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  • Mark of the Fool

  • A Progression Fantasy Epic
  • By: J.M. Clarke
  • Narrated by: Travis Baldree
  • Length: 19 hrs
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (95 ratings)

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Mark of the Fool cover art

Mark of the Fool

By: J.M. Clarke
Narrated by: Travis Baldree
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Summary

The gods chose him. He said no.

After his parents died, Alex Roth had one desire: become a wizard. Through hard work, he was accepted into the University of Generasi, the world’s greatest academy of wizardry....

Fate, however, had another plan.

On his 18th birthday, he is Marked by prophecy as one of his kingdom’s five Heroes, chosen to fight the Ravener, his land’s great enemy. But his brand is "The Fool". Worst of the marks.

Rather than die or serve other Heroes like past Fools, he takes a stand, rejects divine decree...and leaves. With his little sister, his childhood friend, and her cerberus, Alex flees for the university, hoping to research the mystery of the Ravener. He’ll make lifelong friends, learn magic from mad wizards, practice alchemy, fight mana vampires, and try to pay tuition.

There’s one small problem. The Mark insists on preventing the Fool from learning and casting spells, while enhancing skills outside of divinity, combat, and spellcraft...that is, unless he learns to exploit the hell out of it.

Explore a coming-of-age magic academy fantasy with a weak-to-strong progression into power, a setting inspired by D&D, detailed world building, and magical science, action, comedy, slice-of-life, and GameLit elements.

With nearly 10 million views on Royal Road, this popular web serial has been completely revised and relaunched into this definitive version now coming to Audible, narrated by Travis Baldree!

©2022 Aethon Books (P)2022 Aethon Audio

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  • A.
  • 23-11-22

Fun and exciting!

There is a kind of synergy between the character and the narrator that works perfectly in this story. The protagonist, Alex, displays a great balance of dorky, crafty and dependable that just makes him very charismatic, and it's easy and fun to listen to his story. But the most remarkable thing is that the magic in this world is very understated and Alex's discoveries come across as very genuine, so we get excited together with him as he explores new possibilities. The supporting characters also form a nice diverse and ensemble, and there's great chemistry between them. It's a very wholesome story, serious at times, self-aware at others (oh, those Harry Potter references...!) and I really needed to listen to it in this moment of my life. Too bad the continuation hasn't been released yet - my only complaint is this book didn't last long enough (though in fairness 19h is a decent amount of content).

Bonus: solid advice for meditation and bodybuilding. Really.

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New favorite

Great story ( I love how the plot is so different to most books or there)

Narration is great as always. Really engaging and good.

People seem to keep to talking about the book ended? I thought it ended in a good manner, a bit of a cliffhanger and it makes you want to read the next one so I have no complaints about it. I felt it was a pretty good ending.

Overall I would recommend this book. its really good and I suggest you listen to it

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    3 out of 5 stars

Good and interesting story but its lacking

It's a interesting premis but it feels like is didn't come to a conclusion, it just ended mid story.

Narration is good

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Very good

Good book, interesting premise told well and narrated by the wonderful Travis Baldree need I say more, can’t wait for book 2.

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Fantastic

Really good listen,
wasn’t sure then it just got better and better. I cannot wait for the next instalment.

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loved it

I can't wait for the next installment in this series. Well written, a narrator I quickly learned to like and a good story.

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Loved it

The story and character development just got better and better and Travis did his magic making the story come alive.

I hunger for the next book!

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    4 out of 5 stars

More of a "volume 1" than "book 1". No ending.

This isn't a bad book, it starts quite quickly and has lots of exciting action scenes sprinkled throughout. That being said, most of it is very slice-of-life-ish: lessons at school, job applications, travel stories, hanging out with friends. It has a very relaxed pace and was good to listen to in the background but I wouldn't want to take this one holiday and give it 100% of my attention because it's not that gripping.

The characters are good. Some of the interactions made me genuinely laugh and I thought having supportive teachers made a nice change for the genre, however, there is basically no interpersonal conflict in the entire book. Pretty much everyone is nice. It makes the book a comforting but uneventful read.

The author apparently publishes this online and I don't believe this is a full book. More likely he just took the first 75 chapters, bundled them together and stuck them on Amazon/Audible. The beginning is short, the middle is huge and there is no ending. I imagine for online readers the end of this book is just another chapter.

So yeah, no story arc, no combat with the villain, no love triangles, no arguments, it's a very comfortable story. The main character is excellent at almost everything he tries to do, his friend is a Mary-Sue and his sister is perfectly docile and nice. Just a bit meh overall.

Baldree's narration was superb and does make this good for background listening when you're driving or doing the ironing.

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👌

Can't recommend this book enough. The characters are very well drawn and distinct and make it easy for you to care about them. The world building draws you in and the story keeps you until the end.

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Well performed web novel

It's a good story with pacing of a web novel, which is exactly what it is. If you're expecting a fully formed book with a defined start middle and end, your best bet is to wait until rest of the books are finished up and you can listen to whole thing all the way through.

That said I really enjoyed the story and I would recommend the audio book. The performance is very well done with all the main characters having distinct accents and at no point was I confused about who was talking.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-09-22

Finally a Mc that’s not dumb or overpowered

So for the most part it starts out like a lot of these monster hunter dungeon core books. I enjoyed the characters and I will say so far the story development has been pretty good. Gets a little slow once Mc gets to the university but it sets up a nice set of obstacles and challenges to overcome. It is lacking some action but at least the MC isn’t an idiot that is always running into things and having to be saved or picking fights that end up getting him in trouble. I can not tell you the number of books I read that the MC is a complete fool and the fact this time he’s smart, calculating and patient is refreshing. I think it’s missing a little bit of story of what’s going on with the battle. I let’s getting a little repetitive at times. Also the endless skill learning is at least not over done and at least has some restrictions which is also refreshing. I would say for a first book it definitely leaves me wanting more. It’s my hope that this will become a great new series. As always Travis Baldree dose an amazing job with narration.

10 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Halo
  • 02-10-22

What was this book

This book served no purpose… nothing happened in this book. Literally the most pointless book ever written. No plot progression from start to finish, no suspense…. It’s like listening to real life college but more boring, how the author did that while having a magical world I will never know. I listen to every second of the book expect something to eventually happen but only got disappointment.

Narrator was good.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Blake McCullough
  • 20-09-22

Best fantasy underdog story on audible

If you want a well written story where the characters earn all of their strength themselves and every arc is engaging, this is the story for you. Intelligent characters written by an intelligent author makes for an incredible story.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jeremiah Tremble
  • 26-09-22

Ending was frustrating but story was great!

So a great story with strong character building but I was a little frustrated with the ending of the first book.. in part because I wanted more but also because it just kind of left you hanging.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-10-22

A slow burn but a good one

Firstly this is the first book in a series, so don't expect everything to be answered and clear by the end. It was an excellent slow burn with some high action points, but it will leave you wanting to read the next. I burned through it in about two days, so my thoughts may be biased, but I would say top-tier in the genre.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Thomas Dodd
  • 11-10-22

really good

rational main character and flawed likable characters plus interesting story line and a good conspiracy to follow

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • G Lewis
  • 11-10-22

Wow

That was a really good book. Very well thought out with interesting characters and some really nice growth. Cannot wait till the next one.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Aaron Morrison
  • 09-10-22

A journey, or at least the start....

Definitely worth getting!!!

In my opinion this book has only one main flaw. The story doesn't really have an ending. honestly it's probably a great thing that this story didn't have a normal plot structure however it leaves you basically hanging with no conclusion to a lot of the plotlines that it starts.

Man I can't wait for book 2. This story was a good departure from a lot of fantasy stories with a great mix of new tropes and story concepts.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Blazemithias
  • 08-10-22

A good start

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It popped up on my recommended a few times and the description wasn't exactly ah inspiring. After a couple of weeks of needing a new book I figured I could always return it if I didn't enjoy it. I'm glad I took the chance. Its not Patrick Rothfuss level of writing but it is well paced and enjoyable to listen too. I wish it had deeper descriptions of the different locations. I'm not looking for Tolkien depth but maybe a little closer to Robert Jordan. The main characters are interesting and developing a pace that is interesting without them feeling like they are so powerful no challenges are in surmountable. I do wish the book caused the main character to struggle more in difficult situation. That said their reasoning for actions taken comes across a sound and engaging. Perhaps we will see greater struggles as the series develops but for now its nice to see the character development as a focus. I recommend people pick it up and give it a try. Worst case you return it. Best case you enjoy the start to a new fantasy story.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kyle
  • 08-10-22

Got lost in the middle

The overall plot seamed to stall in the middle and picked back up at the end. I’d like to see better character development. Overall good book.

1 person found this helpful