Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Rogerson and Narrated by Guy Barnes
Two wizards, 350 years apart. Can they save the realm of Paltria from Zarua’s dark past?
An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria.
Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city on the brink of annihilation. When his master dies in mysterious circumstances, the Royal Order of Wizards refuses to investigate.
Helped by his childhood friend, the skilled tracker Varnia, and her lover Leyoch, Paddren vows to find the killer.
The investigation leads Paddren down a sinister path of assassins, secret sects and creatures conjured by blood magic. But he is guided by a connection with a wizard from centuries ago – a wizard whose history holds the key to the horror at the heart of the abandoned city of Zarua. Can Paddren decipher his visions and save the Paltrian people before the dark menace of Zarua’s past is unleashed?
I grew up reading fantasy novels so I’ve always had a huge soft spot for works of epic fantasy. It’s been ages since I had the chance to read a good old fashioned “sword and sorcery novel,” and Visions of Zarua was so much fun to read. The author’s writing reminded me of one of my favorite authors, Ursula K. Le Guin. In many ways, this book reminded me particularly of The Wizard of Earthsea. It follows the adventures of a wizard as he fights to save his home from an ever growing threat of darkness.
I found this book to be fresh and unique because the author combines my favorite elements of fantasy with an engaging and suspenseful mystery. I was on the edge of my seat and I couldn’t stop listening as I waited for Padren and his friends to unravel the suspenseful plot that involved murder most foul in the wizarding world.
The narrator was excellent. I have low vision, so I do a lot of my reading in audio format. Guy Barnes had distinct voices for every character and his reading helped to bring the book to life. I particularly enjoyed hearing him narrate the three main characters. His voice acting made their friendship feel vivid and real.
My only gentle criticism is that I found the book to be a little bit slow in the beginning; however, i understand that is par for the course in epic fantasy. Once the world building and characters were established, the narrative took off at a ferocious pace. and involved a mystery that I couldn’t wait to see solved. If you are in the mood for an epic fantasy with a a great underlying mystery, I strongly recommend Visions of Zarua!
*Note: I received this book from Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Author Bio –
Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.
She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.
Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.
She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.
Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.
Social Media Links –
Narrator Bio –
Guy or the Big G as he is known to his friends is a London/ Brighton based actor and singer songwriter and producer.
He has recently completed his first leading role in the film Typo out next year and played the role of Alvin Turner in American film Holly Turner also out next year.
Guy only started narrating audiobooks last year and Visions of Zarua is his 2nd. He will be narrating 2 classics this year, Bram Stoker‘s Dracula and HG Wells The Time Machine.
In his spare time Guy is a passionate biker and cigar aficionado and he’ll not say no to a Sierra Nevada beer or two!
Social Media Links –
I would like to say a huge “Thank You!” to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a free copy of this version on Audible in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Please be sure to check out the other great blogs on this tour!
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