1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
The Ballad of Perilous Graves  By  cover art

The Ballad of Perilous Graves

By: Alex Jennings
Narrated by: Gralen Bryant Banks
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $34.21

Buy for $34.21

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Music is magic in this vibrant and imaginative debut novel set in a fantastical verison of New Orleans: a battle for the city's soul brews between two young mages, a vengeful wraith, and one powerful song.

Nola is a city full of wonders. A place of sky trolleys and dead cabs, where haints dance the night away and Wise Women help keep the order. To those from Away, Nola might seem strange. To Perilous Graves, it’s simply home.

In a world of everyday miracles, Perry might not have a talent for magic, but he does know Nola’s rhythm as intimately as his own heartbeat. So when the city’s Great Magician starts appearing in odd places and essential songs are forgotten, Perry realizes trouble is afoot.

Nine songs of power have escaped from the piano that maintains the city’s beat, and without them, Nola will fail. Unwilling to watch his home be destroyed, Perry will sacrifice everything to save it. But a storm is brewing, and the Haint of All Haints is awake. Nola’s time might be coming to an end.

Put on your dancing shoes and enjoy this song for New Orleans, the city of music, magic, and dreams.

Audiobook features an Original score written and performed by Andrew McGowan

©2022 Alex Jennings (P)2022 Redhook

Critic Reviews

"A hallucinatory wonder of a debut with hints of dark humor and the intellectual challenge of Samuel Delaney. Brimming with language and music, this phantasmagoric novel taps the deep root of multi-cultural, multi-racial life in, and beyond, New Orleans. It’s an electrifying trip with zombie cabbies, sentient blues songs, parading graffiti tags, and the child mages Perilous 'Perry' Graves, his sister Brendy and their best friend Peaches who must outwit, outstomp, and outplay to save NOLA’s, their city’s, our city’s, soul."—Walter Mosley, New York Times bestselling author

“Alex Jennings did not come here to play. He came to swing, stride, and make prose sing. This novel is funny, wild, witty, and profound. The Ballad of Perilous Graves is the debut of a cosmic storm of talent.” —Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling

"A spectacularly original re-imagining of the myths and legends of New Orleans brought vividly to life through Jennings' wondrous prose. The Ballad of Perilous Graves is not only an engrossing adventure but a potent homage to the beating heart of one of the world's most magical cities." —Ladee Hubbard, author of The Talented Ribkins

"Brimming with heart and imagination, The Ballad of Perilous Graves is a wild, dark and joyful love song to New Orleans, the power of stories, and hope in the face of destruction. A spectacular debut."—H. G. Parry, author of A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians

More from the same

What listeners say about The Ballad of Perilous Graves

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    36
  • 4 Stars
    21
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    50
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    34
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

It’s been a long time since I was this happy to be confused!

I enjoyed this story immensely, and the musician score definitely adds to the experience! It reminded me of “Lincoln in the Bardo” by George Saunders and “Peaces” by Helen Oyeyemi, but is still absolutely in a class of it’s own.

15 people found this helpful

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

Excellent performance, music and story!

Very unique audio experience. Love the jazz score. Give it a try! Super impressive for a new author.

15 people found this helpful

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

Magic and Music

Unlikely heroes bring this tale of magickallll New Orleans to life. Gralen's (may I call you Gralen?) narration brought me along on this journey like I was his favorite cousin and he couldn't wait to tell me about his adventures. Delightful world building and characters you root for. Even the villains are elegant in their desire to win. A relatable trans character whose gender identity wasn't the reason they were in the story. Refreshing to have an LGBTQ+ character normalized as an integral part of the story. I recommend this urban fantasy tale by an author of color. #blackexcellence

1 person found this helpful

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

A delicious and rollicking listen

Lovingly dedicated to New Orleans and its inhabitants, an urban fantasy with a highly developed world-building sensibility. Certainly helps if you know some of the New Orleans musicians, singers and celebrities, I personally found it difficult to follow all the ins and outs, but it was a pleasure to just relax and float on the waves of words as it came rolled to its spirited and satisfying conclusion.

1 person found this helpful

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

Twin Cities

Oh yeah. This is one of those novels that you need to listen to an audiobook of to really really appreciate. Because, spoilers: there are a lot of songs. Thanks to Banks for their attempt in singing and I'm sure you struggled with it (im joking). The dialect is one thing you'll have to look out for. I've never been to New Orleans. Never met anyone from there so it took me a couple of chapters (and good earphones) to understand the dialect and slang. Representation? Jennings nailed it. Worldbuilding? Jennings made TWO. Conclusion? Buy and read it and you won't regret it, baby (ha see what i did there)

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

Stunningly beautiful

When I was a kid, I used to hug books that I finished that made me happy to have finished them and simultaneously sad I didn't have more of them to read. I just finished one of those, and since hugging my smart phone seems a little silly (since I mostly read audiobooks now) I thought I'd share it with my pocket friends instead.

I won't spoil it for you, but suffice it to say it's a book with kids as major characters, and I wouldn't say a teen or maybe even a very advanced tween could love it, but it's set in New Orleans, written by a man who is from there, and like so many in that area, the f word is a common punctuation. Also, the reader has this honey and whiskey, very authentic NO drawl, and as is fitting for a book with literally magical songs, there is a lot of interstitial music and sing-song. It's perfect for audio.

I highly, highly recommend it for anyone who loves music, loves Nola, and/or loves a good hero myth (think The Odyssey).

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Must love jazz and comics

While I loved the flavor, this long and disjointed tale of magic and mystery was hard to follow. Characters, magic elements and scenes appear at random and I was hard pressed to follow who were the main players and how they connected. I never truly got invested in the story.

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

Not my cup of tea

Tried as I might , I just could not listen to this! The visuals were just disturbing.