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Publisher's Summary

The time is the beginning. The place is heaven. The story is the revolt of the angels - a war of magic, corruption, and intrigue that could destroy the universe. To Reign in Hell was Stephen Brust's second novel, and it's a thrilling retelling of the revolt of the angels, through the lens of epic fantasy.

©1984 Steven Brust (P)2019 Steven Brust

What listeners say about To Reign in Hell

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent re-telling of the creation story!

I've always loved Steven Brust and especially his Dragaeran books -- both the Taltos stories and the Khaavren romances. It's an absolute joy to revisit his books, which I've done again and again.

I first read To Reign In Hell when I was a teenager, and it holds up today. The premise is a re-imagining of the Creation story, told from the various perspectives of the major characters. I never expected to consider Mephistopheles one of my favorite characters, but... here I am. The order of the universe is very well constructed, with simple rules -- each successive wave of creation is less powerful than the last, entropy is the ultimate enemy, and the introduction of disorder through the political manipulations of an ambitious angel led to the divide between Heaven and Hell.

The narrator presents this excellent story well, with clear enunciation and a good sense of dramatic tension. The story was every bit as enjoyable in audio format as it was on the page, and I really can't recommend this enough to anyone interested. Brust is a marvelous author of rogues, and I urge everyone to try his Dragaera books as well if you liked To Reign In Hell.

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

3 people found this helpful

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One of the great fantasies, finally an audio book.

The first sentence of To Reign in Hell hooked me when I read it, having found it in a wire rack the year it was first published. That "overwritten" sentence showed the humor and love for words that fills this book. Only someone crazy would tackle telling the tale of the rebellion in Heaven. Only one of the finest authors could pull it off, and Steven Brust does. The characters are deep and relatable, the intrigue and politics insightful, and the whole thing tons of fun.

Jiralya Addams does a great job narrating. His voice works well for the mythic figures portrayed, though perhaps a bit off for the female parts.

Overall highly recommended.

3 people found this helpful

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Rendition as a story of Satan's fall from heaven

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

This was long. But so is Milton's "Paradise Lost". This did remind me of a more Hellenistic take of the Greek's Gods in Mythology bickering with and fighting among themselves as in this story the Angels have power and free will and think they can challenge the supreme God --- the stories of Olympus et al WRT Greek Mytholgy told in that vein it seems to me.

So this book was interesting if read from that vein but with Bible/Milton/Poetic references as a sort of setting in a way for each chapter.

Spoiler ... and the end you can guess as I did ... and we see and suspect Satan has designs on that.

2 people found this helpful

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A highly engaging novel

I think this was a brilliant book. Highly ambitious and well written. The author tackles Christian mythology with brilliance and wit. The narrator did an excellent job with the characters giving each a distinct voice. This is the first of Steven Brust’s novels that I have read and it was a wonderful introduction to a writer of quality.

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic

A brilliant fantasy reinterpretation of the War in Heaven. Every character is well-defined and fleshed out, it was a delight to read. Five stars.

1 person found this helpful

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Not what you're expecting.

Probably one of my all-time favorites. If not a must have, then certainly a must read.

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Crucial Conversations at their Worst

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This review is for the audio copy of To Reign in Hell by Steven Brust, and narrated by Jiraiya Addams. A great take on a story that will be argued about forever. This was very entertaining and expressed the short comings and downfalls of interpersonal communications. You do have to stick with it as stated in some previous reviews. It is slow starting and tedious at first but well worth hanging in there. The narrator did a superlative job with all the different voices and inflections. He made this story a success for being an audio book.

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Adonai breaking bad

Jiraiya Addams's variety of booming to sultry voices makes the storytelling that much more spellbinding:

A creative imagining of interpersonal events proposing an explanation to the most famous contradictory myth in the western world. The story tells of a descent from noble caretaker to paranoid despot, the corruption of power, how a self-proclaimed god of mercy and love becomes one who commands genocide and unquestioning subservience.

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great

this is my first audiobook. and it has got me hooked. highly recommend this biblical fantasy for anyone

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Absolutely loved it 💜💜

Awesome book. Brilliant and well written it captures the imagination. A really cool look at Christian mythology.

Loved the narrator. Great performance.

-I received a free review copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.-

1 person found this helpful

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  • Paul Hamer
  • 12-20-21

My god this is a mixed up book

Let’s start with the narration. It’s so slow. I increased the speed through the app to 1.2 and that made most of the characters speak at a normal pace. Only one or two sounded sped up. Even at that speed some of the dialogue was still slow. I thought that the narration lacks depth, light and shade.

Sound effects. There is a really annoying “angelic harp” strum sound between each “scene”. It gets wearisome quickly and annoying as hell after 8 hours. It breaks up the book into each scene which makes it easier to realise who is “on screen”. As I said above, maybe it was originally a screenplay? Each scene can be a minute or so to 30 minutes so they are not chapters.

Characters
The author seems to think that having some characters talk in fake olde English like they are in Shakespeare while others speak modern American slang creates some sort of depth. Well it doesn’t, in my opinion anyway, it just jars when we jump from 16th century England to 21st century Illinois.


After a while many of the characters blur together. This becomes difficult when later on you realise that there are about 4 characters with similar names and played in the same style that all have different roles in the story.

Story
Each scene is a series of dialogue and descriptions by characters of what others are doing “off screen” like it has been written as a radio play and not a book, maybe it was written as a screenplay originally? .

As other reviews have said it takes forever to build the story, then the concluding scenes are over in 45 minutes (at 1.2x speed). The epilogue is another 6 minutes. I could have done without the earlier 6 hours or so.

I’m bloody minded enough to sit through it (or walk/run through it) and the sort is just engaging enough to keep me from asking for my credit back.

By the way, some people may find the story line offensive. It contains themes and characterisations that people of faith may find challenging. If this may be you I suggest you do not listen to it.

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  • jim.a
  • 12-03-19

Heaven v hell. at its inception .

Using terminology that conjours the depth of this book, in the telling of how the battle of heaven created hell. I am no religious person quite the anti. but this book (I was given this to review so wanted to respect the Authors time given to it so continued)
But it became so compulsive, I found myself rooting for the what we would say bad guys, backstabbing and pride causing the ultimate downfall. It was narrated with a style that felt part of the scene,
A very entertaining read, flawlessly delivered and worth the read. jim

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  • Koala11
  • 01-24-22

Unexpected

Strange story with seemingly simplistic vocabulary that still somehow fits the story. Reader‘s voice takes getting used to but is able to emulate lots of distinct characters. Story gets exciting more towards the end but is a bit ponderous all the way through.