Get a free audiobook

Spellmonger

Spellmonger, Book 1
Written by: Terry Mancour
Narrated by: John Lee
Length: 18 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (83 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 53.75
CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

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

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    52
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    64
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    50
  • 4 Stars
    22
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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

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

Problematic presentation of women

The book's story is fine, though certainly not an original concept (the war veteran opts to settle down in a small down, only to be reluctantly forced out of retirement to defend the local bumpkins from an imminent invasion). The narrator does a solid job as well, but I definitely take issue with the presentation of women in this book.

Of all the characters in the book, two of the ones with more than a line or two of dialogue are women (spoiler alert: the main character sleeps with both of them). One of those two women, the only one with any real impact on the situation, is a sex mage. As in, she makes a study of generating and manipulating magical energy by having sex. She does this a lot. The interactions between these two females leads the protagonist to make all those predictable comments about women scorned, emotional overreaction, and territorial jealousy. My eyes rolled so far back in my head at some of these scenes that I saw my brain. The real kicker is *SPOILER* the only way for him to save the world is to screw his hot, nymphomaniac sex mage ex-girlfriend while thousands of people watch.

In addition to all of that, for no disclosed reason, only 2 of the 17 mages that come to the aid of the defense of the Vale are female, one of whom is the aforementioned sex mage ex. All of this stuff just reeks of male power fantasy. I could hardly believe the publishing date of the original work is the 2000's and not the 80's or earlier.

Some fantasy authors use the pseudo-medieval setting common in fantasy as an excuse to present women in this sort of way. The thing about fantasy settings though, is that it's entirely up to the author how everything works; the only reason to portray women in this way is because that's how you want them to be.

I won't be purchasing book 2.

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

#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

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

Spellbinding

The performance is incredible - I’ve never heard a reader better than John Lee.

The book is also fantastic, if a bit long and drawn-out when it comes to explaining in detail the political intricacies of the Dukes #Audible1

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

The beginning of something great

I discovered this series last year and was instantly hooked. Great characters, engaging story, and a sense of humour to boot!
#Audible1

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

Best series I've ever read

The Spellmonger is hands down the best start to a series I've ever read. It's thanks to books like these that keep me using #Audible1 everyday. On those days when i can't decide what to listen to on my walk to work, I find myself coming back just to listen to the perfect narration time and time again. If you're thinking about getting I say dont hesitate you will love it too.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

124 of 137 people found this review helpful

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

206 of 230 people found this review helpful

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

125 of 143 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.

78 of 89 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

57 of 66 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

151 of 178 people found this review helpful

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

99 of 117 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Kenneth 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.

244 of 292 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Marilyn Morrison
  • 2018-05-28

I cannot like nor relate to this "hero".

I started out liking this book a lot, but the more I got to know the main character, the more unlikeable he/it became. He has no thoughts about women that aren't sexual in nature (and every female character only exists so this guy can lust after her). He uses his magic to spy on a woman taking a shower. He has a sexually-magically-experimenting girlfriend in college (whose father, conveniently, has no problem with them humping like rabbits). He regularly takes sexual favors in lieu of payment for magic spells. He doesn't give a second thought about engaging in a quick romp with a pregnant ex-girlfriend who's husband is out working in the fields. He muses about how (when he did something heroic) women threw themselves at him and he could tell some "actually wanted to be with him" which leads me to believe that plenty of his conquests did not, and I believe it, because this guy is a jerk! ...but the kicker for me was the night he rented a room in the "whore house". He got settled then called down for a couple whores (to come up and service him) and the Father-of-the-Year-Owner (apparently so happy to have this guy in his building) sent up his own two "whore" daughters. Our hero was so glad they were young (one of them only 14) and he noted the next morning how skilled they were at their craft. Just contemplate that for a second. Not cool, and now I officially despise this guy, and by extension this story.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • acushner
  • 2017-11-13

Good start to a Great story

Spellmonger is the first book of a long running series by Terry Mancour. I read this book when it first came out but I did not hesitate to purchase the audio book when it was released years later. Listening to the story for the first time really gave me a sense of the main protagonist the spellmonger. The audio book brought a new dimension to the story that I greatly recommend for first time readers/listeners or who started the series when I did.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful