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  • The Pariah

  • Written by: Anthony Ryan
  • Narrated by: Steven Brand
  • Length: 19 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (102 ratings)

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The Pariah

Written by: Anthony Ryan
Narrated by: Steven Brand
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Publisher's Summary

"A gritty, heart-pounding tale of betrayal and bloody vengeance. I loved every single word." (John Gwynne)

The Pariah begins a new epic-fantasy series of action, intrigue, and magic from Anthony Ryan, a master storyteller who has taken the fantasy world by storm.

Born into the troubled kingdom of Albermaine, Alwyn Scribe is raised as an outlaw. Quick of wit and deft with a blade, Alwyn is content with the freedom of the woods and the comradeship of his fellow thieves. But an act of betrayal sets him on a new path - one of blood and vengeance, which eventually leads him to a soldier's life in the king's army.

Fighting under the command of Lady Evadine Courlain, a noblewoman beset by visions of a demonic apocalypse, Alwyn must survive war and the deadly intrigues of the nobility if he hopes to claim his vengeance. But as dark forces, both human and arcane, gather to oppose Evadine's rise, Alwyn faces a choice: Can he be a warrior, or will he always be an outlaw?

"This makes a rich treat for George R.R. Martin fans." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

For more from Anthony Ryan, check out Raven's Shadow trilogy: Blood Song, Tower Lord, Queen of Fire; Raven's Blade duology: The Wolf's Call, The Black Song; The Draconis Memoria trilogy: The Waking Fire, The Legion of Flame, The Empire of Ashes.

©2021 Anthony Ryan (P)2021 Orbit

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What listeners say about The Pariah

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely fantastic

I loved this. I couldn’t put it down. Full of vivid characters, fantastic prose, and a fantasy world on the more moderate side - no wizards or dragons, but witches and “saintly” blessings, and unique, compelling cultures. Top-notch fantasy with effortless worldbuilding.
I’m a lifelong fan of Ryan, now.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent Dark Fantasy, with strong characters.

Ill keep it simple, this is dark fantasy so there are gray area decisions but the antihero MC tries to do his best most of the time morally. Stronger religious component in the later half.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent story with turns you can’t predict!

Great story! Just a hint of magic - ideal for those who prefer a ‘low-magic’ fantasy setting.
Narrator Steven Brand - comes across a bit monotone at first. But his vocal performance grows on you - and his ability to orally navigate some rather dense writing proves him a pro!
Thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Great listen

Like all Anthony Ryan and Steven Brand collaborations this audiobook is a work of art. The storytelling and narrative of this fictional world is as alluring as any true story of knights and thieves.

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Another excellent story

I have enjoyed every Anthony Ryan audio book and this one is no exception. I look forward to the next

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I wasn't sure

I wasn't sure at first if I liked this book or not. The narrator was initially annoying because he has a weird accent for where I live. But everything grew on me. I liked the story even if it lacked a bit of a back bone. Usually I can picture the places and the characters in my mind, a little less with this one. Also, some of the story just felt rushed to me and other parts I found less interesting seemed to linger on.

Despite the negative words, I enjoyed this audio book. I also enjoyed the narration (I increased the speed, maybe that helped). I guess my expectations were too high.

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Middle of the road fantasy

Meh. Compelling enough in its world building but otherwise underwhelming. Plot twists flagged well ahead of happening so no surprises. Good religion construction. Glad it is over. Pedestrian narration.

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Please let this get the attention it deserves.

Fantastic. I got baited by that really cool cover art and to my shame expected some universally average revenge story. I got soooo much more. The MC is well written. He shows intelligence through action and dialogue not just pompous expository and boring self reflection. Religion is a major subject in this book and is tackled quite respectfully compared to other books nowadays where all priests are corrupt lil boy touchers and the MC is usually a sarcastic atheist. Kind of hard to get a handle on the world scale and political powers through audio form, character names that dont pop up frequently are easily forgotten. MIght be more enjoyable in text form for me personally. Looking forward to the next book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-08-31

Has a great first half then slowly goes downhill

Man, I was super excited for this book, and really enjoyed the first half, but then it just gets very muddied and goes too far into Military Fantasy for my tastes. it seemed like this was finally going to be the actual Fantasy story from Ryan. But instead of writing a cool Robin hood type fantasy story, he takes this awesome character and turns him into a run of the mill soldier with very few actual Fantasy elements. there was almost no magic or any other Fantastical elements. It was essentially Military Historical Fiction. I did enjoy it, I just don't know if I would recommend it.

66 people found this helpful

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  • Samuel Hudnet
  • 2021-09-16

Different - In A Good Way

While a "coming of age," this is not your average hero or anti-hero fantasy story. Given the mystery and grandure Anthony Ryan has produced in his other titles, this one seemed like a let down to me at first, as there really is nothing special at the start of the book. But the writing was still engaging enough, and before long the story picked up and never slowed down all the way to the end.

What stuck out, though, was not the pacing, but the characters - on the whole rather ordinary and without special powers or crazy skills, an oddity for the genre. Magic plays a role, yet is not prevalent in the story, leading to more believable and relatable characters. The dangers felt real and the solutions they employed also real rather than some spell that does just what you need at the last minute.

As usual Ryan delivers an interesting world and in this first volume uncovers a lot of world building. Steven Brand's voice doesn't have a whole lot of inflection, but renders the mood of the book excellently.

So if you're looking for heavy fantasy with lots of magic and magical challenges/combat, look elsewhere (though this series may be good for you in subsequent volumes), but if you're willing to push through a bit at the start for a super-engaging read, get this book.

31 people found this helpful

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  • Ab.pro
  • 2021-09-24

Extremely Tedious and Annoying Spoilers!

This book has spoilers of its own story. I can see why, because without those I would not even have bothered to make it to about the 1/3 mark.

Very boring and nonsense descriptions of past and the culture of other regions of the world is thrown at you constantly. No none who isn't taking notes can hope to remember and none of it matters to the story such as it is. There is not real complexity in the story either, just a sequence of events that happen and the protagonist reacts to them.

One sequence that stands out, the merry morons of the forest capture a few deserters. A woman in that group tells our ponce of a protagonist some convoluted tale of where she is from and some story about her tribe and her people. Then, we are just straight up told she will make an appearance later. Now, when she does (didn't get that far), I will absolutely not remember the whole thing she described about her past. It was very very boring. Additionally, I guarantee it will not matter either. There is more and more of this. Characters just keep making cameo appearances.

I could not take it anymore. Returned it.

23 people found this helpful

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  • W.
  • 2021-09-29

A decent story, unimproved by flat narration

I wanted to like this, but found myself easily distracted and unmotivated to get back to it. The narrative was uninspiring, and seemed to lack depth. Have in an accent & reading aloud isn't the same as performing. I won't try anything else he narrates.

12 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Arm380
  • 2021-10-22

Tedious

The beginning has most of the action in the whole book. The narrator doesn’t even sound interested

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard A Frias
  • 2021-09-02

8.5/10 - Fantastic novel

Any fans of adventure or fantasy would be well served to give this a listen. With a rich world and memorable characters I only regret I listened to The Pariah without the rest of the books in the series already released, I would be binging them now still. Going to go back and listen to some of Anthony Ryan's other works while waiting for the next installment.

What others have said about the performer is true; the story is delivered with a even, near inflectionless voice. Getting lost in long conversations between two or more characters can happen, however given the distinct vernacular of each that fades quickly as you get to know each. Do not let this put you off from reading, this is only a minor point. And in no way has Steven Brand boring to listen to, the story stands out on its own without any aid. I am unsure if having a different performer would've let the story strike in such a profound way as it did.

10 people found this helpful

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  • G
  • 2021-09-13

Excellent

The story is excellent, I am sure due to the writing, but the narration steals the show, a fantastic voice, my new favorite narrator!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Nick
  • 2021-12-08

Another great start to what I’m sure will be another great series from the author.

I have read all the books by the author thus far and wait excitedly for the next book in the series. Great job!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Michael Q.
  • 2021-08-28

Anthony Ryan does it again.

as always I was drawn in form the start, and taken on a wild ride. now the waiting till book 2.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JohnT
  • 2021-12-09

Very good story

Really enjoyed this story, I liked the main character and all his friends. The reader was able to keep my attention throughout the story

3 people found this helpful