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Wraith Knight

Written by: C. T. Phipps
Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
Price: CDN$ 31.27
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Publisher's Summary

The King Below, Enemy of the World, is dead. Will his successor save the world...or rule it? 

Jacob Riverson was once the greatest hero of an age. Cut down during what should have been the final battle against the King Below, he was condemned to centuries of torment as a Wraith Knight in the service of said monster. With the destruction of his master, Jacob finds his free will returning and discovers he is in a world torn by civil war between the King Below's former slaves and the heroes who "saved" them. 

Joining forces with the overly-idealistic but brilliant warrior Regina Whitetremor, Jacob must determine whether he has any place in the new world and whether his destiny is as a hero or monster.

©2017 Charles Phipps (P)2019 David N. Wilson

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kingsley
  • 2019-03-18

Waking up as the bad guy

Jacob Riverson is a knight, one of the 'good guys'. But when he dies in battle he finds himself reborn as a wraith knights - one of the bad guys, and the enemies he was sworn to fight. Plus he has a trickster god talking in his ear. Now he must deal with being a bad guy, and the knowledge of what he has done.

My prior knowledge of CT Phipps work is from the self aware Supervillainy series.A series that is full of knowing winks to other, more mainstream, comic worlds. This is not that. This is a series take on the fantasy genre. While it is built on the works that have come before (Tolkien's Ring Wraiths do come to mind at times) it doesn't have that fourth wall breaking wink-wink to the audience going. If you are looking for more of that from Phipps, this isnt it.

But it is enjoyable. Like the Supervillainy series Phipps has a strong emphasis on character and relationships. How the characters work together and grow together is important. There are not short sections of the book devoted to discussions about feelings and relationships. There is also magic, and war and battle.

The writing is clunky in places. One example is at one point the main character literally asks everyone else to 'tell their backstory'. Backstory is a term very much used by writers and readers around characters, but coming form an actual character within the story it felt really out of place. It might have worked in the more meta Supervillainy books, but here it does not.

Narration by Peter Berkrot is good. It took me a bit to get used to the voice. He sounded much older than I expected for the way the character presents at first, but I adjusted (as did the character) and in the end I enjoyed it. Well paced and engaging, he varies throughout to keep it clear what is going on and who is talking.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this review voluntarily.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Holly
  • 2019-03-12

Wonderfully turns fantasy tropes on their heads

I absolutely love C.T. Phipps' Supervillainy series, and also love books that take familiar tropes and turn them around, so this book is pretty much squarely in my happy-book-sweet-spot. It doesn't take itself too seriously...while also grappling with huge questions of morality, life, death, what it means to be heroic vs evil, all the above. Nothing is ever quite what it seems.

There were definitely some similarities in tone and story to Supervillainy, but while Merciless is a (mostly) decent guy at heart who wants to be a villain and does his best to be evil-ish, Jacob here is a good man who was unwillingly cast in the role of the bad guy, and makes the most of doing good with what he has. The tone is a bit more somber, but there's still a good amount of humor throughout. And I felt right along with Jacob, who got cast a pretty horrible lot in life (or death?). But, he did get some pretty awesome magic along with it!

I'd highly recommend this book! It pretty much hits all the right notes of what a modern epic fantasy should be. The narration was fantastic as well, Peter Berkrot was a joy to listen to.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Deedra
  • 2019-03-28

Wraith Knight

Wow!What a story!Jacobs death is more interesting than his life may have been.So many mystical creatures,alliances and friends! I really enjoyed it. Peter Berkrot was an excellent narrator. I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Luke
  • 2019-03-22

He who fights monsters

Wraith Knight is a twist on the classic saying: He who fights monsters; becomes a monster. However; what happens when a monster fights heroes? Our main character is a man out of time; returned to the world of the living about 250 years after his heroic death fighting the dark lords' forces, but when he returns he is one of those forces. As he tries to learn what happened, he learns of the current plight facing the mortal realm and joins forces with two women: one a martial fanatic (featured on the cover), the other a shunned witch. These women are both pretty compelling and provide more than the usual fare of 'generic love interest'

Rep: The main women characters are both bisexual (ex-lovers), and all three main characters are seemingly poly-amorous, which is nice to see.

Audio: Berkot is enjoyable to listen to, everyone has a distinct voice, and the audio quality is good. No complaints here.

Recommended for: Fans of nuanced villains and heroes

**I was provided with a promotional copy, at my request, and have voluntarily left a fair and honest review**

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • TU
  • 2019-03-15

A fantastic listen!

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I really enjoyed this author's other books, so was eager to dive into this one. I was happy I did. I loved it! It is full of interesting characters, fun and exciting adventure, and an engaging story. The narration is done very well. Peter Berkrot helped bring this story to life in my imagination. Bring on more!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Drew McVittie
  • 2019-03-12

The Scribblings Review of Wraith Knight

Jacob Riverson was once the foremost knight in the fight against the King Below. But when he awakes centuries after his final battle, he is horrified to discover that he has been co-opted to fight for his enemy as the Wraith Knight of the title.

On one level, Wraith Knight takes a number of familiar fantasy tropes; knights, dragons, quests, etc. but inverts many of them. Many of the knights are revealed to have been brutal in their objectives, the latter quest is not to destroy an evil source of power but to claim one. But on another deeper level, it also examines themes of good and evil, how difficult it can be to tell one from the other and how you can't really have one without the other.

Jacob remembers only fragments of his past but since the story is told in the first person, this works to the book's advantage, since we get to learn the truth about Jacob at the same time he does. The accompanying drawback to this is that it can sometimes be difficult to fully connect with the character. Overall though, he is well enough written to maintain some sympathy. There are relatively few other characters, but each makes an impact on the plot. My favorite was probably the Trickster, a persona of the King Below that exists only in Jacob's mind. Sometimes sarcastic, sometimes creepy but always entertaining.

There has obviously been a great deal of thought put into this world, its empires and race but I was left with the feeling that this book only scratched the surface of what there is to know. Likewise, while the book does finish at an appropriate point, there is still plenty of room for Jacob's story to continue.

I'm looking forward to more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • JPecho
  • 2019-03-08

Pleasantly Surprised

I was pleasantly surprised at how serious this book was compared to other novels written by C. T. Phipps.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rebecca Azizov
  • 2019-03-02

very nice book

the story was very nice and very well written it was very interesting and the narrator did a very good job as well overall it was a very good listen to have
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • 2019-02-26

Okay story

For me, this book was difficult to get into. It's a good story but I could not keep interested. I have listened to other C.T. Phipps books and really enjoyed his other story better.

"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary Karowski
  • 2019-02-26

Villains by necessity

You, your ancestors, friends, neighbors and countrymen have spent generations fighting the great evil of the world. War after war age after age the light has driven back this evil god and his minions. The tactics are questionable...do the ends truly justify the means? Our hero has slain one of the dark lords right hands. He has in turn been slain. Yet he has been resurrected...as the dark lord that he slew...take a journey to the dark side and see what the light is truly doing to the world. See how absolute power corrupts absolutely and how the light bringers justify genocide and slaughter of innocents. Take up the dark mantel with our hero and take the journey to become a villain out of necessity. For the light must be opposed. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher

1 of 1 people found this review helpful