• Spellmonger

  • Spellmonger, Book 1
  • By: Terry Mancour
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 18 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (13,352 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Nominee, Audie Awards - Fantasy, 2018

Minalan gave up a promising career as a professional warmage to live the quiet life of a village spellmonger in the remote mountain valley of Boval. It was a peaceful, beautiful little fief, far from the dangerous feudal petty squabbles of the Five Duchies, on the world of Callidore. There were cows. Lots of cows. And cheese.

For six months things went well: He found a quaint little shop, he befriended the local lord, the village folk loved him, he found a sharp young apprentice to help out, and, best yet, he met a comely young widow with the prettiest eyes.

Then one night Minalan is forced to pick up his mageblade again to defend his adopted home from the vanguard of an army of goblins - gurvani, they call themselves - bent on a genocidal crusade against all mankind. And that was the good news. The bad news was that their shamans were armed with more magical power than has been seen since the days of the ancient Imperial Magocracy - and their leader, a mysterious, vengeful force of hate and dark magic, is headed directly to Boval Vale, along with a massive invading army of gurvani. The good people of Boval and their spellmonger have only one choice: To hole up in the over-sized Boval Castle and hope they can endure a siege against hundreds of thousands of goblins.

When the people look to him for hope, Minalan does his best, but the odds are depressing: There are multitudes of goblins, and they want Boval Vale as a staging ground for a vengeful invasion of the whole Five Duchies. Add to his troubles a jealous rival mage, a motley band of mercenaries, a delusional liege lord who insists victory is at hand despite the hordes at his door, a dour castellan, a moody, pregnant girlfriend, and a catty ex-girlfriend who specializes in sex magic - all trapped in a stinking, besieged castle with no hope of rescue, and you'll understand why Minalan is willing to take his chances with the goblins.

All that stands between the gurvani horde and the people of the Five Duchies is one tired, overwhelmed baker's son who wanted nothing more than to be a simple village spellmonger.

©2011 Terry Mancour (P)2017 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about Spellmonger

Average Customer Ratings
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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

Why so serious?

I’m sick of reading the nonsense posted about this book and it’s continuing series. Do not buy this if you expect Sanderson, Tolkien, or Jordan. Do not buy this if you plan to get so serious about your fantasy that you’ll be changing the background of your phone to the book cover-art. Do not buy this book if you’re easily offended. Do not buy this book if you expect to glean some sort of grand wisdom or are seeking catharsis to rival Oedipus. This series isn’t offering that.

This series does offer an enjoyable story, a plot based around common and well known fantasy themes, but in a completely different light (mostly a militaristic one). The main character isn’t a white knight, and yeah, he’s a bit of a scumbag. He’s an elitist asshole, but I think that’s the point of the story. If you want to read a story about a hero that’s valiant to begin with, then go read something more serious, and change your phone background while you’re at it.

I had a really long winded bit in here, mostly about reviewers bashing on anything that hints at misogyny, because it’s not allowed to exist or something... All I’ll say on the subject is that in order for a character to develop beyond a flaw, they must have a flaw to begin with. Just because it’s tender ground the author walks upon doesn’t mean the redemption (later in the series) is lessened for it. If you live in a fragile little world that can’t handle anything beyond your moral high ground, don’t buy this book.

Anyhow, If I were to tag a filter onto this series it would go under fantasy candy. It’s not the hardy meal you get from the wheel of time, nor is the author the iron chef that Sanderson is, but if you multitask and want something to pass the time here’s your ticket. It’s not super serious, it’s got some pretty comical moments for sure, dark ones too. It is a fantasy novel, cut right from the same cloth most are cut from. There’s a simplicity in that that really allowed me to enjoy the story, because the theme is already a given. The narration isn’t bad, no heavy breathing or anything, fine sound quality as far as I recall. I recommend this title to anyone that loves the genre but needs an escape from the ever present serious overtone.

499 people found this helpful

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Sophomoric ego-porn for 15-year-old boys

What was most disappointing about Terry Mancour’s story?

Prepare to be told how amazing the main character is... by the main character... every 15 minutes, and while you're at it prepare to be told how this makes getting sex from farm maids (married or not) easy as pie, every 30 minutes... because that's functionally all this is. - Sure there are other elements present, too... but if you genuinely hate sexism, and a protagonist droning on about how great he is, without *EVER* encountering any valid conflict... you won't hear any of the other parts, because your tolerance for unbidden bravado will be filled for the day. You'll also find that if lazy or childish anachronisms bother you, (such as King Arthur calling something 'Hella pimp!' in the 11th century etc.) you'll find this book to be a rainbow of pain. Yes, it is a bit annoying that a wizard in a locale that is still developing siege weapons and crossbows understand particle physics, but that's not the stuff I'm referencing. This person *specifically* invokes the northern California surfer vernacular. He calls people a "tool", and warriors go out to gather "intel". The following is an actual quote, "When my name was called as one of the successful candidates, I was amazed. I'd thought I'd screwed up royally!" - "" -Sincerely, Min, Medieval Wizard at War with all of Goblinkind

The prosecution rests.

218 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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After this, I won't read anything by this auther

Story started out well. Good background on various types of magic. Protagonist develops nicely. He is a skirt chaser, which is fine. But the authors emphasis on the youth (underage) of the skirts he chases is objectionable to me.

74 people found this helpful

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How Did This Even Get Made?

This book desperately needed an editor. Or just a friend to read it before it was printed. It feels like an early work that needed so much polish that it really should have just been rejected. There are glaring mistakes such as sentences that directly conflict with ones right before it. Redundancy galore. The worst of all is the complete lack of ability to use imagery to describe things. "There are no words" "It cannot be described" "I wish I could tell you about it, but I'll do it later perhaps" are all repeated endlessly throughout the book to try and work past this extreme gap in writing ability.

The main character is downright unlikable. He is full of himself, succeeds in everything, somehow both has strong morals and also lacks them, and is EXTREMELY LECHEROUS. To borrow a like from John Lee "I cannot describe" how often the main character made me cringe. Female characters exist solely for him to have sex with them. The character rarely make a mistake and is almost always awesome, so much of the book is them rolling around on godmode.

The author actually does some decent world-building here, which I applaud. That is the one good thing about this book that never should have been. Somewhere in here is a nugget of something that could have been used, had the thing been completely rewritten.

62 people found this helpful

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yikes

The goblins are inferior and covered in black fur and skin. The heroes are intelligent and fair skinned. The women are relegated to to birthing children and raising them. The only women of power is a sex mage. Our protagonist hates women who are unfaithful while constantly cheating on his girlfriend with anyone he meets. In later books he marries her, only to continue to cheat on her every chance he gets.

The world building is fairly good but once I realized it's all a cover for some deeply disturbing sexism and racism I was out. We can do better than this. It would be one thing if the protagonist had an arch where these issues were addressed but they only get worse in the later books.

This author belongs on some red pill message board not audible.

57 people found this helpful

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Good story marred

Any additional comments?

A good story reasonably told. I get the impression the story is an excuse for the author's adolescent sexual fantasy, and that distracts from the story in my opinion.

87 people found this helpful

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Rapey vibes

Although I’ve enjoyed some of the worldbuilding, the main character comments on female anatomy a bit too often to be comfortable (speaking as a male reader here). When that suddenly accelerated into a kiss with a highly questionable level of consent from the female recipient, I immediately stopped listening.

Also, the Audible narrator had exceedingly good enunciation. Although easy to understand, it felt a bit stilted/formal to my ears.

31 people found this helpful

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Mostly Good

Excellent worldbuilding only slightly dampened by a seeming preoccupation with sex. Will be buying Book 2. Recommend to high fantasy fans, but be warned that it gets a little pulpy toward the end.

27 people found this helpful

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it's like reading a history book

there is next to no action, the story is very dry and its a history

15 people found this helpful

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  • JR
  • 07-25-20

Sex Magic. Child Rape. Human Trafficing...

Super creepy justifications and descriptions of our "hero" having sex with and raping minors along with a host of other deplorable actions that the author passes of as perfectly justifiable. This author has some very disturbing fantasies. This book is disgusting.

Don't buy this book. Don't support this garbage.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Iain
  • 01-22-19

Derivative, tired sleazy male power fantasy.

I couldn't finish this despite the good narration. Initially it reads like it wants to be a swords and sorcery version of Jim Butchers excellent Dresden Files, but it lacks the characters and character of Jim Butchers work.

It's overloaded on exposition and the main character while seeming initially charming is actually a sleazy letch with nothing interesting going on with him, as he seems more interested kissing a woman until she "submits" and "likes it." and at other times reminding the reader of all the times he's manipulated women into having sex.

The whole thing made me feel uneasy particularly as the main character refers to having "thoroughly molested" the the above mentioned woman.

If the story dealt in some way or made commentary of the main characters rapey tendancies it would have been something but after the third or fourth time I said "f*** off" out load at the misogynistic guff presented in the book I had to turn it off.

34 people found this helpful

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  • Alan R
  • 03-10-17

If only a sixth star was available...

Good story, well written. John Lee's narration is fantastic. I look forward to the sequel(s).

18 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah
  • 06-07-18

Avoid - condones sex with a underage girls

Tried to listen. However story was beset with main protagonist talking about sex
At times it appears author is condoning sex with 15 year olds. Had to stop
Beneath all that it is a pastiche of more classical fantasy including Tolkien, Brookes and Eddings. This doesn’t add anything new.
The pacing is also odd with frequent jumps between past and present.

26 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Craig Starkey
  • 07-31-20

Author is a obviously a creep

I lasted 8 hours ignoring the ‘women are only for sex’ bit as the story is good, then the Auther went full pedo with a 15 year old girl, Its creepy weird and add nothing to character building or within story context and ruins a good story. Dont bother. Find a Joe Abercrombie book, way better.

12 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Gillan
  • 07-27-17

Abuser does magic

Child rape of two 15 year olds and a sexual assault before the plot really gets going really drags my opinion down.

As others have said, the book is mostly the protagonist bragging and the author living out his sexual fantasies. The plot itself would be okay, if a little eye rolling in places, if not for the rape and assault, standard fantasy fare of winning against overwhelming odds and setting up more books in the series.

John Lee's performance is great, shame about the subject matter.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 03-31-17

Give it an hour of your time and you won't regret it

This took me a few minutes to realise that the performance was matching the character to perfection, brilliantly witty
Can't wait for book two

26 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nick
  • 03-22-17

A most promising first novel in the series.

Great characters, goblins, epic warfare, court intrigue & magic sex. Works for me on many levels!

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marion
  • 08-06-17

Gripping high fantasy

Excellent story that builds the pace well. At first the reading sounds slightly syncopated but I soon got used to it. Well worth listening to (as are the next 2 books - now eagerly awaiting the rest).

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Leon
  • 01-29-21

Good in parts but not overall and let down in part

I found some aspects of this book distasteful such as the reference to a landlord sending up his 17 and 15 year old daughters to pleasure the main character - who comes across as creepy He uses magic to spy on a 17 year old bathing. To be fair there where good bits such as the world the character in habits and the system of magic. However the sex magic is written in such a way it comes across as juvenile. Won't be reading any more.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MK
  • 03-22-20

World building perfection

The world building is the best I've ever listened to. if you don't want to think or appreciate long series with meticulous thought put into it this book may not be for you.

This book has its audience and it keeps to its roots throughout the series. it can drag on at times but its usally with a purpose and even the "filler" seems to always be enjoyable or serve some greater purpose not yet known to the reader.

tldr: really good buy it if your interested in fantasy like this

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kathryn yeo
  • 01-10-20

Sexist

Horribly sexist where women are only there for sex. Disappointing. The second book in the series is even worse... why did I go there?

20 people found this helpful

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  • Leilani Coetzee
  • 07-04-17

Slow and steady with a climactic ending

At first I was a bit aprehensive, but soon I was bewitched by the magnificent storytelling that Podium publishing is known for finding. I would recomend Spelmonger for anyone over the age of 17.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-31-19

Brilliant Concept and Fantastic Performance!

Absolutely loved this story by Terry Mancour. Never read one of his books before but as John Lee was the narrator, I had an inkling it would be a decent read and I was not disappointed.

Written in the first person under the character of the Spelllmonger, you find that this is no ordinary Mage in every way. He also has a loyal apprentice who follows wherever his master takes him.

It's an extremely witty and clever story of fantasy. There's a whole lot of action, a spot of frolicking and real danger around.

I liked it so much, I'm about to download book 2!

Happy reading folks. I definitely recommend this one. John Lee is brilliant!

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Trevor
  • 04-30-18

The Spellmonger is a must Read...

The Spellmonger is a must Read...

A really enjoyable story, with plenty of action, a great back story, welcome humour and an adult spin on things...

It took a chapter or two to get used to John Lee narrative / voice, but once he started using other voices to create the different characters, I really warmed to him and but the end if the book I’m a new fan of his style and I’m glad that the Spellmonger series has kept him, as it wouldn’t be the same with anyone else.

Highly recommend this book and look forward to listening to the next book in the series...

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • marnie
  • 03-20-17

great story

loved this story, humerous in places, well read and keeps you hooked, highly recommend it

11 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • kingston
  • 05-20-19

Give this a pass

Tedious listen. In my opinion, this book sounds/reads like a diary entry. "I did this... I did that...I.. etc." The story is told to me rather than having it unfold organically. 7 hours and could not bring myself to finish it. The narrator breaks/pauses slightly between words and makes it difficult to follow or immerse myself in the story. Dialogue between characters are fine; only the narration is jarring (which is practically the whole book...judging from the 7 hours I've put into it).

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Nancy
  • 07-31-17

fantasy with a difference

second half of the story was a lot better than the first half, making the book a bit hard to relate to, at first. a few irreverent moments make it a little more entertaining than most, at least it doesn't take itself too seriously. while I thought the narrator good, overall there were moments the reading came across as a bit pompous and sometimes I felt they emphasised the wrong word in the sentence and gave the whole thing a different meaning, something that was supposed to be funny coming out as serious or the joke being lost. All in all pretty good, though. Will be following up with the next instalment.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • boots
  • 11-04-19

Disappointed

I enjoy my afternoon walks - look forward to them because that is when I can listen to my audiobook and “be somewhere else”. Unfortunately that is not the case with this one. The main stumbling block is the narrator. His character voices are good but since the book is written in the first person (narrator) I find it difficult to ignore the voice and submerge myself in the story. His delivery is quite staccato with sometimes odd word emphasis. Other reviewers have said that improves and the story takes over but I find myself thinking of other things while whole paragraphs - even pages - go by. So, reluctantly, I am returning this one. (Never done that before -sorry)

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Coljar
  • 03-01-20

Complex ,Witty ,Sexy and well read.

Loved the Fantastic fantasy and Mage's tic
Grandure of the magic,war and sex
Very well read!

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • shannon
  • 01-21-20

Very poor narration

A great story with some real grit but I am so disappointed by the narrator. He makes it sound like he’s reading an instruction manual. The rise and fall of each sentence is exactly the same and I find myself switching off instead of being pulled into what is actually a brilliant story! Have just seen that he narrates the whole serious and therefore I won’t be purchasing anymore unfortunately.

1 person found this helpful