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Extended Audio Sample The Initiate Brother Audiobook, by Sean Russell Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (406 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sean Russell Narrator: Elijah Alexander Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Initiate Brother Series Release Date: May 2011 ISBN: 9781470802189
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Plague and warfare have swept across the Orient, ravaging the ancient kingdom of Wa, devastating the royal line, and leaving a new dynasty on the throne—a new emperor, Akantsu, filled with fear of all who might seek to wrest the empire from his grasp. Among those out of favor with the new liege is the Order of the Botahist Monks, whose mystical powers have enabled them to hold positions as spiritual advisors to the imperial court for nearly ten centuries. But Emperor Akantsu fears none so greatly as he does Lord Shonto, the brilliant leader of the most important of the old families, whose influence could rally the great houses against the throne and whose adopted daughter, the beautiful and talented Lady Nishima, is the last surviving member of the old royal family.

Sent to be military governor of a northern border province long threatened by barbarian invaders, Lord Shonto knows he is being lured to his death. But Akantsu has underestimated his foe, for not only is Lord Shonto the greatest military genius of the age but he has with him a spiritual advisor from the Botahist order—a young man gifted with extraordinary martial arts skills and magical abilities, Initiate Brother Shuyun. And even Lord Shonto does not realize the true potential of this young monk. Only time will reveal that Shuyun’s magical powers have not seen their equal in nearly a thousand years—not since the Perfect Master himself walked the paths of the empire.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This astonishing epic blends Japanese, Chinese, and martial arts traditions to create an imaginary civilization as richly exotic and exciting as the ancient Orient itself.”

    Analog

  • “Fantasy at its best.”

    Quantum

  • “Beautifully mounted and original…for a debut novel it is extraordinarily confident…Russell has taken the time to flex his imagination and come up with a fresh setting for a fantasy that, instead of trading in genre clichés, sends you on a sumptuous, often exhilarating journey to a time and place that never was.”

    SFReviews.net

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Silver | 8/23/2013

    " I really like Sean Russles writing. And the thing that is really interesting about this story so far, is that it is fantasy with an Eastren setting to it. It is also very subtle with a lot of intrigue and complex plot and caracters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin Radthorne | 5/2/2013

    " One of the inspirations for my own series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Boris Tsipenyuk | 3/26/2013

    " Good pulpy stuff, re-read it every few years "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marc Cunningham | 8/19/2011

    " A fantasy book with an apparently Eastern perspective on magic "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bluescop | 6/24/2011

    " I love this book! I read this book day and night, along with the bext book in the series. I couldn't put it down. There were a few parts that seemed unnecessary to me, but they didn't keep me from really enjoying this book. I highly recommend it to anyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 4/10/2011

    " Since I like to read fantasy, oriental, L.O.T.R.-type of books or for that matter any combo of the afore mentioned genres, including some that are very alike, I have to say that this book nailed it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 6/28/2010

    " I have always been confused as to why the second book in this series, really the second half of one long book, was not published and the first one still was. Dumb. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 9/5/2009

    " A fun, complex world and story written well. High literature? No. Worth reading? Yes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beltane | 6/6/2009

    " This was a bit slow in places, but well worth it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 5/16/2009

    " Along with "Gatherer of Clouds", The Initiate Brother was a fantastic read. Machiavellian poliitics in a pseudo-asian world with corrupt religion thrown into the mix. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin | 5/4/2009

    " Also one of the inspirations for my own series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bill | 6/14/2008

    " The second half of Initiate Brother. This is not a "series" but a continuation of the story which was too long for one novel. Enjoy it while it lasts. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 5/19/2008

    " A fun, complex world and story written well. High literature? No. Worth reading? Yes. This book and the previous one (1/2 and 2/2) really feel like a single long book that was just too big to publish in a single volume. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ronando | 5/12/2008

    " A wonderful book of an asian land with exquisite formality. The story of a monk, his lord, the brotherhood of monks an emperor and so much, much more. An excellent writer who needs no explosive and grand actions to succeed in his efforts.

    Better than the first. Highly recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marc | 3/24/2008

    " A fantasy book with an apparently eastern perspective on magic. "

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About the Author

Sean Russell, born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1952, decided he wanted to be a writer at age ten and was later heavily influenced by J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. He began writing fantasy novels in 1991 and most recently has written naval historical fiction under the name of S. Thomas Russell. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with his family.

About the Narrator

Elijah Alexander has worked professionally as an actor for over fifteen years. He has worked and lived in New York, where he performed in numerous productions, including the Tony Award–winning play Metamorphoses. He worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company for two years and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for two seasons, as well as regionally at various other theaters. In Los Angeles, he has worked on critically acclaimed productions of Sleuth, produced by Garry Marshall, and other works. His film and television credits include Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Emily’s Reasons Why Not, JAG, Summerland, So NoTORIous, and Guiding Light. He was the voice of Vayne Solidor in Final Fantasy XII and has done several commercial voiceovers. He is currently the voice of Kenmore and has narrated more than ten audiobooks, including James Jones’ acclaimed novel From Here to Eternity.