Title: The Last Grand Master (Champion of the Gods: Book One)
Author: Andrew Q. Gordon
Narrator: Joel Leslie
Publisher: DSP Publications (3rd Edition)
Run Time: 13 hours and 13 minutes
At a Glance: If you love the author or the narrator, buy this book. If you love fantasy with a gay twist, buy this book. You will not be disappointed.
Reviewed By: Mike
Blurb: In a war that shook the earth, the six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, God of Evil. For three thousand years, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity and Neldin’s evil was nearly forgotten.
But then Meglar, wizard-king of Zargon, unleashes the dark magic of the underworld and creates an army of creatures to carry out his master’s will. One by one, the sovereign realms fall as a new war between the gods threatens to engulf Nendor.
Leading the opposition to Meglar is Grand Master Farrell. Young and untried, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar—or it could destroy the world.
Farrell is joined by Nerti, queen of the unicorns, and Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen as Farrell’s mate. As Farrell and his new allies make plans to counter Neldin’s evil, Meglar forces their hand when he invades a neighboring kingdom. Rushing to help their ally, Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Cut off from help, Farrell attempts an untried spell that will either turn the tide or cost him and Miceral their lives.
1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, February 2013.
2nd Edition published by DSP Publications, February 2015.
Review: What’s a wizard to do when all the realms he is expected to protect are under attack by the evilest sorcerer in the known word? What do you do when the gods themselves tell you that you will meet your soul mate because of your service to both gods and your fellow man? You get skeptical and do your level best to go along with the plan—and hope it all works out, of course. So Grand Master Ferrell, his soul mate Miceral, and the king and queen of the unicorns set out on a grand quest to defeat the evil Meglar. Along the way, bonds are made, love happens, and grand battles ensue.
The world Gordon is building is interesting as far as high fantasy and swords and sorcery go. In the wide acceptance of same sex relationships and marriage, LGBTQ people may finally have the series they always hoped would be written someday.
Joel Leslie turns in one of his usual great performances with this book. In the thirteen plus hours of narration, the pace remains constant, and the action is performed rather than just read. The battles get the same attention as the romance between Ferrell and Miceral. Grand fantasy can be wordy and boggy, but in the capable hands of Leslie, there is no confusion about scenes. The world Gordon created requires words and titles to be made up, and Leslie never once falters or shies away from the content. Those listeners who know Leslie will not be disappointed; they will be enthralled. The true mark of a great narrator is that with long books, they don’t make you want to rush to the end or speed up the narration to get past the boring bits—there are no boring bits with this voice talent.
If you love the author or the narrator, buy this book. If you love fantasy with a gay twist, buy this book. You will not be disappointed; in fact, you will be wondering when the audio of book two of this saga will be ready for you to pick up.
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