• Chains of Blood

  • The Chaos Cycle, Book 1
  • By: ML Spencer
  • Narrated by: John Banks
  • Length: 13 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (358 ratings)

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Chains of Blood

By: ML Spencer
Narrated by: John Banks
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Publisher's Summary

He thought he was born Rylan Marshall...until he found out he wasn’t.

Rylan was attacked, his young son murdered, his baby daughter taken. But his assailant left him with two gifts: the gift of magic...and an oath to darkness.

Gil Archer is the son of a legend and one of the most powerful battle mages in the Lyceum. He is sent on a mission to recover Rylan, but ends up on a far more dangerous path.

And war is coming for them both.

Will Rylan use his newfound power to make a stand, or will his oath to darkness guide him to the enemy? And will Gil live up to the legacy of his father, or will his fate lead him to a much darker destiny?

If you love grimdark fantasy filled with vivid realism, brutal warfare, and raw emotion, this new adventure is just for you.

©2019 ML Spencer (P)2020 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about Chains of Blood

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great book

great book rich caricatures and story line and the marathon nice world building and deep story lines

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Exceptional Adventure

ML Spencer's words are vividly brought to life with John Banks talent. The story is at times brutal, but always the humanity shines through.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Entertaining storyline

Fast paced action throughout. Good storytelling. You get to see the battles from all points of view and you end up not sure who the bad guys are. Motivations of characters feel very human, although lots of magic is going on. You can tell the parallels, or influence maybe, from The Wheel of Time series.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not A Bad Story

It's worth listening to but the main character is ridiculous. Any male with this much emotionally crippling daddy issues wouldn't be able to make it out of his bed to be the sobbing mess this guy was. The plot is a strange same story done in two different times thing that almost made me feel...why not just write it once? The romance isn't endearing and some of the "challenges" are laughably unbelievable but the main character gets broken up about it anyway. It definitely made me roll my eyes constantly in the last four hours...most powerful man ever but can't do anything or save the daughter he's talking about the whole novel. That is tough.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Oops all tropes

The biggest problem is that none of the characters' act in a believable or consistent way. This is likely due to the author having attempted to craft a novel simply by chaining every fantasy trope together in a line. It doesn't work.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Part of a series? Zero front end indications. Lame

It comes off like part of a series but it doesn't say that anywhere. Always deceptive and off putting when books do that. It's like they want to try to lure you then bait and switch.

otherwise it not bad... just so much old info being rehashed that it's less fulfilling to read. You pick up book 1 in a series expecting to discover the story. not just soaking in unnecessary refreshers to previous books.

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waste of time

narration was the ony good thing about this story, everything else was just dumb

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Captivating

I was hesitant in choosing this title. Now I'm glad I gave it the chance it clearly deserved! The depth of the story and it's characters kept me so intrigued that I completed the first book in record time. I already have the second book and am excited to start it this evening.

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Great!

This book was exciting to listen to. The reading performance was great and the writing was good.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Goes downhill from the middle on

The first half of the book was very good but the second half kept going down and down and the main character Rywlin just gotten more and more pathetic and it was hard to listen to him. The narrator was great

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • engima
  • 07-24-22

audio is in the wrong order

i would've given it more but the audio is in the wrong order and get very confusing past chapters 12

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Southyorks1234
  • 11-29-22

Enjoyable listening.

I enjoyed overall but some parts dragged / took too long to get to the plot twist.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • andy
  • 11-10-22

another weak fantasy

hours into this book and i still don't care about the characters or world. i give up.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jordan
  • 09-17-22

Good overall but does have issues

good overall but spends the whole book explaining what everything does ... the whole book

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-05-22

brilliant concept

one the most original fantasy books I've listened too recently. throughly enjoyed this book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-13-22

An enjoyable listen

Intricate and interesting plot, it kept me listening. Looking forward to Book 2. Narrator did an excellent job with so many characters to differentiate between.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-29-22

I couldn't get any where near the end

I know like many things in life books are subjective to personal perspective. For me I really struggled past maybe 9 chapters.
Maybe that wasn't enough, but the poor quality of the audio recording. Then the flat narrator after coming from listening from a book read by ray porter this was just well... substandard.

Its not that I dont like the genre i have 3 series of mage / magical beast / warlock books currently on going this one just fell short.

others will no doubt like it others wont.

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  • Angry Cumbrian
  • 05-27-20

Better than the Arc, adding a gravitas to Grimdark.

I read the Arc and even more impressively found the audio version added an extra punch. The Rhenwars series often gets compared (rightly) with WOT, but this time starts with a nasty twist and ends after several twist and boots to the goolies.

I keep tormenting myself with this series by never reading it through and jumping between books in the series. The Rhenwars series isn't necessary - but you'll pick far more nods and winks and continuation through the backstory.

Rylan is an interesting character, quite normal until the rabbit warren bites him in the goolies, swallows him up and spits him into hellish misery. The other characters (Archer the younger in particular) are equally thrown out of their death as they approach an epic siege of jerusalemlike proportions from multiple story arcs.

If familiar with Rhenwars you'll see the nod to WOT with the cyclical nature of characters in roles, with the resonance of namesakes and positions and the continuation of some old faces emulating Gandalf in wisdom and the powerlessness of nudging fate and not controlling it without giving too much away.

It is a pacy and well rounded story. Brutal and unforgiving and not one for someone looking for unicorns and fluffy Elves. It is a solid evolution on the earlier series and spreads out across the globe for new enemies, yet clever in keeping the conflict local and focused. Merciless in driving characters beyond torment. That focus pulls in and spits out the characters and centralises the storyarcs.

If I have any gripes it's minor things. Rylan's relationship seems to occur somewhat sudden considering the circumstances - but there's a couple of driving forces behind it and essential for the climax and conclusion. Here's boomtime by the way... and damn nice to see mages being allowed to run around and be glass cannons.
My second is the focus around the siege. There are a couple of lulls that seem to jar with the race to save the city. I'd expect Naia to be doing more at this time, but I appreciate the POV of the main characters would limit citywide events.

It is a damn fine start to a continuing series and M.L. Spencer continues to be implacably consistent with every release and I enjoyed this one more than her other work. Well worth picking up, but she needs to be careful... There is an outfitting scene and while the Robert Jordan comparisons will continue, it is brief and does not take up several pages and allow a breath for the savagery.

Just buy the thing if you aren’t squeamish. If you are, worry - to what depths will the author’s mind sink to next?

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-06-22

Good Yarn

I enjoyed the narrative and the story teller, be it a little predictable 🙄

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Charm Harris
  • 05-17-22

Meh - not for me

Awful. Found it a very wooden and disjointed story - could not connect with/invest in the cardboard cut-out characters - or get to know them at all. Narration was OK - but it was a real struggle to finish it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-02-22

Great books

I really enjoyed this book will definitely be getting the rest in the series great characters

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-23-22

Great .

Loved every minute of this story, kept me spellbound the whole time, can't wait to start book 2.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-16-21

Must read!

Exceptional book. Amazing narrator. Enjoyed every moment of this. A great build up from beginning to end.