Kargaroth

Written by Mark B. Frost & Andrew Bunny⎮ Narrated by William Turbett

Author: Mark B. Frost, Andrew Bunny
Narrator: William Turbett
Length: 22 hours and 34 minutes
Series: Daemon's Song, Book 1
Publisher: Icerabbit Publishing
Released: Aug. 6, 2020
Genre: Fantasy

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Synopsis

Centuries have passed since Elzaniru stripped the gods of their powers and sealed them away, ending forever the war of Light and Dark. In the absence of their divine wills, mankind has thrived. Great military nations have arisen and technology has advanced, the new gods of the land. But when one man unearths Kargaroth, the Unholy Blade, the spectre of the old gods will rise once more as Elzaniru's children battle for the future of Morolia.

When rumors fly of a demon terrorizing the forest surrounding the nation of Felthespar, Atheme Tethen is called upon for help. But instead of a demon, he discovers only a wanderer using battles to find his place in the world. Atheme finds sympathy for the young warrior and gives him a home, and soon finds Abaddon Daemon his closest friend.

When he begins to suspect that Abaddon's strength is unnatural, he discovers that his new friend is actually a powerful mystic. Using this to his advantage, Atheme calls upon the powers of the mystic to aid Felthespar in its wars. Abaddon's successes mount rapidly and his name becomes legend, and soon he is turned to face the rival nation of Revian. But as the war there worsens, Abaddon turns to darker powers for aid. He draws upon Kargaroth, an unholy power forged by the lost civilization of the Cainites.

Soon Kargaroth seizes control of Abaddon, and Atheme finds himself pitted against a human weapon of his own creation. As Abaddon ascends into a new dark god, Atheme is forced to make the decision between saving his best friend, or killing him for the safety of his people - and possibly his world.

Susan's Review

3.75 Stars

This audiobook was provided by its author, Mark B. Frost, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thanks, Mark!

Kargaroth was a fun, rambly epic fantasy. It pulls in various elements from Fantasy subgenres, managing to stay middle of the road. There's a little dark here, a little silly there, a bit epic over all, definitely sword & sorcery. Parts of it felt like a long D&D campaign, other parts felt like a fight scene straight out of Dragon Ball Z. If you like any of those things, then this would probably be a fun book for you.

The main quest doesn't appear until well into the book. The story rambled up to it and greets it like an old drinking buddy. The heroes head off on their main quest and bump into various distractions. Some of these were fun and some were distracting. I really wanted them to just stay on task, tackling that main quest. However, the side quests do bring in some interesting characters.

Among a large cast of characters in Kargaroth, we do have a few females. I liked that they were real characters with their own motivations instead of just being romance interests. I can't recall any of the ladies talking to each other but I will chalk that up to there being so few of them. I would have liked more of a gender balance as epic fantasy is well known for lacking in female characters. I know this is a silly side note, but our main character, Atheme, his name is pronounced like the ceremonial athame blade, which is associated with witchcraft. For me, I often picture a woman wielding it, so I like to think Atheme is in touch with his feminine side.

The fight scenes were crazy. Sometimes I was cheering our heroes and sometimes I was laughing at how silly or over the top they were. There's also not much consequence for our injured characters. They recover right away and head off on to the next thing. because there were no serious consequences, I never really worried about our heroes, and that took the drama out of it. There were even a few slumps in the tale where I zoned out a bit.

Over all, Kargaroth was an entertaining companion to house chores. 3.5/5 stars.

The Narration: William Turbett gave us a decent narration. His skills improve over the length of the story as well. Turbett has distinct voices for all the characters and his female voices are feminine. While his voice was appropriately dramatic for the fight scenes, during the slumps his voice was a little monotone. That said, he also did a great job with the characters's various emotions. The pacing was a little slow for me, but I easily dealt with this by slightly speeding up the playback speed. There were no tech issues on this recording. 4/5 stars.

Meet the Author: Mark B. Frost

Mark B. Frost got his geeky start writing TI-83+ calculator RPGs, eventually moving on to Final Fantasy romhacks. He works as a Senior Linux Engineer for the company that printed this book, as part of a diabolical plan to get the employee discount. Turns out there wasn't one.

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