His Dark Empire
By: M.R. Forbes
Publish Date: August 31, 2013, Audiobook Release December 11, 2015
Format: Audiobook - 7 hrs 52 mins
Narrated By: Jeff Hays
Series: 1st in Tears of Blood series
First Impression: Two characters learn about themselves and fighting the world that's trying to stop them.
They said he was a cruel and unfair man, that he could never die, and that he had ruled over us for as long as anyone could remember. They said that he made slaves of innocents, that he hunted the magically gifted, and that he named them Cursed for the tears of blood they shed. They said he claimed the ones who lingered, and killed the ones who ran.
Eryn didn’t know why she ran, except that she had promised she would survive. She didn’t know the dangers of his roads, or of the monsters that lurked beyond her imagination. She would never have guessed how much she would lose… or how much she could gain.
Silas didn’t know who he was, except that he was a murderer. Destitute, alone, and imprisoned, he couldn’t grasp the depths of the memories he had forgotten, or understand exactly how much he had lost... or how much he could gain.
It could not have been foretold how his actions would change their lives, or how their lives would change the fate of his.
For nothing was as it would seem in his dark Empire.
The arrow thunked into the broad trunk of the great redwood, only inches from Aren's head.
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My Thoughts and Summary:
*I requested to review a copy of this audiobook for an honest review from the author.
The Cursed are hunted by "His" soldiers. People turn in Cursed to "His" soldiers for a hefty reward. The Cursed are removed from their loved ones. If they run, they are killed.
Silas has flashes of a past he doesn't remember. He physically reacts in ways he doesn't understand how he body knows to do it. When he finally sobers and remembers pieces of what he's forgotten, a wife that left him and that he's a murder, Silas becomes determined to avenge the lives he took as that man acting on orders of another. Silas will learn what he can of "Him" and put an end to the cruel reign, even if it's killing the ruler of their land.
Eryn is fourteen and is Cursed. She doesn't see it as a curse but something that could help people. But now she's hunted for what she can do. She's promised her mother she would survive, and that's what she's determined to do. She's determined, more than ever after losing her family to "His" soldiers, to stop "Him", to take everything from "Him".
I had the great pleasure of listening to this book. First, Jeff is such an amazing talent in voices. I could listen to this story to hear his work even if I didn't like the story, which I did enjoy it. At the beginning, I loved the lead in with reading of the title page in the lilt of the character. There was music that set the stage for the story, making me all the more excited to get going with the story. Jeff is talented with his voice variation and putting it all together seamless as to create a piece of work that's fun to listen to. He adds the echo of calls, voices around the character, or laughter of many. I do love these small extras added to the story. The best part, we get the story in the Irish lilt of the setting and characters accents. It's clear to understand the words and gives a feel to the world they are in.
The descriptions Forbes uses as he tells the story are like I'm listening to the sounds and seeing the world through the eyes of the characters. The writing didn't feel boring to me as we come to trouble after trouble with Silas and Eryn. There is something new at each turn, growing the world as we go.
Forbes has created an enticing story that we learn about the characters along side them through their battles, internal and external. Silas is a drunk who can't remember his past, and is good with that. Until he sobers up by accident. His body reacts to a threat in a way he never thought he knew how to. Their are accusations made of him. And he starts to remember as his body fights through withdrawal. As he travels and remembers more, we learn the pieces with him. Eryn is cursed and has no idea what that means for her. Eryn learns about the cursed as she travels with a growing determination to end the deaths of the Cursed and their loved ones, for her lost loved ones. These two pair up in a team that feels like a father/daughter relationship, and accept each other for their faults.
We learn about the Cursed as Silas and Eryn do in the book. It's catching when you learn how it all fits together. In the end we get the full explanation of the Cursed and what it is. It's a sort of magic that the people can do. But there is so much more to it and what "He" is hiding.
This book has a conclusion for the journey of Silas and Eryn to learn of the Curse, it does not end on a major cliffhanger. There is still fighting to be done and I'm looking forward to the series as they fight "His" armies. I'm curious about "Him" and what will come of the Cursed.
Yes! I will be looking for the rest of the series!
***If you found this review helpful, please click Yes on Amazon and on Audible.