• The Mercenary Code

  • The Shattering of Kingdoms, Book 1
  • By: Emmet Moss
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 19 hrs and 24 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (885 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2020 Society of Voice Arts Award for Audiobook Narration - Fantasy.

Break the Code. Shatter the World.

Centuries ago, the murder of a beloved king tore apart the Kingdom of Caledun. The land was plunged into chaos and thousands perished in the aftermath. A new order was established in an attempt to return Caledun to its former glory. It failed, but in its place rose the beginnings of the Code. 

During this same period, the mystical caretakers of the Great Wood retreated from the world of Kal Maran, their disappearance an ominous harbinger of the suffering that was to follow. The Great Wood now grows out of control. Cities, towns, and villages have fallen before the relentless march of the forest. Without the former guardians to keep her tame, the wood has become a place of peril, and dark creatures of legend now hunt beneath its leaves. 

The summer season is now a time of armed conflict. The fall of the old monarchy has brought about a ceaseless cycle of combat. Grievances are settled by the strict tenets of a binding Mercenary Code and the men who would die to preserve its honour. 

However, change is in the air. Political rivalries have escalated, and dire rumblings of a revolution abound. Thrust to the forefront of the shattered land's politics, a mercenary fights for more than just riches. In the north, a borderland soldier wrestles with his own demons and looks to find his true purpose. And in the shadow of the Great Wood, a young man's chance encounter with a strange visitor gives hope to a land divided.

©2019 Emmet Moss (P)2020 Podium Audio

What listeners say about The Mercenary Code

Average Customer Ratings
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Quite Impressed

I have over 150 titles in this genre - essentially, I've read everything out there. I've never left a review before, but in this case feel obligated due to the fact that the book clearly does not have that much exposure, at least on audible, yet I'd rank it somewhere in the top 15%. That's pretty dang good by my estimates.

If your search for a new epic fantasy feels like an exercise in futility, as mine so often does and has for quite some time, I believe you'll be thoroughly pleased with this one.

Excited to start book two, keep them coming.

94 people found this helpful

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Bland story and characters

The characters and story are unremarkable. No magic system, no compelling characters. The story suggest a vast world of multiple human nations and magical creature kinds. Yet, the story revolves around 6 or so main characters. Simon Vance is the only worthwhile element. I guess its my fault for assuming that the best voice actors are reserved for the best works/authors.

20 people found this helpful

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Not much to dislike.

Really, REALLY, enjoyed this book. Been awhile since I enjoyed a book this much. It’s got everything, including a coming of age component. Let’s go over what I didn’t like, without giving much away. In the coming of age part, the subject comes off as a bit of an ungrateful brat .. as they sometimes do. Bit annoying. Next, the “Northern wall” that serves as a “shield” is a bit unoriginal. The evil creatures … the “Gaff(so?) … I have no clue what they look like. They’ve never really been described. We know they have fangs and they stink. Otherwise, up to your imagination. Lastly, the narrator uses the same voice for many characters, but … IMO, Simon Vance is one of the very best.

You have to give the book a chance. It doesn’t jump out at you immediately and is kinda hard to follow at first. It throws a bunch of characters at you quickly and it’s tough to keep them straight. 4 or 5 chapters in and I was addicted and staying up all hours of the night to listen. I’m into book 2 now and I’m enjoying it just as much, if not more than book 1.

Great character development. Decent world development. Fantastic story with just the right amount of magic (not too much or overpowering to the extent that it ruins the story).

Great book. Highly recommend.

15 people found this helpful

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Loved this book

I found the each character’s story line engaging. The author does a great job of making you want to continue listening. The character building and the little bits of history that you learn about the world keep you interested the whole time. I don’t remember any part of the book where I lost interest and had to rewind to listen again. When it was playing it had my full attention. I have listened to a lot of books on audible and this is one of my favorites. I can’t wait for the next book in the series. Oh and as always Simon Vance did a great job but honestly I didn’t need to say that haha.

13 people found this helpful

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Vance brought characters alive!

Having bought this book on a whim last year and thoroughly enjoying it, I was extremely excited to see Simon Vance was doing an audio version! I just finished listening to it over the long weekend and loved it! I thought Vance brought a nuance and his flair to certain characters (loved Corian Praxxus). Production values were great, and it was paced well, and it's always fun to hear someone do a character's voice and compare it to what I thought in my own head when reading it. Hoping Vance returns to narrate Book 2 in this series as well!

8 people found this helpful

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Holy Grail

If you can stomach the Monty Pythonesque narrative and the shameless GOT rip-offs, you may grind your way through unscathed.

6 people found this helpful

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Pretty good

The beginning was good, but the several story arcs dragged on in the middle. The "un-ending" of the first book in the trilogy didn't have a very strong hook. Mostly, I was only interested in one or two characters...the others were kind of flat.

5 people found this helpful

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I gave this 5 stars, great listen.

Great story, I'm so glad book 2 is available. I hope it's the same narrator.

5 people found this helpful

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tedious

I really dis not care for this book ar all. I will nor be getting any further books in this series.

5 people found this helpful

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Meh, a long listen with little actual meat.

the story was just not engaging, even with the wonderful narrator. I never really cared about any character. I would often find my attention had wandered and I didn't bother backing up to find out what I missed. The end seemed the best part as the story actually started to take a shape. I may listen to the second book to see if things improve. Basically, this book took far too long to set things up.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs Jude
  • 02-21-21

Really enjoyed this book

Found the beginning of this book a little confusing, couldn’t follow the story But I’m so glad I stuck with it !
As the story unfolded I became more hooked really enjoyed this and can’t wait to start book 2

4 people found this helpful

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  • Lewis Stephenson
  • 02-08-21

A fun and solidly written fantasy story

Purchased this book on a whim and have had no regrets. Great story and character design. The world building and lore is interesting and well thought out. Narration is well done and suited to the story and characters.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Josh
  • 06-26-21

Too jumbled, maybe easier to follow the book.

A jumbled mess, switching between a few characters before getting used to it. Gave up at chapter 10 as I was getting lost.
Connecting to the characters is a huge part of any story, but I had no idea who and where most were.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lorgan
  • 08-10-22

Messy

This series is too "messy" for me. Too many characters and plotlines at the same time. Really like Simon Vance but that was not enough to save these books for me.

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  • R. W
  • 02-16-22

Struggling

I feel that it’s an okay book, but I’ve really struggled to concentrate on the story and find myself thinking of anything but the story.
Personally I think it’s Simon Vance’s voice - I recently listened to another book narration by him which I enjoyed but he’s obviously using his (only) voice range for characters in this story that I can’t disassociate from the previous book, I know it’s just me so give the book a chance..

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  • Dougie
  • 02-05-22

Great listen

Loved the story and great narration. Finished this book and immediately download the next in the series.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-26-21

Absolutely love it

This honestly brought me back to other amazing stories like LOTR or The Hobbit. Just used my last 2 credits to buy the remaining 2 books, can't wait to see what happens next 😁

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  • Neil Brayley
  • 08-10-21

Solid Epic Fantasy

Brilliant performance by Simon Vance as always, i struggled a little with the characters and hopping between them, however I thoroughly enjoyed it, solid concept and looking forward to starting the next book as always!

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  • Poppey
  • 07-12-21

The Code is Everything

This book gets off to a slow start while the character/world building, which is vast, gets under way. However, it is worth the wait. I would class this as a 'busy' book' as a lot of different storylines are in play. The one down I did find was the introduction of Kieri, the camp pro. The quick relationship which seemed to grow between her and Leoric seemed a little ridiculous.

One thing that could have helped this book further was a list of the characters involved. I always find it helpful to separate characters out when there are so many diverse ones.