“Ascendance – Part 2 of 2”
Book 5 of “The Demon Wars Saga”
by R. A. Salvatore
Multicast Performance
Produced by GraphicAudio
approx 6 hours.

R.A. Salvatore’s epic tale of the Land of Corona just keeps getting more and more exciting, and GraphicAudio’s productions keep these books exciting with the superb audiobook productions.  “Ascendance” is book five of the series and tells the tale of Aydrian Wyndon, the lost son of Elbryan the Ranger and Jilseponie the warrior.  When Jilseponie was battling with the demon possessed Father Abbot Dalebert Markwart, the supreme leader of the Abellican Church, she thought through his magic Markwart killed her unborn son.  The truth is that Lady Dasselrond, leader of the Touel’alfar, the elves, rescued the baby from Jilseponie’s womb, and raised him as a Ranger among the elves.

In Part one of this book Aydrian escaped the land of the elves and set out to make a name for himself.  As fate would have it Aydrian crosses paths with Marcalo De’Unnero, the former Bishop of Palmaris, who has been possessed by the were-tiger spirit, and is the man that murdered Aydrian’s father.  De’Unnero begins plotting against Jilseponie, who is now Queen of Honce-the-Bear, in the land of Corona.  De’Unnero’s plan is to put Aydrian on the throne, topple the church and put himself back in power.  Aydrian, powerful with the magic gemstones used by the church and an equally powerful Ranger, goes along with these plans and even develops a few of his own.

To further the cause, De’Unnero places himself among the nobles in the kingdom and running the long con gets the Duke Callis to hold a series of contests as a show for the King’s 50th birthday.  Bringing to mind scenes from the classic tale of Robin Hood and the movie “A Knight’s Tale,” nobles and peasants alike compete in melee battles, jousts and sword fights to prove who is worthy of the King’s Pennant.  Aydrian defeats the strongest man in the Kingdom Duke Callis by killing him on the field.  But before he does this the Duke says he battles for the King and in a show of rebellion Aydrian says he battles not for the king but for Queen Jilseponie.

Salvatore has a great skill of weaving this tale that includes many subplots that come together to produce a extremely exciting climax to the story.  GraphicAudio combines their cast of talented actors with realistic sound effects (especially during the jousts and sword fights) and music that seems to build to a climax along with the story to the very end.  I found myself on the edge of my seat while listening to all the battles and then at the end I felt as though I were going through those battles and was experiencing an adrenaline high from the excitement fueled by GraphicAudio’s superb production.

Super exciting fantasy novel, not sure how Salvatore and GraphicAudio can top this, but the next book, “Transcendance,” is sitting by my side as I write this ready to continue the adventure.

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