down! Narration was top notch thanks to Roger Wayne’s consistent excellence! Can’t wait for the next one!

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The plot thickens!

Another great sequel. So many great twists and turns. It's a great setup for what's to come. Can't wait to see what happens next!! (By the way, love the fact that the narrator used a voice closer to the first book's version of Grumble.)

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  • Tony E.
  • 2019-01-28

So many answers! So many new questions! So good!

If you are considering book 4 of the Spells, Swords, & Stealth Series, I'm going to assume that you already have read books 1-3 and say that you are in for a treat with book 4. Whereas other series may give you questions that are never answered until the very last book, Drew answers many of the questions that have been asked in the previous 3 books while keeping enough behind the screen and introducing logical next steps to eagerly await the next book.
Of course, the highlight of this book is the highlight of Drew Hayes as an author, his incredible character development. These are real characters fleshed out in incredible ways. While it may seem strange to have strong emotional ties with a half-orc or a goblin, by book 4 I was fully invested in these characters and have a deep friendship with them. Their joys and trials are gripping. I couldn't stop listening.
If you like fantasy, this is for you. If you've ever played a tabletop role playing game, this is for you. If you just want a great story read by a talented narrator who keeps the same voices over an entire series, this is for you. Basically, this story is for you. Get it.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Rocketboy13
  • 2019-07-09

A Step Down

I think this is the weakest entry in the series, which is a shame, tho it is salvageable, I am still interested in the next entry. While I do think that the strengths of the series are still all here (strong characterization, fun action, and a cute premise) it is starting to get bogged down in two departments.

1) I don't really care about the mechanics of the world. The idea that a game mechanic like "Mana" could appear in a magical universe as a constant is fine, but there is just a little too much explaining of the concept. A bit too much explanation is given to the ultra-artifact "The Bridge" too. There is also discussion of the Epic heroes, the afterlife, the villain's methods, there is too much explaining.
I don't mind magic systems with rules floating around in the back of a story (one of the things that bugs me about Harry Dresden is how he can go from knocking around a dozen monsters, to going super saiyan, to flat on his ass way too fast and a more hammered out set of limitations on his abilities would benefit those stories) but I do feel like talking about things mechanically more often just takes away from the story.

2) This is not that big a deal, but I think that there are too many characters. There is the gamer group, the NPC's, the epic heroes, and some tertiary ones. This is not really an issue, as Roger Wayne gives them rather distinct voices, but at times it just feels unfocused. I am torn between liking the variety of perspectives and between just wanting a more straight forward narrative.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris
  • 2019-05-30

Call it 2.5 stars.

I don't know if I'd call this the weakest book in this series or if my tolerance for the author's writing style has waned. A minor caveat, I listened to the Audible version of this book so I didn't really have the option of skimming the uninteresting bits.

I love the concept, the setting, the characters and the plot. I really enjoy how the narrator conveyed the different characters. What drove me nuts was all the meta-textual stuff constantly explaining what was going on, and the fact that there was almost no dialog between the characters where we didn't also get a paragraph about what they were thinking while they were talking. It really killed the momentum of the story and utterly sucked the tension and suspense out of the action scenes. This book seems like a classic example of the why authors should "show not tell".
For a typical (non-spoilery) example, there's a scene where the rogue needs to sneak up and jump on the back of a monster while another character keeps it distracted. This is supposed to a suspenseful scene, will he make it? Will the other character survive being the distraction? Will the sneak attack work? Will this end the fight? It turns into almost 10 minutes of over-descriptive and internal monologue narration at the end of which, I really didn't care what happened so long as we could move on with the story.

The series is ongoing and I'd like to find out how it goes but I'm not going to rush out for the next book. I think I have to forget the pain of this one first. Maybe I can find a cliff-notes version that'll be more suspenseful.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jim Fadgen
  • 2019-01-28

Siege Tactics

Fantastic, enthralling read. Deep characters that the reader truly appreciate and care about. One of the best if not the best in the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • reluctantuser
  • 2019-07-26

Needs work on pacing

The author likes world building and multiple story lines (good). But the story goes on too long, and the battle scenes take forever

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. Papa
  • 2019-07-23

Say "paladin" one more time, mutha....

Great concept. Great story. I love the premise of these characters that defy stereotypes, BUT... You lost me when the paladin began to monologue in the middle of a battle. No, not that paladin the other one.... No, the other other one... No, not the father that was a paladin, the other other other paladin... Oh, hey, is the author maybe obsessed with paladins? Seriously, I wish he'd stop saying "paladin" every other paragraph. If you make a drinking game out of it and take a drink every time he says "paladin" or explains a paladin's motivations (yet again) you're going to end up in the hospital after half an hour.

But if you don't mind the characters monologuing about their motivations, and those motivations being based on their classes instead of their personalities and background, this is a really great story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-05-05

I highly recommend this series.

In my opinion, it's an interesting story, with likeable characters. But, it's not as great as Second Hand Curses, (which is a stand alone story.)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Humility
  • 2019-04-01

I just didnt feel it this time

I honestly just didnt feel much interest this time. A whole lot of time spent on things like world mechanics when the mechanics turned out to be really simple, rather dull training scenes, intrigue sections that didnt reveal any new info, and large sections emphasizing how boring the amazing village actually is. Which might have been an interesting twist if used merely as setting flavor, but instead was emphasized to fill out pages. It was just... boring. There were only two things of interest. First seeing how things look from the perspective of the adventurers being controller was interesting. And the final big battle was pretty good. But those two legs are not enough to support this book alone.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-02-26

an okay continuation of the story

Drew Hayes is an author who I've quite enjoyed is books usually have a complex and unfolding story that gets added on with each new book in a series, except for this one.

This Book continues the story but does little else. long story short I feel that if you read the first few chapters and the last few chapters you could skip this entire book otherwise and move on to the next whenever that will be released.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • W. Sexton
  • 2019-01-24

Very enjoyable

Drew continues developing his five main characters and allowing them to grow in expected and unexpected ways!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful