Also by this author: Complicated, Three Wishes
Published by Audible Studios on November 26, 2019
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Once upon a time, in a parallel universe, there existed the continent of Triton. The land was filled with beauty, but it was also splintered by war. Out of the chaos grew a conspiracy to reawaken the Beast, a fearsome creature who wrought only tragedy and devastation. The only way to stop him was to fulfill an ancient prophecy: Triton’s four strongest warriors must wed its four most powerful witches, binding all nations together and finally bringing peace to the land.
This is the story of their unions: the quiet maiden Silence and the savage king Mars. The cold warrior Cassius and the fiery witch Elena. The steadfast soldier True and the banished beauty Farah. And the pirate king Aramus and the mysterious queen Ha-Lah. Their unions will not be easy, but each couple must succeed, for the fate of their world is at stake....
This is one of those reviews I feel compelled to begin with the statement “I hardly know where to begin!”. First of all, let me say a big “thank you” to Dana Honor from Audible for the review copy of Kristen Ashley‘s first book in her latest series, The Rising, a spinoff of her Fantasyland series. The second thing I would offer is a word of encouragement to listeners because the plot is not as complex as it seems initially. There are a lot of characters with divergent and complicated roles and personalities so you must pay close attention until you can settle into who is who.
The storyline is basically as presented in the book description. The main characters are the warriors and the witches they take as wives in order to save the continent of Triton from the sleeping Beast who is in the process of reawakening as the book opens. The author introduces many other characters who play major or minor roles in the drama and it may seem daunting to keep up with all of them, but if you focus on their relationships with the four couples who are central to the plot, everything falls into place. Another focus should be on how the four warrior/witch couples relate to each other because these people are more or less strangers who are taking one for the team. Will they love each other? Hate each other? Be indifferent? As a listener, I think each of you will choose favorites and I’m not going to influence you by telling you who mine are!
My third observation would be, I’ve never listened to an audiobook with so many narrators! This is like a play or a movie with a full cast but without the visual component. Because there are multiple POVs, the multiple narrators are definitely helpful in sorting out the characters. Their performance is excellent!
I give The Beginning of Everything a solid 4 Stars. The author painted a vivid picture of Triton and its intrigues. The characters are well-developed and easy to love or hate. Most important of all, I finished Book 1 caring enough about the storyline and the people I met to continue with the series. Book 2, The Plan Commences, has already been published with Book 3, The Dawn of the End, and Book 4, The Rising, set to be published on January 21 and February 25, respectively. Be aware that the author’s gift for descriptive language may make parts of The Beginning of Everything a bit too graphic for some listeners.