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Unsouled

Written by: Will Wight
Narrated by: Travis Baldree
Series: Cradle, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Sacred artists follow a thousand Paths to power, using their souls to control the forces of the natural world.  

Lindon is Unsouled, forbidden to learn the sacred arts of his clan.  

When faced with a looming fate he cannot ignore, he must rise beyond anything he's ever known...and forge his own Path.

©2016 Hidden Gnome Publishing (P)2018 Hidden Gnome Publishing

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

one of the best examples of the heroes journey

it's rare to find a book that has proper world building and characters that have motivations guided and shaped by the environment and choices they make

1 person found this helpful

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terrible

the book should be called the shame of life. first few chapters are nothing but the main protagonists getting shamed endlessly for existing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ronald blasser jr
  • 2019-05-31

Amazingly Addictive and Oddly Cleaver

I'm writing this review so people who value a great listen do not pass this book over - I feel the book summary does not do it justice - and you deserve this book (series), it's worth the credits and time. It is cleaver, bridges genres, rises above the level of "simple entertainment" and oddly, sometimes deeply... meaningful. The narrator is fantastic!

I wasn't sure what kind of story I was listening to when I started the book - and then, after a few chapters - I still wasn't sure, but the protagonist (Lindon) started growing on me - in a few more chapters, I wanted to reach into the book and "help him" - now somehow I find myself in the middle of book 3, not remembering when I had purchased book 2, still not sure of the series genre and excited when I get time to listen so I can cheer him on - "Go Lindon - you can do IT!"

If I had read in the summary the world as I'm going to describe it, I may not have given it a chance - so please do yourself a kindness and don't pass this over because it's not something you are "into". To relate it to books I've read, it's like Iron Druid Chronicles (Kevin Hearne) grabbed a few chapters from each book of the Stormlight Archives (Brandon Sanderson) and wrapped it in an anime world.

Lindon, the protagonist, is the ultimate underdog - kind, humble, unskilled, naive and appreciative for what he has. But like most underdog stories, he's not interested in becoming "more" for prideful reasons, he does so accidentally, as he explores the simple curiosities of the world around him, surprised every time he has surpasses an expectation place upon him. And in the merit world he lives in, where those that have the most skill (magical) are valued, and he is judged to have none, the expectations are low and so is the value placed upon him.

Then, when he learns his world is a minuscule whimsy caught in the currents of an even greater world, lived in by unthinkably powerful entities, and those he cares about are going to meet a catastrophic end in a 40 year future, he sacrifices himself and a happy 40 year life which he learns he could live, to try and turn this tide. The future is uncertain - but there is a chance... a small chance.

He sets off on a long, difficult, painful journey to help those who he cares about, even though they believed him of no value. He is not the best person, or the right person - he just is a person who is commitment to try.

"What is the hardest step, the next step,.."

This book is wholesome and should be listened to by all ages. The narrator is great at voices and brings the characters to life. The adventure is crazy and fun.

EDIT: I just finished book six. 1 thru 6 in row! WOW - Will Wight is an imaginative genius, incredible builder of worlds, and now one of my favorite authors. I have over 150 books in my audibles library and this series is easily in my top 10.

Travis Baldree is an incredible narrator - the type of you search through the books he's narrated hoping to discovering another great listen. He is perfect for this series.

178 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Don Gilbert
  • 2019-02-16

He don’t need no stinkin’ badge

As a young boy all Lindon wanted was a badge. It was a rite of passage for all the youth in his village. The badge symbolized one’s ability and, more importantly, one’s worth to the clan.
Sadly, we soon learn that young Lindon doesn’t get any badge at all, he is “Unsouled. “ It is a brand Lindon will be forced to wear his entire youth, ridiculed and shamed by other members of his village; but Lindon refuses to accept his fate. With force of will, and sheer cunning, he is determined to overcome his shortcomings.
Through the first four books we learn just how small Lindon’s world really is, a mere cradle in the vastness of the universe, and he soon discovers that there are other possible destinies that await him if he has the courage to pursue them; possibilities that will test his tenacity but also will allow him to grow beyond his wildest imagination.
“Unsouled” is an exciting start to a really epic series and a great entertaining experience. I am looking forward to the next release.

71 people found this helpful

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  • Lonnie-The GreatNorthernTroll-Moore
  • 2019-06-19

A fresh new series!

Seriously, I read a lot of books. Fantasy, SciFi, Mysteries, and plenty of other genres too... and this book just took my breath away for it's sheer uniqueness, as well as its simply superb story! Will Wright didn't rely on any other mythos, or story that I'm familiar with, and so it was all fresh and new to  me... I Loved It! It's very well written... the world building, the magic-system, the evolution of our protagonist (Linden) are all beautifully conceived and executed, and the pacing is well nigh perfect in this fantastic book!
Travis Baldree gives another stellar voice performance as Linden seeks out and forges his own path.
Are you a little burned-out on the "same old, same old? Here's the cure. A fantasy that has a magic-system, that's so well thought out, that it's easily on a par with  Brandon Sanderson's worlds for complexity and uniqueness!!!  Your library is crying out for this one!
                Story: 5 Big ⭐'s
                Narration: 5 more Big ⭐'s

47 people found this helpful

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  • mz
  • 2019-10-04

Stick with it!

At first I found the narrator's style to be a bit intense, and I almost put it down because it felt like Ze Frank was reading to me.

I quickly got used to it and came to appreciate the incredible amount of effort put into this production all around. Travis' style may be dramatic, but it really helps make this an easy listen.

This is book is perfect for someone like me that needs something that is both interesting and easily digestible in an audio format.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Verc James
  • 2019-04-27

If you’ve found yourself on this page, buy this book

If you are even remotely interested in this books, title, description, or even cover art then buy this book!

I was in your shoes not too long ago, pondering which fantasy series to invest myself in next, and let me tell you, Cradle delivers! Without going into spoilers, let me just say that Will Wights world building has given the series emotional weight, while the characters have given the series heart. Masterfully written, superbly paced, and best of all entertaining to read.

71 people found this helpful

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  • Foster
  • 2019-03-29

Fantastic origin

I read a lot of manga/Manhua (don’t judge me). And this has a strong theme from some of my favorite stories. So excited to see a story like this on audible to give one of my favorite plot types a refreshing twist.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Charlie
  • 2019-03-13

Excited for the next one!

What a great listen! Narration and story were superb. There's constant action and intriguing mechanics to explore. This is going on my relisten list!

15 people found this helpful

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  • Joshua
  • 2019-06-26

Just finished 6th book. It keeps getting better

This is a very good book. In the beginning of this series the MC is very weak. He has to cheat his way around every corner and beg others to save him. If that annoys you, like it did me, just have a bit of patience. He is a dynamic character. That means his abilities and personality change over time. Slowly through experience and training Lindon becomes more confident and ...less of a limp noodle.

I know the description is a little lacking, so just know that this is a cultivation book. That means people get stronger by meditating and circulating mana. It kind of has a East Asian monk vibe. They go through stages where they get get stronger and stronger in a defined manner, like leveling up. He lives in a backward and primitive village where everyone is weak, and they don't even realize it. Im really not spoiling anything here, so dont worry. I just wanted to say that the first quarter of this book can be rough because he is so weak, pathetic and does a little groveling. Just grin and bare it because the series is def one of my top 10, easily. There is a reason this book is rated so well.

Give this book a try. I lost sleep listening to this.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Sailfish
  • 2019-01-18

A unique and interesting coming of age story

Book 1 is clearly a coming of age story of young Lindon who is part of a warrior society that defines one's worth based on their affinity toward one of 4 warrior-oriented attributes referred to as souls; of which his has been measured as null. This has placed him at the lowest of low classes within the society which only values one's excellence in their soul class. The societal culture seems closely to that of what we know of eastern Asian monks in terms of their deference to higher-order soul classes, which makes the telling of the story a definite pleasure as a change.

Poor Lindon, shamed from such a cursed rating, is driven to improve his standing using whatever method available to him, which often revolves around taking chances on relaxing his societal rigid rules along with trickery. This generally fails to impress his betters and earns his the disdain of others. That is, until he happens to be noticed by a supreme deity who takes interest in his tenacity to break down obstacles to become greater than what life has seemingly dealt him.

What follows is an entertaining adventure of him moving forward but having to endure hardships and brutal encounters for every step.

Will Wight's writing style is quite good different enough to keep me from any tendency to skip over any backstory or world building sections. Travis Baldree's performance enhances the telling of the story by providing a definite eastern flavor to it.

Onto Book 2

23 people found this helpful

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  • Captain Spanky Of Nazareth
  • 2019-01-11

Standard in nearly too many ways, but well done.

The magic schools with sorting hats that divide students into different classifications according to their gifts... books... (in this case it's a sorting vat of magic water that you dip your hand into) are all too common at this point. - That said, this is in the top 5% of those... most of which I'm happy to close and dismiss entirely once they become sophomoric and/or whiny imitations of their superior. - This doesn't fall into that trap, and it really forges in a direction that could become its own voice. So I pledge to buy the remainder of the series and give them a listen.

16 people found this helpful