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The Black Reckoning

Books of Beginning
Written by: John Stephens
Narrated by: Jim Dale
Series: The Books of Beginning, Book 3
Length: 13 hrs and 5 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The final book in the best-selling Books of Beginning trilogy that began with The Emerald Atlas, which the New York Times called "a new Narnia for the tween set."

The adventures of siblings Kate, Michael, and Emma come to a stunning conclusion when they must find the last Book of Beginning - the Book of Death - before the Dire Magnus does, for when all three books are united, their combined power will be unstoppable.

Soon Emma is on a journey to places both worldly and otherworldly, confronting terrifying monsters and ghosts, and what is darkest within herself. As the fabric of time begins to fray, she becomes the final piece of an extraordinary puzzle. Only if she can master the powers of this most dangerous book will she, Kate, and Michael be able to save the world from the dramatic, deadly final confrontation between magical and ordinary people that the Dire Magnus has in store.

©2015 John Stephens (P)2015 Listening Library

What members say

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

Loved the story and performance.

Any book read by Jim dale is a winner in my opinion.

While I am a fan of Jim Dale, the story itself really kept me interested from start to finish.

Great easy listening story.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kenneth W Bertin
  • 2015-08-31

Didn't finish the series well

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, just to finish the trilogy, but it's not nearly as good as the first two.

If you’ve listened to books by John Stephens before, how does this one compare?

I don't think he knew how to finish the story.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Iheartjazz
  • 2016-06-04

Love is the point

I loved this trilogy so much. The scope of the stories was wide--saving the very fabric of the universe. I was caught up in the characters, who developed over time. The ending was beautiful and there were so many surprises on the way. Whilst full of magic, the story like all the best, is deeply human. If at points briefly philosophically didactic, it's entirely forgivable because the pace of the plot moves quickly and much of the characters' choices depend on what they know of the universe.

Jim Dale's narration is outstanding. As far as I'm concerned, he could read recipe ingredients and I would be captivated. His narration of the children's thoughts made me laugh aloud. There is so much humor woven into the text, and a less experienced voice actor might have missed it. As it was, this was an incredible listen.

A lot of stories with this kind of scope have difficulty wrapping themselves up. I was pleasantly surprised and moved to tears by the ending of this trilogy.

It reminded me of Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings (in a good way), and was full of its own surprises.

3 people found this helpful

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  • RaeShantael
  • 2015-10-08

I expected so much more

After reading the Fire Chronicle, I was overly excited about the third and final installment. I must say, I was thoroughly disappointed in this book. I bought it in April 2015 and because the book was so slow and boring, I am just now finishing it October 2015. It was such a total let down and it ended like "so that's it..." I don't know which book is worse, this one or the final book in the Divergent Trilogy. :( Even Jim Dale's character voices changed a bit and he couldn't even make the book any more interesting.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Linda Gifford
  • 2017-01-17

Best series I've listened to in a long time!

I enjoy listening to YA fantasy and the Book of Beginnings Trilogy is one of the best series I've listened to in a long time. It kept my attention throughout, with a strong story line and excellent character development. As far as Jim Dale goes... what more is there to say. He is just simply the best narrator by far. The characters come alive under his expert guidance.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Katiedid
  • 2017-01-01

Amazing!

Probably my favorite book ever. If you haven't read the other books it probably wont make much sense so go read those first, both of those books are good, but I think this is the best by far.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary Ann Woods
  • 2015-08-22

Not the ending I expected.

If you could sum up The Black Reckoning in three words, what would they be?

Predictable, uneventful, disappointing

Which character – as performed by Jim Dale – was your favorite?

All of them

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The journey ends.

Any additional comments?

I found his third book not as good as the first two. The ending was just a big disappointment to me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • twyla
  • 2019-11-07

Loved the Book and the Series

These books were a wonderful source of entertainment, the story and the narration were all excellent.
If you are looking to carve out a small slice of your day to escape and be entertained, i recommend these.
Highly recommend the book and the series.

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  • MAUREEN
  • 2019-09-15

Outstanding!

No one reads better than Jim Dale. This series is imaginative, fast paced with characters that have great emotional depth. Hated finishing it!

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  • Carolyn
  • 2019-09-13

loved it!

came across this looking for anything narrated by Jim Dale- and I'm so glad I did! the story is always changing around and really keeps your interest. the characters are great and keep you invested. I couldn't stop listening and was crying at the end, such an engaging series

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  • Lisa Barone
  • 2019-05-24

Superb!

Young or old you can’t not love this trilogy, this story, the powerful resolution... Emma’s amazing and novel experience with The Book of Reckoning. I laughed, I cried and I loved so many of these characters. I’m truly sad it’s over.