• The Pariah

  • By: Anthony Ryan
  • Narrated by: Steven Brand
  • Length: 19 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (1,671 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"A gritty, heart-pounding tale of betrayal and bloody vengeance. I loved every single word." (John Gwynne)

The Pariah begins a new epic-fantasy series of action, intrigue, and magic from Anthony Ryan, a master storyteller who has taken the fantasy world by storm.

Born into the troubled kingdom of Albermaine, Alwyn Scribe is raised as an outlaw. Quick of wit and deft with a blade, Alwyn is content with the freedom of the woods and the comradeship of his fellow thieves. But an act of betrayal sets him on a new path - one of blood and vengeance, which eventually leads him to a soldier's life in the king's army.

Fighting under the command of Lady Evadine Courlain, a noblewoman beset by visions of a demonic apocalypse, Alwyn must survive war and the deadly intrigues of the nobility if he hopes to claim his vengeance. But as dark forces, both human and arcane, gather to oppose Evadine's rise, Alwyn faces a choice: Can he be a warrior, or will he always be an outlaw?

"This makes a rich treat for George R.R. Martin fans." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

For more from Anthony Ryan, check out Raven's Shadow trilogy: Blood Song, Tower Lord, Queen of Fire; Raven's Blade duology: The Wolf's Call, The Black Song; The Draconis Memoria trilogy: The Waking Fire, The Legion of Flame, The Empire of Ashes.

©2021 Anthony Ryan (P)2021 Orbit

What listeners say about The Pariah

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Has a great first half then slowly goes downhill

Man, I was super excited for this book, and really enjoyed the first half, but then it just gets very muddied and goes too far into Military Fantasy for my tastes. it seemed like this was finally going to be the actual Fantasy story from Ryan. But instead of writing a cool Robin hood type fantasy story, he takes this awesome character and turns him into a run of the mill soldier with very few actual Fantasy elements. there was almost no magic or any other Fantastical elements. It was essentially Military Historical Fiction. I did enjoy it, I just don't know if I would recommend it.

59 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

Different - In A Good Way

While a "coming of age," this is not your average hero or anti-hero fantasy story. Given the mystery and grandure Anthony Ryan has produced in his other titles, this one seemed like a let down to me at first, as there really is nothing special at the start of the book. But the writing was still engaging enough, and before long the story picked up and never slowed down all the way to the end.

What stuck out, though, was not the pacing, but the characters - on the whole rather ordinary and without special powers or crazy skills, an oddity for the genre. Magic plays a role, yet is not prevalent in the story, leading to more believable and relatable characters. The dangers felt real and the solutions they employed also real rather than some spell that does just what you need at the last minute.

As usual Ryan delivers an interesting world and in this first volume uncovers a lot of world building. Steven Brand's voice doesn't have a whole lot of inflection, but renders the mood of the book excellently.

So if you're looking for heavy fantasy with lots of magic and magical challenges/combat, look elsewhere (though this series may be good for you in subsequent volumes), but if you're willing to push through a bit at the start for a super-engaging read, get this book.

29 people found this helpful

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Extremely Tedious and Annoying Spoilers!

This book has spoilers of its own story. I can see why, because without those I would not even have bothered to make it to about the 1/3 mark.

Very boring and nonsense descriptions of past and the culture of other regions of the world is thrown at you constantly. No none who isn't taking notes can hope to remember and none of it matters to the story such as it is. There is not real complexity in the story either, just a sequence of events that happen and the protagonist reacts to them.

One sequence that stands out, the merry morons of the forest capture a few deserters. A woman in that group tells our ponce of a protagonist some convoluted tale of where she is from and some story about her tribe and her people. Then, we are just straight up told she will make an appearance later. Now, when she does (didn't get that far), I will absolutely not remember the whole thing she described about her past. It was very very boring. Additionally, I guarantee it will not matter either. There is more and more of this. Characters just keep making cameo appearances.

I could not take it anymore. Returned it.

20 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A decent story, unimproved by flat narration

I wanted to like this, but found myself easily distracted and unmotivated to get back to it. The narrative was uninspiring, and seemed to lack depth. Have in an accent & reading aloud isn't the same as performing. I won't try anything else he narrates.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

8.5/10 - Fantastic novel

Any fans of adventure or fantasy would be well served to give this a listen. With a rich world and memorable characters I only regret I listened to The Pariah without the rest of the books in the series already released, I would be binging them now still. Going to go back and listen to some of Anthony Ryan's other works while waiting for the next installment.

What others have said about the performer is true; the story is delivered with a even, near inflectionless voice. Getting lost in long conversations between two or more characters can happen, however given the distinct vernacular of each that fades quickly as you get to know each. Do not let this put you off from reading, this is only a minor point. And in no way has Steven Brand boring to listen to, the story stands out on its own without any aid. I am unsure if having a different performer would've let the story strike in such a profound way as it did.

10 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Tedious

The beginning has most of the action in the whole book. The narrator doesn’t even sound interested

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • G
  • 09-13-21

Excellent

The story is excellent, I am sure due to the writing, but the narration steals the show, a fantastic voice, my new favorite narrator!

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another great start to what I’m sure will be another great series from the author.

I have read all the books by the author thus far and wait excitedly for the next book in the series. Great job!

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Anthony Ryan does it again.

as always I was drawn in form the start, and taken on a wild ride. now the waiting till book 2.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Very good story

Really enjoyed this story, I liked the main character and all his friends. The reader was able to keep my attention throughout the story

3 people found this helpful