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Description

The trilogy that began with The Emperor's Blades and continued in The Providence of Fire reaches its epic conclusion as war engulfs the Annurian Empire in Brian Staveley's The Last Mortal Bond

The ancient csestriim are back to finish their purge of humanity; armies march against the capital; leaches, solitary beings who draw power from the natural world to fuel their extraordinary abilities, maneuver on all sides to affect the outcome of the war; and capricious gods walk the earth in human guise with agendas of their own.

But the three imperial siblings at the heart of it all - Valyn, Adare, and Kaden - come to understand that even if they survive the holocaust unleashed on their world, there may be no reconciling their conflicting visions of the future.

©2016 Brian Staveley (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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Notations

Global

  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Histoire

  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Il n'y a pas encore de critique disponible pour ce titre.
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  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Benjamin
  • 27/04/2016

Less Awful than Predecessor

If you've read the Providence of Fire (book 2 in this series) you're probably wondering whether you should throw a good credit after bad. I managed to overcome my revulsion for the last book and listen all the way through this one. It is not as bad as the last book; I would venture to say that it rises as far as "kind of okay."

I want to give Staveley some credit. The underlying story arc is pretty cool. There is some worthy intrigue. He has built some artifacts into this world that are really interesting particularly the Kettral soldiers and the Skullsworn. There is a hint of some good world building here.

From the last book to this one, Staveley has improved on his male characters. They're no longer crashing around incoherently doing things that don't make sense, even to them. In fact, he even does some really cool things with a few of them (which would take spoilers to explain).

His female characters are half-cooked. They are more like caricatures. Most of them are one dimensional. He makes some silly decisions when he tries to flesh them out. But worst of all is Adare. She doesn't make sense as a person. Staveley uses her to increase the drama artificially. She basically walks into each scene and does something really dramatic that screws everything up for other people to fix. Her motivations are all over the place. It is so prevalent that she bends the entire book around her idiotic misadventures. This makes is significantly less enjoyable.

Vance continues to give strong narration. I took points off as some of his accents are bleeding together.

18 sur 21 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Steven Merrick
  • 25/04/2016

I so wanted to love this book!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Last Mortal Bond to be better than the print version?

Yes, the narrator - Simon Vance - is exceptional with a great speaking voice and a good range of voices for the cast of characters and just the right emotional touch, Mr. Vance makes the book come alive.

Any additional comments?

The imperial brothers, Valyn and Kaden, were both heroic in their struggles to overcome a never ending series of nearly insurmountable obstacles, while the snotty know-it-all pampered little bitchy sister, Adare, foolishly undermines every bit of their progress made at such great cost, while she continually pats herself on the back from her cushy throne for being the only one who truly cares while moaning about how difficult her life is.

I kept hoping for the brothers to finally triumph against the overwhelming odds, but would have been equally satisfied if the sister had been stripped naked, shaved and paraded through the streets of Kings Landing, while the town folk threw dung at her... oops, wrong book. I despised Adare through the entire trilogy, more than any other character in the book including the villains, yet she still managed to come up with all of the prizes at the end. The writing, the story and the action were all compelling, but the conclusion left me frustrated and unsatisfied.

8 sur 9 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Skipper
  • 17/03/2016

The Flight of the Dawn King

Superb narration. The series began well, but I didn't enjoy book 3 very much, even though some scenes are wonderful, especially those involving the kettrals (the birds and the humans). Loved the scenes on the old training islands, and felt for the decisions Gwenna had to make.

Writing style: The author writes beautifully, but he includes far too much internal rumination and reflection for my taste. Thoughts slows the pace, especially when listening to audiobook (no matter how superb the narration). Some of the thoughts felt like short speeches about life, emotions, death, etc., expressed in an almost lyrical language.

Plot: Not complex. I liked the premise of the beleaguered emperor saving his best three blades for last, siblings trained — each one differently — to outwit the deadly foe on a different plane. Also I was greatly intrigued by the ancient Csestriim. I thought of "Battlestar Galactica" with the cold brilliant Cylons trying to annihilate the emotional humans. But I don't like plots that rely too much on the superhuman powers of maniacal mages and insane gods (we never learned how Ciena got into Triste). I didn't care for the exceedingly OTT grim-dark, grisly, gruesome, and depressing tone that consumed this book, with slaughter, mutilation, and masochistic sex.

Characterization: Characterization is a plus, as we see the "blades" develop across the trilogy. I followed Kaden with interest. His character allowed for some clever ideas about zen philosophy. I enjoyed the scenes in Rassambur and around the gates. I didn't much care for Adare, although she grew on me. I did like her councilor, Nira, but she could have contributed more. As for Valyn...hmmm. He's the one who truly caught my heart strings. I wanted the best for him but...

General Ran il Tornja the Csestriim (aka Tarn'is) made for a clever villain. I wondered if he was also known as Sos, in the prologue? Belendin was flat-out evil with no texture, similar to Long Fist and Meshkent (although some substance came from the god of pain).

The book ends well. The last chapters are vivid, heartbreaking, and suspenseful, followed by a promising epilogue set about a year in the future. I would have also liked to read more about the future of the Kettrals, especially Gwenna, Tallal, Anneck, Quick Jak, The Dawn King, Flea, etc.

7 sur 8 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • John MacKenzie
  • 08/04/2016

Missed the mark.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

If you loved the first two (I did) just be prepared for disappointment if you think it will compare.

Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Vance is great. Switches between male and female are very distinct and well acted.

What character would you cut from The Last Mortal Bond?

In all seriousness I was kind of rooting for the destruction of mankind by the end.

9 sur 11 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Donnell
  • 14/04/2016

A poor ending to an otherwise great trilogy.

The first 2 books were great, but I feel the writer really lost his direction and characters in this book. All 3 of the main characters become the worse version of themselves in this book, with one never coming back to the character they were, one come back but in a nonsensical way, and one just kind of not making sense the whole book. Not sure what happened, but this trilogy needs a different ending.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • r1r2r34
  • 13/04/2016

No closure, fairly disappointed

I think there were a lot of things missing rom this story's conclusion and did not bring closure or things that happened in previous books had no hearing in the conclusion. *spoilers ahead*
How did the obviate work when Meshkent said they weren't high enough?
What was the point of Kaden's republic and those politicians? Were they solely there to show that Kaden couldn't rule?
Why tell us about Gwenna's love for Vaelen if nothing came of it? I also thought Balandin's death should have been done by Valen and more...dramatic, given Harlin's death. It just seemed to be over so quickly and without any real sense of justice. I would have liked to see Valen lead his wing, too. After learning from the Flea that he should lead the wing he has and not the wing he wanted, that information never became useful. And what happened in the end to Pierre?
It's really a shame because I liked a lot of hints about this book and this series. But in the end, the finale made a lot of the subplots and characters superfluous.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Ranier Keith
  • 30/03/2016

Character's stupidity a crutch for author

characters unbelievable decisions a crutch for storyteller. Cool concepts, unforgivable leadership. incredible departure from character identity. Just when you think that you know what a character is all about, they make the worst decision due to the worst conclusions rationale has to offer.
"Oh, you plot revenge against me for disgrace of your family name? Nevermind that for now, have my baby."
The sacrifices made by noble characters are nullified by the results of the leadership's breathtaking errors in deduction.

4 sur 5 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Francois Babeuf
  • 17/03/2016

Redemption Song

After the fantastic first book, Emperor's Blades, the second, as good as it was, and without spoilers I can't really go into much detail, it wasn't nearly on par with Emperor's Blades. In fact, at the end of it, I worked myself into a nearly apoplectic shock. "Did I really waste all that time and money? Did the author waste his, as well as his talent?"

I'm so happy to relate to you that we did not, fellow readers. I got this on pre order, and took much longer than I normally would finishing this, for reasons that I cannot get into, again for spoiler reasons... But I nearly put this away 15 times or more until a quarter in, when the storyline, seemingly brought so low at the end of the last book and into that first quarter because of seemingly useless employment of dramatic irony and uncharacteristic actions by the main characters started, finally, to make sense.

If you loved Emperor's Blades and yet felt let down, as many did, by the follow up, be assured. It gets so much better than you could hope. Maybe and maybe not a HEA, but in this era of dark fantasy, we have a light Fantasy taking the best from both worlds. Rejoice!

6 sur 8 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Kory
  • 22/06/2016

Fun read but a disappointing ending

Loved the first two books and was very excited to see how this book wrapped them up. I was disappointed that Valyn (who was so built up) became more of a sub-character. Adare on the other hand was a nightmare. With her becoming one of the main characters or the main character the story really faltered for me. She continues to just "f" things up, has a royal attitude, and in my mind is a scheming person. I thought her parts were predictable and boring. Then somehow at the end "without still doing anything useful" she ends up on the top. I seriously listened to the book wishing and waiting for anyone to "put an arrow in her eye".

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John Reader
  • 05/04/2016

Loved it!

A great conclusion to an amazing series. I listened to the first two audiobooks several times, I know I'll listen to this one again.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle-Kunde
  • 21/09/2016

Eine Klasse für sich

Brian Staveley ist ein fantastischer Geschichten Erzähler und schafft es locker den Leser über 3 Bücher hinweg zu fesseln. Die Charakter, die er erschafft, haben Tiefgang, die Geschichte ist ohne Ende spannend und überrascht mit unerwarteten Wendungen. Wenn dann noch Simon Vance das Hörbuch spricht, kann es für mich persönlich nicht besser werden. Absolute 5 Sterne!

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Romy
  • 20/02/2018

An amazing story

I absolutely loved this story. The spoken and unspoken depth of the characters and the twisting plot lines kept me utterly enthralled. I cannot recommend this series more.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nurit
  • 24/03/2017

weiterhin spannend und abwechslungsreich

Die Geschichte bleibt weiterhin spannend, abwechslungsreich und es gibt immer wieder neue Wendungen, die man nicht erwartet. Manches ist vorhersehbar, anderers nicht.