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Spellmonger

Spellmonger, Book 1
Written by: Terry Mancour
Narrated by: John Lee
Length: 18 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (123 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Nominee, 2018 Audie Awards — Fantasy

Minalan gave up a promising career as a professional warmage to live the quiet life of a village spellmonger in the remote mountain valley of Boval. It was a peaceful, beautiful little fief, far from the dangerous feudal petty squabbles of the Five Duchies, on the world of Callidore. There were cows. Lots of cows. And cheese. 

For six months things went well: He found a quaint little shop, he befriended the local lord, the village folk loved him, he found a sharp young apprentice to help out, and, best yet, he met a comely young widow with the prettiest eyes. 

Then one night Minalan is forced to pick up his mageblade again to defend his adopted home from the vanguard of an army of goblins - gurvani, they call themselves - bent on a genocidal crusade against all mankind. And that was the good news. The bad news was that their shamans were armed with more magical power than has been seen since the days of the ancient Imperial Magocracy - and their leader, a mysterious, vengeful force of hate and dark magic, is headed directly to Boval Vale, along with a massive invading army of gurvani. The good people of Boval and their spellmonger have only one choice: to hole up in the over-sized Boval Castle and hope they can endure a siege against hundreds of thousands of goblins. 

When the people look to him for hope, Minalan does his best, but the odds are depressing: there are multitudes of goblins, and they want Boval Vale as a staging ground for a vengeful invasion of the whole Five Duchies. 

Add to his troubles a jealous rival mage, a motley band of mercenaries, a delusional liege lord who insists victory is at hand despite the hordes at his door, a dour castellan, a moody, pregnant girlfriend and a catty ex-girlfriend who specializes in sex magic - all trapped in a stinking, besieged castle with no hope of rescue, and you'll understand why Minalan is willing to take his chances with the goblins. 

All that stands between the gurvani horde and the people of the Five Duchies is one tired, overwhelmed baker's son who wanted nothing more than to be a simple village spellmonger. 

©2011 Terry Mancour (P)2017 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

must read

a relatable lovable main character. you will wish that this book will never end and that the story will hopefully have a good ending for him.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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#Audible1

Great book,had great time reading.John Lee is my favorite performer!! Definitely will read other books from serial. Loved it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Turn back now if you hate good stories

This is an excellent view into a new fantasy world.
I'm writing this review as I am now 6 books into the series. I do not regret this purchase and it is an excellent fantasy series with its own takes on magic, kingdoms and warfare
#Audible1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Good time passer, but not much else

Everything is very well done, except the characters. Main character is a sex obsessed asshole who gets lucky breaks that further the plot more often than actually working for it. Most other characters have no depth and serve their purposes quietly and unrealistically.

Fun world building and magic system.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Flat. Boring. And the female “trysts” May as well have been 12 nerd porn

So granted I only listened to five hours. So maybe the book has the most amazing ending ever to redeem it. But after five hours of nothing I gave up. The characters suck. They are so lifeless and uncool. The main character is just a horn dog. It’s like the author is a nerdy 12 year old boy who makes the main character bang every single female the story mentions. It’s tasteless and boring. Honestly in the saturated market of fantasy literature this one is nothing special and in fact bad.

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  • VP
  • 2019-05-16

The Urban Sombrero

Had to return this audiobook. It’s like listening to John O’Hurley as Mr. Peterman (Seinfeld) tell me his adventures for 20+ hrs. It’s a shame the story was good.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Definitely worth a listen

Good performance. Writing and character development a good start. I look forward to next book.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not great

Found it uninteresting until the end, at which point I gained enough interest to remember the main characters name. Sounds like the type of story a "Bro" would tell to his first to impress them.

First book I plan to use the return policy on, wish I didn't buy the second book in the series at the same time.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Interesting take on nagic

I liked the originality of the story. The narration was great. I hope it goes deeper into the magic theory that it started to explain

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Ruined by narrator

I'm genuinely disappointed that I can't finish this audiobook series but I just can't get past John Lee. This delivery is strangely artificial to the point of making me suspect that they simply had him read every word in the dictionary and then synthetically produced the audiobook. Strange sentence cadence, strange word emphasis, just strange altogether.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Eric
  • 2017-07-27

Terrific Book! A great adult fantasy series.

Would you consider the audio edition of Spellmonger to be better than the print version?

Do you love a good coming of age fantasy where the young promising lad leaves his tiny village, comes of age and power, returns to marry his childhood love and live happily ever after? This is not that. If you would rate a great book with one star because the "F" word is used, save yourself and the author the bad review and move along. Now, for the rest of the adults, don't hesitate for a second on purchasing this book! I loved it! My wife whom is only mildly interested in any sort of fantasy, loved it. I will go ahead and add a note about the next two books here. Book two is not quite as good as this one in my opinion but still very good. Book three is as good or better than book one. The narrator is excellent.

247 of 276 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Zer0Sum
  • 2017-05-11

Shockingly good, best book in years

Any additional comments?

Pros:
-Great engaging story
-Skillful narration
-Protagonist has a sense of humor that was very unexpected for the genre but makes him so much more relatable.
-Manages to be unique in a crowded, tired genre. Mancour wrote a masterful book.

Cons:
-Some listeners might not like the long descriptions of scenes/settings/events/etc (I do, however)

Verdict:
This is the best book I've listened to/read in YEARS! Minalan is funny, interesting, complex, horny, has a sense of humor that I've found to be unprecedented in the genre, and is just a very real character in a detailed and exciting world. You will not regret this purchase.

162 of 182 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert
  • 2017-02-13

A great start to a new fantasy series.

If you have read the publisher's summary it might seem, as it did to me, that this is just a mindless fantasy war story. Fortunately, it is not.

The 18+ hours of writing are put to good use in developing good characters as well as world building. The characters have distinct personalities and motivations with a Harry Dresden like main character. That is, he's a smart, decent, and powerful wizard who becomes very sarcastic whenever he's in a jam (which is often).

The action scenes are all very well written and spaced out nicely throughout the book keeping things from getting to dull. In between the action you learn about the characters, the magic system, and that there is more to the story than a simple warmongering horde of goblins.

If you enjoy fantasy this book would be a good edition to your collection.

133 of 152 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 2017-02-14

Finally. I've been waiting for the audio version of this series for two years.

I'm not going to review just this book. The entire series is a work of art. And what surprised me at first is the fact that the first few books are the boring ones yet they contain a lot of action. When the author really gets into the world building (especially Minalan's property, best I can describe without spoilers, is where the story really takes off. ) that makes the long books worth it. Listen to it or dive into to reading them, you can't go wrong. I've read them all up to date and I will still purchase the audio because they are that good.

81 of 93 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Thomas
  • 2017-05-22

This book was painful.

The narrator does a great job on a terrible book. The story is lackluster, the magic system is dreary, the names and places are not interesting. I would stay away from this one, if you like authors like Robert Jordan, Shae Ford, or Brandon Sanderson.

119 of 139 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Virate190
  • 2018-01-07

Listen to the Critics

Seriously. I read a lot of negative reviews, but in a moment of temptation I bought this book anyways (what can I say... I have a weakness for crappy high fantasy).

I'm pretty much really sorry I did. This story goes on several hour long tangents that have no relevance to the plot, stars a lead with absolutely no personality, and has two heavily objectified female support characters who seemingly has the sole story function of getting banged so the author can feel better about his life.

there is almost no imagery: the whole story was "then this happened. then this happened. then this happened." there was almost no character growth. the fight scenes felt as dusty and dull as an academic tome on abstract tactics. the magic system had no real definition, and contradicted itself half a dozen times. the scenes that Could have been juicy, emotional, and rich in detail were almost universally exceptionally bland.

none of this information is new: everything I've said has already come up. I just wish id listened.

88 of 103 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • GW
  • 2017-05-16

Shocked at the positive reviews.

I really am shocked. Rushed conclusion, endlessly repeating explanations, gratuitous lechery, and inconsistent characters. The setting and the world building have potential but the actual text feels completely unedited from original manuscript. I might not have been so annoyed if the entire last chapter had been removed, as it literally just rehashes everything that was revealed to the main character in the previous chapter. The whole time the rehash is happening the main character is obstinately refusing to understand basic concepts he knew all about throughout the book. Absolutely aggravating. Horrible finish to a below average book.

The performance was fine, if a little stiff. Maybe that was the intention, it matched the character well.

165 of 195 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Ken Denmead
  • 2017-03-20

Immature Storytelling Makes This a Thin Read

Any additional comments?

The world-building here is decent, but the use of anachronistic language pulls you out of the story a lot. The author falls into the old trap of telling us everything, rather than showing us via imagery. It's very much a "this happened, then this happened, and then I had a genius ideas and we won" kind of narrative.

Also, the "hero" is kind of arrogant, woefully underdeveloped, and sexist. Pretty much all the female characters are there to have sex with the protagonist, whose behavior isn't much better than a frat boy. If a female character shows up, she either had sex with him in the past, or is going to have sex with him, after he's either peeped at her using magic, popped her bodice open using magic, visited her shop while her husband is out in the fields (and she's pregnant), he's part of an occupying army, he pays for it, or she's so grateful he saved her country, she just shows up naked in his bed.

255 of 308 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • logan
  • 2018-08-09

pretty good

There was some lazy writing when it came to some of the details and a lot of repeat phrases, in earnest... other than that, it was very engaging and addictive. Just a pleasure to listen to.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rhonda
  • 2017-04-01

Great Book

What made the experience of listening to Spellmonger the most enjoyable?

Enjoyed the story telling writing narrative with the humor thrown in. Narrator added depth and interesting character voices.

What did you like best about this story?

A different twist on the castle, magician, mid-evil story.

Which scene was your favorite?

The battle tactics were nice, not gruesome but the planning and implementation were an added benefit.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful