• Ravine of Blood and Shadow: Soldier, Outlaw, Hero, King

  • Annals of the Nameless Dwarf, Book 1
  • By: Derek Prior
  • Narrated by: Mike Carnes
  • Length: 8 hrs and 25 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (38 ratings)

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Ravine of Blood and Shadow: Soldier, Outlaw, Hero, King

By: Derek Prior
Narrated by: Mike Carnes
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Publisher's Summary

Fantasy Faction semifinalist for the SPFBO 2018

A babe is born in the shadows of the ravine city, a child who will end the self-imposed exile of the dwarves and usher in a new age of glory.

Years later, Ravine Guard Carnac Thayn discovers a break-in at the Scriptorium. A dwarf has been murdered and a book stolen, but the ruling council do nothing.

Then, when Carn is called to investigate thuds and crashes from the mines, old horror rises from the deep, and the city is threatened with slaughter.

Rumors begin to circulate about a mythical axe said to be lost below the earth, an axe wielded by the dwarf lords of old that might just be the last hope of a race marked to die.

But deception is rife, and unseen forces manipulate all paths to the future.

It is a pivotal moment for the dwarves, and Carn must make a choice that will either save or damn his people.

Blood will flow in rivers through the ravine. Friends will become foes. A name will be forgotten.

And a hero will rise.

©2019 D.P. Prior (P)2019 D.P. Prior

What listeners say about Ravine of Blood and Shadow: Soldier, Outlaw, Hero, King

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

Re-telling the story from the beginning

To begin with, let's get some things on the table. First, I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Second, this isn't my first exposure to our Nameless protagonist. D.P. Prior did something I've never seen before: he wrote a highly popular series of books, then said "Good, but I can do even better." He listened to his fans, kept what worked, cleaned up what didn't work, and made an excellent series even better.

This time he starts at the beginning with what was originally a prequal. He does a good job of laying out what I think a lot of authors miss about their characters now days: a flawed hero who will have to strive, grow, and overcome himself (or, at least, his failures) to become a legendary hero. If the hero were already perfect, there isn't much story to tell. The story does have a lot to set up so the action is a little light at first but it does pick up by the end (and I know there is even better to come).

Mike Carnes' narration is good; an improvement over the previous narrator. (To be honest I liked the previous narrator but even I will admit he was an acquired taste.) Each character has a distinct voice and the narration flows well.

In my opinion the Nameless Dwarf is one of the best characters to come out of the self-publishing era. In this edition the author has taken something good and made it better. I look forward to seeing how later editions evolve.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A tale of dwarves like we’ve never heard before

We have all heard tales of dwarves from Tolkien style to brooks, feist, dungeons and dragons and more. This tale is one like we haven’t heard before. Dwarves trapped for centuries in their lair. Their greatest prize lost to the ages. Two brothers prophecied to be their saviors. Betrayals most foul. And the greatest damantion for a dwarf there is. The loss of their name, of who they are...unless that being nameless is what will define them and make them who they are meant to be. One helluva good tale. Can’t wait for the rest.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Captivating and Engaging!

This is a mystery that my mind keeps trying to solve, who set Carn up? I dont trust his friends or half the council and I want to know more about the magic on that helm! It was his mothers and I feel like some bad magic has been placed on it. I look forward to reading the rest of the series. Mike Carnes did a marvelous job narrating, giving voice to dwarves and fey alike! Oh and before I forget, I was given this book free in exchange for my thoughts on it and all I can say is I am ready for more!

3 people found this helpful

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Not your typical dwarvish fantasy!

I enjoy a well-written fantasy, and there are no shortages of fantasies which involve dwarves. I've read many, played various concepts of dwarves in MMORPGs and table-top games, and so on.

This book was a breath of fresh air, though, and while it contained some familiar touchpoints to the other dwarvish depictions that you find in abundance, it also features an extremely well-developed dwarvish culture and environment, down to customs and relationships, jobs, personalities, and descriptions of history which led to the dwarvish society as shown herein.

Although there were a number of what I would consider "hat tips" to other stories and ideas about dwarves, I found this conceptualization intriguing and engrossing. I knew this was part of a series, but usually there is more focus on character development than story in new series. Not so here! In fact, I generally read the first book of a new series and never follow up with the rest because it just doesn't grab my attention. This one did. Very much so.

Not only that, but the closing scenes (prior to the Epilogue) were so well done that I started to second-guess everything I thought I had figured out. I found myself teetering on the edge of a cliffhanger ending, something I haven't had much of in the last few years - and which I really enjoy. The Epilogue only managed to kick a bit more footing out from under my already-tenuous grasp on what I thought I knew about the storyline and who the characters actually were.

I had not read any of D.P. Prior's works before, though I had heard the name many times from like-minded friends. While I received this particular book free in exchange for a review (which did not influence my personal opinion nor this written review in any way), I was so taken with this story and the writing that I am going to be using some of my saved up credits here to start obtaining more of this series, and maybe other books (if there are any right now) by this author.

It's almost 4 am right now and I stayed up just so I could finish this book; I simply had to know how it ended. Now I do...and now I must have more! :)

Highly, highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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Enchanting story, amazing narration!

This book was the first fantasy genre I’d read (listened to) in years and it did not disappoint. I was instantly hooked! The plot is fantastic and the narration is on point - I was emotionally hooked from the very start. Highly recommend, and cannot wait time start the next one in this series. Do yourself a favor and allow yourself to be transported each time you hit “play”!

2 people found this helpful

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Awesome Fantasy Story!

Story opens well with excellent progression through narrative! Narrator did a stellar performance with great vocal pressure applied! This demands a sequel or four!!
I recommend this audiobook for ages 16 and older due to some violence.
I was given this audiobook for free and I freely give it my rating and opinion

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great YA/Adult Dwarf Fantasy Adventure

So I'm going to start with my morality rating on this one. If it were a movie it would be PG13 to R, there's lots of drinking, language, lots of gore and sexual references/content. This is definitely geared to the young adult and adult crowd. That being said I can't say that I am surprised with the content, as it centers around dwarf society. I was aware that it could easily go that way but it was a really interesting and entertaining story. The narrator did a fantastic job and really was fun to listen to. This is a great book for those into Fantasy, RPG and the mystery/adventure genre.

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

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Engaging with unique world

A socialistic Dwarven Society, an unlikely hero, a council of unknown loyalty, and a beautifully built world for all the twists and turns the author has thought out. Well narrated by Mike Cannes who’s characters and mastering did the book justice!
I was given a free promotional copy of this audio and gave this review of my own volition.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Great Listen

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, and found it very entertaining. If you like Dwarves this is a good book for you to listen too, the hero is very like able dwarf whose life starts to spin out his control. Carn and his brother have always been haunted by a prophecy of their birth and role in the Dwarf society. Carn finds himself all alone, and has a choice to make, but he can't tell what is real or deception. A suspenseful tale, that leaves you guessing until the end. Well written characters in combination with a fast paced plot that made my commute seem much shorter. Looking forward to the next book.

2 people found this helpful

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Kept me engaged

Very good storyline, kept me wanting to know what was coming next. Enough twists to keep you guessing. Mike Carnes did a very good job narrating, whether just leading you through the story or getting into the various characters. One gets the feeling he really enjoys what he's doing. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. Bring on the dwarfs!

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for J Smith
  • J Smith
  • 01-22-20

Ravine of Blood and Shadow

I enjoyed listening to this book. It was a little on the slow side, but now it’s finished laying out the background, maybe book 2 will be a little faster in getting to the meat of things.
The narrator does a good job of telling the story, but I felt the pacing/tempo was a little too constant (eating breakfast felt the same as a battle.)
All in all, looking forward to hearing the next book.
This is my honest opinion of a free review copy.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Midgeslayer
  • 11-10-22

JTDC! A Scottish accent?

Narrators can make or break an audiobook. This one's a breaker. Ok for the US market perhaps. If I tried putting on a faux Scottish accent like that here in Scotland it would not end well for me. Shame, the book never got a chance.