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The Last King's Amulet (The Price Of Freedom Book 1) by [Northern, Chris]
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The Last King's Amulet (The Price Of Freedom Book 1) Kindle Edition

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Length: 277 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description

Product Description

My name is Sumto: I drink, gamble, and idle my life away despite my very limited income. Going to war is the verylast thing I want to do (have you seen how sharp those swords are?) but the only other option is even worse; or so I think until it becomes clear to me that there is more involved in this war than I could have ever suspected. And there is no backing out now.

About the Author

Chris Northern is European, a traveler by inclination, and an electrical engineer by education. He has worked at jobs, been some places and done some things. He also once owned some stuff but he doesnt much do that any more. He is often to be found eying the horizon; shortly thereafter, he is often found to be gone.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 806 KB
  • Print Length: 277 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0059Y3D2E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars 30 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Rocky beginning but worth the read. 20 March 2014
By laconic1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed The Last King's Amulet; however, I almost put it down at several points in the first few sections. The beginning is rocky, there are small parts that feel like they were awkwardly shoved in there to make a point about someone or something, yet don't really fit into the narrative. For example, at one point Sumto has an internal monologue about how slavery in their culture is not bad because the slaves have rights and protections, food and shelter, and can even make money. This does add detail to the setting (and is very true to Roman culture, which is the basis of this fantasy setting), it seemed very out of place. There was probably a better place/way to have this information disseminated to the reader. However, every time there was a mistake/poorly handled bit, there was something that convinced me to keep reading and give the story a chance to develope (mostly Sumto's entertaining narrative style).
And I am glad I did, once the setting moved to the army (which Sumto joined reluctantly), the writing smooths out. Sumto is still given to long internal monologues/mini essays, but he is a scholar, and they do tend to fit in with the plot/situations he finds himself in. These may irk some people, but as a scholary type myself (or so I like to pretend) I enjoyed the. I thought they added insight to the world, as well as being pretty spot on with who a roman citizen would think (with the addition of magic). Sumto is not exaclty a spur of the moment guy, he usually thinks through his next actions. Mostly because he knows that he is out of his depth, and is trying very hard to remember everything he has read on the similiar situations.
Sumto starts the book as a lazy, entitled drunk who shirks any mention of responsiblity. Unfortunately for him, his sister's powerful fiance tells him to leave the city or die, so Sumto uncermoniously joins the military. It doesn't take long for Sumto to start acting responably and take proper control over the small unit that he is assigned. Of course his reasoning is that if he makes enough money (from the spoils) and distinguishes himself fairly well everyone will leave him alone and he can do whatever he pleases in the future. In truth Sumto looks like he is about to surpass everyone's expectations and distinguish himself as a hero/genius strategist when everything goes horribly wrong. Luckily his has a few friends left who will help him save the day.
The setting of The Last King's Amulet is pretty interesting and fleshed out; strongly based off Roman culture with the addition of magic, with several more barbarian nations then I believe actually exsisted in Roman times. In specific the world is currently in a timeframe that parallels the Roman Repbulic (pre-Cesear). The politics of this world/the way the denizens look at it seem very true to my understanding of Roman culture. One instance in particular occurs when a Sumto and Rastrian (a foreigner) are discussing the empire (I don't believe it's actually called this in the book, but I also don't believe it is every actually named) and Sumto declares it to be the most powerful nation in the world, but that it is not the largest for "The city is only three miles square." This understandably confuses Rastrian, but makes sense for an early Roman Republic citizens view of the world and their place in it. In specific, those who lived in Rome/The City were full citizens, and those who lived in client states and allied territories were only granted a partial citizenship without the right to vote because they did not consider them actually be part of Rome. Attitudes towards slaves, women, war, foreigners and barbarians are in line with Roman views. 

Although the other major characters are interesting (so are the important minor ones), I did have trouble with Jocasta's motivation. Hopefully this will be clarified in book two. There are some other minor issues, but this book is much better than some novels (put out by actual publishing companies) that I have read. 

A lot happens during the book, but it is still a slow paced book, which may turn some people off. As I mentioned, Sumto tends to think things through before acting (although, not always with varying results). He also has a tendancy to go off into various internal debates, especially over the difference between the type of slavery the City practices and the "slavery" practiced by the villian. Sumto also still has a lot of character growth to go through when the book ends; still, he has come a long way from where he was. I am excited to read the next book. 
4.0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining Read 7 October 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was overall an entertaining read, it had many items that I like; first person narrative, solid main character , good characterization, and a couple of support characters (I dislike books that you have to draw diagrams to keep track of the everyone).

I have to say that at the beginning I wasn't sure if I was going to like the book because right off the start the main character (Sumto) was not likeable, he a drunken slob that mooched off his family. However as you read on you find him intelligent, witty, and yes insufferable at times. The book is solid and keeps you entertained throughout. However there were a couple of negatives:

-I liked the philosophical conundrums (internal debates on what is the best type of government) that goes through Sumto's mind because it shows growth and intelligence. However these internal debates get too lengthy a couple of times and it became a distraction. Readers who like things to be happening might find this to be a negative.

-I liked how the character was starting to take on responsibilities and showing that he was not the drunken slob he was before, but right towards the middle or 2/3rds of the way everything falls apart and he starts making a lot of mistakes. I think the author was trying to show Sumto is not perfect but Sumto just can't catch a break after 2/3rds of the book and when it rains it pours.

Over all this book was a solid 3.5-4 stars. There might be some readers that will be turned off by Sumto's personality but I think it's great that the author has given readers a chance to read his first book for free so I recommend everyone read the book to see if you'd like it or not. Now that I think about it the characterization of Sumto is similar to Sir Apropos of Nothing by David Drake in that the character is not quite likable at first but grows on you. I like this book enough that I'll purchase the second book, I only hope that it will be as likable as this one. Happy reading to all!
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Has potential, but is ruined by mini-essays 4 July 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am not sure how or why I finished the book... but I did and I regret it.

It starts very slowly. Only half-way through something interesting starts happening. Before that it's just an army marching to a battle and the main character making most implausible rise from a drunkard to a co-commander. For what deeds, exactly? Maybe military history buffs will find something interesting there, but I found it unnecessary convoluted and rather irrelevant. The actual battle description is skipped entirely.

The book has more than plenty of mini-essays on politics, military, and magic, which are bland and not particularly insightful. Yay for free market and small government, down with tyranny. The main character likes to philosophize, but to what end? What does any of that babbling have to do with the plot or decisions? Never once his thought process is fully disclosed even though he makes some surprising decisions. A couple of times he withholds critical information. These mini-essays become the central focus of the book, and the actual story gets neglected. The second half is better (the character is too drunk to think clearly) and there is more action.

I think the choice of "I" point of view is rather unfortunate. There are bunch of interesting characters that get neglected because it's all about "I, me, and myself". What about all those poor characters that met a terrible end?

Overall, it definitely has a potential, but it drowns in irrelevant philosophical babbling.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars class act 4 May 2012
By Bibliophyle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
it is so nice to read an author that doesn't either live in a fairy tale world where everything is lala perfect, and combat unnecesary, or create a world so dark that after a quarter of the book i want all the characters to be dead. he has run the guantlet well. he creates sympathetic characters with failings and selfish motivations, occasionally sidelined by the characters ideals. few other than saints and moms live everymoment for others needs, but i think real peple will give a hand alomg the way when possible. his characters do this well the world is cool. the magic neat. and combat fun.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Could Not Get Into This One AT ALL! 1 June 2014
By njmlkpt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Just could not get into this book at all. I tried flitting around the book, hoping it would be interesting once past the very boring start but just never found anything to sink my teeth into. No doubt there will be some who love it, but not me. Will revisit it sometime down the line and see if it catches my attention then but from what I read of it, I don't think that will happen.
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