• Fires That Forge

  • Lords of Order and Chaos
  • By: R. J. Hanson
  • Narrated by: Terry F. Self
  • Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Murder. Betrayal. Magic? One knight takes up his hammer to hunt a killer concealed. When dark arts and faith face off, will sorcery or swordsmanship win out? What chance can a mere mortal have against vampires and demonic forces? Is King’s Inquisitor Dunewell prepared to break the laws he has sworn to serve to discover and defeat a master of shrouded evil? Where is the line between hero and villain, saint and sinner?

Kingdom of Lethanor, 1648. Inquisitor Dunewell stands strong in a city scarred by corruption. A true warrior for justice, the newly assigned investigator jumps into the fray when a close physician friend is accused of murder. Vowing to find the real monster, he enters a deadly race against time and the tip of the executioner’s blade.

Ordered by superiors to wrap up the case quickly, the honorable man-at-arms digs deeply into clues pointing to demons and forbidden powers. But as more aristocrats are found brutally slain and vampire attacks foment mayhem, Dunewell must hunt down a magical foe before his city falls into violent madness.

Fires that Forge is the first book in the gripping Lords of Order & Chaos epic fantasy series, one of four series in the Bloodlines Reforged Saga. If you like thrilling mysteries, hidden enemies, and fast-paced action, then you’ll love R. J. Hanson’s sword and sorcery tale.

Buy Fires That Forge and dispel the darkness today!

©2020 RJ Hanson (P)2021 Randy J. Hanson

What listeners say about Fires That Forge

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fantasy Action Murder Mystery

***Parents: if this were made into a movie it would easily hit R mostly due to the level of violence and detail of the gore in the murders, fights and injuries. There's more of a vampire and a hack doctor element to this story which if you are squeamish with blood I would maybe look elsewhere. The language isn't a problem and I terms of sexual content there are some insinuations and some attractions but nothing major and it's not a big part of the book.

As for the story, it took me a bit to understand what was going on.... The story is shown from the two main characters perspectives. So you'd listen to a scene and then re-experience the same scene through the second character. It may have helped in audio form to have these separated/differentiated in some way between them. Once I got a handle on that it was fine although a bit repetitive towards the first half of the book, it was later really helpful in the last half of the book as you are trying to solve the mystery. The author does a great job of world building and really did enjoy the twists, turns, high action style that he creates. I don't want to give anything away so I will just say that I am looking forward to see where these two characters go next.

The narrator did a great job overall and I really enjoyed listening to him. I did find it was a bit tricky to hear the difference between the two main characters at first which again would have been helpful in the perspective hopping that takes place- maybe some sort of heading between them would be helpful.

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

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Epic Fantasy Mystery

I find R. J. Hanson's books incredible. He builds an intricate and creative world filled with diverse characters and unusual beings that remain within the reader's imagination once the tale is completed. In this story, he has created a world that includes mortals, vampires, demonic forces, and magic. Along with all the trails and tribulations that his characters must undergo, he has interwoven a convoluted mystery that must be resolved. I recommend this book to those who love epic fantasies but also to those who enjoy a good mystery. Terry F. Self's narration is great and suits the characters well. I was given a free copy of the audiobook and I have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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A Fun Fantasy Mystery!

An interesting mystery where the main characters play a dangerous game of cat and mouse against each other. Magic only enhanced the tension!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A detective story wrapped in epic fantasy

RJ Hanson does a masterful job of presenting a massive original world through the eyes of a detective. Inquisitor Dunewell is Sherlock for his city, and gives the reader a unique view of the power players involved. I enjoyed hearing about the magic, monsters, and other fantasy elements from Dunewell as if they were normal everyday occupances.
A refreshingly original story that kept me guessing the entire time. I'm looking forward to continue the story in book 2.
Narrator Terry F Self delivers the tale with a solid performance. Adds just the right amount of accent to give the listener a sense of period, while not over doing the characters. You can clearly tell who is talking, but none of them come across as caricatures.

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Brilliant story

This story is brilliant, very well written. The detail in the book is amazing. I can’t wait to listen to the next book in this series. The narrator did a fantastic job with all the voices. He kept you so in enthralled in the story you can’t stop listening.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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A complicate fantasy murder mystery

Two brothers, one drawn to the chaos, the other to order. One searching for cures in his hospital and the other an Inquisitor. Silas, a brilliant healer and Dunewell the Inquisitor’s younger brother, arrives barefoot on Dunewell’s doorstep, wet with rain and blood, after finding their parents murdered in their bed. Dunewell, the Inquisitor, is charged to investigate the double murder. In the intricate dance for balance and truth, each brother follows his path. To find their destinies and become the Lord’s of Chaos and Order.

This is a good story once you get your bearings. The prologue sets up the story intense and draws you in. Then, however, I was lost. The Formatting made it challenging to follow and figure out exactly what is going on. But if you stick it out and go back more than once, you will realise that the story is told from both Silas and Dunewell’s viewpoints. It could have been clearer, and the audiobook especially is confusing in the beginning. But the story is good enough that I am willing to read the next one. Dunewell seems like an interesting and formidable character, and I would love to see what happens.

The audiobook was well narrated, sometimes it seems as if the narrator stumbles over his words, but he does a good job.
So if you like a good whodunit and love Fantasy, I would recommend it. With the caveat that the book can be confusing initially, once you figure out what is going on and what fits where it is a good read.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  • Overall
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Baskerville Book Reviews

This book had its hooks in me early on. A Sherlock Holmesesque murder mystery set in a fleshed-out medieval fantasy world. That’s something I didn’t know existed and now I wish I had more.

There’s way too much “(character name) said” nonsense going on, but it’s not as bad as another book I reviewed recently. I’d name it, but I can’t remember names to save my life. And oh boy does this book love to throw names around.

While the prologue and first chapter are some brilliantly done exposition, I was lost. I tend not to read as much fantasy as I like, due to the fondness of fantasy authors to throw around names, titles, ranks, positions, bla bla bla, and whatever else that’s not relevant for 3 more books.

It does a bit of skipping around timeline-wise, which annoys the hell out of me and confuses me. I’ve mentioned it before in other reviews. I’m often multitasking while listening to audiobook reviews and if I have no indication that an event takes place in the past, or even if I do, I don’t pay attention to chapter headers. The name of a chapter or its number is completely irrelevant to me. Chapter numbers are a waste of my time and the name of a chapter is only relevant if you’ve already read the book and know its meaning. So I’m already ignoring them and any motto , saying, part number or extra bit of dialogue is likely going to be ignored as well.

The narrator is top-notch, one of the better narrators I’ve heard. At the time of writing this, I’ve not only grown tired of fantasy novels but narrators who say made-up words like “acrosst”. So having a well-spoken narrator and an interesting fantasy novel to listen to has been a real treat. As I often mention in my audiobook reviews, I listen at 2.55X speed or 1.75x minimum. The narrator speeds up during intense action scenes which I appreciate. But if you listen to increased speeds, it might be difficult to follow. So take this as a warning.

This story uses the (UK?) weight measurement of “stones”, which makes sense from a fantasy novel standpoint. As somebody not familiar with that form of weight measurement, I was lost. The author also uses the “feet” measurement for height and the narrator says “erbs” instead of herbs. So those aspects made it feel a little janky like it didn’t know which region it wanted to be from.

I realize this review likely sounds a little mixed. I often bitch the most about things I enjoy, for whatever reason. This book did its job. It introduced me to the world, sunk its claws into me and got me hooked, and left me wanting more. I enjoyed this book very much and if you like murder mysteries and or medieval fantasy worlds, then this book is probably for you.

NOTE: This copy was provided to me free of charge as a digital review copy. The opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone, I was not paid or requested to give this book a certain rating, suggestion, or approval.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An interesting take on magic, fantasy, and crime

Review for ARC
Storyline good, kept moving forward and didn't stall. Performance good, different voices for each character.